Are you sometimes surprised that some blogs come out of nowhere?
Weird thing is that a few months ago you haven’t heard of the blog.
Then out of nowhere it is all over Facebook and Twitter feeds in your niche.
And now this person who owns this blog is the ultimate expert in this subject.
I know it can get annoying.
Worst thing is you know for a fact that your content is much better than the person who owns this blog. And you work so hard promoting your work on these social platform.
What do they know, that you don’t?
How are they able to boost their blog traffic and subscriber numbers, whilst you’re here trying to say hi to your audience but nobody is listening.
So what is it?
Well I’ll tell you, bloggers who make it in the “blogging world” use a method that is old it’s ancient.
In the beginning it will look boring because it is not like a new method or the latest social media network, most of us ignore this approach, even though it leads to a huge growth in your blog.
When a new blog gains popularity in a fast paced manner, there is always something going on behind the scenes.
But not anymore, the secret to gain blog popularity was known to a few, but now I think I should share the secret to help you guys. The method these bloggers use is a method called “blogger outreach” it is quiet straight forward, all you do is put your content directly in-front of the big boys in your niche stead of just posting it on twitter or facebook.
So does that mean emailing bloggers, making them aware that you are alive?
No, it will need planning, but just like anything blogger outreach is a skill that anyone can learn. and when you become a expert at this skills, you will see the fruits of your skill, like these:
Now how do you start the outreach method?
First what you will have to do is make a list of bloggers that you will like to network with.
Create a spreadsheet with a list of influential blogs in your niche. So for every blog, you will have to find out about the blogger behind those blogs, and also their contact details.
Yes I know it sounds stalkerish, but the fact is that you are just implementing a structure to your outreach.
Locating the blogger is easy, all you do is go to the bloggers blog click on the about page. Social media platforms are much more easy to find.
Now this is a difficult part is where you have to get the contact information. Best thing to do is to utilise the blogger’s email address.
Most bloggers who have made it will prefer to use a contact form, but if you cant find that, then try other means like twitter to ask how you are able to get in touch.
The first entries in your lists should be blogs that you visit and refer to. Also don’t be very limited about the blogs you want to include in your spreadsheet, remember this is a raw list we will ripen the list later on.
Do some research add vital blogs, that’s after you have added the obvious ones.
If you want to do good research you need to have the right tools. here is some tools:
This is where you will find a blog in almost every niche, it is a wonderful way to find the blogs that you didn’t know existed.
To find blogs relate to you, all you do is type in the keyword which relates to your blog, make sure you use broad keywords i.e marketing.
When you search a keyword like a cooking, you will that Alltop will recommend a number of topics that you can explore and find potential outreach “clients”.
As you can see from the picture, Alltop will give you some option such as recipes, type of food etc. Once you have picked a category, Alltop will give you blogs in that category.
Now spend a few moments to check out each blog, and then start adding the ones you feel are right for you.
Do not be shy add any blog to your list even if it just a good vibe you get off their influence.
Next is Technorati, is similar to Alltop, what you need to do is go to their homepage and click on the blogs button which is located next to the search field:
Enter the keywords just like you did with Alltop:
Now add again add any blog you find that has potential for your list
This tool takes a different road to find influential blogs. They do things a little bit different, what they do is they search for the influential people behind the blogs you are interested in. After you have made you account, then you would click on twitter bios.
Now type in your desired keyword:
FollowerWonk will give you a list of twitter users whose bios will include your keyword, which then you can easily filter out by number of followers or the level of social authority.
Once you have found a influential user, go through their twitter profile, to find out if they link to- a blog. If so, add them to your lost, lastly make a note of their follower count and social authority score.
The obvious tool why not, Google is a great place to discover influential blogs because if a blog is showing in the Google search engine, then you can bet that this blog has authority in Google. If you can get a link from a blog that is ranking really high in Google, you will start to rank in the Google search engine traffic.
It is best to use keywords that would be fit the topics your blog is about. But don’t use it like the tools stated earlier on you don’t want to use broad keywords like sports or cooking. Google ranks massive authority sites for those type of single word keywords. What you need to be doing is searching for long tail keywords, like fastest footballer instead of sports, you wil get results with theses.
The reality is the not all blogs are made equally, some are big and have a lot of traffic and others have the straight opposite. The popular mistake people making with blogger outreach is using the same means for every blog on their list of influences.
Which make no SENSE at all.
If you want this to work we need to separate our target bloggers into different tiers, and if do this then you can give these influences the respect they need whilst taking a direct approach with every other blogger.
Now how will you identify which bloggers worth your time?
Here what you do, you add three new columns in your spreadsheet these are: comments, Social Authority and Domain Authority.
After this you will now need to fill this up with some data.
Here are a few tips.
Tip #1 Social Authority
It is a smarter social metric which will take in account the influence of followers as appose to th number of followers this is regarding twitter.
Remember FollowerWonk? well use that tool again to find those bloggers you didn’t find, by inserting their username like before handle into the same search twitter bios screen just like before.
Tip #2 Domain Authority
Domain Authority as an SEO individual, but I familiarise myself more with SEO metrics, when i’m observing bloggers. So like Twitter followers, search engines tend to cooperate reach and influence together to give users the best results.
If you want to check a Blog’s authority all you have to do is enter the homepage URL of your desired site and insert it into Open Site Explorer.
I will have the ability to see what’s the level of domain authority “myexamplebymuhin.com” has.
As shown in the image above, it shows the Domain Authority, in a nutshell the more the domain authority the more the influence.
What is a another useful metric is the number of blog comments, because while some big blogs level of influence is nice, it is not necessary, for instance you are able to channel more traffic and exposure from a small blog linking to your blog or website with a passionate following than a more commercialised blog, with very few engagement.
You will be able to identify a good community when you see a high average number comments.
Let talk about social media networks
This all boils down to your desired niche, some bloggers have a good following on Youtube and Pinterest rather than Twitter or facebook. I’ll give you one example Pinterest has a lot of exposure in the food blogosphere, whilst for health and fitness it more usually viewed on youtube.
It is time to divide the our prospects into tiers
I admit it this can be a bit difficult reason being is that you’re looking at so many types of variables at the same time. In my time I have found it easy to sort the list out by Domain Authority reason being it correlates directly with search engine ranking powers and traffic.
If you find a blogs with a lot of comments and twitters follows and low Domain Authority you can move them down or up accordingly.
No that you have done that, you should be able to see which blogs of the lowest influence i.e blogs that have no Domain Authority or little, or blog post interaction or low social media presence these need to be deleted of the list.
I can’t emphasise enough you do not need to be accurate, we are using these metrics just for a guideline. Does not mean we don’t prospect, prospecting is a vital step because it will tell you where to spend more time on and who you can approach with a direct email.
Ok, now you are looking at your list it is all tiered up you can see your targets as clear as day now the fun begins i.e showing your blogger target that you’re alive. The amazing things about this strategy is that when using tiers you can build relationships with tier 1 bloggers and pick the fruits of the tier 1 relationship really quickly as appose to tier 2 and tier 3 blogs.
The strategy is called Tier it up!
Firstly you need to warm up, so start warming up with any tier 1 sites, here are a few ways to gets on their radar:
Tip #1 Content Sharing
This may come surprising to a lot of you but the truth is there are many bloggers regardless of how big or small they are they watch their mentions very very accurately. When you share other bloggers content on a regular basis, they will notice.
Make sure you use “@” for Twitter or “+” Google+ so the bloggers can actually see that you are actually sharing their content.
Also add a simple description to show that you actually read the post, something like “Amazing viewpoint @Agile_Blogger_” is more than enough.
But platforms like Google+ that gives you room to add more insights, then you would want to add more detail, so when the blogger sees your share, you will be remembered by them.
Tip #2 Responding on social media
There are bloggers who absolutely love to ask question on their social media platform, so answer the questions given that way they will start to notice even more.
Tip #3 Commenting on blogs
Yes I know the most obvious one, and yet one the most effective ways, leaving enlightened comment on their blog will definitely be a good warm up to an influential blogger, just make sure you are genuine and being generic will not help at all like “amazing post” so what you need to be doing is writing something beneficial to the readers and the blogger.
Tip #4 Emailing
Talking about direct, a good way of doing it is by sending an email, letting them know how much you are enjoying their content, this works wonders. Here is an example how you email should look like:
Subject: I’m enjoying your “insert blog name”
Hey “insert blogger name”
Just wanted to let you know that I’m enjoying all the stuff you’ve been publishing lately at “insert blog name” In fact, I actually used your strategy and got benefits from it, so I thank you for helping out.
Keep up the amazing work
“Insert your name”
Also sign up to the influencer’s email list, reason why most of the time they will ask you to reply with a question or maybe something you’re finding tough, all you do with that message is answer the question and send you ego stroking email.
Tip#5 Broken links
A good way to get a blogger’s attention to find broken or outdated links on their website and letting them know. Really and truly a serious blogger will not want broken links on his or hers website.
A great way to find broken links is by going to Chrome extension Check my links, once you’ve got a list then find working replacements for each one.
Finally, send the blogger an email notifying them that you found some broken links on their website and wanted to help out.
Tip#6 Improve a resource
Sometimes a bloggers site maybe missing certain resources or features like a paint job or a particular feature not working correctly or a page needs an update? A great way to get a bloggers attention is a helping hand to improve their page on their website.
Now whilst you Tier 1’s are warming up, you can now reach out to the tier 2 and 3 blogs. Then once your Tiers 1’s are ready, then establish the same methods with them.
Now that you have done all the tough tasks of making your influencer’s list and warming up the big boys in your niche.
Now it’s time to jump really high.
First you have to keep into consideration that the outreach tactic you use will ultimately depend on your goal.
You understand what I’m getting at.
So now let’s review the blogger outreach tactic.
Ideally you have sent a email by locating their email address in step #1.
If you are unsuccessful to find their email address, then you can send them a message by using their blog’s contact form.
Here are some example of some outreach methods which are tried and tested that get the job done:
Example#1: Get bloggers to share your content
If you want your content to be shared you need to put it infront of people that have a big audience in your niche, i.e the people from your list.
Of course, not everyone is going to be share your content or even take a look at your content but a handful of mentions from your influencers list is enough to put your content on the path to becoming viral.
Here a is a email template that works:
Subject: Article I think you’d enjoy
Hey “insert blogger name”,
As someone that is passionate about “insert topic”, I just thought you might like a post that I put together about “insert topic”:
Just thought you would like it
Keep up the amazing work at “insert blog name”
“Insert your name”
As you can see you’re not asking for anything. A short and snappy email that gets your content infront of them is more than enough.
Example#2: How to get Guest blogs placements with ease
Quality blogs are selective about the guests posts they publish because guest contributions are going to reflect on the blogs brand.
Hence all the more reason to send a customized email very specific to guest posting so that you can prove to them that you’re up for the job.
Here is a very good email template:
Subject: Contributing to “insert blog name”
Hey “insert blogger name”
I just want to start of saying that I am a big fan of your “insert blog name”. You may have notices my comment on your last blog post. Amazing insights. I have literally printed it out and have it on my desk as a reference point.
I just was checking out some of your blog posts and have noticed that you have published a guest post from “insert name”
So I have been pondering, and was thinking I would love to be your next guest author!
Here are some topics that I think other blog readers would benefit from:
INSERT TOPIC #1
INSERT TOPIC #2
INSERT TOPIC #3
If you want an idea of the quality of my blog posts, here are a few examples you can check out.
INSERT URL #1
INSERT URL #2
I would love to hear from you,
INSERT YOUR NAME
Example#3: Get backlinks to your site
You want to know the foundation of SEO? Well it’s by having high quality backlinks, you can do this by blogger outreach.
The first step is to find a resource page on the blog.
Some sites may not have a resource page, so look for any big list posts.
After find a piece of content on your blog that would add value to that post or page.
And use this Scripts:
Subject: Your “insert topic” resource page
Hey “insert blogger name”,
Just wanted to drop an email and say that I really enjoying your last post, in fact just after I finished reading your post I then tweeted about it.
Anyway, I was just check out some of your other content and I have notices your “insert topic” resource page. Great list!
I have just recently published something on “insert topic” that I’ve got great feedback on:
It’s a DESCRIPTION
This might make a nice addition to your resource page.
Either way, keep up the good work with the SITE!
Reason why you’re looking for a link, you need to be a bit more direct but not too direct about what you’re looking for.
Asking for something else?
If you want to asking for something else in with your email, you would want to make a script for that purpose.
But the same principles applies for every email template i.e compliments, not to direct, be brief and concise, you should form a foundation for every outreach message you send.
Once you have had some outreach success, now it is time for the next level.
Now that you have reached to a blogger and have inputted some value to their blog, now it is time to turn that helping hand into a relationship.
Here are some examples you could use.
Example#1 Thank them
Any new blogger friends accept one of your guest contributions? Or share a post on LinkedIn. Don’t be too proud to thank them.
Just a simple thank you for them helping out is another way to separate you from the other people who are looking for transactional relationships.
Example#2 Relationship on Skype
An amazing method to develop a relationship with another blogger is via Skype.
Skype is more personal than email. Just say, “Here’s my Skype ID if you want to talk shop”
By doing this, there’s no pressure but you have give them the option to either build the relationship or not.
Once you’re on Skype, ask questions about their life outside and inside of the blogosphere. Basically talk to them as you want to get to know them.
With any conversation regardless either online or offline, the objective is to get the other person to relax and be more open to you so you can connect, and Skype makes it possible.
Example#3 Do a joint venture together
If you think you can help grow the other blogger’s business, then a Joint Venture might be a good idea.
So you could do something like an infographic Joint Venture or a co-authored post. Hence over time, you may being to do more and more project together.
But if you’re dealing with a big-name blogger, then most likely they get Joint Ventures pitches all the time. So only make your pitch to big names that’s if you feel you going to help them more than yourself.
You will realise that doing a Joint Venture is much more effect than the project itself, it will then add more of a foundation to your relationship.
Example#4 Building a relationship offline
If your new blogger friend lives nearby or attending the same conference, either way meeting offline is the most best way to build a relationship with another blogger it will make the relationship more alive.
So what’s the hold up?
Yes I know it is old school, but i’m sure you can see the untapped potential of blogger outreach.
Just by giving a few minutes of your day by commenting on some of the right blogs, sending emails to the right people, you will see yourself separate from the thousands of bloggers who continue to publish content blindly and hope that someone has a big influence in the blogosphere will notice them and share the content.
Because you won’t be the only voice trying to be heard, you will be standing on the backs of some of the elites in your niche. And in time you will be the blogger that came out of nowhere, then people will ask you how you did it, and you don’t to tell anyone.
Blogger outreach is the way, Ssshhh don’t tell anyone!
SEO (Search engine optimization) is very vital especially if you to optimize your blog posts, web pages basically you’re are trying to make your website noticeable to people who are potentially looking for keywords that relate to your website via search engines like google.
Yes it can be difficult to master google’s algorithm.
The thing is, how do you know what is important and what is not? What are the latests blog SEO bests practices, and what is outdated? So how will you keep it all together?
We get where the confusion is facing marketers, and we are here to help. So in this post, we will discuss on how to optimize your blog posts in relation to the keywords you care about.
We will also throw in some extra optimization methods, to give your website the edge.
Please note: In this post will not cover every single tactic of SEO. This post is just to get you started and to get your blog more recognisable to people.
Most new bloggers think that inputting in as many keywords into their websites is a good thing and will ascertain more traffic, you couldn’t be more wrong, because search engines like Google will tag it as keyword stuffing this means Google see that you are including your keywords as much as possible so that you can rank in the organic search.
You see the idea is to use keywords in your content in such a way that it doesn’t look as if you have forced it or feels unnatural.
A good tip is to concentrate on one or two keywords per post, what this will is help you concentrate on the initial objective of your blog posts. Remember keep the focus of the post but keep narrow enough to allow you to concentrate on optimizing for your keywords.
It is more efficient in the end to utilise long tail keywords, because people that come to a website via searing for long tail terms will most likely be qualified. This means that you will bring the type of traffic you like, these visitor who will convert because of using long tail keywords.
The question, how do you know which keywords to use? Well if you click here this will direct you to semrush, all you do is type in your topic you want to cover i.e blogging, and then they will show you which keywords is strong and which keyword is relatable.
Now that you have found one or even two of your desired keywords. It’s time to use them into your post. So where would be the best part of your post to include your keywords in order to rank high in Google?
There are four locations in your post to include your keywords, to maximise optimization: headline, body, headers, URL and last but not least meta description.
a) Headline and Title
I cannot stress enough that you need to insert your keyword in the headline and title because it will be the first step of a reader or Google determining the relevance of your post.
Make sure to include to include the keyword within 65 characters of your headline, because this is where Google cuts it off on the result page.
You may have a long title, and have a length headline, so it is advised to input your keyword in the beginning because the keyword might get cut off, which will damage your posts relevancy.
b) Body and Headers
Slightly mention your keyword in the body of your post and in the headers. What this means is include your keywords in your copy, but in a natural way. But remember do not go overboard because you don’t want to get punished from Google for keyword stuffing.
When it comes to content, you main focus should be on your audience, not just your keyword. So focus on your readers and be helpful, remember most people read blogs because they want answers and if you got the answers, then give it to them, most of time your reader will comment on the post, and if you reply back a top notch answer, it will optimize your keyword.
Google also look at your URL to see what your post is about, and it will the first thing that’ll crawl. There is a big opportunity to optimize your URL on every post, because every post is uniquely linked to their unique URL, so include you keywords in your URL.
d) Meta Description
Let’s talk about meta description, this is where search engines and readers find information about your post’s content. So it is vital that you use your long tail term, so Google and your audience are clear on your content. But remember you want to get click rates, so more engagement you get from your content the more click rates.
More and more people are using their mobiles to search on Google rather than using desktops, in fact google has made google friendly websites a priority and has made google friendly website results first.
Being a mobile friendly website is advantageous, because having a responsive mobile friendly website is becoming viral everyday for SEO. So I would make sure to focus on my mobile experience now, or suffer later.
If your website has a responsive design, then you blog pages will have one URL which will be for mobile and desktop. This will give you blog post’s SEO, reason being is because any inbound links that come back to your website won’t be divided into two separate URLs, so any type of SEO power you have will be centralised, this means that it will be easy for Google to recognise the value of your post’s and rank it.
Reminder: Google search engine value is forever changing, keeping up to date is crucial, so you can easily be keeping on top of this by subscribing to Google blog, just click here.
What is meta description? it is extra text which appears in SERPs that will allow readers to know what your post is about before they click on it. Plus being reader friendly is not enough your meta description needs to include your long-tail keyword that you’re ranking for.
Google search engines or any search engine search for images with an alt text. What this does is tells search engines what the image is about, which will then help those images to be discovered through search engine.
Alt text will improve user experience, as it will show inside the image container, when the image is displayed or missing, this will also help people with poor vision and are only using screen readers, its a win win.
Basically alt text is a attribute that is added to an image tag in html, here is an example:
<img class=”alignCenter shadow” src=”image.jpg” alt=”image-description”
I understand that having an alt text to your images may look like it is nothing, and you’re mostly right because it will not effect your rankings as appose to other aspects of SEO of blog posts we discussed about. But every little helps and it only takes a few minutes to rename an image from “IMG45867” to a more accurate name like “football”
Topic tags will help your blog content to be more organized, but if you over do it, it can be be harmful. Google will penalize you if have too many similar tags because google will view it as duplicate content. Look at it from this perspective, you will create a new site page every time you a create a topic tag this where the content will come from. If you use too many tags for the same content then Google will look at it as if you’re showing the same content multiple times.
URL structure of your web pages should be easy to understand by your visitors and also the content. Google favours web page URLs that make it easy for the visitors and Google understand the topic of your page.
URL structure in essence acts as a categorisation system for visitors, making them aware what part of the website they’re one, and how to access new pages on the website. Google like this, because it makes it easy for them to find what information searches will find on different locations of your website.
Click here for tips on URL structuring.
Google will view your content either valid or not, this is how important it is too link internally, for example if you have written a topic on you blog post but is relatable to a previous post you made it is advised to link them two together.
This will help keep readers on your website, but also improve your ranking in Google due to how relevant you content is to a particular keyword you want to rank in.
What a great tool to have for SEO, and it is free. The Google search console contains a tool called search Analytics Report. This will help you analyze click from Google search, you can use it to find out what keyword people are using to locate your blog.
The truth is so many find it hard and struggle with optimizing their blog posts, your blog posts or your blog as a whole won’t start ranking straight away, it takes time and patience to build up a search authority.
But if you post frequently and you keep optimizing and finding out new way to SEO you blog posts whilst having good content, you will see the fruits of your work via traffic to you blog. In fact talk about traffic here is a cool way to bring in some more traffic just click here
What tricks do you know to SEO of blog? share and comment down below.