Link building is one of the most challenging aspects of SEO. With on-page optimization, it’s enough to rely on one’s own SEO expertise, but with link building campaigns, blogger outreach is necessary to see success. Building low quality links with spammy sites is no longer an effective strategy, as sites who do so will be penalized by the search engines and as a result rank very low or not at all in the SERPs. The proper way to build high quality links is by cultivating relationships with webmasters who own trustworthy sites with high domain authority, usually through some form of content marketing.
Link building through blogger outreach can be a very time-consuming process. You have to gather web site owner contacts and get them on board with creating a link that points to your site. The process is complicated by the fact that you don’t want to be directly competing with sites that give you backlinks, but are still related to your site’s content. Finding sites that fit that criteria isn’t always an easy task. Once you’ve formed a partnership with a website owner, you’ve got to come up with an attractive title that will make people want to click on it and quality content. An important thing to keep in mind is that without quality content, it’s not worth it for website owners to publish. Make sure that whatever guest content you give to webmasters will provide value for them and their audience.
Search engines rank the websites of the Internet like a big popularity contest. Links are seen as votes of confidence to the site that they links to. The sites that have the most links linking to them are seen as providing more value to searchers and as a result, get ranked higher. The rewards of having respected websites linking to yours can be substantial. More quality links pointing to your site means being ranked higher in the search engines and in turn, increased traffic to your site.
Finding authoritative websites willing to post your material can be like finding a needle in a haystack, as the Internet is a big place. For the purposes of this article we will focus on gathering website contact emails and sending emails that communicate the value that you will be bringing to a site’s readers by publishing one of your guest posts. We’ve used several services that aid in the process of finding sites and blogs to post your content marketing to. Three that we found particularly useful in their own ways include NinjaOutreach, BuzzStream and Bloggers Required.
Ninja Outreach is a sophisticated tool that has a bit of a learning curve due to its complexity, but is completely worth it because of its powerful capabilities. Ninja Outreach’s principal feature is its ability to search for keywords that you want to target for your site and results are pulled from multiple search engines. This means that you’re not limited to a single database – the results span the entire indexed Internet. Once you’ve got your results of prospective sites, you can compile them into a list. Your lists are then crawled to retrieve email contacts from each site. Once you’ve gotten a list, you can use Ninja Outreach’s Influencer Outreach Tool.
Using Ninja Outreach greatly speeds up the process of your email campaigns. A feature made for sales but that works great link building purposes is Ninja Outreach’s custom sales templates. You have the option of creating multiple email templates and with the help of Ninja Outreach’s tracking system, you can use the statistics you’re given to assess what messaging is working best in regards to your proposals. If you write out two separate messages, you can send message one out to a group of webmasters and message two out to another group. You can then take a look at the statistics that Ninja Outreach measures for you (opens, clicks and replies) and then focus your efforts on the more effective messaging.
As with all of these tools, there are a few downsides to Ninja Outreach. The Ninja Outreach system only allows you to use a Gmail address. Additionally, if you use the service to send a high volume of emails, your account can get flagged for spam and shut down, and thus losing the work you’ve done.
BuzzStream is much like Ninja Outreach in that it uses crawlers to pull emails from search engine searches which you can then use in whatever way you’d like. BuzzStream is also similar in that it is a complex tool and as such, can be a difficult tool to master. Using BuzzStream to conduct these outreach techniques do take some time, but when used intelligently and persistently, can lead to some fantastic results.
BuzzStream does a great job of categorizing the contacts that it pulls for you. Website and contact info are automatically sent to your BuzzStream dashboard, saving you from the arduous process of retrieving and organizing all of that information manually. You can then specify how you’d like particular sites or contacts are categorized by factors like date found, page rank, contact status and type of link. BuzzStream also has a backlink checker which notifies you when a backlink is achieved. It also has the capability to show if your backlink has been deleted, if the page it was posted on suddenly becomes full of spam, if a link was nofollowed and even if a link’s anchor text was changed.
On the negative side of things for BuzzStream, it is somewhat expensive so its use may be more relegated to firms whose main focus is SEO. It’s also highly specialized for backlinks, so it doesn’t have some of the features found in other SEO metric tools.
Bloggers Required is a network that helps connect bloggers with businesses that need quality content. It’s easy to use and is relatively inexpensive. To get started, all you have to do is register with the site and then post assignments. Bloggers who have a background in the content of your assignments are then able to pitch their blog to you. Some of the blogs you’ll find on this site are low quality or receive very little traffic, but you can pick and choose which blogs work best with the type of content marketing you’d like to promote.
How We Came to Love Blogger Outreach for Link Building (part two): How to do outreach
Getting in Touch
When it comes to blogger outreach, email is by far the best method of communication. People in general, not just website owners, sign into their social media accounts far less than they do with their email. Messages on social media accounts also tend to get ignored or forgotten. The cost of communication through email is free, or if using more advanced email management systems, very affordable.
Before you approach them…
When putting together an email campaign, you’ll get lots of details and contact information from bloggers that may want to work with you. Creating backlinks through blogger outreach can be a hit or miss strategy – for whatever reason, the logistics simply will not work with all bloggers that you reach out to. Some may feel that your content may not be relevant enough to post to their site. Some may think that your site is too much in direct competition with theirs. If not pitched well, some may conclude that you just won’t be able to provide any content of value for them. Regardless of the reasons, the fact of the matter is, blogger outreach is a numbers game and you will have to contact several bloggers before getting quality backlinks. The point is, if you’re doing blogger outreach on a larger scale, using some form of mail merge will make your life a whole lot easier and more efficient.
Personalisation and mail merge
When your lists are built, you can use systems like NinjaOutreach and BuzzStream to organize details and automate the process. These systems take all relevant information and compile them in a way that lets you access them as quickly and easily as possible. The URLs, contact emails and website owner names are all stored together so that you can personalize your messaging. Email templates can be used, but peppering your emails with personal touches greatly increases opening rates and you’ll see far more effective results. If your emails sound too scripted and generic, website owners will be turned off by that and may ignore your message as a result. By personalizing your emails by name and learning about the person’s website, you greatly increase your chances of forming a relationship that will be beneficial for both parties involved.
Due to the amount of emails to website owners it takes to come away with quality backlinks, automating the process can be a good idea. To do this, you can use MailChimp or an smtp service. Aweber is also a solid option. Aweber is a paid service and many people use it because of the fact that it allows affiliate marketers to use it, whereas MailChimp does not. In the case of blogger outreach, this is not a concern so you can use whichever service you find has a better interface.
Get to the point
For writing blogger outreach emails, keeping it simple is the name of the game. You don’t have to write a novel to each potential site owner. Be friendly and to the point. Saying something nice yet honest about the person’s site goes a long way. Make sure to state your purpose for contacting the person clearly so there’s no question as to why you’re emailing them. Also, it’s important to give the person some form of incentive to working with you – there has to be some form of benefit for them. Finally, include a call-to-action so that the site owner has a clear idea of what you’d like them to do. Even if you write the best outreach emails in the world, being rejected is just part of the process, so don’t get too discouraged if some people aren’t on board with the idea.