How to Develop an Effective Blogger Outreach Strategy
Achieving rankings that will last in this day and age requires that you take a whitehat approach to your SEO efforts, and a big part of this necessarily involves blogger outreach, given that this is the only way to acquire quality backlinks on real websites which will look natural in the eyes of the search engines while providing valuable exposure for your business.
If you are not doing it yourself now it is probably because it is a very time-consuming process that often times ends up with a lot of invested hours and no results in terms of actual placements.
The truth is that when you have been in the blogging game for a while, you have surely been bombarded by all kinds of messages asking you for guest posts opportunities or some other form of sharing action on your site, and if you look back at the final destination of those messages you can recall exactly where they went – to the recycling bin on your email client.
But even if you know this, and even if everything in your mind is telling you that reaching out for placements on other blogs is a waste of time, the reality is that, if done right, blogger outreach is the best way to actually build a natural and effective online presence that will not only push your rankings and increase your traffic, but also play a big part in establishing your brand.
Many of the veteran bloggers use this technique as the key element of their SEO strategy in order to build trust and authority, as well as establish themselves as leaders in their field.
One of the reasons blogger outreach adds so much more value to your SEO efforts than any other link building tactic is that the backlinks you acquire through this process are truly permanent because they are placed on real blogs and websites, and not on some PBN that will eventually die-off or get penalized for spamming the search engines.
Since a good blogger outreach strategy must consider relevance as one of the main ingredients, it is one of the best ways to tell the search engines what is the niche where you are to be considered an authority and be rewarded as a result.
Indeed, this is true because the link juice being passed from a real blog with high metrics and traffic will not only deliver an increase in your own metrics, but also credibility in the eyes of the search engines as well as the visitors themselves.
In other words, a placement achieved through a blogger outreach process will help you leverage the trust readers already have in the blog where your link has been added, thus you are not only gaining a push in rankings but a bump on your reputation as well.
How to Start a Proper Blogger Outreach Process
After going through the basic concepts involved in the blogger outreach process, it is time to dive into the elements that will comprise your strategy to ensure that you achieve a high success rate in terms of placement versus outreach efforts.
So, let us get into the details of what actions you need to take in order to complete a successful outreach process:
Step 1: Set up your objectives
If you intend to reach any given results, you have to establish exactly what such results will look like, because otherwise you will be moving without direction and this will get you nowhere.
As mentioned before, blogger outreach is not simply about link building, it is a more comprehensive strategy that ensures lasting results while also helping you gain trust all around, so your goal has to include not only improving your positions in the search engines but ultimately acquiring more leads and relationships, along with sales and revenue.
Therefore, your plan has to be designed in a way that it favors one or more of these possible objectives so you can really measure the return on your investment, both in terms of time and money.
This could mean that in some instances the best way to go will be to reach out to influencers and ask them for a share of your content, or in other situations you will want to have your content posted and linking back to your site,
The great thing about acquiring a solid placement in a trusted blog is that you can not only gain authority and increase your rankings, but also natural referral traffic and branding power.
Step 2. Select you target blogs
One of the key elements to a successful outreach campaign is the selection process, meaning choosing the right targets for your placements.
To do this, start by knowing your audience and understanding exactly what they are looking for so you can be the one to answer their questions or satisfy whatever needs they may have. Therefore, start by doing the following:
Setup a spreadsheet using any of the available tools such as Excel, OpenOffice or Google sheets and add columns with the basic information you will need from each target blog in order to carry out your outreach campaign: name, email address, URL and comments.
Now that you are organized and ready to start the process, it is time to go out and find some prospects to begin the work of building your target list.
You could do this manually by searching Google for terms relevant to your niche and selecting some of the most authoritative and relevant blogs you come across, however, this is what we would call “the hard way”.
In order to simplify the process and maximize your efforts, the best way to go is to use a service called BuzzSumo, which allows you to locate the most popular content based on its social activity.
Not only that, the app gives you insight into valuable information such as on what social networks it has been shared the most as well as details of those who showed interest in the content.
Once you get the information pertaining to the websites with the more popular pieces of content, go ahead and extract the relevant information for your spreadsheet and start filling the columns. For some data such as emails you will need to visit each blog and look for the contact information.
Now that you have your spreadsheet filled with information to get in touch with a good number of blogs, you can use filters and other features to select and organize your course of action to start reaching out to the owners and score some high quality placements for your website.
Prioritize blogs and influencers with the most social reach by looking at how many shares their content has, this will magnify the impact of any placement you secure both in terms of link juice and traffic potential.
Step 3: Get in touch with the owners
This sounds simple, and it should be, but most people make the mistake of simply shooting the same text to a bunch of blog owners without taking into consideration who they are and what really makes them click. So as much as this step is mostly about writing an email, it should not be a template but a personalized message tailored to the specific traits of each blog owner.
Remember that a quality blog is likely receiving a ton of emails per day with similar requests, so you need to stand out and show how much you really value and appreciate the opportunity to feature your content on their site, otherwise your message’s most likely destination will be the spam folder.
The outreach’s success depends entirely on the creation and nurturing of an actual relationship with the blog owner because you will only earn a placement if you gain the trust and respect of the influencer, so focus on being genuine and friendly, as you are looking to build a meaningful professional connection and not just score a backlink.
But since you will likely find yourself in the position of not being acquainted with the blogger, your approach has to always involve a value proposition, meaning that your outreach should not only be personal and genuine, but also offer something the blog owner or influencer will appreciate from a business standpoint.
A strategy that always works well is to check for broken links, because bloggers do not like to have their site linking to error pages as this decreases the value they want to deliver to their audience, so this opens an opportunity to help them clean up their blog while you benefit on your end. How?
Simple, once you find a broken link your prepare a high quality and relevant piece of content and offer the owner to replace the old link that is pointing to an expired domain or error page with your fresh content, most bloggers will appreciate this because it is a win-win.
A great tool to perform this task and make your life easier is BrokenLinkCheck.com, once you find a broken link get to work and offer to replace the missing content with fresh new piece.
So, armed with all this information and your value proposition, go ahead and write an email in the most natural and genuine fashion that you can, do not try too hard, be honest and straightforward so you come across as a peer and colleague and not a simple backlink seeker.
Step 4: Focus on long form content
I am sure you have seen it many times, what is called the skyscraper content, which are pieces comprised of a thorough analysis of an important topic with loads of information, useful references and actionable information. This has to be your bread and butter at the time of offering content for your outreach efforts.
So make sure that any topic and content you create is fully researched and well organized with as much useful information as possible to that it a piece the blog owner can be proud to share with his followers and readers.
The key here is to write about topics that you already know are worthy of a share, because these are the topics blog owners will jump at because they will also be aware of this very fact and thus they will love the attention your content will bring.
BuzzSumo or performing a Google search can do the trick to help you find content that is both relevant and popular in terms of social and link worthiness.
Neil Patel’s Ubersuggest is also a great option to help you find link worthy content with the potential to lure any respectable influencer.
Once you find a topic, write your content in a guide format with a lot of details and great structure, including images and videos where applicable. Go big and go better than the content you are using as reference.
TIP: Blogs which are already linked to the content you used a inspiration will likely love the idea of linking to a new piece that covers the topic with a different angle or additional information that the original piece may have missed. Tools like Ubersuggest o ahrefs will help you locate the websites and blogs linking to the content.
Studies by several veteran bloggers show that this technique alone can more than double your traffic in a matter of weeks and also help you achieve a high acceptance rate of your outreach messages.
With this approach it is possible that you will not secure 100 backlinks per month, but remember that here we are looking for quality rather than quantity, as indeed 1 or 2 high quality links from trusted and authoritative blogs carry more potential to push your rankings and deliver traffic than a 100 PBNs or low quality links, so the effort is definitely worth it even if the result is only a handful of placements.
Step 5: Know where you stand
Since this process is not a link-blaster type of thing but rather a slow but solid link building effort, you should see a lot of progress in terms of positioning in the search engines as well as traffic and conversions, so keep track of all the relevant metrics that will be impacted as a result of your outreach efforts so you can determine the ROI of your investment (this can be time or money, or both).
So for example, check how much referral traffic you are getting and how this traffic is impacting your bottom-line. Do the same for other sources of traffic on which you start seeing improvement.
To check your metrics and track their evolution use Moz for DA (domain authority), Majestic for TF (trust flow) and ahrefs for DR (domain rank). I personally like to aim for a solid number on all three platforms as this will usually ensure a more stable and visible impact on your search engine rankings and traffic.
So, as you can see, it is possible and I would say necessary to have a blogger outreach strategy, because these days acquiring real quality links is no longer an option but truly a must for anyone looking to achieve solid rankings that will stand the test of time.
Often times website owners do not take advantage of this method because it requires a lot of time and in most cases a ton of money to execute it properly, but you now can reap the benefits of a well designed and executed blogger outreach strategy by taking advantage of our already existing relationships with hundreds of quality blogs as well as a seasoned team of writers to help you build the right setup for high quality link acquisition in an era where white hat SEO is the only way to go.