I love blogger and content outreach. I get a kick out of writing emails, building relationships and at the end of the day: getting a great placement.
You may have read that to get your content out there, to get it promoted, you should do "blogger outreach". But what is it? Why do you need it? How do you do it successfully?
This post will hope to answer those questions and along the way give you some actionable tips to help you outreach like a pro.
What is Blogger Outreach?
Outreach is the action of reaching out to someone, a blog or a website, usually to increase awareness and to ask for a link to your content.
Photo by Alexander Baxevanis via Flickr
You might imagine it going something like this:
You find a blog and email them to let them know about your amazing post or infographic. They hopefully like it and you receive a reply saying they are happy to post it or share it. You get a link and send more emails to other sites and blogs asking for more links.
Sounds easy, right?
But in reality the websites and blogs youre emailing might receive hundreds of these emails a day. Even smaller blogs and sites have other things to do, their own content to feature, etc. Your content may be the best thing ever, but whats going to want to make them click the link, read it and then share or post to their blog?
The answer: good outreach.
For relatively little effort and resource good outreach can boost your content, increasing placements, links and social shares. It builds relationships with these sites so that in the future: theyre more likely to feature you. Here's how to do it the right way.
You should rarely go into anything head first, and outreach isnt an exception.
Photo by Ross Harmes via Flickr
A bit of preparation goes a long way. It may seem time consuming but in the long run, focussing your efforts early on will lead to targeting quality blogs and an increased chance of success.
1. Find sites that have an affinity to your content
Determining whether your content has a relationship with the blog or the type of things they post is one of the most important things you can prepare for and gives you the best chance possible. Keep a note of these potential targets to create a list or target blogs.
Relationships can also go beyond the obvious ones. For example, something on electric cars could be interesting to eco-blogs as well as the auto sector. At NeoMam, we like to link our ideas to events and things in the news so that when it comes to outreach: blogs cant get enough.
We also use a piece of fantastic blogger outreach software called Group High. It lets you search for blogs or allows you to add them. The software pulls in all the relevant information about the site such as its Moz Rank, a list of emails or place of contact and when the website last posted. It also makes it easy for us to know who were contacting and if weve contacted them. We can also track blog posts, so if someone has posted one of our infographics we can see how many social shares its getting.
2. Get to know the site youre outreaching to
You should now have a list of potential outreach sites. Try to look for these things and take note:
1. Do they post similar content to yours (infographics, videos, articles, etc.)?
2. Does your content have an affinity to any of the topics or interests?
3. Have they featured content other than their own before?
4. Does the blog have a contact email and name of the owner?
5. Does the blog have an audience that makes outreaching to them worth it?
If you can answer YES to these questions then theres a good chance the blog is suitable and will feature your outreach request. If the answer's NO, think about finding an alternative blog.
3. Start writing that email
Start writing an email that takes into account all of the things youve researched about the blog. Did you see an article about something your content mentions? Let them know you enjoyed it and can offer something to follow that up.
You can check out a template at the end of this article. However, keep in mind that personalised emails are a great way to stand out and get noticed, so dont just rely on a template.
Being social is all about being friendly, open and accessible.
Photo by Jason Howie via Flickr
1. Build a relationship
Its easy to forget that blog owners are people too. Use your first outreach email to start that relationship with a view to it growing in the future. A short email asking for a link with no context or introduction comes across as rude and is easily dismissed. It doesnt matter if you prefer to be professional or informal, you can always be polite and welcoming. After all, youre the one asking for a favour!
An approach weve used before is to email with an introduction and without a mention of the content at all to begin with. This opens the conversation, introduces you and paves the way to ask for a link a few emails down the line. If you think about building trust and being friendly first, outreaching to them in the future becomes a lot easier.
2. Social also means social media
We all know that social media has enabled us to connect like never before. You can use social media to aid your outreach in a few ways:
a. Use to gain exposure
A simple follow or comment on Twitter can stick in the mind of the person youre outreaching to. Showing you care about what they have to say and value them as a person, blog or website.
b. Use to introduce yourself
Begin a conversation and introduce yourself personally. Ask if youve got the right email to reach them on, or simply say hi.
c. Use to grow the relationship
You dont just have to stop interacting once youve sent the outreach email, stay in their vision and stay friends. Remember that a retweet can be seen as a favour.
Be a value giver
Although your content will be the main value that you offer, as well as focussing on this value there are a couple of things you can do to make it easier for the blog youre contacting.
Photo by Wandering Magpie via Flickr
1. Make it look good
Or in other words: sell it! This is your opportunity to tell them why they should link or share what you have to offer. What value is it going to give their audience? How does it benefit them?
You could include previous placements youve had and the success of them, such as if it did well on social media. Show them the proof and if its genuinely good, theyd be more than happy to replicate this for their own blog.
You could also include a bit of juicy information to hook them in.
2. Make it easy to post
Including an embed code or a pre-written introduction to add to an article is a good way to make it as easy to share as possible. Check out this handy share code generator we made for sharing infographics.
3. Offer to return the favour
This is another way you could offer value and build a relationship, particularly if youre a small blog reaching out to another small blog.
1. Be proud of your content and confident about outreaching it.
2. Dont be afraid to ask for feedback to help you in the future.
3. Dont let rejection knock you down, sometimes you just wont even get a response.
4. Dont abuse the relationships youve built to spam and ask for links.
5. Dont waffle, short emails that get to the point are more likely to be read and acted upon.
Finally, heres an example template of an outreach email that our team use with some added analysis:
Learn more about outreach when I compared it to seduction in this blog post. How do you treat outreach?