If you haven’t updated your blogger outreach strategy in a few years, or worse, if you just send a template email and hope for the best, it could be that your method is lacking some ‘oomph’.
If you’re receiving a lot of negative replies – or even no replies at all – to your blogger outreach, you aren’t building as many good quality links as you could or making the most of this wonderful profile-building and traffic targeting tool. Try these ten ways to amend and improve your approach, for a better all-round strategy.
First and foremost, pick your bloggers well. Look for people who are active in your niche, have authority and interesting things to say.
Make contact before the ‘pitch’
Spend some time reaching out to the blogger in other ways before you come right out with your pitch. Engage with them on social media, leave them comments on their blog and share their content on your own platforms. This will open communication channels and establish goodwill before you dive in with a pitch for a guest post. This activity will also benefit your own brand, with diverse and relevant content seeded through your social channels allowing you to establish yourself as a knowledge source in your industry with your finger on the pulse of best practice, latest news and worthy articles.
Make pitches personal
Any established blogger will be able to spot a pitch template a mile off, and they’re less likely to respond to your message if they suspect they might be one of dozens you’re reaching out to. Take the time to personalize each pitch as much as you can. Show the site owner that you’re a regular reader of their blog. Reference an article that you particularly liked, or something that struck a chord with you on their social media channels. This will show the blogger that you’re serious about working with them and are putting in the effort to make it a reality.
Use visuals to your advantage
Visual content is essential in 2016. Researchers have discovered that colored visuals increase people's willingness to read a piece of content by 80%. Content with relevant images gets 94% more views than content without. Make your pitch attractive and make sure the blogger knows that you can provide your own aesthetically appealing graphics and visuals to support your post.
Establish regular lines of communication
A relationship with a blogger shouldn’t just end when they’ve posted your guest blog – in fact, it benefits everyone to keep the relationship going. Share on social media and send a thank-you email to the blogger when your post has gone live, and add them to your mailing list so they can keep up-to-date with your own site. If the blogger is searching for a collaborator for a project in the future, your name will be much higher up their list if you can maintain a good working relationship. This gives ongoing opportunities for a raised profile and greater online presence.
Examine further niches
Broadening your horizons and reaching into niches you hadn’t initially thought of can be a great way to give your outreach project a boost. For example, if you’re running a blog for a local bakery, your main outreach targets would likely be food bloggers and reviewers. But reaching out to those in the wedding and corporate events markets could be equally lucrative and result in a new audience discovering your brand.
Focus on the benefit you bring
Bloggers don’t enjoy being used for the sole purpose of link building. Many have put an incredible number of hours into building their blog and don’t want the product of their hard work to turn into a vehicle for backlinks. When you’re pitching, focus on emphasizing that your content is relevant for their audience and would be beneficial to their blog.
Engage in real-life outreach
Outreach doesn’t always have to be in the form of email exchanges or messages on social media. If you have the resources, consider staging a real-life blogger event, where bloggers in your niche can test your products or sample your services, as well as getting to know your team and your brand a little better.
Keep it simple
When sending your pitch, make it as succinct as possible. Is that paragraph about the history of your business really necessary? Do you need to dedicate so much space to your brand overview? Keep it simple and snappy, so the recipient can quickly decide whether or not they want to pursue your proposal.
Use analytics to your advantage
With a wealth of analytics tools out there, there’s no excuse not to be monitoring the results of your blogger outreach campaigns. If you’ve tracked your results throughout 2015, you can leverage the data you’ve accumulated to hone and enhance your approach for the coming year.
Seek blogger input
Who better to ask about improving your blogger outreach than the bloggers themselves? Consider sending out a survey to bloggers that you’ve worked with before, asking about what they feel you did right and where they feel you could improve. You could even ask if they have any recommendations for other bloggers within their niche that would work with you. This is how great networks are forged!
If you would like more link building ideas, 33 SEO experts have shared their most effective strategies with us here.
Have you tried any of the above techniques to improve your blogger outreach? What other tips would you add? Let us know in the comments.