Identifying and connecting with bloggers that are influential to your industry is an effective way of building powerful links, not to mention important contacts that can boost your social followers. However that’s not to say that outreach is easy. In fact, outreach is a critical and difficult part to any brand strategy. It’s time consuming and often times can lead to low returns if done improperly. That’s why we are here!
5 Simple Steps to Do Amazing Blogger Outreach
Take a look at our 5 simple steps to do amazing blogger outreach that can help increase your brand awareness and drive more visitors to your website.
Identify Influential Blogs
First and foremost you need to identify the most influential blogs within your industry. There are a plethora of tools that can help you accomplish this critical task. Below is a list of my favorite outreach tools:
Identify the Blogger for Outreach
Once you’ve identified the ideal blogs that you would love to connect with, it’s time to identify your target contact. In some cases you may be reaching out directly to the CEO, Head Editor, or another high profile position. Other instances may require you to target a writer directly. For example, there may be many instances where the blog is part of a company or network so contacting the CEO/Editor would be a waste of time. You would want to find the specific authors information and message them directly. If you can’t find their contact details on the website, I recommend messaging them via Twitter or even sending them a message via Linkedin. Don’t be shy 😉 Worst case scenario, you can send a message directly through the contact form.
Approach and Pitch the Blogger
Truly influential bloggers will likely be inundated with unsolicited messages and “pitches” from those looking to tap into their vast network (and traffic!). That makes this step extremely important for your success.
First you need to check whether the blogger in question has any official statement or guidelines for pitching. If they don’t then put together a well thought out, but relatively short, message. Include within it the following:
- Catchy tagline
- A short, clear message
- The URL of your website
- Any financial incentive you are offering
Please note: If you have a financial offer to make then feel free to explain this, the majority of bloggers welcome such relationships, even if their website doesn’t admit this. Just remember to also include the reasons why your content will be useful to their readers, as most bloggers also maintain credibility by choosing only solid resources.
Build a Relationship with the Blogger
Developing a relationship with the blogger in question will likely be required for those opting for the non-commercial, non-payment route, and if there’s no payment in it for them, then there had to be something else. So focus on continually sharing genuinely insightful news with them, and stay in touch on a relatively regular basis. You may also want to help them in their own promotions by sharing their posts (which will be particularly appreciated if you have a significant following yourself).
Monitor the Responses to your Outreach
This last step sounds pretty obvious, but you may well be surprised at just how many companies, or even dedicated marketing departments, that fail to properly monitor the results of their outreach. We recommend using a social media monitoring solution that can help you in analyzing mentions of your company, including: Hootsuite, Social Mention, Mention and TalkWalker. Also, checking your email SPAM regularly will aid in this effort.
Ultimately this final step will ensure that all of your relationships are paying off, particularly those that you may have reached a financial agreement with. To this end it’s vital that you continually review the bloggers within your outreach hemisphere, and keep in touch with them. If there’s a deal not working out for you then it may be time to explore why and possibly re-negotiate the deal. Conversely if a blog is really performing for you then you need to recognize this. Keeping helpful outreach contacts on your side is just as important as dropping any potentially expensive dead, ineffective weight.
A Reminder About Guest Posting, and the Many Questions it Poses
Guest posting in recent years has been subject to plenty of controversy. Many experts have argued that it merely represents an increasingly time-consuming and all too often ineffective outreach strategy. Others still vehemently defend its role within the modern marketing plan. So what’s the truth? Well let us be clear: Guest posting can still be inherently important to outreach work and can deliver link juice, as well as organic traffic. However it must be thoroughly researched: producing great content and placed within the right places. Get it wrong and you could be in the wrong place at the right time with an audience that is unsuitable to your needs, or you could very well be in the right place at the wrong time with a website when they get penalized by Google.
Useful tools for Guest Posting
Here is a list of helpful tools to help you begin your Blogger/Guest posting connections:
- Blogger LinkUp
- Guest Blog Genius
And finally… Persevere!
Outreach is undoubtedly a time-consuming and often difficult process. It demands intelligent research, the choice of the right blogging partners and the befriending of the most influential bloggers, all of which can seem nigh on impossible at certain points. However enduring outreach specialists will almost certainly reap the results, particularly if they focus on an always on-point content strategy that is backed up by continually learning about outreach and how they can improve their skills. For this reason we’ve also put together a few other blog posts upon outreach, covering the Best tools for outreach as well as discussing some amazing outreach templates to get you noticed [links coming soon!]
Featured image courtesy of Pitstop Media.