Blogger outreach is now widely recognized as a powerful tool to build online reputation and gain traffic to your site. If you’re reading this, you are well aware of what a guest post is, but struggling to get webmasters of sites online to respond to you.
Guest posting will work only if you build authentic relationships with fellow bloggers and influencers in your industry.
This is not a quick fix technique or a one-time thing. Influencers are real people and you really need to build a respectable network if you want blogger outreach to work for you.
You can easily streamline your promotional efforts, whether you are a brand, business, or a blogger outreach agency when you become part of a responsive network of bloggers (responsive being the operating word here).
Here are some of the best blogger outreach practices that will help you build authentic and mutually beneficial relationships with other bloggers and influencers.
Blogger outreach Practices to build relationships with influential bloggers
1. Turn to Twitter for Flattery
You will be making the first move in every blogger outreach program and flattery is a necessary factor in getting your foot in the door. However, emails can make flattery look like a thinly veiled attempt to impress the blogger.
While it is true that you really want to impress an influencer into replying to your blogger outreach request, you don’t really have to be conspicuous about it, which brings Twitter in to the picture.
Where email requests for links will make compliments about the content or design of a blogger’s website look forced, Twitter shall make it look natural.
This social media platform has everyone praising each other and trying to top each other with their unique hashtags but it’s also extremely politically correct so be careful. Twitter has been blamed for being biased and helping out terrorists.
It can be more subtle than sending a cold email. You can easily slide your compliments and request in between the many interactions, questions, and shares. See more here about emailing prospects.
In fact, you could build a pre-outreach campaign and increase the chances of having your request accepted with regular retweeting and interactions. This can be a salient way to show yourself to a potential blogger target and help you make your way to the ‘link request’ email.
2. Turn to Twitter for New Opportunities as Well
Twitter search can bring up numerous opportunities which you would have missed with your regular means.
You need to know the influencers and experts in your industry to make your blogger outreach successful. It can be very difficult to ascertain authority blogs and the ones that are popular and relevant to your niche.
But, Twitter search can make it very easy for you to look for link-building opportunities. The first step is to identify popular hashtags used by bloggers in your industry. For instance, #journorequest, #bloggerrequest, #HARO, and #journalistneeds are popular handles.
Combine these keywords with relevant keywords from your niche and you could find a long list of bloggers who are looking for content.
Not only do you get your backlinks, but you also form a relationship with the influencer and build a bridge to send them emails and continue the conversation.
However, speed is of the essence here and you need to make sure you are prompt in your replies and work. You can make blogger outreach work easier by using a Twitter client that can help you scan the hashtags regularly.
3. Find Personalized Emails
Generic emails, like contact (at) blogname.com are easy to find, but may not result in a response, much less relationships. People almost never respond to generic emails as long as it is not a client or a potential customer.
Bloggers and influencers put in a lot of effort to hide their email addresses from the world. They may use contact forms or mask the address with images.
However, at the same time bloggers go out of their way to get their social media accounts popular. In fact, you may have come across a post detailing all their social media handles and profile links. They put badges on their site and promote their accounts almost everywhere.
It’s easy to figure out that most influencers would rather be found on social media than contacted on their personal email addresses. However, this is where you need to stand out.
There are multiple tools which can help you find personalized emails. You could also try hit and trial by copying their name and using gmail.com or Yahoo and Hotmail at the end.
However, make sure you never send cold emails if you really want to build an ongoing relationship with a blogger. It’s best to get them talking on social media, and then leave a reference about it on the mail you send them.
4. Look for an Introduction
LinkedIn is not recommended for guest posting because it comes off as forced, just like a cold email.
But, by using the ‘how you are connected’ feature on LinkedIn you can find potential introducers. These could be mutual colleagues or business links that you both know.
You can leverage this mutual person and ask them to introduce you to your influencer. To see how you are connected to another person on LinkedIn, simply find their profile and look towards the right pane. If there is a connection, you shall see it as a flow diagram.
See our guide on best opening email templates for guest post outreach.
5. Invest Time to Create Guest Posting Headlines
You would have a much higher rate of success on contacting people for guest posting, when you offer them ideas that turn into instant headlines. You can make this give you better results after conducting a quick research.
Go through their website and learn the kind of content that worked well for them in the past. Use those ideas and create a genuine and completely unique idea of your own.
Nobody is likely to turn down a free post on a topic that earned them a lot of links the last time.
You are sure to get a response on this mail and they may even do a free promotion for you on their website or social media channels as a gratitude offering.
You can use OSE, PostRank, or some other tool to find out recurring themes or number of social media shares. These stats will give you a hint about which topics worked for the influencer and which did not.
This is a time-consuming idea and you need to make sure you devote all your attention to one blogger at a time. All the hard work shall pay off in the end when you get a response and have someone that links out to you on an ongoing basis.
6. Be Credible on Social Media
An email address does very little to show credibility apart from the domain name.
You really need to stand out from the crowd and allow an influencer to put their trust in your work. Remember, a blogger will always keep their audience at the forefront and will only help when they think your content is true to their website and blog.
If you don’t come out as credible, chances of a blogger promoting you are very slim. This is because bloggers depend upon their audience and one fatal mistake would cause their flock to turn on them.
This is a major reason why most bloggers are wary and don’t reply easily.
Luckily, credibility is another area where social media can come in helpful. Intended bloggers can easily check out your social media profiles and figure out whether you are the kind of person they would want to collaborate with.
It’s worth putting time and effort to making your social media profiles look credible, authentic, and trustworthy.
This won’t just help you get started on having a conversation with a potential blogger, but will also give you an edge with your target audience.
Where social media is concerned, the simplest things can make all the difference. For instance, use a picture of your face as the profile photo rather than a logo. People want a glimpse of the real world and a real person when online in the virtual world.
You should also consider increasing your social media presence by participating in the numerous conversations and communities that are relevant to your niche. This will send a message to a potential blogger that you are serious about what you do. It makes your blogger outreach emails easily get responses.
7. Sign up for Email Newsletters
Sometimes a relationship or a conversation just needs that first push to begin.
By inviting your influencers into your inbox through email newsletters, you encourage them to have a conversation with you. You should subscribe to email newsletters and keep tabs on things your influencers are doing on social media.
There are many popular bloggers who consider their email subscribers to hold a special status. Your email address becomes precious as opposed to annoying when you sign up to newsletters.
The influencer feels you are a potential (service or product) taker and becomes interested in what you think.
Understand that this strategy may only work with micro or macro influencers and many not do much for mega influencers because of the sheer volume of subscribers.
Email subscriptions can be your low-stress method to get noticed by bloggers because many of them check their new sign-ups daily. Watch out for ‘welcome to my list’ emails which can provide potential cues to relationship building.
You can increase your chances of making this work out by first interacting with them on various social media platforms and leaving insightful comments on their posts.
8. Wait for a Relevant Opportunity
Relevance is a vital factor to influencer relationships. Your brand requires relevant and receptive audience while an influencer requires relevant content to pitch to their audience.
Most influencers have varied audiences who are interested in a particular niche, and hence, have to post regular content about that particular sector.
All influencers want to remain authentic and stay true to their audience. So, you need to look for relevant opportunities if you really want to make a difference.
Never pitch to a blogger when you don’t have relevant content. You don’t really have to get the content before you shoot an email, but you still need to have ready research and inkling about what you may write.
Mistakes to Avoid While Trying to Build Authentic Relationships
There are certain things you should avoid while reaching out to potential bloggers if you are interested in building an ongoing relationship that will remain fruitful for a long time.
1. Never be Informal
It’s good to be conversational and write your email in a flowing tone, but it’s not good to be informal. And it’s not wise at all to be ungrateful or treat an influencer as if you are doing them a big favor. While writing your outreach email, have a friendly tone and make it approachable and authentic.
But, you should also strive to be professional with your email. While it is important to make your email interesting and personalized, you cannot be rude about it or use inappropriate wordings.
As a rule of thumb, look for ways to be concise and brief, but not abrupt. Also, focus on the value you shall deliver (ex: high quality guest posting content) to the blogger if they agree to help you.
2. Always Follow-Up
Bloggers have tons of emails (included blogger outreach emails) to deal with and they lead busy lives. It is easy for your mail to get lost in the volume. So, you need to send a follow-up reminding them about the mail, after 3 days. You do it often and you will potentially annoy the blogger into blocking your email address.
You don’t need to be fancy while writing your follow-up. Just be upfront about it and assertive. It is best to also mention that you are simply sending a reminder to make sure they did not miss it by accident.
With luck, you should strike a chord with the influencer and get a reply to your follow-up email.
3. Don’t be Trigger Happy
Don’t hit that send as soon as you draft the email. You want to proof-read it and make any corrections before you send it. Make sure you personalize each mail manually and double check personal details, like blogger name, their blog name, and your complimentary facts, among other things.
Remember, bloggers are busy people and may not have the time for you, depending upon the kind of influencer they are. If you are targeting a macro or a mega influencer, then they are probably getting hundreds of blogger outreach emails, every month.
The only way you can get the conversation flowing and have them interested enough to want to build a relationship is if you make them interested in your offering.