Guest post outreach is crucial for those who want to increase their brand visibility and authority. It’s also the best way to introduce your business to new and relevant audiences, who are more likely to be interested in what you’re offering.
In fact, I was able to very quickly grow my freshly launched site from 0-41DR in the span of less than three months through guest posting alone.
Still, as with any cold outreach, guest posting can be difficult and disheartening. There is so much competition from other guest bloggers that it can be hard to secure a guest post from relevant websites.
That means you need to stand out from the crowd… which is easier said than done.
Editors and site owners receive so many guest blogging requests daily that it’s hard to secure a writing job, especially when many of those requests lead to low-quality articles.
In this article, we’ll go through why guest posts are an excellent link-building tactic, different outreach methods, and formulating emails to get you more responses.
Why do you need link building?
Link building involves acquiring hyperlinks from other websites to your own, also known as backlinking. Backlinks are an essential tool to increase your brand recognition and domain authority. That’s because search engines like Google use backlinks as a measure of quality, as another website is willing to support you with a link, the content must be trustworthy.
While the best type of link is one you didn’t ask for, those are rare occurrences, especially for fledgling businesses. That’s where guest posting comes in.
Guest posting is the best way to get a guaranteed link, as both parties get something out of it. For you, a new link, and for them – free content that aligns with their business goals and improves their SEO metrics.
There are other methods to get backlinks, for example – blogger outreach, posting on forums, social media and influencer marketing, paid posts, etc.
Still, finding guest post opportunities is probably the technique that brings the most value and has excellent long-term results. So let’s see what those benefits are!
Benefits to guest post outreach as a link-building tactic
It’s the reason why you’re guest posting. Backlinks are the bread and butter of the SEO world and should be a priority for businesses that want to expand their internet presence.
- Authority – If you have websites that search engines trust linking to your website, those search engines are more likely to trust you to deliver quality content.
- Increasing brand awareness – The more guest posts you write for other brands, the larger your audience grows. 50% of guest posts help bring between 10 – 100 visitors to your website based on referral traffic. While that might not seem like a vast number, it certainly adds up when you’re posting for multiple blogs.
Meaningful connections with experts
Guest blogging helps to build rapport with different companies and allows you to expand your networking circle. That means more opportunities to develop your digital footprint.
You should aim to guest post for websites with high authority and traffic in your particular niche. It introduces your brand to an audience already interested in what you offer, which means some will likely convert into customers.
How to create a guest post outreach campaign in 9 easy steps
1. Create a contact list
A good contact list will help you save time and money. After all, what’s the point in wasting resources trying to contact someone who never replies? Instead, your list needs to be compiled of guest post prospects close to your niche and most likely to respond.
The problem is that contact lists can be challenging to maintain and update and often require a lot of effort, which would be better spent elsewhere.
We recommend using a list-building software tool to make your job easier. For instance, Mail Chimp is abundant in its list management and customization tools. Plus, you can track data easily behind the scenes, allowing you to make changes whenever necessary.
2. Choose an outreach method
Every good outreach campaign will need a good strategy. For example, do you want to contact as many websites as possible and see what sticks? Or would you rather have a more focused approach, devoting more time and effort to specific contacts you consider most likely to collaborate with you?
There are no wrong answers here, and your choice will depend on what you hope to achieve in your campaign.
Like the weapon in question, the shotgun approach gives you a large spread with little control of what you’ll hit. This allows you to cover substantial ground, contacting multiple websites at once.
This is outreach done quickly, meaning you won’t waste time or resources if you send 100 emails and only get two replies. This also applies to the time it takes to research a company. All you need to know is what content they might want to link to and how to contact them, with all other research being optional.
The shotgun method uses email templates, making you look untrustworthy if your template isn’t up to scratch. As you can imagine, this will affect your open and reply rates.
The best way to avoid this is to ensure your templates can be easily personalized for each brand while keeping the tone as natural as possible.
The sniper method is much more focused, targeting 2-3 companies simultaneously. More time is spent researching these brands and the blog owners. The aim of the game here is to develop a rapport with these companies, which can yield a host of benefits, like long-term collaborations.
You need to personalize each email, demonstrating your knowledge of the target company, how your goals align and how you could benefit from collaboration. And these tactics can have a significant impact on your reply rates.
In a study on outreach by Backlinko, they found that personalizing an email’s subject line and body can increase your chances of reply by 63%.
Generally speaking, sniper outreach makes you more likely to receive a reply and increases your chances of being accepted for a guest post. And who says it needs to end there? As long as you’ve built a good relationship with a website, you’ll have the opportunity for future guest posts and high-quality backlinks.
Sniper outreach does have its drawbacks, however. First, you’ll put in more time and effort, making it frustrating when a company declines. That being said, because of your personable approach, those companies may consider you again in the future, so don’t be too disheartened.
3. Choose an outreach tool
Outreaching isn’t easy and can be both tedious and full of frustration. However, outreach tools can help cut through the tedium; you just need to find the right one. The only problem is there are many outreach tools on the market, so how will you know which one is the right fit for you?
As you’re focusing on guest posting, you’ll want to pick the tools which concentrate on email outreach. Let’s take a look at a few examples:
- Respona – Respona is a highly customizable tool for any email campaign. It helps guide you through every step of an email campaign, including prospecting. Plus, it compiles all the necessary data to track your campaigns’ progress.
- Buzzstream – Buzzstream lets you build contact lists quickly with its automatic prospecting function and the fact you can add any website or social media account to your database while searching the web. Plus, it offers a wide range of templates, follow-up functions, and reports on your campaign.
- Pitchbox – Pitchbox is a tool that monitors your campaign and website analytics and tracks conversations with prospects so that you won’t miss important information! Plus, it has an automatic follow-up function for those prospects who haven’t replied, meaning you spend less time tracking them.
- Hunter.io – Of the tools mentioned, Hunter.io is the most barebones. It’s an email tracker and verifier, and it does precisely that. All you need is the company’s and person’s names, and Hunter.io will do the rest. Plus, you get 25 free monthly searches with an affordable subscription if you need more.
4. Research the people you’ll be outreaching to
Contacting the right people is essential to cold outreach. Like in sales, putting effort in the prospecting stage will help your campaign the most. There is no point in reaching out to people that won’t be interested in what you’re offering, so increase your chances by spending some extra time on research beforehand.
Here is what you need to do:
- Make sure you know what the brand promotes and how that aligns with your business.
- Do they accept guest posts? Even if they don’t, it’s still worth the try. Even if a company hasn’t taken one before, with a good enough email, they might be persuaded to try you out.
- Read through the blog, get a feel for the tone, and note how you can contribute.
- Try to understand the blog’s readership; Age groups, interests, and professions are all good things to keep in mind. Then, make it clear to your prospect that you can create content that will appeal to their audience.
- Research the specific person you’re trying to email. Check their social media profiles (LinkedIn, Facebook, etc.) and use that information to create a more personalized message.
- Preferably, set up an interaction before. Again, social media is perfect for this. If they’re promoting a post, leave a like and make your presence known in the blog comments. By the time you’ve sent your email, they might remember your name, increasing their likelihood of viewing your proposal.
With all this information, writing personalized guest post pitch emails to the prospects won’t be difficult. It helps you to stand out from the crowd and increases your chances of a reply and the possibility of expanding your network.
5. Select topics that will bring mutual benefit
The selection of guest post topics is crucial and requires some research. You’ll need a topic that will be useful for your prospect and help promote your website.
Good knowledge of a brand’s blog is crucial to this aspect. Check when particular articles were published. If they have a higher frequency of posting for specific topics, target these in your email. They might appreciate the extra help that a guest blogger can bring.
You should still choose topics you know you can write for and will still be beneficial to you. For instance, when you’re in landscaping, there isn’t any point in writing a cleaning post for a company. Stick to your interests and the niche of your business.
6. Write your emails
Now that you’ve chosen your outreach method, now is the time to start writing your emails. If you’re using a guest post outreach template, this next section will still be helpful, as it can give you an idea of how to structure them and make them more personable.
It’s best to ensure your emails are engaging, personalized and exemplify why you’re the best pick.
Elements to a guest post outreach email
- Subject line – A personalized subject line can increase the chances of your email being opened by 26%, according to Campaign Monitor. A good subject line will help you stand out from the pack, as companies will get many outreach emails per week. For example, mention their blog, a particular section you’d like to guest post for, or go for something out of left-field. Something like ‘A guest post your blog needs’ can help give your pitch a strong starting point.
- Introduction – Give a brief introduction of yourself, with your name and position. Comment on a recent blog post or podcast, and if you can’t find one, state something you like about their website.
- Body of the email – Explain why you’re reaching out and ask whether they accept guest posts. Include some links to previous collaborations or articles of your own.
- CTA – Like any good pitch, you’ll need a call to action. You’re trying to encourage them to reply. Such sentences like “If you’re interested, feel free to send me a message” and “If you’d like to discuss the topics further, please get back to me” can help motivate them to reply. Ensure them that you will follow their guest blogging guidelines.
- Goodbye – End your email with a friendly goodbye. Avoid the “sincerely” and “faithfully” as they can seem impersonal and cold. Instead, finish with a pleasant “look forward to hearing from you” or “let me know what you think” will finish off your email just fine.
- Signature – If you don’t have an e-signature, you need to make one. These include basic information about yourself (name, roles, etc.) along with links to your social network accounts. This will help blog owners get to know you better and might influence whether they reply or not.
7. Send your campaign
After all the hard work setting up your campaign, this will be the easy part. There are a couple of things to note, however. Generally, it’s best to send everything out at once, as it is much easier for you to track.
If you’d rather separate your emails, it’s best to schedule a particular time and day of the week. Preferably, this would be Tuesday in the afternoon.
Generally, company emails can get rather crowded at the beginning of the week, so sending an email on a Monday might mean your email gets buried with the rest. Waiting until Tuesday or Wednesday afternoon ensures the best chances, as most people have already sorted through their weekend mail by this time. By the time you send your email, inboxes should be clear and fresh, giving you the best chance of opening.
Another thing you have to keep in mind is that some websites would prefer to hear your guest post pitch directly. In that case, it’s best to separate them into a different personalized campaign and carefully research unique topic ideas that haven’t been covered before.
You will have a better chance of a response if you include the results of keyword research and show the site owner that you will contribute high-quality content that will bring them organic traffic and increase domain authority. This is a tactic that can easily help you become a regular guest author on this particular website and forge a long-lasting relationship with the best sites.
8. Track your efforts
Tracking the results of your campaign is crucial to the success of future campaigns. Tracking with an outreach tool is generally the best practice, as many tracks automatically.
Seeing what works and hasn’t worked will allow you to change certain aspects of your campaign on the fly if needed. Not to mention, once you start noticing a pattern of practices that get you results, record them and apply them to your future guest post opportunities.
9. Repeat and improve
The more guest blogging you do and the more you track your efforts, the better your results will be.
It’s also important not to become discouraged if your first attempts don’t work. SEO and marketing is a world full of competition, so don’t expect all of your plans to come to fruition immediately!
Instead, record how each of your campaigns does, brainstorm what you can do differently, and implement those changes next time. Eventually, you’ll find a tactic that works for you consistently.
Are you ready for success?
The main thing you need to remember with guest post outreach is that even though links are important, your main goal should be to provide people with the content they need. Content that is going to be useful both to the website owners and their audience. This will help with your reputation as a professional in your field and also make it easier for you to form long-term partnerships.
Once you have that figured out, there is nothing stopping you from being a successful guest blogger and having a great website that people love to recommend!
Now good luck!