3 Different Types Of Outreach or Networking Posts You Can Do Today
I've long mentioned that I would write a guide on outreach, and I've long delayed doing it because I couldn't decide where to start.
Everybody has a different understanding of the word "outreach", and everybody's site is at a different stage. Therefore, I decided to just make some shorter blog posts as a more digestible version of the guide. This is the first one!
What Is Outreach
I use the term outreach assuming everybody knows what it is, but clearly you don't all know.
Essentially, "outreach" is the act of connecting with other bloggers in your niche. It's called outreach because you are reaching out to them.
Here's a quick (hypothetical) example:
You run a blog about puppy training. You've got some good content on there, but nobody is really reading it. You contact some other blog owners who blog about dog training. It could be exactly the same as you (puppies), or it could be similar. Hey maybe you also contact people who blog about starting a family or buying a first home. Anything relevant really.
We'll go into what you contact them about later, for now, just know that the example above is outreach.
Because the internet is built on connections, not lone-blogging. You want more comments? Outreach leads to organic comments. You want more social shares? Outreach leads to this. You want more traffic? Outreach gets you traffic. You want more authority? Outreach gets you links from the top bloggers in your space. You want better search rankings? All of the above leads to that.
Speaking from personal experience, referral traffic (traffic from other websites), is my highest converting traffic source. A lot of people come to my site and buy something purely because I was recommended by another blogger.
Not only that, but every day in Facebook groups, people ask a question about a site or service, and somebody refers me. I see others get referred for relevant questions as well. Why? Because people have seen others doing the same, so they follow suit.
You only need 3 or 4 good bloggers in your niche to mention your site, and others will start doing the same. If I was looking for the top bloggers in my niche to follow, and I saw one blogger mention "Dave from blabla.com" and another blogger mention him too, I'm going to think Dave from blabla.com is a mighty fine guy, and I'm going to start mentioning him as well. This demonstrates that I know what I'm talking about, because I'm aware of Dave from blabla.com.
Again, from personal experience the proof is that for most of 2014 I had to hustle to get outreach going. I would message people and link to them and try hard to get their attention (but not too hard).
Now in 2016, people are messaging me. I haven't done a guest post since late 2015 but I still get links and shares from new sites every couple of weeks. I get people in my inbox wanted to feature me in an interview every few weeks as well. This is the result of the outreach I did in 2014.
So let's take a look at 3 different types of post that you can write today, in order to start your own outreach efforts.
1.) The Top Bloggers Or Blogposts In X Niche
Ever seen one of those posts where people say "The top 50 bloggers in the (whatever) niche" ?
These are the easiest thing to write about. Find 10-20 blogs in your niche that you really respect, put out good content, and ideally, have a lot of twitter followers.
Create a list of them in a blog post, and write a description about each site. A few lines is enough.
Note: You don't need to ask their permission to mention them. You're doing them a favor by linking to them and giving them social proof.
Note: You can also just do a roundup of the top posts on a certain subject as well. This means you can do one every month. Like "The top posts on Internet Marketing in July"
Don't forget the top podcasts as well!
After you've published the list, follow them on twitter, and send them an email like so:
I've been a follower for a long time, but this is my first time getting in touch. I just wanted to let you know that I created a post on my own site listing the top bloggers in our niche. You made the list!
The post is here: (insert link).
It'd be great if you could check it out and share it with your followers. I'm sure they'd love to read the list too.
Also, let me know if there's someone else you think I should include!
Thanks, keep doing what you do.
Wait for the twitter shares to come in and some new relationships to grow. Not all of them will respond or share your post, but some of them will, and maybe even 1 or 2 will remember you when they write a similar post of their own.
This type of post is also called "ego-bait", because you're playing to their ego. If someone mentioned you and called you a top blogger, would you tweet it out? You know you would.
2.) The Expert Roundup
These are ridiculously popular in the Internet Marketing niche right now (I appear in 1-2 per month), but not so popular in other niches.
They take more work to pull-off, but here's the basic idea:
Find a bunch of experts in your niche, but instead of just listing them, ask them all a question. Collate the replies into one post, summarize all the answers at the end, and share it with the experts. Again, ask them to tweet/share your post.
Note: You will need to add a link to the experts website in the section where you include their answer. It's good to include a photo of them too.
Further reading: https://www.quicksprout.com/university/how-to-crea...
3.) Mention People On-The-Fly
When you link to somebody from one of your posts, they will most likely get a pingback on their own blog telling them about it. If they're savvy, they will come check out your blog and thank you for the mention.
I've had quite a few big name bloggers comment on my site as a result of this.
However, if they don't stop by and comment (a lot of them are busy!), feel free to email them and let them know.
Something like this:
Big fan! Just wanted to let you know that I mentioned you/your article in my recent post about (topic) here: (insert link).
I wanted to stop by and let you know about it, and that I appreciate you giving me good content to link to. Keep it up!
By the way, if you like the post, it'd be great if you could share it with your followers. I'm trying to get more word out about my site.
I don't do this every time I mention someone now, but if it's someone I'm mentioning for the first time I might do. I have about 5 bloggers I regularly link to, and some of them link to me regularly too, so there's no need for me to tell them EVERY time I link to them.
However, if it's a new "target", I'll definitely let them know.
Notes On The Above
Here are some additional notes.
1.) The purpose of these posts is to make connections, so avoid promoting anything in the post. The exception is post type 3, where you might be writing a review of something or a "how to" guide, and you mention someone in the post.
2.) You don't need to find a keyword to fit the post, but if you can find one, perfect!
3.) Some of these posts you can recycle again and again, but try to find new people to link to every time. You don't want to harass the same person every week for a share/link.
4.) That said, it's always good to link to someone a couple of times so that they remember you. When you sent the second or third email though, don't use a template, you've already started the relationship previously, so be natural.
5.) Always, always, always ALWAYS use their name. I know it can be tempted to copy and paste the same "Hey there!" message to everybody, but seriously, take the time to read their about page and learn their name. When people message me asking me to link to them or to check out their post, or even review their service, if they don't take the time to use my name, I delete the email. Maybe I'm just fussy, or maybe I think they should demonstrate the curtesy before asking me for something. Either way, use their name!
In another post, I'll talk about some other things you can do with outreach, and how to take relationships to the next level...and how to get more out of it as well.
Leave your questions below, because I'm sure some of this will be over your head and I'll realize I've not explained everything.