Blogger outreach is part of many marketers’ content campaigns, but it is beginning to become more and more diluted, as competition for securing links from bloggers becomes more cutthroat. As a result, it’s important to stand out from the crowd by crafting personalized emails you can send to your blogger prospects. Spending more time on pitches is going to give you a higher response rate than if you just blasted 100 bloggers with the same canned, template pitch.
While this post isn’t going to get into finding the best bloggers and influencers to target (this post by Neil Patel does a good job of offering blogger outreach tools you can use), it highlights some of the most important aspects of a blogger outreach pitch you need to focus on when sending out your requests.
The majority of bloggers you’re probably targeting are probably getting outreach and link pitches several times a week, or even multiple times daily for popular sites. Therefore, it’s up to you to unearth some personal facts about the person you are pitching to create the beginnings of a personal relationship with them. The best linkbuilders know that long-term relationships with bloggers can lead to more opportunities down the road, even if the first outreach email you send to them doesn’t lead to exposure or a link.
Look at their Twitter bio, what they share online, and their Facebook profile to see what their interests are or what they’ve been up to lately. If they keep their personal life offline, try to focus on what they do well in their career. For instance, a nutrition blogger is going to appreciate that you share your accomplishments with eating paleo versus just saying something like, “it’s cool you talk about nutrition. We have some nutrition links.”
Let’s use this in an example:
I am loving nutritionnut.com. It’s so full of great information. I recently wrote a post about the paleo diet (url.com/paleo) and would love for you to check it out. It’s kind of similar to your post nutritionnut.com/paleo-tips. Anyway, have a good day!
I am loving nutritionnut.com, especially since I went full-time paleo in December. This lifestyle change has inspired me so much, I wrote a post about my experience with paleo and even broken down some educational studies on the effectiveness of the diet: URL.com/paleo. Let me know what you think! Have a good week!
Now, which one seems more personal, like it came from a real fan?
The second one is about the same post, but has a more intimate touch. While I don’t advocate lying or making up something to create a bond with your targeted influencers, think about their expertise & interests and how your experience with those areas can tie into what links you are sharing with them.
Cut to the Chase
Another thing that the second example above cuts out is all the “fluffy” flattery (“It’s so full of great information.” Keep the generic compliments out of your outreach emails as much as possible, as bloggers can tell when you’re being insincere. If you do decide to compliment a blogger, be as specific as possible.
This also means you can cut out any unneeded information. Think about what the bloggers are most going to care about: Why is this person emailing me?
They don’t necessarily care how you found their website or what you do with your life, unless it will affect them in some way. Saying things like, “I found your website during a Google search for ‘nutrition blog’” doesn’t add to the conversation and actually makes your email seem less personal.
Explain Why It is Worth Their Time
This ties in nicely to the next point- the why. Think of a variation on Golden Rule: how do you feel when someone sends you an outreach email? Which are the ones you actually read and respond to or click on the in-email links? Look at the past few sales or outreach emails you’ve gotten and pick out what you liked best.
Most of the time, outlining why it is the recipient’s benefit to engage with you and your content is key. If you are pitching them a link that is related to a post they did, outline what is different about your content. Does it expand on a point they made in an article of theirs? Is it a recap of their last speaking session? Appeal to their vanity and tie your content into theirs.
For instance, saying something like, “I know you have written science-based paleo articles in the past….” is much more intriguing than “I saw this paleo post on your blog and thought….”
Provide Hard Data
Another provider of a why is offering social proof or exclusive research your company has done that can’t be found anywhere else. If the blogger knows your post has already been shared 1000 times and has gotten 250 comments, they are going to much more curious about what it has to say, as opposed to just telling them they should care.
Take these two examples:
“This science-based paleo primer post already has gotten 500 tweets and was even discussed on The View…”
“I wrote this really good paleo primer post I thought you might like:”
Just telling someone something is good doesn’t prove it to them. They like to see numbers.
If you have data in your content, that can also strengthen your pitch:
“This science-based paleo primer has results from 1000 of my regular readers on the effects of paleo in their lives and has been shared on social media over 1500 times” is a strong case for clicking on the link.
Build Up Your Personal Network
As mentioned previously, the best linkbuilders and outreach marketers know that creating long-term relationships will bring you much more success than a “one and done” link from a random blogger. If a connection grows into a good working relationship, the blogger is going to trust you, your company, and your content.
This will lead to them organically sharing more of your content on their own. Attend and get active at industry conferences, blog meet-ups and social media groups to grow your relationships with influencers and establish mutually beneficial partnerships for your content.
Get more success for your blogger outreach to get more links by personalizing your pitch, focusing on building relationships, and supplying a few ‘whys’ that are going to make it hard for any blogger to delete your email. By taking a little more time on your outreach approach, you’ll see better conversions in the long run.
Kevin Rowe is the founder of Rowe Digital, a link building firm leveraging engagement marketing to build white-hat links. Kevin has worked with some of the hottest Silicon Valley startups, as well as fortune 100 companies, to create enterprise-class innovative and sophisticated programs in search marketing that out perform industry standards.