In the early days of blogging, you could build a solid link profile without having to engage with anybody else. The system was easily automated. You could create an article, rewrite a few variations of it and syndicate them through tools that submitted articles to hundreds of article directories across the web. Those days are long gone.
In 2018, you need to be skilled at engaging with other bloggers, journalists and other influencers if you want to get exposure. Mastering the art of outreach is just as important as creating great content. You can have the finest content in the world, but it won’t be syndicated to high profile sites if you can’t build lasting relationships and convince influencers to publish it.
The good news is that outreach isn’t hard once you get the basics down. Here are some proven outreach strategies to boost engagement and build high-quality backlinks to your blog.
Use Blog Directories to Find Quality Influencers in Your Niche
Blog directories used to be a big thing before Google Panda. Then the search engine giant started cracking down on them since so many people were submitting their sites to huge directories that were little more than link farms. In 2012, Moz reported that almost 20% of them got banned or penalized.
So, you will probably be surprised when I suggest using them to promote your blog. But you aren’t going to submit your blog to it like the old days. You are going to use directories to find quality bloggers in your niche. Your blog may be too new or small to get listed in directories like AllTop or Technorati. But you will find a great list of influencers on those platforms, which may be willing to help you build your blog’s footprint.
Before you start outreaching, you need to vet the sites. They need to be relevant and have a strong presence. INet Ventures suggests not reaching out to blogs with a domain authority lower than 20, but that higher domain authority sites are better.
Be an Active Reader and Then Introduce Yourself
Ryan Biddulph, the founder of Blogging from Paradise, posted a great point on Facebook a while back. He has a large blog that gets lots of exposure, so he gets lots of requests from people that want free exposure. Some of them look like this:
Would you be willing to link to this blog post in one of your future articles?
Thanks in advance!”
These approaches do not work. You need to build a rapport before ever asking them for anything.
Start by reading their site and commenting on posts. They will get to know you as a regular reader. Then you can send an email and start engaging. After building a relationship, they will be much more susceptible to helping you promote your blog. But it needs to be a two-way street! Promote their posts on social media and link to posts on your own sites, too.
Offer Free Content (Other than Guest Posts)
Guest blogging has always been a great way to get exposure and links from quality websites. The problem is that so many people abused it. A lot of bloggers have become jaded after receiving tons of unsolicited posts from spammers thinly disguised as “guest post” requests. Then Matt Cutts announced that guest blogging was dead and Google began banning guest blog networks.
People obviously became jaded about guest blogging. The fears have subsided a bit, but there is still a bit of spam out there, so bloggers are a little wary of guest blog requests. That doesn’t mean you shouldn’t submit guest posts by any means, but you may have better luck offering other types of content.
One idea is to create an infographic instead. There aren’t nearly as many spammers out there pitching infographics as a way of getting links, so your request will stand out and seem more genuine.
There is another benefit of using infographics – you can use the same infographics on numerous sites. You can usually just use one guest post for each site you are promoting on.
Create Posts Specifically as Link Bait for Targeted Influencers
Everybody wants to get key influencers to link to their content. But their posts usually just aren’t relevant enough. You aren’t going to get an influencer to link to any of your posts if they are all filled with generic 2.0 content.
Take some to look at their posts. Do they like writing blogs that use a lot of anecdotes? Do they like sharing ideas that go against the status quo in their industry? Create blog posts that support the theme of their site. Then you can reach out to them and let them know about your post that they may be interested in. If you show interest, you can politely suggest that they can share excerpts of the content in their own posts if they are willing to link to your post as attribution.