Getting Positive Results From Blogger Outreach Is Difficult, Or Is It?
If you’re looking to promote a product or contribute to other blogs in your niche, blogger outreach is a great tactic to use. When done right, the benefits include: more traffic, more authority and more sales. Who wouldn’t want that for their business? The problem is that so many businesses and even bloggers do it wrong.
In this post I’m going to show you how to go from zero to hero and skyrocket your results from blogger outreach. It could just be easier than you think.
How to ruin your chances and burn bridges before you’ve built them
Whether you’re trying to promote a blog post, promote a product or secure an opportunity to write for another blog there are some key mistakes that I see people making. What is important to understand here is that you can seriously hurt your credibility and the credibility of your business if you do this wrong. Contact enough bloggers and you’ll soon start to annoy people.
A great example is the example that Matt Cutts shared in his recent ‘demise of guest blogging for SEO’ post. The example that Matt shared was clearly from a company that didn’t know what they were doing and it was clearly low quality. The company behind this made a lot of mistakes, one of them being that they actually emailed Matt Cutts about guest posting. I’m actually a little bit surprised that Matt Cutts didn’t choose to out the agency responsible. That was rather nice of Matt.
Their next mistake was clearly shocking because this post from Matt received over 11,000+ social shares, links from over 1,600+ domains and over 440+ blog comments. For an SEO agency not to have seen this post clearly highlights how oblivious they are to the industry that they claim to specialise in. Then a week or two later a guest post pitch hit my inbox and what do you know? It was that same SEO agency. They didn’t even change their template. Ouch.
The takeaways from this:
- Think before you send the email
- Personalise your emails
- Don’t blast spammy looking templates
- Don’t do blogger outreach or guest posting for the SEO benefit
Remember that your brands reputation, authority and influence will play big parts in the future.
Note: low quality guest blogging is dead but high quality guest blogging for authority and traffic is very much alive.
A word about general blogger outreach
I get plenty of emails from people looking to promote their content or just promote their product. And that’s fine with me but the problem with most of the pitches that I get is that they offer me nothing in return. It’s essentially an email from someone I don’t know; trying to promote a product that in most cases wouldn’t benefit me too much and yet is willing to do nothing for me in return.
They just want me to give up my time and I wish I had the time to give. Sadly I don’t. And it’s a similar story for a lot of other bloggers.
There is a better way though – because helping each other is a two way street and by making it clear that you’d be able to help the blogger out in return then you will get much better results.
How to craft the perfect outreach email
I’ve written about blogger outreach tips before but I still speak to a lot of people that struggle to get the kind of response rates that make blogger outreach worthwhile. So below I’m going to share a number of tips that have served me very well and helped me to get over 40-50% conversion rates for some campaigns.
#1. Keep it relevant
You need to seriously think about whether or not a particular blog is a good fit for your brand or the subject you want to talk about. I still get pitches from software developers wanting me to promote products that aren’t relevant to my audience. The reason I get them is because someone hasn’t put the time in to actually look at my blog but this wastes everyone’s time.
So keep it relevant and take the time to check out the blog that you’re contacting.
#2. It all starts with the subject line
Crafting subject lines that get opened often is an art form and I’ve seen people give away certain subject lines that are working well for them in blog posts. Then suddenly they don’t work so well anymore.
Here are two things that have worked especially well for me:
- I find that if you make it clear that your email won’t take up much time or there’s something in it for the blogger, you’ll get better results
- Include the bloggers name in the subject line and they’ll instantly know you have gone to more effort than most people that contact them
#3. Personalise and personalise
It only takes around 5 minutes to find out who is the blogger that owns most blogs. If you skip this step then you’ll hurt your results and your reputation. Sure there are some blogs that are multi-author but there are also other ways to make it clear that you have read their blog and that your email is more personal. Asking a direct question about the blog that you’re contacting, something unique to that blog often works best.
You can also take it a step further by finding out more about the blogger through their social media accounts. You can then use this to add another element of personalisation – this makes a big impact.
#4. Do something awesome for the blogger
Most emails come across like this:
“Hi, you don’t know me and I’ve not taken the time to know who you are but I want you to give up your valuable time to help me right now”.
Don’t do it.
Do something nice for the person you’re emailing – it could be highlighting a problem on their blog or sharing some of their content, maybe leaving an engaging comment that adds value for their readers. Whatever way you do it, don’t miss this step. Most importantly, you need to let them know that you’ve helped them.
#5. Keep it short and sweet
Nobody wants to open up an insanely long essay, and if some point of your negotiation requires something lengthy then reserve that for a later email.
#6. Include a call to action
Before you send an email, just read through it and ask yourself:
“If I received this email, would I know what this person wanted me to do?”
If the answer is no, then it’s time to re-think your call to action or add one if you haven’t included it. I’ve found that asking a direct question works very well – people like it when you get straight to the point.
#7. Reach out to them on social media before sending the email
One of the best outreach emails I ever received was when someone Retweeted one of my blog posts before sending an email. It just so happened that the email caught my eye because the Twitter notification was directly on top of the email they sent directly to me.
#8. Let them know exactly who you are
Hiding under the veil of a Gmail account may be good for safe guarding the reputation of those that you work for if things do go pear-shaped but it’s not a tactic that many bloggers are that fond of. You should be proud of who you are and look at this as a way to network and eventually build your authority online. You can’t do that by hiding away.
#9. Continue to develop the relationship
No matter what reason you’re reaching out to bloggers, it shouldn’t be a hit and run type thing. If you treat it like that then good look the next time you want that blogger to help you. Some of the most fruitful online relationships have started purely because of blogger outreach – and that’s not just a one sided thing either because these relationships have benefited both parties. It’s difficult to put a value on that.
Blogger outreach tools to help you get the job done
There are a lot of blogger outreach tools on the market, but there are some in particular that I’ve found incredibly useful while not being too overpriced:
Inkybee – I’ve been a fan of Inkybee ever since I was part of the beta trial. What I love about Inkybee is that it makes it incredibly easy to assess the level of influence that blogs have. Sure there are SEO metrics but when it comes to building your brand, authority and generating traffic – they won’t do you much good.
Some of the metrics that I find incredibly important are: audience size, engagement level, post frequency and social following. You can also keep track of engagement and measure the success of your campaign.
BuzzStream – While there are plenty of other tools to help with the outreach process (I’ve talked about some here) there’s nothing more comprehensive than BuzzStream. You can manage your entire workflow from start to finish. Send your emails directly from within the app and keep track of everything that your team is doing – even get notifications when your emails have received responses. It’s a fully-fledged CRM specifically for link building and blogger outreach with task management built in – amongst a lot of other helpful features.
Over to you
What has your experience been with blogger outreach? I’d love to hear more in the comments below.
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