We often focus on our own content marketing efforts, but another effective way to build your brand online is through being mentioned on other people’s websites and blogs. But that doesn’t happen on its own: it’s through blogger outreach or collaborations. This is where you get in touch with a blogger who you think you like to write about you and send them your pitch.
The reality is that blogger outreach can be one of the tricker and time consuming digital tactics because a) it really is a 1:1 approach when talking to the blogger, and b) if you’re writing the post, it can take hours to craft it. In terms of payoff, it can take months or years to see results like search ranking improvements. But the benefits add up over time, so it’s useful to consider collaborating with a blogger at least once a year, if not more often!
What’s so great about blogger outreach?
The reason people love blogger outreach is that there are so many benefits to being discussed on other people’s blogs. It places you not only as someone who is influential because you’re on other blogs, but you’re a thought leader, too. Writing on other people’s blogs means you not only get your name across to people who follow the other blog you’re writing on, but you are likely to get the flow-on effects of their social media audience and newsletter audience hearing about you, too.
And, we can’t forget about good old SEO: the more reputable websites which link to your site – including a little bit of social media love – the more Google will see you as a quality site and rank you a little higher.
Why would a blogger write about us?
So, you might be wondering how you’d get a blogger write about you. Excluding the obvious (that you’re amazing), there are plenty of reasons a blogger might write about you or let you write a guest post on their blog – and it’s usually because they are getting something out of the exchange!
You might be saving them time by giving them a completed article, you might be giving them access to you for your expert industry perspective around a topic or breaking news. It might also boost their reputation because it shows that they are active in their community and have access to experts like you, too.
If you have a product or service, you might find a blogger is happy to write about you in exchange for free or discounted sample.
Some rules of thumb when approaching a blogger
What should you keep in mind before emailing your amazing blog post over to your dream blog? Here are my tips…
Research your blogger: Ensure what you’re proposing is the kind of content they will write about. They will become frustrated if you waste their time with a proposal that is nothing like what they write about, or something their audience would be interested in. Some bloggers have ‘guest blogger guidelines’ (mine are here) which might help give guidance on who or what they write about.
Get to know them: engaging with a blogger on social media or in their comments section before approaching them might warm them up to working with you if they recognise your name and you’ve engaged online with them already.
What do they get?: Make it clear what they get out of the exchange: saving time, a high-quality blog post, exclusive access, you will post it to your social following or newsletter? It’s likely they get a lot of requests which only benefit the guest poster (ie. such as a backlink to their site), so this is useful to help you stand out from the crowd. Some bloggers are open to a blog swap – where you each post on each other’s blog to gain access to each other’s audience.
Show them your work: If you’re writing an article for them, show off a sample of your work so they can see you’re skilled and competent writers (they will receive a lot of spam from people who aren’t!). Give them an outline of suggested angles or headlines, or a summary of the article so they can get a better idea of what you might want to write about.
How to find blogs to work with
You might already know great blogs in your industry that you’d like to collaborate with or write a guest post for. See if they take guest posts on their site, or email them to ask.
Alternatively, you could Google your industry keywords (i.e. ‘dogs’) with the phrase ‘submit a guest post’ to see which blogs are open to guest posts.
Thinking outside the box is also worth keeping in mind. You might not find that there is an opportunity for writing on industry blogs, but you might find there is something about your business which can be written about, too: whether you’re a female founder, are a social enterprise or are zero waste. Publications which write about those topics might well love to hear from you.
Perhaps blogging about themes isn’t your bag and you’d prefer to be a source on breaking news. If this is the case, subscribing to a journo source tool like sourcebottle or helpareporter might be a great way to become an expert source in news articles.
How to approach a blogger
When you write a blogger, you need to research them in depth before approaching them. They are unlikely to want to work with you unless it’s a helpful and/or even exchange for both parties.
Over to you
Ready to expand into the world of blogger collaborations? Remember to consider how you can collaborate with the blogger so it’s a win-win for both of you. It can be a lot of effort int he short term, but over time, this work pays off, whether it’s in building your profile as a thought leader, or for SEO.
About Rachel Beaney
Rachel Beaney is an Australian freelance social media specialist with over a decade in digital media. She’s worked with global names like Microsoft, Samsung, News Corp and General Assembly, in addition to not-for-profits and government bodies. She loves helping clients solve their business needs with creative and data-driven solutions. Get in touch today to jump on a free consultation call to find out how Rachel can help you.