Have you ever seen blogs come out of nowhere and grow rapidly? In most cases, it’s not because they got lucky, it’s because effective blogger outreach. In fact, this blog’s traffic & email list skyrocketed for the same exact reason.
The benefits to blogger outreach are endless, including:
- Guest posting opportunities
- More backlinks to your blog
- More social shares to your articles
- More opportunities for joint ventures
Now that you know the benefits, let’s go over the five-step outreach process.
Step #1: Identify the bloggers
You want to create a list of bloggers that you want to reach out to. If you are planning to reach out to more than a few bloggers, I recommend using Excel or a word document to keep track of everything. You don’t have to get super fancy, a simple template like this one below works perfectly.
So, where do you find influential bloggers? I’ve found that instead of using expensive tools, easiest way is to do a Google search of “your niche + “top blogs”.
If I was doing blogger outreach for a health blog, here’s how it would look like:
As you click on one of the results, you’ll typically see an article that contains a huge list of blogs in that specific niche. I would click through some of the top results for these “top 100” and “top 50” articles and pick a few winners.
When you are going through the lists of different blogs in your niche, you obviously don’t want to reach out to every single one. You want to keep your aim aim on blogs that are getting good amounts of traffic and are authoritative in the niche your in.
When you are examining blog whether they are good fit or not, keep these three things in mind:
One of the biggest indicators whether a blog is good fit or not is the amount of traffic they are getting. Simply plug the blog’s URL to SimilarWeb, and it will give you a good estimate. SimilarWeb isn’t ideal but it’s the best place to start.
From search engine perspective, you can also plug the blog’s URL you are examining to Site Explorer and get a good sense of domain’s authority in the eyes of Google.
Blog posts comments
Not all blogs have comments enabled, but if they do, this is another good indicator to look for. If a blog post’s are constantly getting a lot of comments, this really shows that this particular blog has a tight, committed and passionate following.
It might take a while to filter out blogs that aren’t a good fit, but it’s a crucial step to get the most out of this strategy.
Once you’ve compiled a list of possible blogs, you can find their email addresses under “about” or “contact” page. If there isn’t a public email available, you should be able to use the contact form on their site and reach out that way.
Step #2: Get on their radar
By now you should have a list of blogs ready to go. Instead of sending a cold pitch out of nowhere, a better approach is to get on their radars and slowly start building a relationship. If you put yourself into the shoes of an influential blogger, would you rather respond to a request from a complete stranger or from someone you’ve had a few interactions with? Exactly.
There’s a few things you can do:
- Compliment their content – Read through one of their blog posts, and send a simple email complimenting their content. Keep the email short and sweet and you should be getting a response back in no time.
- Share their content on social – Many bloggers are on Twitter, so take one of their blog posts, write up a few sentences about it, tag them and share it on social. In most cases, this doesn’t go unnoticed.
- Comment on of their posts – Take one of the blogger’s most recent blog posts and leave a meaningful comment that actually adds value.
Doing these things is especially important if you don’t have a big following and nobody really knows you. If your name pops up on the blogger’s radar over and over, they’ll remember it and you’ll have a higher chance of success later on.
Step #3: Reach out
At this point you’ve probably had a few points of contacts with some bloggers and none with others. Now, it’s time to actually start reaching out to these people.
Depending on what’s your objective and end-goal, I wrote down 4 specific cases for blogger outreach with exact scripts you can use.
Case 1: You want the blogger to share your content
You’ve put together an awesome blog post, and you want to get more eyeballs on it. A good way to do so is to leverage the audience of an influential blogger.
Here’s an exact email script you can use:
Hi (blogger's first name), I've been a fan of your content for a while. I wrote a piece you might enjoy. (URL) Let me know what you think. Thanks. (Your Name)
Instead of asking for a social share directly simply leave the ball to their court. If they like it your article, they’ll probably end up sharing anyways. It might sound obvious, but ask for social shares once/twice a year from a specific blogger, because you don’t want to over do it.
Case 2: You want to publish a guest post on their site
Guest posting is one of the fastest ways to grow your blog. In fact, when I was starting off from ground zero today, I would spend at least 80% of my time writing guests posts.
When it comes to this blog, I get a lot of terrible pitches from people who want to publish guest posts. The #1 reason why these pitches are terrible is because they are way too generic and leave me uncertain whether they copied & pasted the same exact script to two hundred other blogs.
A great way to stand out is to make your pitch personal, so the person your reaching out to knows that you’ve done your homework. It goes without saying, but many blogs have a separate page for guest posting rules and guidelines. It’s a good idea to read through that first before sending the pitch.
Here’s an exact email script you can use when pitching for a guest post:
Hi (blogger's name). I came across your blog after reading a guest post on your site by (name). I resonated it because of (reason 1) and (reason 2). I run (name of your blog) and I'd love to contribute an article to your blog. Since most of your readers appreciate content around (generic topic that most blog posts are about), I cooked up a blog post title'd (possible guest blog post title). It's an in-depth article and obviously will not be published anywhere else. To give you an idea of my writing style and quality, here are a few posts I've published this year: (url 1) (url 2) Hope to hear from you soon. Thanks, (your name)
Case 3: You want to get a high-quality backlink
Having backlinks from authoritative sites is crucial to improve your search engine rankings. When I was building Remote Jobs Club, in the early days, I was reaching out to hundreds of bloggers trying to get them to include my site in their blog posts and resources pages.
Even though, it felt very robotic at times, I was able to score many high-quality backlinks. For blogs, you’ll highly increase your chances of success if you’ve put together an awesome blog post, eBook or other resource that provides massive value.
Before reaching out, you want to find a big list posts or a resources page where your resource would make their existing content even better.
Here’s an exact email script you can use when pitching a resource:
Hi, I came across your resources page/post about (topic). You mentioned some great tips/resources/ideas. I wonder if you could include my resource on the page? I think it would add a lot of value to your readers. You probably get these emails all the time, so in the future, if I can include any of your resource on my blog (Blog URL), I'd be more than happy to. Thanks so much, (Your name)
Based on my experience, even though you might’ve warmed up the contact, it’s hard to get influential bloggers to link back to your resource. Something that really helps is if the resource you are offering is not good but great.
Furthermore, it’s always a good idea to offer a tiny incentive like in the script above to make them more likely to take action.
Case 4: You want to interview a blogger
I love learning from people, and I really enjoy working with bloggers for the interviews that get published on BlogProfits. Whether you want to publish a written interview on your site or invite a blogger to be part of your podcast, it’s an amazing way to connect with great people and grow your own blog.
When reaching out to a person you want to interview, it would be a good idea to conduct a few interviews before hand. It takes a lot of convincing to do an interview with someone if you haven’t done any interviews in the past, so leverage your own network beforehand.
Once you have been able to secure and follow through with several interviews, you can easily reach out to any blogger, how “big” or “small” and ask them for an interview.
Here’s an exact email script you can use when for an interview:
Hi (first name), I have an interview request for you. I run (blog's name), and I'm doing a series of interviews with bloggers. I'd love to dive deep into (topic 1); (topic 2); and (topic 3). Here's how the final product is going to look like (url to past interview). The interview will be done in an audio/podcast form. Please let me know if there are any questions or I can send the details to proceed. Thanks, (Your name)
If your blog is getting some traction, make sure to include a line in the script about the amount of traffic/views you are getting per blog post or interview. By scoring more interviews, you’ll have more social proof which will make it much easier to interview anyone. Snow ball effect can do wonders in the long-run.
You might have a completely other reason you are doing blogger outreach. Maybe you are trying to connect with a mentor, maybe you want to just ask advice here’s a few things to keep in mind when sending that email pitch.
- Keep it concise: We know, that people don’t read online, they skim. This applies to blogger outreach perfectly, since most people don’t have the time to read through lengthy emails. Keep it to a few paragraphs, and here especially, less is more.
- Mention their name: It’s well worth the effort, taking a few extra seconds to include the person’s name in the email. Since bloggers get a lot of spam these days, it’s another tiny indicator that you’ve put some effort behind an email.
- Pay attention to the email subject line: You obviously want the bloggers to open your email in the first place before hitting the delete button. Research shows that 47% of the email recipients open email based on the subject line alone. At the same time, 68% of the email recipients report email as spam based solely on the subject line. To make things even more fun, personalization in the subject line on improves 22% of the open rates on average. In most cases, you can get away with using (blog’s name + idea) for the email subject line because it’s simple, sparks interests and highly personal.
- Include social proof: You should always include some sort of social proof to let the recipient know that you are a real person with good intentions. Depending on your end-goal, consider including your traffic numbers, URL’s to your best blog posts or interviews that you’ve conducted in the past. Social proof is very powerful because people’s behavior is highly influenced by what the majority is already doing. Impressive numbers increase trust, sense of wanting to belong and your credibility.
- Make sending emails easier: Tools such as Gmelius and Boomerang let your track, schedule and set up automated followups for your emails. If you send out a lot of emails, tools like this will make your life a lot easier and you’ll be able to find out exactly what’s working and what’s not and then optimize for that.
Step #4: Follow-up
In the blogging world, email pop-ups get a lot of hate, but it’s a fact that they work. Same thing has happened with follow-up emails, where some people over do it, hence the bad reputation of it.
Whenever I’m doing any sort of blogger outreach, I always send a simple follow-up if I haven’t received a reply in 7-days. Follow-up emails are highly effective, because if you don’t hear back from your first email, in most cases it’s not because they are trying to ignore you, it’s because other things came up and they just forgot to respond.
This doesn’t mean it’s a good idea to send 5-6 annoying follow-up emails, so one or two follow-ups is perfect.
Step #5: Build a long-term relationship
You’ve definitely heard the phrase, that your network is your net worth. Even though, some relationships can be beneficial financially, it’s even nicer to have people in your network who you can spin off ideas from, meet up for a coffee or just ask a favor from once in a while.
There are no rules to building relationships, but here are a few things I like to do.
People like to be remembered and the easiest way to do so is to send a quick email thanking them for their help. This is a tiny reminder showing the other person, that they weren’t just a transaction you tried to benefit from. If you want to take it a step further, try finding their home or work address and send a physical post card to them.
Invite them out
Even though, there’s a good chance that the blogger you’ve communicated with lives in a different part of the world it’s a good idea to offer to take them out for a cup of coffee or tea, if they are visiting nearby.
Funnily, I can’t remember how many times I’ve met up with bloggers over a cup of coffee if they are in the area.
If you are serious about building a relationship with specific persons, a good idea is to set up follow-up reminders for yourself. In fact, I take a few hours every month to send an email to people that I haven’t talked to for a while and check-in how they are doing.
Many people would call that waste of time, but I think doing things that aren’t “scalable” can be highly effective.
Blogging outreach might seem like a lot of work, but once you get used to sending out these emails, you’ll see that it’s actually not that bad. There has been many instances, when I’ve reached out to a blogger without expecting for a reply, and years later we are still in touch.
Take a chance, reach out to people and see what happens. What’s the worst that can happen?