How to Leverage the Potential of Blogger Outreach

This is a guest post by Pratik Dholakiya.

Blogger outreach is reaching out to the blogger community to create a relationship that involves you having regular, constructive and mutually beneficial contact with them. What this means is that you keep communicating with bloggers regularly and don’t just get in touch with them, when you want a guest blog to be posted.

I think of blogger outreach not from the perspective of an online marketer, but somebody who actually wants to strike up a conversation with the best in the field. Along the way, if they are willing to give me an opportunity to post a blog on their site, well and good; if not I still would like to keep engaging them at various levels.

What is Blogger Outreach?

blogger-outreach

Photo Credit: Kenneth Yeung on Flickr

Identifying and reaching out to online publishers is blogger outreach in a nutshell. Let me explain this phrase by way of an example.

X is a company that has seen its ranking de-value because of the recent Penguin update. Y is a company that has taken upon itself the difficult task of helping its rankings recovers from a Google penalty, and one of the strategies it identifies is publishing content on authority blogs, and getting backlinks from them. Google has made it very clear that it will give weight to only quality backlinks, and company Y needs to collect as much quality link juice as it can, to enable the website recover its rankings and achieve a sustainable high ranking on Google SERPs.

Now, the key to this process is knowing which content publishers to approach, approaching them, and then getting a guest blog posted on their site. But, this is not as easy as it seems. The way you approach these publishers forms the very core of Blogger Outreach. In effect, you are reaching out to other bloggers, but not just any bloggers; what you are doing is getting in touch with bloggers with potential and those who are well respected figures in their niche.

As can be imagined, there are two ways of approaching such bloggers. You make a list of them and then send an upfront mail asking them to publish your content on their blogs; or you could strike up an informal conversation with them, get to know them and their work better connect with them regularly and establish a comfort factor with them. Only later do you approach them to share your content on their blog.

So, which approach do you think will work best? No prizes for guessing, that it’s the latter, and this is what Blogger Outreach is all about. By taking the example given above, we can say that Blogger outreach is a concept wherein Y will first identify blogger Z, they will both interact with each other, thus building trust between them, and then getting down to the brass tacks – publishing of content.

Searching For Bloggers

To reach out to bloggers, your first need to find out who they are. Remember, the best bloggers, will never make it easy for you to find them. But come what may, you will need to search for them and connect with them on a one-on-one, personal level. So, here’s what you can do to make your search for relevant bloggers all that simpler:

Review Your Own Site

The first thing you must do is go through your own site for blogger information. Yes, bloggers who are serious about their own site and the fact that they need to play a pro-active role in the business of online publishing, utilize all those ways that will see them making an impression on other bloggers. So, what you need to look for on your site is the comments offered by bloggers. Go through the list of bloggers who have already reached you and offered pertinent comments for your write ups. Who knows, the blogger that you want to reach, has already reached you in advance?

Spend Time at Relevant Forums

You need to do the rounds of specific niche based forums. So what are these niche forums? Say your website/blog is about web designing services; in this case you will need to join a forum that is like a meeting place for website designers. As can be imagined, this is like the club that people with a certain kind of accomplishment or quality frequent. By, becoming part of various discussion threads, where you post queries or answer queries posted by other people, you will be able to identify and start a conversation with reputed bloggers.

Blog Directories

One of easiest and often ignored ways of searching for niche blogs is browsing through reference blog directories. It’s only when you crawl some big time resources heavy directories like BlogCatalog, BlogDash, etc. that you will be able to find the bloggers that you want.

But be warned, as these are directories, you will come across a gazillion blogs, all of them that you would like to approach. But, you need to pick from all these and approach the ones that suit you best. So, it’s a task that is easy, as well as uphill. Just identifying the top influencers in your niche is not enough; this is just one part of the story, the real story starts when you have to pick the ones that you think will be approachable and which will highlight your brand in the best way possible.

Ask the Blue Birdie

Twitter let’s you do so many things and apart from all the micro blogging and social media marketing that it helps accomplish, it also helps you find the link building opportunities that you are searching for.

So, use Twitter search to find out about the blogs that target your niche, by using relevant Hashtags and the keywords related to your niche. This is a great way of finding bloggers, and is something that you can put in motion and wait for the results to come in. You will definitely find bloggers who accept guest posts through Twitter,, so while searching for such blogs, you can use the word ‘guest blogging’, ‘guest blog’ with the required keyword and search for blogs. I have personally used Twitter search to very good results, therefore I recommend the same.

Use Google

If you are searching for something online, you are going to use Google, so why not use this search engine to search for blogs. What’s more, the ‘Google Blog Search’, makes your job fairly simpler. Just type in the relevant keyword, in the search box, and click on search; you will be given a huge list of results, which include links to blogs that have posted content related to the keyword.

The tough part begins once you have been presented with the list options and you have to sift through them. There is no easy way to do this. You need to go to the blog link of your choice, and check whether the blog is really worth it.

Guest Blogging Resources

There are plenty other sources available through which you can find and reach out to bloggers such as Copy for Bylines, Guest Blog It, My Blog Guest, Guest Blogging Websites, Fizz Niche, Blogger Link Up, PostJoint, and more.

Leveraging ‘Blogger Outreach’ Potential to its Fullest

Searching for and identifying the blog that you want to target is just the beginning of a long process. The next part is how do you approach the blogger and over time improve your chances of getting your post published on their blogs. How do you optimize the full potential of blogger outreach, this is the essential question?

Here are a few answers…

Pick the Right Tools of the Trade

Blogger outreach is a process, and each process has tools. You will need to make optimum use of these tools for the successful completion of this process.

The first tool of the trade is your eyesight or shall we say your eyes. You will need to make use of them, to scour blogs, to find contact information and look for signs of quality. Your eyes should scan over the blog content, comments, user feedback, design and any other parameter that you think is essential to determine the quality of the blog.

Automated tools are something else you can use efficiently to get in touch with bloggers, especially those bloggers who have not made their contact information available on their site. So, start learning how to use sites like Jigsaw, People Search Engines (123people.com, Pipl.com etc) and WhoIs searches to search of contact data.

Of course, these are not the only tools that you can use to search for the information that you need, there are plenty more available out there. Pick the one that suits your needs and requirements best.

Flatter Them

Good old fashioned flattery works the best, when you are initiating first contact with bloggers. Yes, but you must be careful about the way you go about doing this. Sending emails is not going to do the trick. Why not use, social media platforms like Twitter and Facebook to compliment the blogger. This means you can get your “compliment” across quickly, with surety, and in as few words as possible.

One of the better ways of “flattering” a blogger is using Twitter. Follow them on Twitter and write a few nice words for their blog post, overall design of the blog, their knowledge etc, continue doing this over time. Let it not be a one off thing. Give it a few weeks, and then go to level two.

Engagement

Discussion is a must. If you have a certain view point, opinion, break out idea etc. about a particular niche, discuss it with the blogger. Get a discussion happening between you and the blogger, the kind of discussion where the blogger realizes that you have pretty sound knowledge about the niche, yourself. It’s not necessary to always appreciate what the blogger has to say, you can be critical of what he/she is saying or you could even add your two cents to it.

Get a foot inside the door, with flattery, but the next part is talking to the blogger as an equal. A deferential approach at communication will only get you so far.

Social Media, Social Media, Social Media

Why did I mention this three times… A) I love it….B) that’s were all the action is happening. I know, you must have gone through plenty of great guest blogs, but were unable to find the personal contact email ID of the blogger, and are disappointed. I was too, until I realized these guys (authority blogger) must also have a presence on social media, for e.g. a Twitter and Facebook ID/Account.

If you don’t find their contact details on their sites, do the next best thing; hunt for social media badges, or profile links on their sites. More often than not, you will find these easily. It’s not too difficult to search of the social media profiles of your target bloggers. A simple “twitter+name of the blogger” can give you information about their twitter account.

Identify Small Fish

Remember, even if you identify some of the biggest and most reputed bloggers plying their trade on the World Wide Web, the chances of them publishing your content are slim, especially if you are a newbie in the field. After all, they have a reputation to maintain. In such cases, what you can do is, you could go through their blog to identify smaller bloggers, who are reputed, but approachable. Once you form a connection with them, you can leverage it, to approach the big fish that you had not reached out to, earlier.

Give the Blogger, What they Need

It’s imperative that your guest post idea must be conceptualized around the bloggers needs and requirements. So, how do you find what is it that he/she needs or more specifically something that he/she will appreciate and what the blogger won’t be able to say no to.

Go through the blog posts already on their site, and identify those posts that have attracted the maximum number of comments, shares, tweets etc. Ideate accordingly, and approach them with a blog post idea that is very close to what has worked for them in the past. Your chances of being refused go down big time!

To Conclude

Nothing gives me more satisfaction than my post being accepted by a reputed blogger. But, what is more satisfying is the fact that I know the blogger at a professional level and we have built a relationship that goes way beyond just accepting guest posts from each others. After all, internet marketing is not just about link building is it? It is about networking, it’s about building trust, and it’s about building a relationship that lasts even after a particular blog site, has outlived its usefulness for you.





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Comments

  1. says

    One of the best ways of building a mutually-beneficial relationship with other bloggers, is over social media. Use Twitter, G+ and LinkedIn to connect with these people. And spend some time building linkages and relationships with them. For instance I follow a lot of people within my niche on Twitter, and that has given me direct access to these people. Approach them for a guest post when you have built a certain amount of reputation and credibility for yourself. And then of course, give it your best shot!
    Mike Dawson just posted Pointers for Choosing a Good Domain Name (and Where to Register One)

  2. says

    Hi there, Pratik:

    Thanks for the list of ideas on blog networking. There’s one other technique we’ve used internally which is to leverage complimentary service offerings between yourself and other bloggers. For instance, we develop WordPress websites and have customized the blogs of many of our customers. There are a lot of bloggers out there who don’t possess the development knowledge to do some of the nifty stuff they’d like to do to the layouts of their blogs. Offering to build a custom sidebar or some other small task will often times get you the opportunity to submit a guest post or get on a semi-permanent blogroll.

    Just an idea…
    David Hitt just posted Microdata For Internet Marketing? Yes, Probably…

    • says

      This is a great idea David, thanks for sharing it.

      I think this can be called a kind of relationship building and yes I believe that this practice must be working great for you. I should try something similar to this in future.

  3. says

    Hi Pratik

    One of the easiest method to build relationship with reputed bloggers in your niche is to become an active commentator on their blogs and also start follow them on G+, twitter & make a friend with them on FB.

    As soon you’ll make a good relationship with them, the chances are higher that they will easily accept your guest post & will also help you to promote your blog by sharing your content.
    Tauseef Alam just posted Now Pre Order Samsung Galaxy Note 2 N 7100 at a Price £546

    • says

      I agree Tauseef and I think that’s what most active bloggers and people in the community do to build a great relationship and take the advantage of it.

      I hope you liked the post :)

  4. says

    Just last week, I had several blog friends reach out to me for “favors” that otherwise wouldn’t have happened had we not connected previously on various platforms.

    My blog owner platform connections of choice include: forums, blogs, Twitter and Facebook. When you join these and start to reach out to others, there’s lots that you can benefit from. Everything from social media shares to book reviews and more.

    Great article, Pratik. Thanks for spreading the gospel of blogger outreach.
    Missy just posted How To Guest Post As A Newbie

    • says

      Hey Missy, I’m glad you liked the article and thanks for sharing your thoughts. I really appreciate it.

      All the platforms have their unique stand and value when it comes to users and response rate, sometimes one works and sometimes it doesn’t. We shall keep on trying various things to get in touch with the bloggers and keep building the relationship with them.
      Pratik Dholakiya just posted Best Resources on the Web to Learn SEO

  5. says

    Dear Pratik,

    This is a great post with exhaustive useful ideas. Anyone who is new to the concept of Blogger outreach can get a fair amount of idea of its importance. Achieving this objective may be difficult but not impossible. You need to build a good reader base and relationship with your readers.

    Regards,
    Sanjib
    Sanjib just posted Top 10 Weird but Great Wedding Venues

  6. says

    Great post. Covers a lot of ground. The whole “finding the right bloggers” exercise is currently way too difficult, but we are aiming to help with that. Plus, I’m glad you finished by saying that it is not just about link-building – yes, the SEO element might be a key objective, but the potential to engage online influencers for them to become brand advocates might be an even bigger win.
    Hugh Anderson just posted Online Influence – social media revelations in South Wales

    • says

      Absolutely agree with you Hugh,

      It always makes a different when you do the things differently than others. And if we’ll continue thinking only link building then it might happen that knowing other important things in SEO might be left. I try to mention this as many places as possible to not think that it’s not just about link building.

      I really appreciate your time and commenting here. Let me know if I can be of any help for you.
      Pratik Dholakiya just posted Best Resources on the Web to Learn SEO

  7. says

    Hi Pratik,

    your article is full of useful practical advice and it also conveys the spirit that someone needs to have when trying to reach other bloggers. May I suggest a tool that I have started to use (Zemanta) that allows you to find similar articles to what you write? You can link to their articles as reference and they can link back to you however another benefit is that it becomes easier to identify writers and bloggers that talk about the same keywords and issues, it can be helpful as it works in a very specific way (better than Google in that respect I guess)
    George just posted Architecture and home design | Invisible and visible design



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