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 and I’ll show you how.
I’ve been using blogger outreach for years and I helped build the original processes we used at UK Linkology. And I’ve been on the receiving end of a lot of outreach emails too.
Below, I’ll show you what I’ve learned. You’ll discover how to craft an outreach email that gets noticed, avoids the trash folder and helps you forge mutually beneficial relationships.
Why blogger outreach? What’s the big deal?
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:
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
If 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
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 but remember that this is just an example and won’t fit with every type of outreach so it may require tweaks:
1 – Pre-outreach
People are more likely to reply to emails from people they know, or at least recognize.
So, once you’ve identified people you want to reach out to – don’t email them straight away.
Connect with them on social media. Comment on their status updates and share their content.
Maybe leave a few helpful comments on their blog. This will help you get far more positive responses.
2 – 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.
3 – 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.
4 – 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”.
5 – 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.
6 – 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.
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?”