Blogger outreach to build SEO is a powerful tool that many Search Engine Optimisation experts use to build high-quality backlinks, drive targeted organic traffic and build one’s brand. Especially since Google is focused on the integrity of links and the quality of content, you will want to partner yourself with real blogs that have organic traffic. In the spirit of collaboration, or what I like to call, smart collaboration, maintaining an outreach program is more than about swapping backlinks but rather building business partnerships through leverage. You must prove to your partners, who can come in the form of other influencers, or other complementing businesses, that you can provide something that they need, whether it is guest posts, content, advertising space, or social media shout-outs. Your content must also feel natural to the influencers’ audience so that it seems more than just an advertising spot. That is a very important distinction when working in this space whereby the approach comes from a place of, what value can I give, not what I can get?
Looking For Business Collaborations and Blogger Outreach to Build SEO?
Before you start sending out unsolicited emails, you must determine what you want to accomplish. You need to find out the types of blogs that are related to your niche, who your competition is, what keywords, phrases and Googleesque questions you are targeting, etc. In reality, the broad goal should be to connect with like-minded businesses and bloggers like yourself and hope that they want to work together. Bigger blogs with high domain authority (at least with Google’s algorithm) will be worth more in your SEO journey but you cannot discount the smaller writers. When looking for bloggers these are the types of bloggers or social media influencers to look for:
- Small Niche Bloggers – These bloggers may have less than 10 thousand viewers, and even less than 1 thousand viewers, but may have high engagement followers that are relevant to your niche.
- Trending Bloggers – Blogs that are trending are those with between 10 and 100 thousand followers but with a decent amount of monthly growth. These types of blogs may have very high engagement and publishing a blog post before they become mega influencers will have a future impact on your SEO.
- Mega Influencers – These are celebrities, well-established businesses, or blogs that were lucky enough to go viral. Identifying these blogs is easy as they will have at least several hundreds of thousands of followers to millions of followers.
When looking for other businesses and organisations these are the types of businesses to look for:
- Local or state industry association – If you are part of an industry association or membership organisation reach out and seize any opportunity to collaborate and guest post
- Other complementary businesses – Your business partners are partners for a reason, normally complementing each other’s products or services. Take stock of businesses that you work with to now extend and elevate your relationship to one that is ‘digitally’ beneficially.
- Your suppliers – Do you have trusted suppliers who you purchase from or vice versa that you could guest post ie your trusted linen provider. You could pen an article explaining why you use them and reason how your customers benefit from that decision.
Keep in mind this is a strategy of extending what you already do and it is a relationship-first exercise. The blogging strategy is simply there to help amplify what already exists or what could be.
Get Organised with Influencer Research
In order to start sending out cold emails, you need to find all of the relevant businesses and bloggers you know and don’t know, within your niche. Check out some of your own blog posts and find which posts are the most successful, as in which post received the most views and engagement. Reform the title and start searching in Google to identify other bloggers that are talking about similar topics as you. Once you arrive at each blog post, explore the website for social media links, RSS feeds, and contact information. Record all of the information about each influencer that you stumble upon, especially taking note of their social media profiles and how many followers they have. This will compile a list of influencers so you can grind out emails in an organised fashion. Moz has produced an online tool called Follower Wonk to aid in searching for influencers and visualising their entire social media following. This will make it easier to search out other social media profiles that an influencer may have and will give you the statistics that you are looking for. SEM Rush is another great tool to give you data intelligence on your partners, and competitors, online footprint. Important to note what doesn’t get measured doesn’t get managed and your best online website data tool to measure the effectiveness of your efforts is Google Analytics. Warm-Up Before Each Email via Smart Collaborations Attempt to get yourself in view of as many influencers and partnering businesses to probe them on how responsive they are. You may start by leaving blog comments, Twitter responses, and Facebook replies using your personal or blog accounts. Make sure that you have a full photo and bio, including your website and contact info, on the social media accounts used to comment. More passively, you may make references, quotes, and link sources to the influencer’s blog on your website or Twitter account. If the influencer leaves replies, feel free to continue discussions. This will make your presence known to the influencer, and quite possibly, you may become an acquaintance. The closer you move into their view, the warmer your collaboration email will seem.
Going In For The Email
If you do not already have the influencer’s contact address, you need to start scouring their website for the obvious breadcrumbs that will lead you to it. Many websites that are open to requests may have a “contact us” section at the footer. If the email is hidden, you will have to put in more effort (and guesswork) to find it. If the obvious email extensions like “Admin” or the influencer’s name don’t work, you may use a domain scanning tool to find hidden email accounts. Tools like Voila Norbert, Hunter, or Rapportive will do the trick. Once you obtain their address, you need to start working on a personalised template that will grab their attention. The higher authority their blog has, the more competition you will have, so craft this email with great delicacy. A good email should have:
- An introduction including their name.
- A compliment from the start.
- Express your knowledge about their blog, assuring that you are a sincere follower.
- Introduce a topic, or a list of topics, that their blog may benefit from.
- Examples of articles that you have published that are related to the influencer’s niche.
It is important to go straight to the point and make the email easy to read since the influencer may have limited time reviewing all of their requests. There is no real cookie-cutter way to create an email, considering that regurgitated templates would be dismissed as spam, but sincerity and personalisation should be its highlight. In the case of an ignored email, it is best to follow up with a response to put your email at the top of their inbox. It is best not to assume that your first email was low-quality, but rather that the influencer may have missed your email on that particular day. The first follow-up response should be made within a couple of days of the email. Any additional responses should have bigger gaps to remain respectful of the influencer’s space.
Rejections, or flat-out being ignored, is a part of the blogger outreach game. Although success is not guaranteed, the way you approach website owners is what will increase your chances. Remember, not everyone likes unsolicited requests to plug your website on their property. To really convince a blogger to let you into their platform, you must think about crafting a strategy that allows everyone to win. The audience must win by being provided with superb content, the blogger must-win financially or gain more followers, and you will win by gaining high-authority backlinks. If your proposal sounds too one-sided, don’t be surprised by a rejection. If you are rejected once more after reforming your strategy, be sure to leave one more email to keep your name fresh in their mind. Accept their rejection gracefully while leaving your links, services, and contact information in plain sight. Take every rejection as a learning experience for personal growth. You are bound to face rejections in business, personal relationships, or even in online video games. Cold emailing blogs allow you to step outside of your comfort zone and discover opportunities that were not otherwise available. Let’s recap and take action: Collaborating with other authoritative websites and reaching out to influencers remains one of the top ways for your blog to gain high-authority backlinks and an increased social media presence. In addition to SEO, you may find yourself with new business partners that may open you up to new sponsorships or joint product ventures. Since there is so much competition from SEO agencies and other bloggers, you must remain diligent to master and leverage your relationships and track your website’s metrics thoroughly to improve your game. Read the complementing blog and start to compile a list of current partnerships and fellow collaborators that you can extend to online relationships that can be mutually beneficial. To sign up for more inspiration on how you can give your business a health kick, visit the Small Business Health Kick