Blogger Outreach: How to Get the Expected Feedback
When it comes to outreach, most bloggers break into a cold sweat and this is not surprising because who wants to be known as an annoying spammer?
The disdain towards such an essential promotional tool arises when it is used improperly. We assure you that outreach can be both productive and unobtrusive if you choose the right approach.
How do you do that? We are going to tell you.
What Is Outreach, and What Is It for?
Suppose you are creating something on the Internet, such as a photoblog about the animals listed in the Red Book. You are putting a lot of effort into this, going on expeditions to search for endangered species, but the number of subscribers is not increasing. You want the entire Internet to know about your blog, for people to repost photos, and for National Geographic to reference you in their articles. This is the first scenario you face where you need outreach.
Outreach is establishing connections (via personalized emails) with other bloggers, publishers, and website owners who could advertise you and your blog on their site.
The way this usually happens is as follows: they put your content on their pages, repost articles, have a guest post with your name, or they invite you to be on their podcast as an expert or just a friend.
The ultimate goal of outreach is to build your audience, gain a good reputation, and, as a result, make a business out of it.
In an ideal scenario, outreach would be mutually beneficial, meaning that building an audience and reaching out would work both for you and the person you are reaching out to for help.
Marketing and SEO Outreach
How do you use outreach in marketing?
Circling back to the photoblog about animals, you decided to hold a conference about the importance of preserving endangered species. You could use regular advertising on social media, or you could ask a blogger with your target audience for help.
In this case, the outreach plan would be as follows: you compile a list of opinion leaders expert sources in your field and you send them a proposal for cooperation. The proposal is where you suggest that they mention your conference on their platforms.
Reputable bloggers with a good reputation and the trust of their subscribers can become advocates for your brand, showing their audience the advantages of your services, and you, in return, will get the expected feedback.
In SEO promotion, outreach is one of the ways to build up the site’s link mass.
It is much more effective when a site gets backlinks from opinion leaders and well-trusted sites, and users click on the sites than just buying links, running through catalogs, or posting on forums.
Uniqlo, a Campaign of Bloggers and Style Icon, is a Good Example of Outreach in Marketing
When the Irish designer Orla Kiely created a line of new models for the Uniqlo brand, the company decided to celebrate this with an online shoot, bringing together the fans of different bloggers. Opinion leaders asked Orla questions live, and anyone could join in by watching the meeting on YouTube. This event was widely discussed and was mentioned on multiple occasions in large Internet publications.
Outreach Approaches “Sniper” and “Shotgun”. Which One Should You Pick?
There are two main approaches bloggers use for outreach, “sniper” and “shotgun”. Let’s look at both of them.
The “Sniper” Approach
Those who practice this approach carefully choose their contacts for cooperation, they take care in preparing personalized emails, giving special attention, and meaning to each contact, and they expect an appropriate response.
The “Shotgun” Approach
Here, the focus is more on quantity over quality. Supporters of the “Shotgun” approach write mass email newsletters, in the hope to obtain more links. However, this only works if you are not planning to establish long-term relationships with the contacts of your mailing-list. Otherwise, this approach is doomed to fail, smart people will immediately recognize that you are only interested in your benefits, and they will not want to collaborate with you.
You should choose an approach based on your goals. We recommend that you give preference to the “Sniper approach” since it is designed for the long term.
Blogger Outreach Strategy
A Step-by-Step Guide to Blogger Outreach
After having familiarized yourself with the concept of outreach, we suggest that you consider the process of its gradual implementation.
1. Search for Sites That Are Popular and Relevant for Your Audience
Any outreach begins with a search for possible prospects. How do I find those to collaborate with?
- People and organizations mentioned in your article.
If you are citing resources or quoting one of the opinion leaders, why not let them know? Commence to find bloggers. Doing so is easy enough: upload a post and search for references to people or organizations from your text.
- People who write about the same topics as you.
If there are bloggers in the network who are also interested in your topic, it would be useful to find them. They are the easiest to negotiate because you share a similar field of interest.
Turn to Google for more information.
Let’s again go back to the example of a photoblog about endangered species. Suppose that your last post is about America’s endangered species. You enter the corresponding search query in the search tools, select “for the last month”, as we are interested in recent publications, and familiarize yourself with the list of resources writing on this topic.
Blogger Outreach Services
- Use the AllTop service
AllTop is a catalog of blogs.
Here you can find the top articles and blogs in various fields, including science, sports, entertainment, news, lifestyle, business, and many others.
- Find opinion leaders on BuzzSumo
BuzzSumo is a tool that you can use to find popular and influential content, as well as influencers to collaborate with.
2. Choose Opinion Leaders to Collaborate with
After you have searched for suitable sites and influencers and considered the blogger outreach best practices, the second stage is to compile the contacts of those you intend to work with.
Many bloggers skip this stage out of vanity. Sending mass emails to the contacts in this list will not bring you the desired result.
Create a Table:
Everything is clear with the name and website column. Go to the “followers” section, here you will have to do a little work; check all of your selected contacts and enter the number of followers they have in the next column. You need a figure from one social platform, the one you choose will depend on your subject. For example, for a photoblog about endangered species, this would be Instagram.
If you are using outreach for link building, then you need to determine the credibility of the resources you intend to collaborate with. This can be done by using online services, we recommend SEMrush.
In the “Domain Analytics” tool, in addition to the “page/domain rating indicator”, you need to pay attention to the confidence level indicator. It allows you to determine the site’s credibility using a scale from zero to one-hundred, depending on the quality and number of links that lead to it.
If you notice a significant difference between the confidence level and the page rating, this could mean that the site has risen in the rating through a large number of low-quality links. Thus, this site could easily fall under Google’s sanctions.
The next column is for the number of comments, the user comments under blogs show the activity of their audience. Someone might have hundreds of thousands of subscribers, but only a dozen comments, which indicates a lack of interaction among the audience. This indicator is especially important if you plan to write a guest post for a blog.
After you are finished with the table, rank all of the sources listed on the table, putting those with whom you would like to work first:
- Influential blogs with a large reach and an active audience are monsters in your subject.
- Bloggers with a good reach and good interaction with their followers who have been blogging for a long time.
- Novice bloggers and those who have yet to have success. They have a small audience and a few comments, but they post regularly.
This ranking will help you take the next steps since top opinion leaders require a special approach, and the bloggers from the third group can be written practically immediately.
3. Blogger Relations as a Part of the Strategy
Before you start sending out emails with offers of collaboration, we recommend that you try establishing personal contact. This is especially true for the bloggers that are first and second in your ranking. Remember, if a person has already heard of you, they are more likely to respond to your email.
Here are some good ways to have some sort of rapport with bloggers before sending them an email:
- Follow them on social media
Find the official accounts of the bloggers of interest on different platforms, follow them, and stay tuned. Because if you decide to write “I’m a big fan of your blog” in the email, they can easily check this.
- Regularly comment on their posts
Leave thoughtful, helpful comments that encourage discussion. Start doing this at least two weeks before emailing, and then you will be noticed. If you have nothing better than “good post” to write, it is better to refrain as these comments are barely ever noticed.
Note how a detailed comment on a post attracts the author’s attention and gets a reply, as opposed to short comments.
- Make reposts
Even if you have a small audience, share bloggers’ posts. It is better to write a catchy introduction to personalize the repost. You can either mention the blogger or highlight the advice given in the text. You should express your point of view on the issue, preferably be positive and supportive of the author.
- Rate and review their podcast on Itunes
If the blogger of interest has a podcast, your review is an additional way to be noticed and is yet another confirmation that you are interested in the subject matter and their content.
- Review their books on Amazon or GoodReads
The act of buying and reviewing a blogger’s book is a feasible aid to their marketing efforts. If a majority of the book reviews are negative, then this is a great way to stand out from the crowd and attract attention, while gaining the trust that you need.
4. Search for Contact Information
In addition to the obvious ways to find contact information, checking social media and sites, there are special tools for searching for email addresses, such as:
- AnyMail Finder
- Find that email
- Voila Norbert
- Find That Lead
We only have 10 blogger outreach software listed, when in fact, there are hundreds of similar services, and they all work according to a similar algorithm. Let’s take a look at how this works using Hunter as an example.
The system will give you a list of contacts if you simply go to it and enter the site of the organization or person of interest in the search.
5. Get in Touch with Contacts From Your List
It is time to begin the email outreach portion. How you will implement it depends on the goals you set for yourself. There is a big difference between arrangements for a guest post, share requests, and a full-fledged marketing campaign. Let’s consider what can be done in each of these cases.
Guest Post for the Blog
First of all, choose blogs that participate in such things, usually, they will have a “Write for us” or posts from guest authors section. Pay attention to what content they might be interested in; the subject matter, form of presentation, and content.
Begin writing the email, here we offer you our blogger outreach email template:
Hello verticalresponse.com team,
I’m a representative of “Your site” outreach marketing team. Our company would like to cooperate with you. We are interested in publishing a guest/sponsored article on your site. We are ready to provide an article about “Your subject”. Just let me know whether you are interested or not.
And do you own any other sites? We’ll be interested in them too.
Hope to hear from you soon.
Please note that the text should be written briefly and concisely.
If you want to ask an influencer to share your post, study their blog to see what they share, be it news, scientific articles, or something else. Based on this, you will be able to write a post that they would want to share.
Please note the following when writing an email:
- You should not begin with “I adore you and your blog”, add this only if you are confident that the influencer will perceive your impulse properly.
- Briefly explain why you are sending a link to your post, base it on the fact that it may be interesting and similar to what the blogger usually shares.
- Mention that you are not asking them to share the link (a smart move), but at the same time, make it clear that you are not opposed to this.
Backlinks from Reputable Source
Consider where it would be relevant to mention you or your product/service, these can be posts with recommendations, selections, reviews, and more.
When writing an email remember:
- You should not rely on the other person to think about where to insert your link and mention you. You should be doing this yourself and make suggestions on where to post your information.
- Brevity is the sister of talent. Express your thoughts briefly, essentially, do not write long canvases of text.
A Partnership with Opinion Leaders
Your success in this area depends on how you see your partnership; reviewing a product or service requires more time and resources than simply mentioning that you have a new clothing line.
- Be specific with your request, clearly define for yourself what you want from the partnership, and how you envision it.
- Determine the influencer’s role, whether or not this be a one-time thing, or you are planning on a long-term partnership.
- Begin writing the email, in the first few lines mention what you need, “I wanted to ask if you would be interested in working with me…”. Next, explain why they need this, coverage, audience growth, or a free product for a review. Then describe what the next step will be, what to do, and who they will get in contact with if they are interested in working with you.
6. Tips and Recommendations
- Do not Offer Money
If the blog does not consider options for paid collaboration, which is completely normal in some industries, then do not offer money in exchange for your publications. Especially avoid doing this in the first email, the recipient will find it offensive.
- Write Short Emails
We have already mentioned that people are reluctant to read long emails and that it is better to express yourself briefly. It is also worth noting that most people check their email on their phone.
- Do not Set a Time Frame
In the email, you should not ask “and when you read my post…” or “maybe coffee tomorrow” and so on. This might confuse the recipient, especially if you are not familiar with one another.
- Offer Your Ideas
Proposing ideas for further collaboration can successfully influence the building of long-term relationships and show your thoughtful approach to the matter.
Editing and Proofreading
When you write an email, do not rush to send it, take the time to fix mistakes. It is better to rephrase any complex sentences that might be in the text. You should avoid tautology, piling words, and grammatical errors. Make sure that all personal information is correct. If you mix up the name of the person you are emailing or misspell the name of the site, it will leave a bad impression.
You ask someone you trust to proofread the email because fresh eyes can catch something you may have missed. Remember that even a minor mistake could taint your reputation.
Do not Rush Things
Do not forget that successful bloggers are always busy, their entire business is online and requires their constant involvement. There is always the risk that your email arrives at a bad time.
If it has been one or two days and you have not received a response, do not write again. Be patient; wait at least five days before contacting them again, especially if this is your first time emailing them. If it has been a week and you have not gotten a response, they may just be busy, or they may not be interested in your offer.
Take Rejection Calmly
Even if you have high-quality and verified content, you are not immune from rejection. Do not be intrusive and do not try to convince anyone that you are correct, respect the opinion of others. Also, do not take rejection to heart, it might be that they are not interested in working with anyone right now.
Create Content That Arouses Interest and the Desire to Share It
Work on the quality of your blog; choose interesting topics, conduct your research, use trustworthy sources, and communicate with people. You need to show that your business or hobby is worthy of being recognized.
Outreach can be considered successful if it meets your expectations and justifies the effort you put into it. Keep in mind that what is important is the results obtained from your emails, not the amount that you have sent. You should strive for long-term relationships with other bloggers that will be beneficial to all collaborators, do not give preference to a one-time partnership.