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How To Achieve Incredible Results With Blogger Outreach

Blogger Outreach

Have you ever emailed another blogger and struggled to get a response?

Maybe you wanted to pitch a guest post idea or wanted to invite them to take part in an interview.

Whatever the reason, the results are usually the same – silence.

Imagine if you were able to not just get a response, you were able to get a positive response that enabled you to develop a mutually beneficial relationship with that blogger.

Well you can – below I’ll show you how to craft an outreach email that gets noticed, avoids the trash folder and gets you the results you deserve.

Important note: I’ve put together a helpful step-by-step checklist to accompany this post, you can use it to write better outreach emails. It’s in PDF format for you to download and refer back to easily. Click here to download it.

Why blogger outreach? What’s the big deal?

why blogger outreach

When you’re in a crowded niche, it’s difficult to get a foot hold.

Other bloggers already have that foot hold.

They have an established following and have direct influence over your target audience.

By using blogger outreach in the right way you can leverage that influence to grow your own blog faster than you imagined.

Isn’t it as easy as sending a generic email?

Unfortunately not – as bloggers we get so many generic emails that most immediately get deleted.

Almost no time or energy goes into the majority of outreach emails that are sent.

You need to put the time into crafting the email if you want to get a positive response – people appreciate it when you go the extra mile.

How can you use blogger outreach to grow your blog?

There are so many ways you can use this tactic.

One of the most successful examples is this post where I interviewed 46 social media experts to find their top 3 social media management tools.

It received almost 3,000 social shares:

blogger-outreach-image-1

And it generated 7,000 visitors in around 3-4 days.

Not bad right?

… That’s just one example and there are so many more ways you can use blogger outreach.

Here is a more complete list:

  • Pitch a guest post
  • Ask for a quote on a relevant topic
  • Invite them to contribute to your blog
  • Invite them to take part in a one on one interview
  • Invite them to take part in a group interview
  • Offer up an infographic they can publish on their blog
  • Pitch a giveaway to promote a product
  • Offer some unique data they can use in a blog post
  • Ask for a link to one of your blog posts
  • Offer them a free copy of your product to try out
  • Help them out and ask for nothing in return (helping is the new currency of the web)

There are probably a lot more ways other than those I’ve listed.

The great thing about all of this is that it’s not just about helping you; it’s about creating mutually beneficial opportunities.

The keys to successful blogger outreach

key to successIf you don’t get the email right, you will be burning bridges before they’ve been built.

Remember the following before sending any emails:

  • Initiate contact before sending the email – the best way to get a response from a blogger is by connecting with them via different mediums first, so consider commenting on their blog, sharing their content and engaging via social media.
  • Make your email about them – Seth Godin probably said it best, people want to receive “me-mail”, not “you-mail”.
  • Generic emails won’t cut it – bloggers get a lot of emails, yours needs to stand out.
  • Personalize your email – as a minimum you need to include the name of whom you’re contacting.
  • Personalize your subject line – adding the name in the subject line can work well.
  • Keep your emails succinct – droning on and on doesn’t help anyone.
  • Include an incentive – highlight what you can do for them.
  • Make your emails persuasive – try incorporating social proof or scarcity into your emails.
  • Avoid mentioning SEO or link building – this is a serious red flag.
  • Keep your email relevant – emailing a travel blogger and mentioning poker won’t help.
  • Don’t send too many follow ups or get too pushy – being pushy or sending too many follow ups will usually result in hurting your reputation and being ignored.

What makes a great outreach email

email

Try not to rely on templates; they make it too easy to leave out any creativity.

They also get used so much that they end up doing more harm than good.

For example, I’ve had around 8 emails this week off different people pitching guest posts – all using the same template.

None of them got a response because I know if they put the same amount of effort into their guest posts, I’ll be doing a disservice to you if I were to publish it.

Instead of using templates, think of your outreach emails in terms of a framework.

It’s the elements that go into the email that make the difference.

Below is an example which has worked well for me:

1 – Personalize

Include your name and something specific to the blogger in the opening paragraph.

You could address a comment someone made on a recent blog post or you could mention something out of the local news if you know where the blogger is from.

These are just examples, there are so many more ways you can incorporate personalization.

2 – Help

Do something to help them out and let them know about it, for example; sharing a blog post or offering a solution to a problem with their website.

You are highlighting that you have helped them out without them having to do anything in return – this will earn you some good will.

3 – The Ask

Let them know what you want them to do for you.

This is very important to get right, it’s all about how you position the “ask”. It helps to word this as a mutually beneficial opportunity.

For example – instead of “I want to write a guest post for you”, you could say “I’ve written posts for [insert names of authoritative blogs] and they’ve performed really well, I’d like to write one for you which I’m sure your audience will love”.

4 – Help again

Highlight another way you’ll be able to help them if they agree to your “ask”.

For example if you’re pitching a guest post, there are things that make bloggers wish they’d just said no.

This usually involves responding to blog comments and promoting the post so just by showing you’ll step up to the plate and complete these tasks, you’ll improve your chances.

Take it to the next level by mentioning the post in future guest posts on other blogs.

5 – Sign off

Let them know who you are and make it easy for them to find out more about you, it helps to connect a name to a face.

Conclusion

When you craft an email that’s about helping the blogger you’re contacting and not just about helping you, you’ll get far better results.

The incentive and positioning of your pitch is key to making this work.

The alternative is to waste your time and your time is valuable isn’t it?

Before sending the email, ask yourself this question:

“What’s in it for them?”

It all comes down to this…

Think of this as the first step in creating a relationship which you can develop and nurture as time goes on.

One-time mentions are great but long-term relationships will have a far bigger impact on your blog’s growth.

And this can only be done by helping each other.

All it takes to get the ball rolling is to ask this simple question:

“What else can we do to help each other?”

Perfect Outreach Email Checklist

TOTAL SHARES 783

About Adam Connell

Adam is the founder of Blogging Wizard and co-founder of Purcus. My day job is the Marketing Director at a UK based marketing agency. Join Adam's free newsletter and get access to exclusive resources you can use to grow your blog.

  • http://www.bloggingspell.com/ Abrar Mohi Shafee

    Hi Adam,

    Blogger outreach is one of the crying needs and there is no better alternative. Especially the bloggers who just got their heads into a new industry, must need authoritative support to stand up.

    Here in my case, personalization really works. I do emails to someone I barely know as like I know him very well. I talks friendly and that gets me friendly responses in return. Though the intention really matters to get responses.

    Thanks for writing up a practical post. Have a nice week!

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Thanks Abrar,

      I like your approach to writing emails in a friendly way!

      My pleasure, have a great week too.

  • Sue Anne Dunlevie

    Hi, Adam,

    What a great resource! Blogger outreach is the biggest mistake I made when I was a new blogger – I thought if I just blogged, that the readers would come. Thank goodness I learned about outreach before I threw in the towel on my blog.

    I really like the part about personalizing the emails. It’s so important in order to get the blogger’s attention.

    Thanks for the great info!
    Sue

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Hi Sue,

      I know what you mean – I did the same thing in the early days when I was just finding my feet.

      Definitely!

      Glad you liked the post :)

      Adam

  • http://www.onblastblog.com Matt Banner

    Great post Adam. So many newbie bloggers will benefit from this.

    I too and can attest that I didn’t do blogger outreach to start out with and that’s probably the most integral component I missed.

    Keep it up,
    Matt

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Thanks Matt!

      Outreach can definitely help to shift the needle in the right way pretty fast and there are so many ways it can be used!

      All the best,
      Adam

  • http://www.bloggingfromparadise.com/ Ryan Biddulph

    Me-mail is awesome and pure Seth Godin! Loved the tips Adam. If I reach out to someone I intend to help them as I’m helping me. At times I send out a bunch of personalized emails asking if my buddies need help. No agendas, no tying to outcomes, other than writing a review or simply retweeting something.

    Smart tips and wonderful practical breakdown Adam, thanks much!

    Ryan

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Thanks Ryan! Seth’s advice was bang on.

      I love your approach to blogger outreach, that’s what it all comes down to – helping! Especially like how you email people to offer to help them without asking for anything in return. That’s the way to go!

      My pleasure, thanks Ryan!

  • http://www.unveiltheweb.com/ UnveiltheWeb

    Hi Adam,

    Interesting article. I’ve used several mechanisms to reach out to various bloggers depending on how easy or hard it is to find their info.

    Sometimes it’s an email other times it a private message on Facebook or other social media post. If I can’t get an email I’ve found it really helpful to use a form on a Contact page. I’m always amazed at how responsive most people are.

    Hope you had a great week?

    ~ Don Purdum

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Hi Don,

      Thanks for checking out the post.

      That’s a great thought, the communication method is so important.

      I’ve had a similar experience with contact pages. For some people I’ve started off with social, for example, some people I’ve noticed being incredibly active on Google+ making it a great way to get through.

      I have thanks, hope you have too!

      Adam

  • FrancesCaballo

    This is a great primer on this topic, Adam! When I reviewed my JetPack annual report, it indicated that my third highest source for referral traffic was coming from my guest blog posts for The Book Designer. Guest blogging really does work!

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Thanks Frances :) That’s awesome, it definitely works!

  • http://REASONTOUSE.COM/ Ahmad Imran

    When I started tech blogging a few months back, I never thought about the bloggers outreach and relationships. Now that I am comfortable with writing content on a regular basis and improving the quality of my content continuously, it is the time to outreach other bloggers. A good reminder Adam, thanks for sharing some good tips.

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Hi Ahmad,

      Glad you found the post helpful, time to start reaching out to other bloggers!

  • The Guy

    Good advice Adam and I think a lot of marketing agencies and other bloggers could gain more success from this.

    Like you I get standard pitches from complete strangers which are fairly generic. Maybe the first or second line of the pitch is revised with a drag and drop name of my site or one particularly article. Then the rest of the pitch is a straight cut and paste :-(

    I thoroughly believe in connecting with fellow bloggers before you enter the realm of a pitch. I know I immediately select to open e-mails from names I recognise via blog comments/shares then a cold call e-mail. I already have a connection with these people, I know who they are, what they do and if it is something that may interest me.

    The idea of jointly promoting a post and responding to comments of a guest post is sadly lacking for many people. I run a website which features interviews with a range of names in the travel blogging world. Many just look for the links and that is it. The reason I know this is because in spite of the terms of the interview they don’t promote it nor do they respond to reader comments.

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Thanks for the kind words, I hope so! I should probably start giving the link out to the outreach emails I’d never normally respond to.

      It’s crazy isn’t it, they must be getting such low conversion rates. Sometimes you can see the formatting changes when they cut and paste into the email lol!

      That’s it exactly, I’ve noticed I do the same thing when opening emails – knowing people before hand is so important.

      Crazy to hear the people aren’t sharing the interviews, sharing them is a great way for those taking part to increase their perceived authority. Have you tried including a pre-populated tweet in emails where you let them know the interview is live? I’ve noticed from doing group interviews that the easier you make it for someone to share, the more chance they’ll share.

      • The Guy

        Hi Adam, I now (mind you always did) tweet them the interview once it is live. I have also been going to their Facebook and Google+ pages saying thanks for the interview and dropping the link. This has mixed responses as to whether they like/share it or not.

        The site (Travel Blogger Interviews) is also one of my feeds into Triberr. So now I make sure the Triberr post to be shared also includes the interviewee’s twitter handle. That way they can see the shares on that network. When I’ve given them such a great opportunity (free of cost yet it costs me a lot of time) you do wonder why people are so ungrateful. The terms of the interview are that they share it once it is live. Ah well, some people.

        • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

          Wow, you are definitely going above and beyond to encourage sharing of your interviews. I doubt there is much more you can do as you’re already investing a lot of time into it.

          Maybe when you email the live link to interview participants you could include a qualifying statement.

          For example, “Please share this because ….[insert benefit here], to make it easy for you I’ve included a copy and paste tweet you can use below”.

          Incorporating exactly how sharing the interview will benefit them alongside the call to action may improve things. Ultimately it will be the benefits of influencer marketing etc. One of the main ones being that sharing will increase their perceived authority – their followers will think of them as being more of a big deal.

          It might be worth testing different statements to see how things go, in time you’ll be able to find the right balance.

  • http://www.jagerwebdesign.com/ Silke Jager

    Great article on reaching out to your fellow bloggers.
    Honestly, I don’t do this often enough since it can get pretty time consuming. I do realize that it’s an important part of building online relationships and I will definitely download your checklist to use as a tool, and as a reminder to be more proactive in the future.
    Thank you Adam!

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Thanks Silke,

      I know what you mean, this is definitely time consuming!

      Hope you find the checklist useful :)

  • Ruxandra

    Really well-written, extremely useful and insightful article, Adam!

    Make your email about them, not about you must be one of the most important learnings and crucial aspects to bear in mind when it comes to influencer outreach….

    This was a great read.

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Thanks Roxy :)

      If you’re contacting someone that you don’t know, it’s all about what you can do to help them, it definitely gets easier once you know each other!

  • http://kerilynnengel.com/ KeriLynn Engel

    As someone who’s been on the other side of this, these are great tips!! I often get pitches that are obviously a generic template, or not at all relevant or beneficial to me or my readers.

    Another tip is to actually thank the blogger when they take the time to respond. I’ve stopped responding to many emails asking for help simply because many people don’t bother to say “thank you.”

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      I know what you mean, Keri – I get a lot of the same emails. Relevance and personalization is so important.

      Great tip about thanking bloggers, I’ve seen so many people forget that!

  • http://ultrabodymind.com/ Erick Perez

    How long have you been in the blogging business Adam?

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Hi Erick, I got started in 2009.

      • http://ultrabodymind.com/ Erick Perez

        Love your blog design. Very clean, easy to read and very colourful

        • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

          Thanks Erick! :)

  • http://nutcrackertool.com/ James

    Wow! Very good information Adam.

    I’m going to bookmark this page and put it in my tools folder so I can refer back to it.

    Thanks for the blogger outreach jewels,
    James

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Thanks James, glad you’ve found this useful :)

      All the best,
      Adam

      P.S – I’ve deleted the old comment with the image for you!

  • http://www.webhostingsecretrevealed.net/ Jerry Low

    I am doing a big round of blogger reach out now and this post just come at the right time – works perfect as a reminder on what not to miss and what to avoid in my next email :)

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Great to hear, Jerry – glad this came at the right time for you :)

  • http://www.socialmediaslant.com Cendrine Marrouat

    Hello @adamjayc:disqus!

    Great post, thank you! Reading it reminded me of my own situation. Most of the people who reach out to write for my blog send awful pitches. I think my response rate is currently at 5 or 10%…

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Hi Cendrine,

      Thanks, really glad you liked the post. I can definitely relate to you there, I think my response rate is very similar at the moment.

      The crazy thing is that taking a few minutes longer to craft an email would give them a much higher response rate and save time in the long run!

      • http://www.socialmediaslant.com Cendrine Marrouat

        Absolutely!

  • http://Martin.Lindeskog.name Martin Lindeskog

    Adam: Could you list some small business owners that have been good at reaching out to bloggers in order to get help with the creation of content creation?

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Hi Martin,

      I can’t give any solid examples unfortunately, the best blogger outreach is done behind closed doors as email is still the best communication method.

  • http://www.shadeofinfo.com/blog/ Andrew M. Warner

    Adam,

    Really great post here. Blogger outreach is something that’s definitely important and personalizing it is the real bread and butter. Too many times people copy and paste generic messages and it’s forced and un-natural.

    Excellent advice here and I learned a couple things here to improve on my blogger outreach.

    – Andrew

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Thanks Andrew!

      Definitely, it all starts with personalization. It only takes a few minutes to find a name, but it’s time well spent.

      You’re right, so many copy and paste messages about. Some people are getting a bit more savvy though. Recently received a very flattering pitch, very well written. I wouldn’t have known it was a template, but he published the template on his blog 😮

      Thanks my friend, hope you find this useful!

  • http://paulsteinberg.org Paul Steinberg

    Adam, This is very helpful. I wonder if you have insight on the following: I find that it’s often difficult to find an email or other contact information for bloggers. A typical scenario: a blogger posts in a well-known newspaper, or as part of a social media savvy nonprofit organization, and I think they might be interested in reading and reviewing my work. (I’m an academic with a new book out called ‘Who Rules the Earth?’) But I can’t find their email information anywhere, and contacting their organization’s generic email address often results in no replies. Do you have any tips you could offer? Thank you in advance!

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Glad you’ve found this helpful, Paul.

      Finding contact details can definitely be a challenge but there are things you can do to make this easier.

      If you know their website URL tools like BuzzStream will try to pull in those details automatically for you.

      If it fails to find an email address, it will sometimes pull in a contact page.

      BuzzStream have a free tool you can use to generate search queries for Google and other search engines – these can be great in some circumstances: http://tools.buzzstream.com/link-building-email-research

      I’ve found that it is a lot easier to find someone’s Twitter username than their email address so if in doubt, just send a quick tweet asking for their contact details – it’s worth explaining why you need their email in a way that is focused on how you’ll be able to help them.

  • http://paulsteinberg.org Paul Steinberg

    Excellent – I’ll give it a try. Thank you Adam.

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      No worries, Paul!

  • http://paulsteinberg.org Paul Steinberg

    Adam, just to follow up: It appears I can’t contact someone by Twitter unless they are already following my twitter account.

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Hi Paul,

      Use @mentions instead of direct messages to get around this. The chance of getting a response is much better as there’s a lot of direct message spam going around on Twitter.

  • Megan Monroe

    Hi Adam! I’ve found this article so helpful. I just recently started doing blogger outreach for my company so this is a great overview, it’s already helped me craft a few pitches.
    As a blogger, are you more hesitant to consider a guest post if it is coming from a representative for a brand/company? For example, I regularly suggest guest posts to blogs that are based on ebooks my team writes. I’d really love to send people to read our ebooks, but blog editors seem to tune out my pitches if I mention that I’m promoting them, even if I send them a great standalone article that would fit right in on their blog. As a blogger, how do you feel about guest posts that are indirectly promoting other content? Any suggestions for how to approach bloggers?

    • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

      Hi Megan,

      Glad you’ve found this helpful!

      I think it depends on how the outreach as done, although I generally don’t allow CTA’s within posts to landing pages in general.

      You may find it easier linking to an actionable blog post on your companies site rather than a landing page – most people need more touch points before they’d sign up to something (unless it was something like a content upgrade). And you can always employ CTA’s to landing pages/exit intent popovers on your blog posts.

      Also, you could build the ebook promotion into your author bio, I would expect author bio’s to be promotional in nature but I’ve had some good success building my list by linking to my own ebooks in my author bio.

      Hope this helps!

      • Megan Monroe

        Linking to blog posts is an excellent idea! Thanks for your input, Adam.

        • http://www.bloggingwizard.com/ Adam Connell

          My pleasure, Megan!