How To Perfect Your Outreach Technique
A big part of online marketing and improving your online visibility now, is guest blogging on behalf of your brand. The chances are, if you’ve got any kind of SEO strategy in place – you’re building a few links every month using guest blogging.
I’ve been doing this for around a year now – outreaching in different niches on behalf of different clients and projects. It’s something that does get easier – but that requires a little more research and a little more effort than what you might expect. I’ve been on both sides of the process too – I’ve outreached as a blogger, and I’ve received outreach emails too for my blogs and websites that I edit and run.
Trust me when I say, there is definitely a formula for getting it right. Not a math formula – but there are certainly certain things you can do to increase your response rate and improve your success rate. Hopefully during this article, you’ll learn a little more about how to become more appealing as a guest blogger, and how to encourage replies, and how to manage the process too.
Be a real person
My biggest annoyance when I receive emails from bloggers or outreachers – is when they send me a template email that could have been sent to just about anyone. The best way to catch someone’s attention is to encourage them to like you – and to do that you have to be a nice person and a real person. Say Hello to them, ask how their day has been – and show interest in the website and the topics they cover. Try not to sound like a robot – you want them to relate to you, and relate to the brand you’re blogging for – so come across friendly and personable.
Use their name
If you can find the editors name, or the blog owners name then that’s a great way to start your email. It shows you’ve done your research and it shows you’ve made the effort to find it too. If you can’t locate their name, then you can always explain that briefly in the email too – which is just manners really! But it’s nice to be polite!
Propose a few topics
If you’re going to be writing for someone’s blog or website, you need to think carefully about what subjects are going to work for their editorial calendar and pitch a few – so that they have a few to choose from. Don’t make the editor do all the work here, they won’t appreciate it. Suggest a few topics and ask which one they’d prefer you to write about. You want to make their end of the conversation as easy as possible here, so don’t ask them for a title or suggestions – because they might not have the time to get that information together for you.
This is again slightly related to the being “real” but having some social links in your email footer is a great idea. It reassures the editor you’re not some spammy robot, and it also encourages networking too. When they reply, try and follow them on twitter or like their business page on Facebook. All these things help build a positive relationship.
Show past examples
You don’t need to attach past examples of your writing (that’s just annoying, and attachments take a while to download) but what you can do is copy and paste a few URLs into the bottom of the email of past-published work. This shows you’re a real person (relating back to point 1) but it also means they can check out your writing style and see if you’re a good fit. Pick your best pieces (not just any old articles) and pick the pieces placed on the most high profile sites you’ve blogged on (this is a trust issues – and encourages them to trust you as a contributor). Don’t go over board either with this, two or three examples is more than enough – any more than that and it’ll look a bit like you’re spamming them.
Be prompt and positive
In the initial stages of outreach, try and be prompt with your communication. If you get a reply that’s positive – email them back and let them know you’ll get working on something. If you get a negative response, email them and thank them for reading your email anyway. It’s always good to maintain friendly relationships with outreach, incase they ever change their minds and become open to contributors in the future. If you concentrate on building relationships instead of just links – you never know what might occur, and what opportunities might present themselves.Elle is the resident blogger at Who Is Hosting this. She loves writing about anything relating to online marketing and social media. You can find out more about them here.