In this blogger outreach case study I’ll give you the best example of content promotion by using the simplest strategy.
1. Because it is the best way to reach out to your target audience
2. Because it is the best strategy to search for new friends
3. Because this strategy can be used quickly and for free
4. Because you can get hundreds of thousands of shares on social media
5. Because you can get dozens of backlinks
6. Because the number of comments will skyrocket
7. Because you can get new customers in this way
8. Because this is the best way to guest posting opportunities
9. Because you can make friends with the influencers
10. Because you will be able to enhance your brand with blogger outreach campaigns
11. Because blogger outreach is available for beginners
Bonus: Download the detailed step-by-step plan on how to obtain hundreds of shares, comments and backlinks, and examples of email templates to get in touch with bloggers and influencers. [+GET THIS MONSTER POST AS A PDF]
TABLE OF CONTENTS
What is Blogger Outreach?
Blogger Outreach is one of the fast techniques of a content marketing strategy aimed at getting more reach, brand awareness, increasing engagement in the form of comments, social shares, new backlinks. Most often used to promote blog posts or products through guest posting.
The essence of the outreach process is to find relevant bloggers, make friends with them, and then send an email. Works great for both B2B and B2C, so it is often used in influencer marketing and white hat SEO.
Answer my question honestly:
Who do you need most of all?
I will answer the question for you:
Whether you run your own business, engage in blogging or are simply a good person.
Everybody needs friends.
Our task is to find them.
Build relationships and help one another, and then we are completely happy. We’ve made it big.
We have our personal friends, clients, and acquaintances. That’s what our life is made of – it’s all about socializing and making new acquaintances.
So, how does one go about finding friends and potential clients?
People who will share your content, place links to you, comment and buy your products or services?
Many experts will tell you that you can attract these people through inbound marketing, content marketing and social media.
But it is not that simple. After all, these are huge areas. It will take you ages to study them. Even if you are an excellent marketing specialist, you still need experience to truly excel.
- What if I tell you that I’ve found an amazing technique to attract new users?
- That now your content promotion strategy has acquired a new meaning?
- That from now on, you will be attracting the very best target audience?
- That each of your new articles will receive hundreds of shares and dozens of comments
- That you will find new friends?
Note: I am asking you to read this case study in full. Stop for 10 minutes, and learn a new way to go about promoting your content. If you’ve only got 10 seconds, then take a look at the statistics of your results after you’ve applied this technique. Take a look at the infographics and see for yourself. I’m 100% sure that you will share this blogger outreach case study with your friends!
This information will be useful to everyone, and I mean everyone. It will be useful for bloggers, for the owners of small and large businesses and even for ordinary people who have little to do with blogging and business. (Read about how I met my girlfriend by using this technique!)
People have just one problem. Loneliness.
However, we still feel lonely.
Even in the heyday of social media.
Frankly, I used to feel lonely quite often.
When I was a child, I used to dream of being alone and no longer sharing a room with my mom and my sister. I craved to live alone.
I used to think that I didn’t need anyone, and that other people only distracted me from learning and becoming a professional in my field.
But then everything changed.
My mother died, and then my child died. I was left alone.
I got my wish. And it was terrible.
There’s nothing worse in life than losing your loved ones and being alone.
I’m drawing this parallel so that you understand my next thought.
Just like you, I think, I got engrossed in my work. What else would I do if not work? I got good results; I made achievements and succeeded, but I wasn’t happy.
It was time to change something. I started this blog hoping to find a new life, including new friends who would share my views and support me.
There’s only one thing left: I have to find all those people…
For a long time, I’ve been working and thinking about which sources of traffic I should use.
What techniques should I apply to attract users?
Without any links and authority. Without a regular audience and subscribers.
I chose a highly competitive sphere of online marketing, but I love it nonetheless.
I know SEO.
I want to do something that makes me happy, in spite of any difficulties.
Reading the blogs of my favorite experts (think Robbie Richards, Ramsay Taplin, Brian Dean, Bryan Harris, and Neil Patel), I spent a great deal of time reading the comments to their articles. I found quite a few tips in those comments that were more useful than the articles themselves. Yes, there were hundreds of comments, but I enjoyed reading them.
I was under the impression that I should reach out to those people. After all, we are all bloggers, employees and business owners.
It DAWNED on me!
They are the people I need. The very people who leave those comments. The ones who ask questions and express their gratitude for an excellent article. We are absolutely the same, and I have my own experience that I want to share with them. You only have to reach out to these people to find the quickest way to get in touch.
That’s how I first got acquainted with such a topic as blogger outreach. But what does that mean?
But there was just one problem!
The main problem of using blogger outreach campaigns:
There are plenty of good articles on how to use this method, but you will find the same information in all of them:
1. Find people who are interested in your content
- who shared similar information on social media (Buzzsumo)
- who placed backlinks to these resources (Ahrefs / Semrush)
2. Sort and study your results
- find their contact information via Twitter (website, email)
- determine indices of their authority (number of followers, Domain authority)
3. Carry out preparatory work in order to get noticed
- leave helpful comments
- share articles on your social accounts
- link out to influencers
4. Contact these relevant bloggers
- via email, using templates
- through social media
- through special tools (Ninja Outreach, Buzzstream, etc.)
The most important thing is that in all of these articles, you will be advised to contact influencers by asking for a guest posting opportunity or a share on social media. Yes, influencers can really boost the popularity of your blog.
This is probably a conspiracy. 🙂
First of all, to make full use of all these tools, you need to pay XXX dollars each month.
Second, thousands of marketers use these best practices nowadays.
Third, this strategy is not suitable for beginners or ordinary bloggers.
Fourth, I want to get in touch with all the people who are interested in what I’m writing about.
This is where my technique comes into play!
A simple, but very effective BFF Commenter Technique!
Yes, by deciphering it, you get the best friend of a commenter.
Why is that, do you ask?
Because after following the steps of this technique, you will get an engaged audience in a very efficient way.
And who, if not our friends, are interested in us? Who will always support us?
Now I will show you the steps you should take to get ahead.
Case Study: The Step-By-Step Process to the BFF Commenter Technique
Step 1. Define a blog post that you want to promote.
You realize, of course, that your article should be unusual, interesting and useful from the very start.
You can choose any of your previously written articles that you know – based on Google Analytics – are worthwhile and interesting for your readers.
So, you’ve done it. You’ve created your masterpiece. (If you’ve put a lot of work into it, the final product is a masterpiece, and so many people will appreciate it.)
Now you will have to become an analyst for a couple of minutes.
Step 2. Start with the blogs you read the most.
There is no need to seek out too many blogs, since two or three will be enough to start. If you are fulfilling the order on somebody’s promotion and you are not familiar enough with the topic, make the first Google search results on your keyword your goal.
Just choose articles that people are interested in – the ones that are discussed, with comments where people share useful information.
Our goal is to find articles with the greatest number of comments.
As soon as we’ve found them, we’ll proceed to the next step.
Step 3. Use the Scrape Similar tool capabilities.
Set up the Scrape Similar tool. It has a million capabilities, but since I am a novice Scraper user, I recommend that you take advantage of just one of its features.
- Go to the section with the comments on the page
- Highlight the name of the commenter
- Open the context menu by right-clicking and selecting Scrape Similar
- Save the results on Google Docs or copy them to your clipboard
- Wait for 1 second and enjoy the results
You will get a table with the name, last name and blog URL or website of the commenter.
Note: I’m sorry, but this hack will not work with comments on Disqus. However, you can always find the owner’s domain manually by going to his Disqus profile.
Step 4. Find the contact email address at all costs
Next, your goal is to find the email. We all want to get the email addresses of our subscribers, and this blogger outreach technique is no exception.
I tried a lot of tools – more than 30 of them to conduct email searches. But for myself, I chose the following ways:
- Contact email search on the blog / website
- Newsletter subscription, if applicable
- Email Hunter
- Sell Hack
- WhoIs data
- Contact form
- How to Find Someone’s Email Address (Step-by-Step Guide)
- How to Find Any Email Address: The Complete List of Tactics
These tools all have free versions as well, which should be good enough if you don’t plan on receiving users’ emails addresses on a massive scale.
Once you’ve found the email address, plug it into the table you created previously. (I prefer to use Google Docs.)
Step 5. Build a relationship with a blogger just like you would with your beloved girlfriend or boyfriend
Since you now know the sites of your future BFF commenters, you should subscribe to their social accounts, which you use yourself.
You shouldn’t click the “like” button and share information from the accounts you don’t use.
When looking for a contact email on the blog / website, I personally load Twitter immediately and follow the contact. (I love Twitter, and I am the most active there, but there are other options available too.)
Then I recommend that you see what tweets there are on his or her account. If there is something you find interesting, retweet it or comment right away.
If you’ve noticed a useful article on the person’s blog, then share it with your subscribers.
Note: Try to mention the author of the article in your tweets and in your shares on Facebook, Google + or LinkedIn. Save the link to the article you shared in Google Docs so that you can use it in the email template.
Choose the social network where you are the most active, and where you have the most subscribers. Start your work by making a social love donation to your potential friend.
Try to be creative. Since I don’t have a very good imagination, I decided to insert emoji icons and specify the time required to read the article.
I am sure that you will be more successful in your attempt to draw attention to your personality.
Leave comments to others’ articles, but only to the ones that you really like.
You can start sending short emails with questions or expressions of gratitude right away.
I wrote a short letter to Robbie Richards, which helped me a lot.
I thought he was an affiliate partner of many tools and programs, so I was convinced that he would reply and tell me which program to choose in order to get subscribers. I asked him what people needed to focus on when they start a new blog.
Robbie replied and recommended trying Thrive Leads. Of course, I used the affiliate link from this letter and bought this wonderful plugin!
Preparatory work is crucial, since the results of your future target letter depend on it. Take a creative approach to prep work, and you’ll be good to go.
For example, take a photo with something that relates to your blogger.
You can then send a tweet or a personal email with this funny image. I noticed that personal stories generate the greatest response, since they can make people smile or even cry. Don’t forget that we are all made of flesh and blood, and we rely on our emotions.
The main purpose of this stage is to do something for another blogger.
Of course, the more serious and influential the blogger is, the more of an effort you should make.
For example, I analyzed the blogs of TOP 5 experts to find out their best SEO tricks. Then I told them what mistakes I found.
Also, if you notice that something is not working properly on your target commenter’s site, then send him or her a short email (subject line: You have a small bug.)
Like this one, for instance:
Try to cajole your target by all means. Everyone likes being taken care of, and we all feel good when people do things for us.
Note: If it so happens that you and your new friend don’t have many common interests (this is often the case), don’t cast this technique aside. The BFF Commenter technique still works, and you should at least subscribe to the person. You will be more likely to understand his or her interests in the future, which will give you a chance to schedule a chat after they respond to your email.
Step 6. Reach out to bloggers as gently as possible
Here comes the fun part.
The less popular the person is, the fewer emails he receives each day. According to recent studies, the average person in the United States gets about 121 emails per day!
That’s a lot.
Personally, I receive about 80 emails a day.
Still, even this number is too much for me. These emails are mainly automated messages from the newsletters I’ve subscribed to, and they keep me posted on all the wonderful new articles popping up on the web.
And I am always so eager to read them. 🙂
It’s getting harder every day, though, and sometimes it takes me 3-4 hours just to read a few different articles. But I gain experience, and I learn. As such, it’s necessary that I read as much as possible, especially since I’m always so stoked on the articles that appear in my inbox.
Just imagine that the person (yes, he or she is also a person!) you are sending your email to is the same as you.
He gets a lot of emails, he works hard and he loves his family and friends.
What email would you open?
Then follow the link, leave a comment, send a reply email and share the article on social media.
What kind of email should it be?
It should be an ordinary email. The simpler, the better.
Most importantly, it should be a targeted email. But since you only send your emails to people who are interested in your topic, the result will be almost 100%.
(Pay attention to my simple subject line.)
With your blogger outreach campaigns, focus on amicable footing from the very start. Just like you would recommend that your friends try something new, you should do the same for your potential new friends..
Send him or her an email on a topic of interest to them; make sure it’s a topic that this person has acknowledged in comments. (In other words, that the topic truly is of interest to them.) When something is really interesting to a person, they’ll crave answers. And you can advise your new friend on how to get those answers.
There are many different tips on how to send cold emails, or pre-outreach emails. If you have a lot of time, of course, dedicate it to perfecting these skills.
But if you hardly have any free time (like me), and you do everything yourself, then focus on writing great articles, doing SEO (use this Semrush 14-day free trial guide to get love from readers and Google), promoting your content and so on. Then you’ll be really busy.
And you shouldn’t get worked up over this; just send an outreach email immediately.
An outreach email template for the BFF Commenters Technique
- indicate something simple in the subject line (e.g., Quick question [your topic])
- briefly tell the other person about yourself
- remind the other person of what you have already done (e.g., left comments, bought his or her product, shared his or her article on Twitter)
- extend your friendship (we all react very positively when people suggests becoming friends)
- share what you’ve done with the other person as your friend (that you’ve written a terrific monster article on the topic xxx)
- you can ask to give your article a bit of social love right away (depending on what kind of relationship you’ve already established)
- add something personal
For example, here is my personal blogger outreach email template:
It will probably seem a little childish and naïve to most experts. But since I am a bit naïve, and since I still have a lot in common with children (I’m only 32 years old), I followed this template.
Step 7. Boom! You’ve got new friends…all because of blogger outreach
You can’t even imagine how happy I was when I received these emails. Trust me, I was jumping up and down for joy!
After all, it was the first time I’d ever sent cold emails. I had just started my own blog, and I had no blogging experience at all.
It is always scary – doing something for the first time, I mean.
What if people say that your article is terrible and stupid? What if they condemn you?
But what if it could get even better?
My blog traffic started growing after I sent that first email.
In the online marketing niche, these are great results for the very first article of a beginner blogger.
Thanks to all my new friends:
Sam Hurley | Robbie Richards | Ramsay Taplin | Ray Hiltz | Greg Strandberg | Anant Patel | Travis Levell | Raul Tiru | Nick Rink | Michael Karp | Massimo Chieruzzi | Shae Baxter | Joep van der Poel | Frank Ouyang | Naveen Kulkarni | Maria Geronico | Andrii Buvailo | Wess Stewart | Julian Sakanee | Ram Babu | Sachin Bisaani | Tim Soulo | Lilia Tovbin | Devesh Khanal | Cody Lister | Danny Veiga | Dimitar Margaritov | Richard Hale | Kosio Angelov | Priya Florence Shah | Deepak Jha | Kris Smith | Emil Shour | Jeric Cantil | Christian Sculthorp | Asim Mughal | Cyrus Yung | David Attard | Anthony Tourville | Ana Hoffman | Benjamin Ustick | Scott Sery | Andrew Hammer | Bill Achola | David Sawyer | Clement Lim | Glen Fisher | Brian Dean | Tim Fehraydinov | Sutopo Sasuke | Matt G Davison | Rimantas Petrauskas | Will Blunt | Tom Hunt | Kamal Bennani | David Leonhardt | Ricky Figueroa | Fatal Jay | Vladimir Gendelman
Thank you for supporting me, for becoming my followers and for sharing your kind words.
Now I’m not alone.
Now I have you, my readers.
I will always go the extra mile for you and share useful information and experience. You can always count on me. Feel free to send me your articles, and I will share them with my subscribers. Given the chance, I’ll place a link too.
Note: Don’t forget to reply to your new friends’ emails and questions! Express your gratitude if they do something for you. Try to keep track of their updates and help them in the future, because best friends can be asked more than once. 😉
The list of necessary tools:
I sent only about 25 of these emails a day. Searching for 25 contact emails took me about 2-3 hours.
At the same time, I used the tool from Ninja Outreach (I really liked Dave Schneider’s approach to his business and customers), which I bought for its email template and analytics features (specifically for email opening and clicks). At the beginning I just sent them manually, using Gmail.
I used Sidekick and Bananatag to track my email opening. Altogether, I sent 275 emails over the course of my outreach campaign.
However, there was a fly in the ointment. In other words, I got 1 negative review.
Of all the emails I sent, every recipient was happy that I shared my article with him or her, and that I offered my friendship.
But! There was one person who reacted negatively to my email.
At first I got really upset, and I spent a couple of days thinking and worrying about it. (Well, what else could I have done? I’m pretty sensitive.)
Then I came across the following quote:
Whether or not to get acquainted with strangers in this way is a subject that can be discussed for a very long time. Personally, I think that you should always take this first step, because you never know what lies ahead.
To reveal the unique possibilities of blogger outreach in more detail, my talented friend, Artem, came to my rescue and shared with you his professional opinion.
Read carefully his insights on how you can to build some solid links.
The best way to build links
If you are looking for bloggers to promote your product or just get them to write about you, then Michael’s path is just about the best there is:
-1- Go out there
-2- Make friends
-3- Give what you want to get
-4- Rinse and repeat
Having said this, if you are looking to build links to your website…or I should better say, build links to some amazingly awesome piece of content that you created for your audience, then blogger outreach comes in super handy.
My name is Artem and I run white hat link building service – Linkshero.
Full disclosure. I build links using 100% white techniques, which means that I never pay for links (there are tons of bloggers that sell “native” dofollow link placements…assholes).
So, once I have an amazing piece of content I can reach out to bloggers that:
- Have resource pages
- Do link roundups
- Are competitors
- Accept guest posts
So, in link building universe, these are the core blogger outreach strategies.
Each of these methods has an estimated success rate, which allows us to estimate the amount of work required in advance.
Let’s talk about of each of these in details, eh?
1: Resource Pages
To a link builder, these are static pages with useful links that webmasters put together in order to show their audiences more useful targeted content.
Obviously, not all websites have these pages which means that we have a limited number of websites to get in touch with for every piece of content that we create.
I would find those using “keyword inurl:links” search operator, record them in my Google spreadsheet, find their contact details…
Well, 5% is quite good with 10% being amazing (but still realistic).
It means that for every 100 people you get in touch with, you get approximately 5-10 links to your piece.
I would talk about the time necessary to pull it off at the very end. Keep skimming!! 😀
2: Link Roundups
These guys are quite similar to resource pages with one major difference – they are time-sensitive.
In other words, link roundups are the best entries which a given webmaster collects over a certain period of time (e.g. weekly, monthly, every Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday…).
They would sound like this “Link Roundup: Best Posts on PPC (August)”.
The main advantage here is that people are actively looking for links to post, so your job is very simple – produce an extraordinary piece of content and then pitch it to the webmaster.
Conversion rates here are a lot higher (talking of 50%), but you need to be a looooooot more granular with your pitch (i.e. it should be a lot more personalized and do not…do NOT try to get them to link to you – go for a soft sell instead).
Here is a very important caveat.
In my personal link building universe, competitors are not just your direct competitors (and Google 😉 ), but rather any website that has a similar to your piece of content with a lot of inbound links (more than 20 referring domains in my book).
Given that your piece is 10x better than all of the other ones put together, all you need is just an email which would let all those people know that there is a far better piece of content that they totally need to link to.
Conversion rates here are fairly similar to those of resource pages, so with 5-10%, you are doing pretty good.
4: Guest Posts
Last but not least blogger outreach strategy – guest posts.
There is a looooot of noise about guest posts and it being an overused link building strategy…
It’s true – there is a lot going on, but the fact is – they work.
Finding guest posts is quite easy, but there are 2 ways of doing it.
Way 1: Look for “keyword guest post” on Google.
Where “keyword” is your site’s theme.
You will find a ton of guest posts that are relevant to you.
Example: “ppc guest post”, “productivity guest post” etc.
There are 2 problems associated with this method:
- Problem 1 – Everyone does that.
- Problem 2 – Quite a few bloggers (depending on the niche) are asking for money (which is a no-no for truly white hat outreach).
Way 2: Pitch GPs to the ones you have established a relationship with.
And this is when the 2nd way comes in and solves the 2 problems.
Here you don’t rely on their websites publicly stating that they accept guest posts, but rather on the relationship you built with them via commenting, email exchange etc.
This is essentially the foundation of Michael’s BFF method.
I recommend it with all my heart and passion for you to succeed in the long-run (as it’s actually what matters).
How Much Time Does It Take?
A couple of smart people here and there said that you should spend 20% of your time on creating something and 80% on promoting it.
This is very true, but…and this is important…you don’t count it like this:
“Right, I have 10 hours this week, so I will put together a mushroom picking guide in 2 hours and then spend 8 hours on promoting it”.
What’s wrong with it?
The time you put for content creation.
It’s highly likely that you will not make something extraordinary in only 2 hours for it to make sense to be promoted…
Something solid takes around 20 hours to create…often – a lot more.
So here is how you count the thing.
If you have 10 hours this week, you spend all of them for creating that killer piece.
Next week – 10 more.
So in 2 weeks times, you have something truly amazing.
Now you are ready for promotion!
You spent 20 hours on creating this “beast”, which means you now need to spend 80 hours on promoting it – this is how this 20-80 formula actually works.
At your current capacity of 10 hours per week, this will take you 8 more weeks.
I know, it sounds crazy because it’s reaaaaaaally time-consuming at the start, but, trust me, this is the hardest one for you to conquer.
By the end of the outreach cycle, you would have established relationships with a lot of people in your niche.
Sometimes you can even get some business out of that right away – it’s crazy, but it happens quite frequently (I just had my client invited for an interview because of the outreach that I did for them).
Ok, now you have 80 hours for promotion.
What do you do with those?
For every remarkable piece of content that we promote at Linkshero, I have a set procedure to follow.
- First, find all the relevant resource pages.
- Second, find all the relevant “competitor” articles with a minimum number of RDs (e.g. 20+).
- Third, find all the relevant link roundup opportunities.
Keep in mind that a typical hourly output is 10-15 prequalified leads (that includes everything recorded in your link building spreadsheet, including their contact details).
You can increase the average output if you use those contact finding tools that Michael recommended in this post (personally, I have a team of VAs doing that manually).
So if you spend 40 hours, you would find, at least, 400 leads.
Next thing is email writing, reply management and all those other things involved in the ungrateful process of dealing with people! 😀
Link builders primarily use templates that are personalized to a certain degree but allow some sort of scalability.
Some tools can also help you with the outreach including Pitchbox (this is what big boys use), Mailshake, Buzzstream (this is what…whoever uses that lol).
I’m not going to go into detail here, but using tools will pay off in immense time savings even if you were to write every single email from scratch.
All of the tools that I mentioned above have this feature. This is how they can save you a ton of time.
Following up with people is incredibly useful for actually getting their response.
For our blogger outreach campaigns we easily follow up 2 times…sometimes 3.
Unlike your initial message, follow-ups can be quite generic in nature – a simple, friendly bump a few days after you sent your first email can (and will) go along way.
Following up dramatically increases your response rate, and you feel that even more with massive campaigns like that.
There are many other technicalities in this subject, so I am merely scratching the surface here, but I hope that I was able to show you the “link builder’s perspective” on blogger outreach.
Need more proof on how the blogger outreach strategy really works to get you backlinks? I highly recommend to check out this case study: How We Acquired 150+ High Authority Backlinks in 8 Months with Our Ultimate Blogger Outreach Strategy.
And now, let me share a very personal … my love story with you. (I’ll be brief, I promise!)
A very personal story of my love, or of how I met my girlfriend with the help of 1 simple hack.
Just over a year ago, I read an article about travelers. This article was written on behalf of a lovely, sweet girl who gave up her high-paying job to follow her dream: to travel.
I liked her photos, her comments and replied to her article on a frequent basis.
Then I went to her personal blog and left a useful comment there (an SEO tip, if you must know).
A conversation sprang up. She added me as a friend on Facebook, so I messaged her there.
At first, I just gave her professional advice, but then we started growing closer to each other. I was constantly surprised by how amazing she was, and by how easily we understand each other.
One day, she arrived in the city where I was living at the time.
I couldn’t shake the feeling that she probably wouldn’t like me, and that she would turn down my offer to meet in person.
BUT I suggested meeting, and to my surprise, she agreed to set something up that same day.
A month later, I was traveling with her, leaving my work and business behind so we could explore a wonderful country together.
And just like that, a simple message – an email to a stranger – completely changed my life.
Conclusion From This Outreach Case Study
A year later, the same BFF Commenter outreach technique helped me make friends with you, my beloved readers!
Have you experienced similar things in your lives?
Have you ever tried blogger / influencer outreach services or programs?
I also want to add that we should not be afraid!
Move forward, make mistakes and contact new people and bloggers.
Make friends and fall in love! People are much kinder and much more sympathetic than we think. We are all the same – we are all human.
I offer my help to all my new visitors. If you have any questions about this strategy, from promoting your articles to any other SEO-related questions, become my subscriber and, most importantly, my FRIEND!
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