Blogger Outreach: The Wrong Way to Do It

blogger outreachDespite what Matt Cutts and Google have to say about blogger outreach as a linkbuilding tactic, it remains an effective way to build brand awareness, generate traffic to your website, and expose your brand to a new audience. Forget about search engine optimization for a moment, when it comes to effective digital marketing, blogger outreach is far from dead.

Just make sure you’re doing it the right way.

The Wrong Way to do Blogger Outreach

We recently received an email from a company who was hoping we could publish their infographic on our blog. Here’s what the email said:

“Hi there,

I was browsing your website  and thought that you may be perhaps

interested in publishing the attached infographic on your website  as I

think your readers would find it quite interesting. If you do decide

to publish it, all I request is that you provide a link to my

site-  in the post in which you publish it. If you have any queries at all about the graphic,

 let me know as I would be delighted to explain.”

Why this is the wrong way

We’re keeping the company who sent this email  to us anonymous, and in no way want to insult the company. Instead, we want to use this as an example, to provide a learning opportunity for what not to do. Here’s where we think this company went wrong:

It’s Impersonal:

Look at the first sentence of the email — “I was browsing your website.” When a content marketer is playing the pronoun game rather than directly referring to my website, I assume that he or she sent the same generic message to hundreds of other websites, hoping one of them will bite.

What they should have done:

Take the time to actually review our website, talk about some of the content that we’ve published, and tell me why your piece would be a good fit for my audience. And keep in mind, this isn’t just about stroking the ego of the website owner. Search engines also take context into account when evaluating backlinks. So for instance, if you’ve got a backlink from a website that is completely unrelated to your product or service, the link could potentially have little to no value for your site.

Don’t ask for a link:

Blogger outreach is not just about linkbuilding anymore. While obviously links are still very important, it’s bad form to flat out ask for a link. Most website owners are wary of content creators who are simply looking to build links rather than build relationships, so requesting a backlink will most likely raise a red flag, and your email will be ignored.

What they should have done:

Don’t make it all about links. Yes, it would be great if they link to your website, but that’s not the main goal here. First, let’s see if the website owner is actually interested in your content, then take the conversation from there. And don’t worry about the type of link you’re getting. Whether it’s no follow or do follow, a backlink is generally only worth pursuing if you’re actually getting referral traffic from it.

The Content is low quality:

In this particular instance, the content creators wanted us to publish their infographic. While I won’t show it, here’s the gist of it: The infographic was very light on interesting information and statistics — It instead was a 10-point list that highlighted the benefits of their service. It’s the type of piece that might convince a warm lead to hire a company, but it’s definitely not something that works for outreach.

What they should have done:

A good piece of outreach content is one that is not promotional. It instead offers a ton of useful or interesting information, and is well-written and visually appealing. The quality of the content is what makes all the difference in outreach. Good content is the type of stuff that a website owner will jump at the chance to share. Bad content is ignored.

Blogger outreach may be “dead” as an SEO tactic, but any opportunity to get your company’s name out there is worth taking. Just remember, when pursuing blogger outreach, know the rules and make sure you’re doing it the right way.


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