In our complete guide to outreach for bloggers, we’re going to cover five new ways you can use outreach to market your blog.
Outreach is what you do when you reach out to people via email, social media or even in person to ask them to share, promote or simply look at your blog posts.
The Skyscraper Technique
Brian Dean coined the Skyscraper Technique. It’s a technique we’ve mentioned before in other posts, but we’ll go into more detail here about how you can use the technique to create the type of content that will make your outreach work easier.
Brian Dean used the technique to build links. Those links are great for building traffic to your blog content and will help your blog’s overall organic search rankings, which is why this along with having these influencers sharing your content is a great strategy.
But beyond that, The Skyscraper Technique can also be used to increase social shares and direct referrals to your blog.
Step 1 – Create A List Of Popular Blog Posts
Search Google to find and create a list of relevant popular blogs and influencers. Add these to your spreadsheet.
Take that list and create a new tab on your spreadsheet and name it Popular Content.
Visit the websites and blogs of those influencers and look for the content that has a high number of social shares and comments. These metrics won’t tell you everything, but it’s a good gauge for telling you how popular the posts are.
On your spreadsheet, create the following columns:
In your research on the blogs in your industry start entering the top posts into the spreadsheet. Fill out all the information for the columns whenever it’s available.
Once you’ve collected about 50 or even 100 posts you’ll be able to sort the posts by the variables on the right. You can see the posts that have the most comments, tweets, and likes.
This will be your guide for creating the type of content that will make your outreach easier.
Step 2 – Create A List Of Influencer Shared Content
Next, create another new tab and call it “Influencer Shared”.
Go back to your list of blogs and look at the social profiles of the influencers on the list. Visit these profiles and look at the content those influencers share that isn’t their own.
You’re looking for the type of blog posts that the biggest influencers in your niche share. These posts will often align with the popular posts from the previous step, but not always.
Sometimes the popular content isn’t what the biggest influencers want to share. If you want to attract traffic to your blog you can do it by creating either the type of content that a lot of people want to share or by creating the type of content that top influencers want to share.
Create the following columns:
- Share URL
Fill out the list with the content you find on the profiles of the top influencers. You can sort this by influencer if you want when you’re done.
Now you know the type of content that the biggest influencers in your industry like to share.
To add more interest to this tab you can add the social sharing information and sort it by that information as well.
Step 3 – Create Content On The Same Topic, But Exponentially Better
You can’t simply create something that is better than popular content or that is better than the content that influencers share. The people that shared the content originally were impressed with that content. Going just a little bit beyond the original won’t be impressive to those that you’ll reach out to.
No, you have to create something that will once again impress.
Making the content longer is one way to accomplish this. If the first piece of content was a news article or opinion piece on a news item in your industry it was probably 500 to 1,000 words.
Your move could be to provide analysis on different aspects of the news item. You could go into depth on key areas overlooked in the original article. Make your article 2,000 to 3,000 words long complete with photos and custom illustrations.
If the original post was a list with about 10 to 20 items on it then you’ll have to create a list that has about 100 to 200 items on it. Bigger lists are often more likely to be shared anyway. They’re impressive. Not everyone creates those types of huge lists so they’re impressed.
Another way to create something better is to create an advanced version of the original post. This was the strategy used on Quick Sprout.
There were a lot of popular beginners guides, but I was hearing from people that they wanted more than just the beginner information. So I went ahead and created the advanced guides. They’re over 30,000 words on average and are huge and impressive.
You can make things more up-to-date. You can add better design. You can change the type of content by making it an infographic or even a video series that you publish on your blog.
Whatever you do make sure you’re making the content quite a bit better than the original. You need to impress the people that you want to share the content and to do that you have to go well beyond what impressed them about the original.
Step 4 – Reach Out To The Influencers
Go back to your list and find the influencers that will care about the piece of content you’ve created.
Personalize and send the following email to them:
My name is [Your Name].
I follow you on [Social Media Site] and noticed that you shared one of my favorite articles [Article Title].
That is such a great post. And it’s a great blog.
I was hearing from my readers that they wanted something more in-depth about the topic so I went ahead and created this post: [URL]
If you have time I’d love for you to check it out.
Send that email out to the influencers or see if you can contact them using their social profiles or their website contact information.
If you’ve done your job, your post will impress them again and they’ll share it with their followers.
Linking To Sources & Contacting Them
The next method for outreach is to include source links your posts and reaching out to those sources to let them know.
Linking to sources is something you should do anyway as part of blogging best practices. Readers appreciate when you link to sources and it adds credibility to your blog. Readers are smart enough to know that not everything you write about came from your imagination.
Link to your sources to earn trust of readers, but also do it because it can help you with your outreach.
Here is how to do it.
Step 1 – Link To Sources As Normal
The type of blog posts that need source links are more in line with commentary pieces of current news or posts you write about specific topics. They might also be posts that show readers how to do a particular task.
Include source links in these posts as you normally would. But as you include these links try to focus on linking to influencers in your industry especially those that have blogs. Also look for bloggers in complementary industries that share your target audience.
Step 2 – Email Sources To Let Them Know About The Link
After you create these articles, reach out to those that you link to via email, social media or through website contact forms.
Use the follow message template:
My name is [Your Name].
I just wanted to let you know that I created a new post ([URL]) and linked to your post ([URL]) as a source for the information.
Thanks for providing such a great resource. I’ve tried to build on the topic.
If you have time I’d love for you to check it out.
Step 3 – Analyze The Responses and Shares You Get & Focus On Those That Engage
As you do this you’ll start getting responses to your emails as well as shares from the people that you email. They’ll want to promote your post because it has a link to their post. It’s mutually beneficial and in the future they might even link to and share other posts on your blog.
Analyze those that are most engaged and add them to the list of bloggers that share blog posts.
Building A List Of Bloggers That Share Blog Posts
Knowing the bloggers that share content besides their own is incredibly useful as you look to market your blog posts.
We just mentioned that you could start this list as you analyze the response you get from the outreach you do by linking to bloggers and influencers in your industry.
Now it’s time to supercharge this effort and we’ll start with the spreadsheet again.
Step 1 Create A New Tab On The Spreadsheet
Call the “Sharers”.
Step 2 – Add Titles To The Columns
Use the following columns:
Step 3 – Continue To Add To The List
When a person links to or shares one of your blog posts add them to this list.
As you build this list you can come back to it when you want to reach out with new content.
Submit Your Blog Posts
To Blog Communities & Services For Exposure, Backlinks & Social Media Sharing
There are a number of established blog communities where you can submit your blog post. The following are communities where you can gain exposure, backlinks and social media shares.
Blog Engage is a place where bloggers can submit their new blog posts. Each new submission is included on a feed where members of the Blog Engage community can read and vote.
The posts that are found to be the most useful and appealing to the community are published on the Blog Engage homepage for more members of the community to see.
The exposure you can gain on Blog Engage extends beyond the site. Once you have a post doing well on Blog Engage you’re likely to have community members sharing your posts on social media, linking to your post from their blogs and doing even more with your post.
This type of outreach gives you access to a powerful community of other bloggers looking for content like your new blog post.
BizSugar is a blog community for the small business owners, managers and others will find useful and interesting. Users can submit relevant content to BizSugar and the community votes on the content they find the most useful.
Like Blog Engage and other blog communities, the top content not only receivers traffic, but often receives shares, links and other exposure.
Triberr is a community where all bloggers and influencers can submit and share content including blog posts. Users can see the currently hot content, new content and content that is rising according to the voting system.
Users can also find content by category. The system is similar to other blog communities as well as communities like Reddit, Hacker News and Inbound.org.
With Triberr, you’re looking to find groups relevant to your niche. Identify at least 5 groups and submit your blog post to these groups.
Find Blogging Roundups
Bloggers often host blogging roundups on their blogs. It’s a good way to publish new content without having to create entirely original content. Most bloggers do this every Friday or on a specific day of the week.
Step 1 – Search For “Blog Roundup” Plus Your Niche
Find roundups that have been published in the past.
Step 2 – Reach Out To The Bloggers
When you find bloggers that publish roundups in your niche, reach out to them via their blog or on their social media accounts. Share your new post with them and ask them to include it if they find it useful.
Guest blogging is still a great way to build traffic to your site. You can promote your entire blog and personal brand by guest blogging, but you can also promote your individual posts by guest blogging.
Step 1 – Search For Sites That Accept Guest Posts
Use these queries:
- “Keyword” + “guest post”
- “Keyword”+ “write for us”
- “Keyword” + “This post was written by”
- intitle: guest post guidelines
- intitle: guest blog guidelines
Step 2 – Analyze The Potential For Traffic
There are two things to use to gauge the potentially effectiveness of a guest blog post.
The first is blog comments on the blog. If the blog gets a lot of comments there is a good chance that the readers are highly engaged and that they’ll visit other sites and posts when reading.
This means that they’ll see that you’re a guest author and will likely visit the post you’re promoting.
The second is to use the site SimilarWeb.com. This site gives you information to the blogs you find and identify in Step 1. Look at the blog’s direct traffic.
This is an indication that they get many of the same people coming back to read blogs, which is a sign of engagement. If the direct traffic ratio is high then you can bet that readers are engaged and likely to visit the post you’re promoting.
Step 3 – Connect With The Blog Owner And Leave Comments
Before you reach out to the blogger it’s good to pay it forward with some actions they’ll appreciate.
Here is what you do…
Share the recent posts from the blog on all your social media profiles. Mention the blog owner when you share so they can see that you’ve shared the posts.
Next, leave comments on the recent posts. We’re talking about really good comments that really add to the discussion and get others involved in the discussion.
Add the blog owner to your social media circles and connect with them if possible on LinkedIn and on Facebook.
These are all things bloggers appreciate it and it will get you on the radar before you reach out with your guest post request.
Step 4 – Reach Out With Three Blog Titles
Use the contact form on the blog where they allow for guest blog post submissions. Mention that you’ve been reading their recent posts and have found them very useful. This will likely spur the memory that you’ve been sharing their posts.
Give three blog titles for potential posts. Really go all out with the post titles to make it seem like you’re going to create amazing blog content that goes beyond what they’re creating now.
Follow their guidelines for reaching out and writing the guest post.
To go beyond the usual requirements, link to 3 to 5 of their posts. Bloggers really appreciate when you promote their past content with your guest post.
But also include a call to action at the end of your guest post promoting the blog post on your blog. Most blog owners allow you one link in a byline. This is where you can put the link back to the post you’re promoting.
Outreach is incredibly important to your blog marketing efforts. Building a list of influencers and people that share content is essential to outreach.
Once you know the type of content that people share, you can create the same type of content, but content that is exponentially better. This will impress those people and they’ll likely share it.
Use the strategies in this post to help with your outreach. They’re the best ones that we’ve used to build our own blogs.
Want more? Read our other complete guides for additional ways to expand your blog audience.