Blogger outreach is one of the best ways to build quality backlinks, promote your products, and share epic content with a new audience.
Whether you’re a savvy entrepreneur, a blogger, or a content manager, our ultimate step-by-step guide to doing blogger outreach will help you stand out from the crowd.
This epic guide will show you how to identify outreach opportunities, qualify targets, and seal the deal with fantastic incentives.
We’ll even share some insider tips and tricks to get you started!
#1 Rule For Blogger Outreach
Before you begin blogger outreach, you need to remember the #1 rule - what's in it for the blogger. If you forget this rule and make your outreach strategy all about you, you will fail.
Put yourself in the shoes of your target and ask yourself these questions:
- What do my potential outreach partners want? If you think it's money, then a straightforward transactional approach is the way to go. Sponsored posts lend themselves well to this. But the best partners, don't necessarily want money. So then ask yourself...
- How can I help them get closer to their goals? Most bloggers want epic content. How can you demonstrate your content chops. Do you have killer expertise or insane case studies to share.? Show them how they will get epic value from your unique content.
- What’s the easiest way to communicate those benefits? Cold email can work fine in a transactional environment. But often you need to play the long-game for a successful blogger outreach campaign. Start networking with your targets on social media. Engage with their content. Like, comment and share. Get on their radar and add value. Invest in relationship building.
When you’ve got the answers to these questions, follow the 6 steps in our ultimate guide to implementing an epic blogger outreach strategy.
6-Step Guide To Do Blogger Outreach
At Contentellect, we often do blogger outreach for our clients. Over the years, we’ve simplified our strategy into an easy-to-follow 6-step process.
Use our ultimate blogger outreach guide to build your strategy.
1: Start With A Clear Goal
Start your blogger outreach strategy with a clear goal in mind.
Tangible goals will give you specific guidelines that you can use to measure your success. If you don’t have clear goals, you won’t know whether your campaign was successful.
Even when you get fantastic results, you can still measure the campaign’s performance and possibly spot improvement opportunities.
So, before you sit down and start creating a blogger outreach strategy, first pick your goals.
We like to ask ourselves the following questions to help define our goals:
- Do we want to achieve more sales?
- Do we want to increase brand awareness?
- Do we want to improve off-page SEO though building some quality backlinks?
Each goal required a different outreach strategy.
2: Define Measurable Success Criteria
Define the criteria that you’ll use to qualify your potential blogging partners.
Once you’ve selected a clear goal, define the success criteria you’ll use to qualify a potential outreach partner. These criteria will help draw a picture of your ideal blogging partner.
Depending on your industry and goals, the criteria may vary.
For example, suppose your goal is to score quality backlinks. In that case, you'll want consider “Traffic”, “Spam Score” and “Domain Ranking” as your main criteria.
On the other hand, if you want to get high quality referral traffic or drive sales, then audience engagement and relevance might be used as your criteria to qualify different bloggers.
Some measurable criteria include:
You can measure a potential site’s audience engagement in several ways. The easiest is to look at:
The more social shares and comments on a blog post, the more engaged the audience is.
Traffic is an excellent way to qualify a target site. Generally, the more traffic a site has, the healthier the blog.
You can measure a site’s traffic by using Ahrefs. You can also use Ahrefs to determine a site’s domain ranking or authority. As with traffic, the more authority a site has, the more powerful a backlink from the site will be.
You can also use SEO metrics to qualify a site. SEO metrics are crucial if you want to get high-quality backlinks.
When analysing SEO metrics, keep an eye on the following:
- Page Authority: This indicates the page’s SEO authority. The more authoritative, the better.
- Spam Score: Indicates spam toxicity in a domain. You don’t want search engines to penalise your site because you associate with spammy websites.
- Content Relevancy: Tells you how relevant a backlink is within the context of a post. The more relevant the backlink, the better quality audience you’ll get from the site.
You can use tools like Semrush or Ahrefs to measure a site’s SEO metrics.
Obviously, there are countless more metrics that you can use to qualify the right blogging partners. However, the top ones we mentioned should be more than enough to get you started.
3: Find The Right Targets
Create a list of blogger prospects and put them through your criteria.
Now that you have measurable criteria, it’s time to search for potential outreach candidates. It pays to be organized. Create a Spreadsheet as follows:
- Column A: Name - This is the name of your potential outreach partner.
- Column B: Website - This is your potential candidate’s URL.
- Column C: Email - An email address for contacting them.
- Column D: LinkedIn/Twitter - Their social media platforms to do research.
- Column E: Relevance - How relevant their website is to yours. The more relevant, the better.
Your spreadsheet should look like this:
To populate your Spreadsheet with potential candidates, you can do any of the following.
Head to Google or your favourite search engine, and use any of the following search queries:
- Top blogs + “my niche”
- Best sites + “my niche”
- Top influencers + “my niche”
- Major bloggers + “my niche”
For example, let’s say you want a list of bloggers in the coffee niche. In that case, you must search for “Top blogs + coffee”, or “Top influencers + coffee”.
BuzzSumo is an online tool that helps you discover the best-performing content in your niche. It’s an excellent tool for finding relevant bloggers, trending topics, and ideas for new content.
Use BuzzSumo’s “Influencers” feature to find key influencers.
Once you’ve created your list of potential outreach partners, you must put them through your success criteria.
If a blogger doesn’t meet your criteria, remove them from your Spreadsheet. Rinse and repeat until you’ve created a quality shortlist of potential outreach partners.
4: Choose Your Type Of Blogger Outreach
Choose the type of blogger outreach that suits your potential outreach partner.
There are plenty of excellent blogger outreach options to choose from. Most often, the type of outreach you do will depend on your industry, audience, and goals.
Here are the best types of blogger outreach tactics that you can do.
A sponsored post is when you pay a blogger to write and publish content with links and mentions to your brand.
When you partner with a solid influencer, you can gain excellent backlinks and brand exposure. Here are some essential tips for creating epic sponsored posts:
- Offer an irresistible incentive: Typically, the more popular your outreach partner is, the juicer your encouragement will have to be.
- Define your expectations: Let the blogger know what you’re expecting from their content before you enter into a partnership.
- Disclaimer: The Advertising Standards Authority (ASA) requires that influencers or bloggers state when they’re being paid to promote a product or brand. If you can circumvent this, then do, as I think it has a negative SEO impact.
A product review is another fantastic outreach opportunity. You can give a blogger a free sample of your product to review.
Since everyone loves getting free samples, this is a quick and easy outreach tactic.
Honest reviews can help establish your brand as an industry leader, expose a new audience to your products, and secure long-term, quality backlinks.
When searching for an outreach partner to review your product, keep the following in mind:
- Relevance: Your partner’s blog needs to be relevant to your product. Relevance ensures that an eager, ready-to-convert audience learns about your brand.
- Make it worth their while: Incentivize the blogger to do a thorough, in-depth review. Detailed reviews serve the search intent better than a shallow reviews.
A product feature is quite similar to a product review. However, instead of the blogger reviewing your product, they will casually mention it in their content.
For example, a travel blogger may write an ultimate guide about Mount Everest and mention that they recommend your excellent hiking poles.
Similar to product reviews, try to ensure that your product is hyper-relevant. Don’t forget to offer the blogger an excellent incentive to mention your product.
You and your outreach partner can host a competition with some juicy giveaways. You’ll provide the prize, and your partner will host the competition.
They can host the competition on their blog, YouTube, or social media platforms. Giveaways are an excellent tactic to build excitement and exposure around your brand.
While a competition won’t necessarily give you a long-lasting, quality backlink, it’ll can bring in new traffic and generate conversation around your brand.
Not every blogger outreach tactic needs to be online. You can host a real-life event and invite influencers or bloggers to attend it.
This tactic is perfect for product launches or companies with more significant marketing budgets. Here are some things you can do to spice up your event:
- Do giveaways on the day of the event.
- Encourage bloggers and influencers to review your products.
- Use suitable hashtags to determine how well your event is going.
While blogger events take a lot of effort, time, and money to pull off, they are worth it.
5: Convince Them With The Perfect Incentive
Come up with an irresistible incentive to convince bloggers to join your outreach strategy.
Now that you’ve selected your potential outreach partner and identified the type of outreach you’d like to do, it’s time to craft the perfect offer.
For the perfect incentive, think about what you can offer your prospect that’s valuable to them. Here are some tips to help guide you:
- Money: We all love money and for many bloggers this incentive is enough. Money as an incentive works best if you're doing high volume blogger outreach in a very transactional way (i.e. purchasing sponsored posts from bloggers or guest posting at scale). Money can also work well as an incentive if you're building backlinks using broken link building, niche edits, or link insertions.
- Swag or Free Subscriptions: If you have a product or service, then swag or free subscriptions (in the case of software), can work well. This is particularly true if you're doing blogger outreach for product mentions and reviews. These often go hand-in-hand with free samples and gifts. They also lend themselves well to dedicated coupon codes and enticing affiliate commissions.
- Content: If your strategy is to get free placement by offering content, you've got your work cut out for you. Most bloggers aren't going to accept content unless you have 1. already established a great relationship with them (either through networking or on social media), 2. have unique expertise that they and their audience would value, and 3. can produce an epic piece of valuable content. Miss any if these pieces and blogger outreach via content as the incentive is a hard gig.
Whatever your case may be, you must always provide bloggers with value. Once you’ve found the perfect bait, it’s time to contact your potential partner.
Make Them Curious With The Subject Line
If you use the wrong subject line in your email, nobody will open it.
Don’t bother searching for “the best email subject lines”. With over 2,000 monthly searches in the US alone, you’ll only be part of the crowd.
Instead, try to evoke curiosity with a subject line explaining your email’s reason.
Some good subject lines are:
- <Name>, I’ve got an opportunity for you!
- Where can I mail some free stuff to?
- Let’s work together!
Know Them Well
If you want to capture a prospect’s interest with our first email, try to understand them.
Spend some time learning more about them. If you do this, your response rate will be much better.
Follow your prospect on social media. Learn what they like, and use that to your advantage.
For example, if you know that your prospect just tweeted about the latest Radiohead album, mention that in your email.
Spice things up and offer them a vinyl or even a poster.
Establishing a meaningful, successful relationship will be easier when you know them well.
Don’t Kiss Ass
Whatever you do, avoid fake flattery.
Generic statements like “I just read your blog post about <topic>. It was fantastic!” are empty compliments with no value.
Instead, aim to say something worthwhile. Remember, you want to add value.
Here’s a fantastic example:
I read your fabulous article about the latest coffee beans from Brazil. What an epic read!
Have you ever tried to grow these beans at home? I created an epic step-by-step guide on how to do this that I think you'd enjoy.
You’re more than welcome to include some of my personal research, pictures and insight in your blog post. That way, you can give your readers some extra, exclusive info.”
If you don’t have anything useful to say, rather don’t waste your time saying it.
Use A Call-to-Action
Your first email is supposed to start a conversation. So, end your email with something that’ll prompt a reply.
Don’t end with generic nonsense like:
- Can we exchange links?
- Would you include my link in your blog post?
Some good ideas for a call-to-action are:
- Do you think this will bring value to your readers?
- I think this will help you stand out from the crowd. What do you think?
- I’m keen on hearing your thoughts about <outreach tactic>.
Building outreach relationships are like dating. Nobody proposes on the first date. So, take time to bring value, charm your prospect, and entice a response.
Always Follow Up
We’ve learned that most of our replies come from the 2nd or 3rd follow-up.
Don’t pester people with millions of emails. Instead, wait a couple of days before you send a follow-up email. After the 3rd email stop.
When you do follow-up, remember to keep your email short and polite.
6: Measure, Optimize, Then Rinse & Repeat
Track your results to optimize your outreach strategy.
Once your outreach campaign has concluded, you must analyze your results. Compare the results with your initial expectations.
Ask yourself the following questions:
- Where can you improve your strategy?
- What worked, and what didn’t?
- What should I do differently?
- Did I meet my goal?
Use concrete data, such as sales, links, views, or likes to improve your outreach strategy. Now, rinse and repeat.
Outreach is an ongoing game with long-term benefits. It would help if you kept at it to be successful, but you don’t want to make the same mistakes twice.
So, learn what works best for your industry, and build on that.
Blogger Outreach FAQ
What is blogger outreach?
Blogger outreach is the process of building strategic relationships with bloggers and influencers with the goal of getting exposure for your business. Exposure through blogger outreach can come in many forms, and include scoring quality backlinks, product or service promotion, and brand awareness. When you find the right partners and have a win-win deal for both parties, blogger outreach can drive massive growth for your business.
What are the benefits of blogger outreach?
The benefits of blogger outreach include:
- Improved SEO performance from quality backlinks
- Improved sales from targeted traffic generation
- Improved brand exposure