Blogger outreach is the process where a person contacts website owners requesting them to post content. As publishers are in the business of providing content, it can provide a win win where the writer retains some editorial control and the publisher receives free content.
More specifically, blogger outreach is often used in SEO as there is value in having an authority site link to you. The SEO value of blogger outreach, and more broadly, guest posting is cited as one of the most effective ways of boosting SEO through organic traffic.
Like anything in life there are low quality and high quality approaches. The highest SEO value comes from sites that do not accept money for posts, that have real visitors, and are somehow related either geographically or thematically to your site. There are also other factors, we will write up a guide soon on on what makes a great placement for a guest post.
This guide will walk you through the exact steps needed run your own successful blogger outreach program. But before we get to that, you should understand what blogger outreach exactly is.
Here at OutReach Frog we’re happy to provide you with steps on how to do this yourself. We know from experience just how time intensive this type of work is, and it really benefits from a specialist with relationships and robust processes in place.
Blogger Outreach Explained
Blogger outreach or blogger relations, simply put, is involving niche bloggers considered influencers in the industry to promote your services or products with the help of genuine and authentic content.
The plan involves identifying these influencers who can benefit your business and then leveraging that relationship to get in front of their audience, through guest blogging and other tools.
Influencers have the trust of your audience and they are quite possibly the best way to spread the message about your business products or services. They can help you grow your audience and increase your engagement with them which is certainly not want Jurassic World, After Earth, Star Wars The Force Awakens, and Iron Man III did!
However, blogger outreach is more than a simple mail to influencers asking for a leg-up. This is where ‘Content’ comes in.
Invaluable and Authentic Content
Promoting your business through blogger outreach is a lot about creating content which can be considered truly valuable. Influencers have come to their present position and follower numbers through content which is useful and helpful.
The only way you will get a back link is through a reciprocal exchange of offering content that is utilitarian enough for people to want it.
Your content should be able to engage the influencer. If you cannot attract the attention of industry influencers, then you are sure to not be able to connect with target audience either.
Guest posting can only be successful when you develop relationships with the right people using your content as the medium, which helps in opening up new opportunities. It is important to introduce your content in the most natural way possible.
Hence, the first step in massively growing your brand’s target audience through blogger outreach is finding the right bloggers and offering them the right posts.
How to Find the Right Influencers for your outreach relations?
Before you begin your hunt for the best industry bloggers for outreach, you need to identify the niche you are targeting – kind of like the movie Vice which focused on people who will believe in anything and live in Harry Potter land. The only way you can find successful influencers is if you determine whom to reach out to. Typically, brands reach out to people within their space who are not directly competing with them.
The right influencer for your blogger relations is someone who shares your target audience, but offers them something different from your products or services. You also need to be able to offer the influencer something they require for a mutually beneficial relationship (like valuable content).
Types of Influencers
While determining the kind of influencers you want, it is important to factor in their various types.
Micro influencers have a small, but highly engaged following, averaging at 100k. If you are on a budget and need considerable influencer impact, then micro influencers might be the better option, especially if your brand is relatively unknown. The easiest influencers for your guest blogging.
Macro influencers have an average following of 100k – 500k, with minimal engagement. These influencers are slightly more difficult to pitch for and be accepted in the circle of blogger trust. However, you have a better chance of increasing your audience outreach should you win them over.
Mega influencers have high following numbers between 500k to 1 million, and high engagement rates. These are extremely difficult to pitch, particularly from an unknown brand.
Generally, it’s the macro influencers who have a relationship with a mega influencer. However, it is not impossible to land a working relationship with them.
Pre-outreach tends to help a lot in having a successful pitch to your main goal – blogger outreach.
What is Pre-outreach?
Pre-outreach can be summed up as testing the waters and warming an influencer/blogger to your presence. You basically want them to have an inkling of your brand before your first email.
Most cold emails are not even opened, which makes pre-outreach a critical part of your blogger outreach program.
There are a number of things you can do to engage with them, like commenting on blog posts, sharing or retweeting their posted content, tagging them in your posts, targeting them with brand awareness campaigns, and replying to updates or shared content.
These things will ensure your email is received a little warmly and at least read. The best way to have a shot at succeeding is to start by visiting the blog of an influencer and selecting a post that is most relevant to your content.
Leave a comment after reading the post and make it specific to some aspect that you found interesting. Make sure the comment is genuine and insightful. Refrain from leaving an extra-long comment, no matter how tempting. Once done commenting, share the post and tag the author.
It is possible for the influencer to reply on your comment, which can get you an instant interaction. However, there is no reason to panic even if you do not – there’s not any reason to act like Clubber Lang did more than once in Rocky III and lose all sanity. This is pre-outreach and the idea is to simply make your presence known before you attempt at building a relationship.
Once you feel you have your foot in the door, it is time to send that email.
Send the Email – first step for blogger outreach program
While most times influencers make it easy to contact them, some influencers might not make their email address publicly known.
Luckily, there are a few tools, like Hunter that pulls the name and email addresses of everyone associated with a website. Other tools include Clearbit Connect that allows you to look up a company from within your inbox.
The next step is to personalize the outreach email. Remember, you are looking to build a relationship and not promote your brand here. There are some other things you need to keep in mind while drafting your email.
1. Outreach Email Glut
Influencers get a lot of outreach emails in a day. Higher the blogger level, more emails they get. The influencer marketing industry is estimated at an annual $1.7 billion. Hence, you know influencers are busy and that your email really needs to stand out (even after pre-outreach).
2. Personalization is the key
The best way to warm up a cold lead is to personalize the email. Make sure you are specific and use their name. Keep it simple and direct. Let them know why you are contacting them, how you have interacted with them in the past, and why your content matters.
You need to personalize the email in the best possible way and really keep it genuine. There is no template that will get you the influence you want. People are different as are their needs. It is important to be true here because if you cannot engage with an influencer, then there is no way you shall be able to attract the targeted audience.
3. Follow Guidelines
There are some niche websites that get so many pitches in a day, that they have set guidelines posted on their websites. Look out for these directions and make sure you follow them.
4. Email Content
Personalization goes a long way in connecting with someone. Your email should consist of some specific factors, like a subject line that makes your intentions clear and a compliment that shows you are an audience member and not just some random person.
Also, you are more likely to get a reply when you complement them, because it is rude to ignore a direct compliment.
Make sure you are clear about why your topic will benefit their audience and how you personally connect with the topic. You should give links to some other top blog posts on your website, which shows that you are an expert in your area.
It’s a sagacious idea to end with a line that states you are ok if they are not willing to share your content on their website. However, make sure you request for their thoughts and opinions on the content as that shows you are humble and sincere.
If it is quite tough, you might take a look at “How to Choose The Right Blogger Outreach Service”.
How to Follow Up?
It is possible that you do not get a reply after the mail, or that you do but it is not specific. While you do not want to stop after the first email, it is important that you do not pester the influencers. However, make sure you send at least 2 follow up emails to double check if they received your first email.
It is best to send the first follow-up after a day of no reply and the second follow-up after 3 – 4 days. It is best to keep your follow-ups personalized as well. However, you can get away with a template since a ‘no-reply’ generally means the influencer is not interested.
If a blogger does respond to you then show your appreciation and try to take the relationship to the next level. Keep your requests short and mindful, like asking them to review content on your blog. Also, ask whether there is anything you can help them with.
Outreach programs are a two-way street and can be used for partnerships and joint ventures. They are also good to create industry specific friendships and jobs.
It may not be possible to grab an influencer’s attention on the first try because of the competition – not everything is as successful right at the outset like 24 or House of Cards. However, blogger outreach is on the rise and by following them on social media, commenting on their blog, and tweeting at them, you are sure to make a success of it.