Blogger Outreach has emerged in recent years as the most effective digital marketing strategy. As a strategy, it helps in optimizing search or SEO, Link building, Guest Posting, and promoting sponsored content. Most brands are using blogger outreach as a tool to get maximum exposure.
A Beginner’s Definition to Blogger Outreach
Blogger Outreach is a process in which you identify a list of ‘Influencers’ that belong to your industry. The goal of the strategy is publishing your content on someone else’s site with the hope of getting backlinks.
Let us enumerate what Blogger Outreach stands for-
- Publishing your content on a host site will help you get traffic to your own site (through the backlink).
- If you are looking for ways to win newer audiences or piggybacking on someone’s audience base, blogger outreach is perfect.
- Blogger outreach is about establishing meaningful relationships with publishers/bloggers and the community.
- Helping SEO scores and increasing your website’s metrics and health.
- Climbing Google’s Search Engine Rankings Page (SERPs).
There is something peculiar about digital and digital marketing strategies. Every other day there is a new term, which pops up. On closer examination, it is found to mean the same thing that an earlier term was representing.
Similarly, blogger outreach has come to be defined by terms such as-
- Guest Blogging
- Guest Posting
- Sponsored Content
- Link Building
Most of these terms virtually mean the same thing, albeit with some slight differences. I hope you get what I am trying to say. Almost all the above-mentioned terms are inter-related and help perform the same function- SEO. However, some of you might say that there is an intent involved- you want to climb the SERPs, or you want to grow your audience.
Almost all big brands engage in blogger outreach. For social media, blogger outreach has a new fancy name- ‘Influencer Marketing’. Blogger Outreach in the traditional sense was confined to just content sites (articles, blogs, forums, etc.) However, in the day and age of social media blogger outreach has grown on Instagram, sponsored products, sponsored YouTube promotions, and so on.
Blogger Outreach: Risks versus Rewards
Blogger Outreach as a strategy has mixed feelings for digital marketing experts. While they unanimously agree on the benefits of the strategy, they are skeptical of the risks involved. In other words, for many, it is a great digital marketing strategy with proven results. Nevertheless, it is important to do correctly; else, the risks outweigh the benefits.
Blogger Outreach is an SEO strategy that can help you succeed with White Hat Link Building if done right. Conversely, if not done in the right manner, it can invite severe penalties from Google. The key is to manage blogger outreach in an effective manner.
Your aim should be not to buy links! Rather, it should be to get quality content published on an industry authority site. You might say that there is hardly any difference between the two. However, I will say that it is the intention, which charts the approach.
If you are buying links from Private Blog Networks (PBNs) or Link Directories, you will get penalized. To quote Liam Neeson (Bryan Mills) from Taken 1 (the best one!)- “Google will look for you, Google will find you, and Google will **** you.”
(Sorry we took some creative paraphrasing liberties).
In my experience, I have seen brands and content sites do both- excel at blogger outreach and get penalized/de-indexed by Google. The end goal is the same between the two. However, many think buying links by investing money will accelerate the end goal.
This is not a good strategy to pursue. Sooner, rather than later, Google’s algorithms are going to catch up. However, if you are pursuing a ‘White Hat’ strategy, you will be the one smiling at the end of it all.
The Perfect Blogger Outreach Strategy Does Exist!
Many people and digital marketing companies follow a blogger outreach approach that is chaotic, to say the least. For them, it does not matter whether the blogger belongs to a similar niche or not. All that is given importance is linking ambiguously.
The perfect blogger outreach strategy has a few best practices. Below, we have tried to outline the top ten best practices that brands should follow.
- Only reach out to bloggers who belong to your industry niche
- Sites need to have high metrics (DA- 40+, DR-50+, etc.)
- Try and outreach the best community sites
- Try avoiding money related transactions (focus on content and exchange)
- Create stellar content
- Establish proper human relationships
- Be a part of forums and communities related to your industry
- Try and provide a solution in an informative article
- Use social media aggressively
- Be patient and set a time period
Several experts in the industry swear by White Hat Blogger Outreach strategies. However, in my experience, I have found that sometimes it gets difficult to control too many variables.
For example, if you are a young site, with little or no authority, most of the best community sites will refuse to answer your requests. They will deny you guest posting facilities on their site unless you have a following of 5000 people on Twitter!
This got me thinking- if the money factor arose not so much because of brands, but something that arose as a necessity. This is where patience becomes such a keen virtue for brands and individuals. It is tantamount to improving every aspect of your digital identity.
How can you ace Blogger Outreach?
Successful blogger outreach is 100% hard work and 5% luck.
(I was always bad at math!)
For any digital marketing strategy to be effective, you need a roadmap. Some people might say that the roadmap might go for a toss, come Google’s next update. However, the thing with people who show concern with Google updates are people who have something to hide.
True information, which is natural, holistic and useful, will never feel scared.
If you are pursuing the correct blogger outreach strategy, Google will always reward you.
According to me, there are ‘3 things’, which you need to pay attention to. (Even if money is involved, if you stick to these three things, no one can harm you at all).
1. Create Fabulous Content:
The biggest enemy of Google is copied content and spun articles. Google loves content that is original, long format, informative and has lots of images and videos.
The ideal content for Blogger Outreach should be 2000+ words. The content needs to be keyword friendly, broken up into H1, H2, and H3 sections. In other words, you should follow WordPress’ guidelines for great content. (It is available right on the publishing dashboard). You need to have a green score to go ahead.
Great content always wins. No matter the time period or the effort involved. A good piece of content never goes to waste.
2. Always Publish Content on Industry Authority Sites:
Most of the best sites have strict guidelines for content. The above point on content should satisfy them. Even if you are paying money for publishing content, the best sites will make your life a living hell mentioning about the guidelines.
These sites matter the most. They have high metric scores and do not accept articles form everyone. To publish content on these sites, your content should shine. The money factor becomes irrelevant.
Draw up a list of thirty such sites. Create 30 outstanding pieces of content and pitch it to them. Always remember, content takes precedence over money.
3. Always Publish on Industry related sites:
This is where recommendations take precedence over metrics. If you are a clothing brand, publishing on a computing site with a DA of 70, it does not matter. Google will penalize you for that.
You always need to do blogger outreach on sites that are related to your industry. This is where community building becomes important. Networking, commenting, social sharing can all help you get in touch with the right people and websites.
Never ever do the mistake of publishing on an unrelated site. Cross check and see the relevancy factor. Relevancy is the new Google PageRank!
Blogger Outreach Agencies: Are they any good?
For many brands unaccustomed to blogger outreach, agencies are a good way forward. However, enlisting the help of blogger outreach services is also a double-edged sword.
While there are some blogger outreach agencies doing stunning work, the great many are simply cheating their clients. Choosing the right agency for blogger outreach will either help you or cause the biggest headache you will have.
One of the most beneficial aspects of an agency is that they have already done the legwork for you. As they have already established a relationship with many in the blogging industry, it would be easier for them to connect the dots. However, it is important that you are always a part of the discussions.
The best blogger outreach agencies will let you decide with autonomy. This means that they will lay out the statistics in front of you. For example, you will have 50 sites in front of you with all their metrics, price points, and other variables.
As a client, you can evaluate your options and choose which ones make the most sense to you. They will also ensure that your links are never placed in any mischievous platform. However, such agencies are rare.
The most common ones are destroying the industry. These ones do not care about anything in the world, apart from just one thing- money! If you have done your blogger outreach research, you would have heard about link resellers. They work on a percentage/commission models and have no responsibility- towards either the blogger/publisher or the client/advertiser.
To avoid these problems, you can go on sponsored content platforms. It is almost like e-commerce for blogger outreach and guest posting.
Blogger Outreach- ‘No-Follow’ versus ‘Do-Follow’ Links
If you going to pursue a blogger outreach or a guest posting strategy, you are going to come across these two terms.
A ‘No-Follow’ link is one in which your link will not be counted as a backlink by Google. In simple words, a ‘No-Follow’ link does not contribute to your SEO score. The best community sites are at best going to give you a no-follow link.
A ‘Do-Follow’ link is going to get you that SEO score. These ones contribute to the Google backlink calculations. You can buy these off the shelf, but the best sites do not give them to you.
In my experience, I have found that some of the leading experts do not give no-follow links any importance. If you have been following the article, I write at the very beginning about intentions. If you have set the right intentions, a no-follow link in an industry authority site is pure gold.
The aim of blogger outreach should be attracting the right audiences to your website. Given the choice between a do-follow link in a site with a DA of 40+ and a no-follow link in a site with a DA of 80+, can you guess what I would do?
I agree that both these terms depend on teleology. (Google it if you do not know the meaning). I also agree that what becomes important for you depends on the time of your brand.
The Final Word:
While many SEO agencies shout at the top of their voice about possessing the secret blogger outreach sauce, no such thing exists. There is no secret, no short cuts to guest blogging success. You need to put in the hard hours and the discipline.
Blogger Outreach is a slow strategy that takes time to show. However, if done right, it will set you up for life. The key is to the patient, and invest time, energy and content writing resources to your strategy. From an investment point of view, the only credible team that you would need to invest in should be your content writing team.
I wish you all the best with all your blogger outreach adventures. If you have any questions with regard to this or any other digital marketing strategy, please feel free to reach out at- firstname.lastname@example.org