How You Can Easily Improve Your Blogger Outreach Strategy
It’s become quite clear throughout the last few Google updates named after cute animals that in order to improve in the search rankings, you need to create good content. Creating high quality, click-worthy and sharable content is perhaps the best strategy going forward in the future of SEO. But once you’ve created that content, you’ve got to have a place to put it.
If you’re a blogger that’s ever done any sort of outreach before, you are likely quite familiar with how much of a task it can be. For every ten blog owners you contact, you might only see one or two responses to your pitches. Even though it’s common, it’s still frustrating.
So how do you get that percentage up? How can you get up to a 50% response rate, or even better? The first step is to sit down and review your outreach strategy, which I’ll help you do.
Finding Good Sites
The key to improving your response percentage (and ultimately the number of your posts that go live) begins with the sites you choose. Your strategy might currently be based on the idea of “quantity, not quality” and the law of averages. Maybe you think that if you pitch 50 sites in a day that you found using a scraper, you’re guaranteed to get back a certain percentage of responses.
Forget all that quantity stuff, and instead focus on quality. Draw up a Google query to find sites that accept guest posts in the niche you’re writing about, and rather than pitch every single one, take your time to research the good ones. Find sites that have recent guest posts (published within the last week) and read their guest post guidelines extensively.
After you’ve got a good list of sites to pitch, it’s time to move on to the actual pitch.
The Title of Your Pitch
The pitch is where you either make it or you don’t. If you’ve found good sites that have a significant number of recently published guest posts, you’ve got a much better chance of having your pitch read. But just because you wrote a killer pitch to a great targeted site, you still have to make sure the pitch is even opened.
The title of your email pitch is key. Popular blogs can receive hundreds of pitches a day, so the need to stand out is important. That doesn’t mean you should title your email “*****I HAVE A KILLER IDEA FOR YOUR BLOG!!!*****”, it just means you need to go above and beyond the bland “Guest Posting for Your Blog” or “Idea for a Guest Post”.
Title your email around the idea your pitching, and personalize it, too. If you know the name of the person you’re pitching, put it in the title. Something like “Hey Joe, I’d love to write about the growing need for senior care for your health blog” is likely to be clicked on and opened much more than some bland, generic pitch title.
The Meat of Your Pitch
After writing an intriguing title, you’ve hopefully got this person’s attention. The next step is to write a perfect pitch that’s guaranteed to get you a response. The following is an example of an extremely generic pitch that is likely to only get about a 15% response rate (if that):
I’m writing this email because I’m interested in writing a post for (blog name). I’d like to write about (topic) and maybe include some information on (other topic). Do you have any interest in me writing this for you?
These types of pitches will likely only get you responses from spammy sites. To get responses from great sites, you need to engage and show them these three things:
- You truly enjoy their site
- You truly want to write for their site
- You writing for their site will be beneficial to both of you
Spend time crafting a pitch. If it takes you ten minutes to write a great pitch, then spend at least ten minutes on every pitch you write. Here’s an example of a pitch that, coupled with a good title, should get the reader engaged:
Hey (name of person you’re emailing),
How are you doing this morning? My name is (your name) and I’m an avid follower of (blog name). I really enjoyed your recent post about (recent blog post), as I thought that the points you made on (topic) were spot on. I totally agree that (point made) and (point made) are (point made), as you pointed out in that post.
Anyways, I’m emailing because I’d like to contribute to (blog name). After reading the post about (topic), I had the idea to write an article about (idea for your post). Basically, I’d go into detail about (topic) and maybe expand on (other topic). I think that this post would be a great addition to (blog name), and your readers would enjoy it.
Would you have any interest in me writing this post for (blog name)? Let me know, as I’d love to do it!
About me: (write a brief about me section here, and make sure you include your relevant qualifications as to why you should be allowed to post on this blog. If you have any recently published articles to share, share them here).
Thanks, and have a great day!
The second post will no doubt get you more responses, and from more authoritative blogs too. It shows that you’re generally interested in writing for the blog, and not just wanting to get a link.
After that’s all said and done and you’ve sent your fantastic pitch off to the site you’re trying to get published on, wait for the response. But don’t wait too long. Obviously, you don’t want to be obnoxious, but if a few days have gone by without hearing back from the person you pitched you might want to follow up.
If you have gotten a response and your post has been given the green light, strike while the iron is hot. Write your post the day you get the email back and get it back to the blog owner ASAP. Make sure you reply to the original email, so the blog owner can easily view the email chain.
If all goes well after you submit your post, hopefully it will be published quickly. It doesn’t hurt to follow up if your post hasn’t been published within the time period that was established between you and the blog owner.
While it may take a bit longer, good outreach will nevertheless leave you with better results. In the long run, it will help to streamline your outreach process as you’ll spend less time pitching useless sites and more time getting published.
Ted Levin is a freelance journalist and editor currently writing for a wide variety of audiences. Most recently, Ted has enjoyed writing about content marketing and storytelling. When not writing, you can find him hiking in the backcountry (although he still may be writing out there, too). You can connect with Ted on Google+ and Twitter.
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