Blogger outreach benefits multiple facets of your digital marketing. For branding, being cited by authoritative sources is a great way to boost your credibility, increase your exposure, and build trust in your company. The same goes for being a contributor to these authoritative sites. And when it comes to SEO, outreach holds the key to a solid backlink foundation.
A robust blogger outreach strategy starts with a selection of prospective sites with high domain authority, trust rating, and other metrics that matter. To maintain their authoritative status, these blogs will not just not hand out links to anyone. And that’s what makes blogger outreach so difficult.
A great tool you can use for automating your blogger outreach is Mailshake that offers a wide range of cold email templates and drip workflows. By creating an automated and time effective workflow you will have more scale and engagement.
To improve your chances for success, here is a roundup of the worst mistakes you can make in blogger outreach and how to avoid them:
1. Asking Without Giving
Most if not all bloggers already know the value of being cited in a quality post. So, if you want to catch their attention, consider linking to one of their posts and promptly informing them through a simple email. Don’t even mention your true intent of getting a link in return, rather, focus first on making a great impression:
A typical strategy is to create a roundup post, which may also link to other resources as well as prospective blogs. Of course, developing a great post takes time, energy, and money, which is why you should only attempt this strategy on blogs in your top priority list. These should be high DA sites that are also relevant niche-wise.
Worst case scenario, your prospect will simply ignore your email even if they benefitted from your blog. But if you choose your targets wisely, your outbound links will also have a positive impact on your site – not only for SEO, but also for your readers as well.
On the flip side, your prospect may respond with a mention of your post as well as an email showing their gratitude. And if the social media link isn’t good enough, you can now leverage your newfound relationship for your future link-building efforts.
2. Hitting Send As Soon As Possible
A typical blogger outreach campaign involves dozens or even hundreds of emails from your end. Truth be told, most marketers may use a template to speed up the writing process, but they still have to personalize each email manually to match the intended recipient. As a result, you may commit certain mistakes such as spelling the blogger’s name wrong, crediting the wrong author, or forgetting to include links.
That said, try to read the entire email at least once – preferably out loud – before hitting that send button. Doing so will help you spot errors as well as basic grammar mistakes. Some may argue that simple typos add to the authenticity of outreach emails. But if there are grammatical or spelling errors on every sentence, how would you convince your prospect that you offer quality content on your blog?
Another strategy is to use a tool like Grammarly to check your email for errors as you write. This is available as a free extension for major web browsers like Chrome, Firefox, and Safari. Just don’t forget to activate checking on your email account upon installation.
3. Pitching Content They Already Have
If you are proposing a guest post, pitching something that they already have is an utter waste of time. This will leave the impression that you’ve never even been to their blog, which is probable if you only used content research tools like BuzzSumo to locate their site.
Fortunately, most blogs already have built-in search tools that allow you to scan the site for particular content. Use this to your advantage to ensure you’re not pitching content they already have. In which case, you should at least make sure your content offers more value through different repurposing strategies:
- Creating Infographics – One of the best ways to improve the value of content is to translate the information into an infographic. If you think you’re creative enough to design your own, some of the best tools you can use are Canva, and Visual.ly.
- Use the Skyscraper Technique – Normally, creating killer skyscraper content is done to obtain links from a source that already links to the original content. But with a few adjustments to your outreach email, it can also be used for pitching guest posts.
- Change Perspectives – As a last resort, you can revise your content by exploring the topic from a whole new angle. For example, if the original content talks about tools for Facebook advertising, you can create an outright comparison between the top two tools. You can also turn the content into a “how-to” and add step-by-step instructions as well as screenshots.
4. Being Informal
Take note that there’s a fine line between being conversational and being informal. When writing your outreach emails, it’s a good idea to have a friendly tone for approachability and authenticity. But you should also try to be professional with your language.
Sure, it’s important to personalize your emails to keep them from being boring or overly generic. But including inappropriate wordings in your outreach emails can put off serious bloggers. As a rule of thumb, try to be brief and focused on the values you wish to deliver.
5. Not Following Up
Bloggers lead very busy lives, and they probably have to deal with tons of emails per day. In case they didn’t respond to your initial proposal, they may have overlooked it due to their cluttered inbox. That’s why you should send a follow-up email once. Do it two or more times and you might annoy the blogger and lose their interest forever.
You don’t need anything fancy when creating a follow-up email. Just be upfront about it and try to be not too assertive:
Lastly, try to include the blogger’s name on your email’s subject line. According to statistics, adding the recipient’s name on the subject line can boost open rate by up to 29.3%. It’s not a stellar improvement, but it should help you get the most out of your outreach campaign.
Remember that SEO is an ever-changing landscape with plenty of moving parts – not to mention that search engines tend to roll out updates without prior notice. Blogger outreach is one of the time-tested, proven strategies that any marketer should have under their toolbelt.
Hopefully, this post helped you learn the do’s and don’ts of blogger outreach without having to experience the mistakes yourself. The next step is to implement a keyword and backlink tracking strategy to scale the effectiveness of your efforts. In case you need a more documentable approach, you can refer to this post on creating a repeatable blogger outreach campaign.
* Adapted lead image: Public Domain, pixabay.com via getstencil.com