It takes a lot of effort to walk through unexplored avenues. Whenever we begin something new, we keep our guards high, measure every step taken and be extra cautious all the time. And it’s absolutely normal. We want to know everything and get everything right the first time. But, most of the time, our fear is greater than the task itself. Just like beginning a blog.
Blogging is an essentially simple and fantastic way to share ideas, studies, results, and much more with a global audience through a single definitive medium. Anyone can manage a very successful blog with the proper interpretation of developing a viewer base and some quality blogger outreach.
Guest blogging and blogger outreach are possibilities you may want to explore if you want to increase exposure for your business (aside from optimizing your google cache website for search, and expanding your social media audience). When you communicate with bloggers in your industry, you gain unprecedented access to platforms for interacting with potential customers. Well, first things first…
What is Blogger Outreach?
Blogger outreach is an influencer marketing strategy that entails developing and implementing a strategy to collaborate with other bloggers to create real, relevant content to promote a product, service, or a brand. A blogger outreach service or professional guest blogging will assist you in identifying high-quality websites in your niche. They will conduct outreach on your behalf, pitch narratives or article ideas, and, in most cases, write the article for you.
The quality blogger outreach process is commonly divided into four distinct stages:
- Setup of the project
Under this first step, you need to
- Organize the team
- Research your idea
- Identify your target audience, and
- Set your ground rules
Under the second step you must
- Find proper websites
- Find influencers
- Match the opportunities that come your way, to your requirement.
- Here you must write personalized pitches to influencers.
Under the last and the 4th step you have to
- Send your pitches ahead
- Negotiate with the influencer and
- Manage your email once it gets finalised
If you look closely at the activities in each stage, you will notice that each step requires a significant amount of time. The good news is that with the right tools, many of those steps can be automated. The bad news is that one of the primary causes of failed outreach campaigns is over-automation.
Because automation suffocates individuality. The more you automate your outreach, the less personalised your blogger outreach campaign will be. In a world where editors and bloggers are inundated with generic pitches and emails, generic offers end up in the trash. Blogger outreach, on the other hand, can generate you great links, raise brand awareness, and establish long-term partnerships if you’re willing to put in the effort.
Now let’s get to the elephant in the room…
The Secret Sauce to Quality Blogger Outreach
Prepare the groundwork
Like any marketing activity, the first thing on your to-do list should be to get to know your target audience. You should have a thorough understanding of whatever you’re attempting to promote, as well as an understanding of the audience to whom you’re attempting to promote it.
As part of your client onboarding process, you can send out a simple questionnaire while every blogger outreach campaign is set up for a new client. Ask for some basic details, talk about their previous and current marketing activities, and inquire about their target audience. Appreciate every response you get, no matter how brief or detailed it is.
The questionnaire is however only the beginning. If you’re planning a larger campaign that includes both content creation and promotion, your target audience analysis should include the following:
- looking into niche forums
- reading Q&A websites such as Quora and Reddit
- conducting market research (checking competitors blog and social media channels)
- reviewing the best blogs in your field
- carrying out a survey (if you have the resources for it)
The goal is to discover: what challenges your potential consumers are facing; what their challenges are and how you can help relieve them; what kind of content are they interested in; and where they get their information (which blogs/social media posts/magazine).
Search Engine Optimization (SEO)
It should come as no surprise that having a successful blog entails more than just having good ideas, writing quality content, having a google cache website, and maintaining a consistent upload schedule. Search engine optimization is essential for any content you upload on the internet and can mean the difference between a top-ranking blog page and one that is unnoticeable.
Optimizing website content raises the blog’s ranking in the eyes of AI and crawlers, bringing more visitors to the page. Incorporating backlinks, keywords, and relevant additional content makes the site more appealing to search engines.
When trying to add keywords for better ranking, make sure they do not come at the expense of the actual human audience, who might not be able to relate to the content due to their extensive use, if not done organically. Also, connect all your social media accounts to the blog so that you can easily share content across all platforms. Including visuals on the page with appropriate image descriptions, incorporating organic top-ranking keywords whenever possible, and structuring posts all help to optimize the page and ensure better ranking for blogs in simple ways.
Set the game’s rules.
When various people are working on the same blog outreach campaign, it is critical that they are all on the same page about it. Otherwise, the quality of work will vary, putting the project’s overall success at risk.
Here are some things you should define before sending out emails if you want to have successful outreach campaigns.
- What types of sites are you looking for (what kind of niche, which sections)?
- Number of social media followers.
- What pages do you want to rank, and what kind of anchors do you intend to use?
- How many posts/links do you hope to publish per team member per month?
- How many posts/links do you hope to publish per team member per month?
- Are you interested in exchanging links, posts, or quotes?
- How do you keep track of potential opportunities?
- How do you track the content creation process? Who has the final say on possible concerns and oversees project leadership?
Get these things figured out at the start of the campaign so you don’t waste time answering the same questions or pursuing sites and influencers that don’t align with your campaign’s goals. Also, be sure that everyone on the team is familiar with these ground rules; otherwise, there’s no point in establishing them.
Work organisation can help you combat burnout.
We probably don’t need to tell you that having good organisational skills is essential for running any type of successful marketing campaign. When it comes to quality blogger outreach, however, there is one distinct feature that we want to emphasise on – work composition.
If you’re new to blogger outreach, you’ll quickly notice that the process isn’t particularly complicated, but it does involve some time-consuming and tedious tasks, such as prospecting websites, conducting research, writing pitches, follow-ups, and email administration (customising and sending out pitches and follow-ups; all kinds of negotiations with the editors)
All these tasks can drain your energy and willingness to work. So, you should always try to fill team schedules with a variety of tasks. It’s not a productive idea to send emails for 5 hours straight or to spend the entire day reviewing websites. You will inevitably lose concentration over time, lowering the quality of your work or, worse, resulting in errors such as signing an email reply to the wrong person.
Instead, try to shake things up. Even if you have to spend 4 hours on a particular day by sending pitches, split that time up with other tasks like reworking your guest post pitch, checking content, designing a custom graphic, finding the perfect featured image, or anything else.
Don’t be a loner when it comes to work.
Blogger outreach (and, for that matter any type of content marketing) works far better when it has creativity and customisation. When things aren’t going according to your plan, a fresh set of eyes can offer new perspectives.
Talking to your co-workers may be just what you need to get your creative juices flowing. A fresh mind that hasn’t spent 3 hours looking at the same 3 keywords and Google results as you are highly probable to have insight you didn’t consider. Of course, not all ideas might be good, and you don’t have to accept everything your co-workers suggest, but talking to them might just give you the idea or the inspiration to think or do better.
Co-workers are also available to assist with any other issues, such as determining why WordPress adds extra space in a blog post or deciding which toppings to put on your lunch pizza.
Another strategy to consider if you have a large team working on blogger outreach, have a team learning and sharing day. For example, you can have a workshop once a month where team members share some of the tips they learned while working on marketing projects. It can help you improve team collaboration and the overall quality of our work.
There’s no reason you really cannot do something similar for your blogger outreach campaigns as well.
Experiment with various approaches to blog outreach.
While blogger outreach is still a very effective method of link building, there is one problem: everyone is doing it. That means you’ll face stiff competition, and editors will have a plethora of options to choose from. Why is it that YOU are the one whose content they should (re)publish? It is not always easy to respond to that question, and you may need to think outside the box at times.
Perhaps you should include a quote from a famous person in your pitch. Maybe you need to come up with a crazy subject line, a hotly debated title, or something else to give you a competitive edge. The possibilities are endless; all you need to do is get a ladder, climb out of the box, and look around.
You can A/B test your subject lines, add more personalization to your pitches, offer something in exchange, and so on. One thing you should never do is promise something you can’t deliver. If you do this, you are wasting everyone’s time, including your own.
Examine and tweak your blogger outreach campaigns.
Spend some time analysing what happened after you’ve sent a certain number of emails. Take note of which emails received the most responses, which topics were the most common, and when people responded to your emails the most. It will help you with future campaigns and may even help you with the one you’re currently working on.
Being stubborn is one of the worst mistakes you can make when it comes to blogger outreach. You might believe you have a great pitch and that you are trying to suggest excellent topics, but if the report indicates you have a really low response rate, it is time to rethink your approach.
It is not a sin to admit that something does not work. Even if you can’t figure out the reason behind it, you’re only making matters worse by extending the failed strategy. If your response rate is extremely low, you can increase positive responses by either increasing the volume of outreach or addressing the causes of low response. You decide which option is more environmentally friendly.
On the other hand, when the outreach is going well, it is important not to get too relaxed. Just because something works now does not guarantee that it will continue to work in six months. Maintain vigilance so that you can respond quickly to the first signs of trouble.
Whatever you decide, make sure your decision is based on a relevant survey. Sending ten emails is insufficient to determine which subject line works best. A sample of 50+ sent emails will provide a more accurate representation of what works and what does not.
Be open to new collaborations.
Blogger outreach campaigns are frequently run with a single goal in mind – to promote a study, contribute a guest post, republish an infographic, and so on. While there is nothing wrong with that, it is a missed opportunity if you approach each outreach campaign with a limited mindset. There are numerous things you could collaborate on if you reach out to reputable websites that attract your target audience. And, recently, an increasing number of websites have responded with their own counter-offer.
Take it personally but never too get personal.
First and foremost, most bloggers acknowledge it when you are familiar with their site and leave the impression that you are not contacting them solely to obtain a link. So, browse the website, learn the name of the person you’re contacting, and write a personalised email. At the very least, your pitch should not scream “pre-designed template email” at the very beginning itself. Over 80 editors were polled about their personal preferences in a market survey. Along with interesting topic suggestions, having a highly personalised pitch was cited as one of the most important elements.
The more you personalise the email, the more likely you will receive a positive response. You must, however, draw a line somewhere. Top blogs in the niche may deserve a fully personalised email, but writing emails from scratch for low authority sites will get you nowhere. So, what should you do? Simple, make a deal.
Create a template with some personalization fields, such as the blogger’s name, the URL of their most recent post, the section of the website you want to write for, and so on. Most sites will accept that if the remaining pitch is good. If you have a few blogs on which you would like to be featured, increase your chances by writing a completely personalised pitch for each of them. Don’t, however, become comfortable too often. If you receive multiple complaints about the same issue, you are doing something incorrectly and should investigate.
Give something back
Most bloggers will ask you for social shares whenever they publish your content. There is never a reason to deny it if you are proud of your work. Share it on social media, include it in your newsletter, and include a link in one of your future blog posts also. Giving back strengthens relationships, reputations, and, in some cases, your social media following too. It’s a win-win situation for everyone.
Understand when it is appropriate to outsource.
Running a quality blogger outreach campaign is not difficult; most people are capable of doing so on their own. However, things change when you try to expand it and increase the volume of outreach. Even with the tools mentioned throughout the article, many businesses quickly realise that the amount of time and resources they are spending on this may not be worth the hassle. They recognise that it is preferable to outsource such marketing efforts to a digital agency and concentrate all internal attempts on their core business.
The ball is now in your court.
Blogger outreach campaigns are one of the many things where the amount of effort you put in correlates directly with the outcome. Just remember to be creative, stay organised, not to be afraid to ask for help, and not to be scared to change your strategy when things don’t go as planned.
If all of this seems like too much work for you, but you still want to reap the rewards of quality blogger outreach campaigns, don’t hesitate to contact marketing agencies to assist you.