Matt Cutts once said blogger outreach is dead. Truth is, it’s still alive and kicking, and it’s an excellent way to build your brand online, position yourself as an expert, and reach more people. As long as you have an awesome blogger outreach strategy in place, there’s no reason this can’t work.
Blogger outreach has probably never been more fruitful. 81% of internet users say they trust bloggers to give them good advice, while 53% of marketers say that blogging is their number one content marketing priority.
But we get it: Earning backlinks and social shares via blogger outreach isn’t easy. It takes a lot of time and effort, and the rewards are still sometimes really low. In this article, we’re going to show you exactly what you need to tick off on your checklist to earn faster and better backlinks and social shares with your blogger outreach campaign.
Create Valuable Content
Each time you create a piece of content, you need to ask yourself what its worth is to the blog you’re reaching out to and their audience. In other words, what is its value
Google is on the lookout for valuable content that solves problems for its users with solid, in-depth answers. The more valuable your content is, the more it will be shared and linked out to, and the higher it will rank.
However, the tricky part for bloggers is creating valuable content in the first place. To that end, it’s always a good idea to go with long-form content, which is at least 1,200 words. If that sounds like a lot of words to build content around, you can use a tool like Buzz Sumo to find well-performing content in your niche. Then, you can take a look at it and see how you could improve on it.
For example, let’s say that I come across a well-performing article on digital marketing. It’s 1,500 words long, and it educates its reader. But as I look closer, I find that it’s actually out-of-date, some of its links are broken, and one or two key points are missing. I can then take the core of the article and make it my own while improving and expanding on certain areas so that I’m offering even more value to the community.
Make Your Content Count
Having valuable content is one thing – but what if no one even knows how valuable it is?
59% of articles are shared on social media based on the strength of their headline. If your headline is eye-catching and compelling enough, you can increase your social shares regardless of how much value there is.
In the content, subheadings matter a lot, too. They guide the reader’s eye and let them know exactly what this article is all about, thereby keeping them reading. Because 43% of us admit to skimming blog posts, it’s important that you keep your readers in the game with strong sub-headings.
Consider adding videos and other visuals to keep readers from skimming your posts, too.
Work With The Right Influencers
There’s little use writing a blog for a website that has little-to-no engagement on social media. Doing so will mean that your chances of earning strong backlinks or social shares are pretty much nil.
When scouting for link prospects, a good rule of thumb is to look for influencers that have high engagement on their social media profiles. Not just this, but you want to look for influencers who post new blogs regularly to their website.
Using your SEO tool, you can also find out other things about your link prospects, such as their page rank, their citation flow, and their page’s trustworthiness. All of this is essential because you want to build meaningful, lasting relationships with authoritative websites/bloggers that have high traffic. If their engagement on social media is high if they’re pumping out fresh content regularly, and if they have high page rank, your chances of earning more backlinks and social shares over a period of time will increase.
Remember to play the long game. Find solid influencers, produce good content for them – and then produce more for them.
Perfect Your Pitch
Your blogger outreach campaign is doomed to fail before it’s even started if you haven’t perfected your pitch. Your pitch is your chance to grab a link prospects attention and persuade them that your content is exactly what they need.
Here are some tips:
- Be Upfront – Avoid being salesy but look to build a relationship with the blogger by being upfront about what it is that you want from them (backlinks). At the same time, show them what’s in this for them. Explain the value your content will create for their website and audience, as well as your expertise on the subject.
- Be Concise – Keep your pitch short and sweet. Don’t waste their time with superfluous details and fluff.
- Be Personable – Using their name and mentioning something you love about their website/brand is a great way to get this relationship off to the best possible start.
- Stand Out – Don’t forget that a touch of humor goes a long way with any pitch. If possible, add a humorous line that will hopefully put a smile on their face and make them remember you.
- Demonstrate Your Value – Anytime you pitch an article, the recipient will always be asking ‘what’s in this for me?’ Demonstrate how your blog will benefit the website and their audience.
Share On Your Social Channels
If a link prospect has published your article on their site with a backlink, congrats, but don’t stop there – share the article on your social channels, too.
Double down and amplify your reach by promoting and distributing your content. This will not only increase your chances of social shares, but it will also please the influencers you’ve worked with. Thus, the chances that you’ll work with them again will increase.
Blogger outreach continues to form the backbone of many businesses content marketing strategies. As long as you create valuable content, make it count, find the right link prospects and build meaningful relationships with them, you will be well on your way to blogger outreach success.
More than anything, though, you need persistence and endeavor. The rewards might not come straight away, but through determination and passion, you can do this.
About the Author
Kas Szatylowicz is a social media manager and outreach coordinator at Nightwatch — a search visibility tool of the next generation. Check out Nightwatch blog and connect with her on LinkedIn or Twitter: @KasSzatylowicz