Getting the right links to your website is an essential part of rising in rankings and making sure your site and content get in front of the right people.
But building backlinks is a tricky business. If you want to do it effectively, you need a solid strategy. And one of the most effective strategies for building backlinks? The strategy the most successful companies in the world are using to ensure long-term backlink success?
Let’s take a look at how to efficiently run a blogger outreach campaign that will build quality backlinks and drive qualified traffic to your website.
1. Find blogs for outreach
There are countless blogs on the web (to give you an idea of just how many, 2 million blog posts are published every single day). And with so many blogs out there, it’s important to make sure you’re spending your time and energy in the right places. This is why the first step of an effective blogger outreach campaign is finding the right blogs to target – blogs that would be a) interested in publishing your content, and b) have the right audience.
But how do you find the blogs most likely to link to your site?
Reverse engineer your competitor’s backlinks
One strategy for finding the best blogs for outreach is to reverse engineer your competitor’s backlinks.
What do we mean by reverse engineer? Reverse engineering is the practice of replicating a product or success by examining and repeating the process it took to produce. So, in the case of reverse engineering your competitor’s backlinks, you would analyze their backlinks, figure out which sites are linking to them, then reach out to those sites. Since those sites provided a link to your competitor, you already know they’re a) interested in the type of content you provide, and b) open to linking to websites they find valuable.
Reverse engineering is a great shortcut for discovering quality blogs that are highly likely to link to you and pass on some serious link juice, which will boost your SEO and make it easier for your ideal customer to find your website.
In order to analyze your competitor’s links, you’ll need the right tools. There are plenty of backlink checkers available on the market, so we won’t go too much into detail explaining which are they.
Use Google to find guest post opportunities
Blogs that accept guest posts are a slam dunk for building backlinks. When you write a guest post, blogs typically allow you a few opportunities to link back to your site (standard practice is once or twice in the content and once in the bio).
And all you need to do to find blogs in your niche that accept guest posts is a little googling.
Adding your niche keyword (like music, fashion, or gardening) to guest post-related keyword phrases will help uncover all the blogs within your niche who accept contributors.
Google the following phrases and insert your niche keyword to find blogs ready and waiting for you to guest post:
“Write for us”
Use the right tools
Pitchbox keeps track of your outreach campaigns
You can also use automated tools to help find the right sites to reach out to, like Pitchbox, which finds relevant influencers and bloggers in your niche based on your keywords. All you have to do is pop in your keywords, and Pitchbox generates a list of sites in your niche ideal for blogger outreach.
2. Contact blogs
Once you have the list of blogs you want to reach out to, it’s time to start the actual outreach.
When you send an outreach email, keep it short, friendly, and to the point. Introduce yourself, share some of your work, and – most importantly – let them know how you intend to build a mutually beneficial relationship. Blogger outreach is an “I’ll scratch your back, you scratch mine” culture, and if you don’t show your potential partners why your content will be valuable to their audience, you haven’t got a chance at getting a link.
It’s also important to keep in mind that popular blogs get outreach emails all the time, so if you want to avoid the “Spam” folder, think of different ways to stand out. Infuse your email with personality. Provide your potential partner with an outline of the article you want to write so they don’t have to do any footwork. The more interesting and valuable your outreach email, the more likely it will produce a backlink.
3. Keep track of the articles
An example of an editorial calendar in Google Docs
As you reach out to blogs and start getting backlinks, it’s important to keep track of your progress. Using a Google spreadsheet or an editorial calendar template with the following columns can make it easier to track the progress of your outreach campaigns:
- Blog posts submitted
- Blog posts accepted
- Blog post status (outline, writing, proofreading, submitted, etc.)
- Date submitted
- Date published
That way, you have a visual representation of your outreach and can track your progress across the different sites you’re reaching out to.
4. Submit the article
Once you’ve had an article accepted, it’s time to write it.
As you’re writing the article, keep your goal in mind. Obviously, you want to get a backlink, but you can also try to work in subtle promotion angle. Just keep in mind that most guest blogging opportunities don’t allow for direct promotion of product or services, so be sure to keep the promotion to a minimum.
Every guest post is different, so before writing and submitting your article, make sure you read (and follow) each blog’s guidelines to ensure your post doesn’t get rejected. Most blogs that accept guest posts will have their guidelines posted on their website, and going through them will ensure your article is in line with what they’re looking for – and that you don’t miss out on a backlink.
5. Track your progress
As you move through your blogger outreach, it’s important to track the success and progress of the campaign.
Using your backlink checker tool, you’ll want to monitor:
Total number of backlinks
Total number of referring domains
Authority of each referring domain
Average ranking of keywords on your site
Website overview summary of your site’s rankings in Nightwatch
As mentioned, you can use the same backlink checker you used to reverse engineer your competitor’s backlink (we especially like Moz for tracking the number of backlinks, referring domains, and authority). Nightwatch is also a great tool for tracking the average ranking of keywords.
6. Exchange links to make the most out of each post
Remember when we said building backlinks is a, “you scratch my back, I’ll scratch yours” kind of culture? Well, it’s true. And if you’re scratching someone’s back, you need to let them know.
An example of an outreach email from Ninja Outreach
Anytime you mention someone else’s product, article, or website in your content (whether it’s in a guest post or on your own blog), reach out to them. Let them know you linked to their stuff and see if they’d be willing to link to yours. That way, you’re getting the most bang for your buck with every post you create.
You can even take this a step further and be strategic about what you link to in your content, deliberately linking to influencers and top blogs in your space – that way, when you reach out and get the backlink, it will drive serious traffic.
If you’re not sure who you should be linking to in your content, you can use tools like BuzzSumo to identify the top influencers in your space.
Blogger outreach is one of the quickest and most efficient ways to build quality backlinks to your website and drive quality traffic in the process. With these tips, you’ll be well on your way to connecting with the top bloggers in your space – and leveraging your outreach as a way to connect with your ideal audience.
Have you had serious success building backlinks through blogger outreach? Are there any blogger outreach tips we missed? Do you have any questions on how to manage the blogger outreach process? Leave your questions and comments in the comment section below!
About the author:
Aljaz Fajmut is an internet entrepreneur and founder of Nightwatch — a search visibility tool of the next generation.
Follow him on Twitter: @aljazfajmut