When it comes to blogging, there’s not much point in writing if nobody is reading. However, getting traffic to flow to your site is never easy, especially with over 500 million blogs online. In this article, we’ll show you how to network in the blogosphere and get your work noticed!
Success in the online world, much like in the real world, requires networking. Nobody is an island, and you’ll have to find people to help you out, and be willing to help others in return, if you want to get noticed. However, selling yourself is never easy, especially if you’re just starting out.
Blogger outreach is how you get noticed and bring new attention to your work. But isn’t it awkward? Doesn’t it involve messaging and contacting completely random people to promote your work? Won’t they hate you for spamming them?
The simple answer is, no. Blogger outreach isn’t spam and therefore you don’t need to worry about ending up on someone’s hit list.
So, if it’s not spam, what is it?
Blogger outreach is the process of getting your content out to people through personalized emails. It’s not just sending email links to any old rando on the internet – it’s intended to target bloggers and journalists who have an interest in your field.
What should your emails contain to get the best possible engagement?
You should aim to be personable and charming, and engage with your audience in a productive manner. People aren’t stupid – they’ll be able to spot a generic template a mile off. Don’t disrespect your target audience by putting zero effort into writing it. It just wastes their time and makes them unresponsive to any future contact you may try to initiate.
There are two good outreach approaches you can use: the sniper approach and the shotgun approach.
The sniper approach involves being incredibly specific in picking your targets and sending them highly personalized emails. This approach can help you to focus on value and you can usually expect something in return.
The shotgun approach is the opposite: send lots of emails to a broader list of targets with little to no personalization. The logic behind is it the more you put out, the more engagement you’ll get.
Many bloggers ascribe to the shotgun approach because it’s fast, requires less effort, and makes you feel like you’re making tracks, even if you’re not.
If you’re doing this in the short term, the shotgun method is probably more your style. You can send 10000 non-personalized emails and get the same responsiveness as sending 100 personalized one.
The difference here, though, is in the quality of the links you’ll get. If you’re in for the long-haul, don’t rely on the shotgun method. It will drain your link prospects, get marked as spam, and get lower calibre links.
By now you probably have a rough idea of the approach that would be best for your business. The next step is to start implementing your approach.
If you’re mentioning other blogs in your work, link them. It’s a super simple way to have a reason to reach out to them. Give them a shout so they know you appreciated and used their work as an inspiration.
Find people who have written articles on the same topic you have. If they’ve written articles on the same topic, you can be pretty sure they’d be interested in what you’re writing.
Use Google – it’s free and easy. Type in what you’re writing about and you can almost always guarantee you’ll find plenty of other articles on the same topic.
You can try taking a look on Twitter as well, as people share and re-tweet links all the time.
Categorize your Prospects!
You shouldn’t be treating all of your prospects the same, because they’re not. Divide them up based on their level of influence.
People with huge audiences and immense influence aren’t going to want to read your emails, even if they are personalized. They just don’t have the time. Get their attention by doing something super impressive or creative. Otherwise, your only other option is a personal introduction.
People with large audiences, but who are not as influential as the bloggers described above, are good contacts and you can reach out to them with a genuine personal email. Not a template! Don’t ask them for tweets and links. Try asking them if they can take a look at your work and ask them to give an honest critique. Constructive criticism is the best kind.
You can also try to reach out to websites with smaller audiences, and those just starting out if they have potential. They’re likely to be responsive to personal emails, even if they’re template-esque. They might be eager to build relationships.
Do not contact sites with no audiences, harsh as it may sound. It’s not worth your time.
Find their contact details!
Trying to find email addresses isn’t easy, but it can be worth your while. Sometimes, all you get is a generic email address like email@example.com or something of the sort. However, do your best to reach out to specific people. Scroll through the website’s contact and about pages, check their Twitter, Facebook, and Linkedin accounts or, as a last-ditch attempt, you can try contacting them via their social media, though it’s not recommended.
Once you have your target list, you have to perfect your pitch
This is the hardest part after narrowing down the list of targets. You might be tempted to whip up a template, but once again, don’t! Most templates feel and sound like templates.
Try to evoke curiosity and reflect the content of your email in your subject line. Keep it short and sweet. No one wants a wordsmith in the subject line. Try to avoid sounding sleazy or salesmanlike. None of this “YOU HAVE TO SEE THIS” or “Link request”.
If you’re stuck, pretend it’s one of your coworkers you’re sending an email to. Just remember to avoid “lol”.
Learn about your target – take a look through their social media and tweets. Maybe they’re a massive Britney Spears fan. Sign off with “Free Britney” or send an email starting with “Gimme more, gimme gimme more link”. Of course, you should aim to be more creative than that.
Play to their interests, and avoid fake compliments. Fake compliments won’t fool anyone. It’s lazy and anyone with half a brain will see right through them.
You need to let them know why you’re contacting them. You could say that you wrote an article on the same topic they did, but make sure you mention the differences, not the similarities. Who would want their own ideas regurgitated to them?
It may sound like a lot of work to skim through each target’s content so you can see where your work diverges, but it’s well worth the time and effort.
So, you know how to write a subject line, get their attention, and give them a reason for your email. But what do you want from them? Whatever you do, don’t ask them to link you in their next post. Your first email shouldn’t reek of desperation. This is the start of what should hopefully be a longer conversation. Ask them questions and try to keep the conversation rolling.
With a personalized, genuine first email, you’ll get more feedback and the start of a beautiful, link-ful relationship.