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Unfortunately I’ve been much too busy lately to handle this week’s blogging tips post. If I was more organized I would’ve written extra posts ahead of time. I’m not though. I tend to procrastinate and leave things until the very last minute Luckily my good friend Joshua was able to help me out and write a solid blogging tips post for this week. I know from experience that it is an area that he is well qualified to write about.
If you’re new to this series, check out some of the previous blogging tips posts:
- Choosing the Best Blog Web Hosting Sites
- Top 10 Common Mistakes I See New Bloggers Making
- 10 Recommended WordPress Plugins For Your Blog
- Google PageRank, Not Just About Links
- Blog Link Building – Not All Links Are Created Equal
- Importance of Blog Networking
- Effectively Using Keywords On Your Blog
- Optimal Blog Keyword Research for SEO
How To Be A Better Blogger With Better Outreach
Hey everyone, Joshua Rodriguez from Monday Money! This week, Jeremy had to get out of town for a bit so, I’m going to be backing him up for today’s Blogging Tips post. So, am I qualified? Well, I think so. I’m the blogger behind CNA Finance and, I’ve been getting more and more traffic every day. So, I figured maybe you all would appreciate what I can share. Today, I’m going to talk a bit about outreach.
As a blogger, there are going to be tons of reasons that you want to reach out to your community. We do a lot of guest posts, some of us create info-graphics for other sites, letting authorities in the industry know that you just finished up a resource that you think the might enjoy, etc… The list really does go on and on! But, outreach for me has become a fine science.
In The Beginning…
When I first started guest writing and reaching out to bloggers about writing a guest post for them, I was sorely mistaken as to how I should be doing this. I used a Google scraping service and scraped all sites that came up under things like “Guest Post Finance”, “Guest Post Personal Finance” and other key phrases.
Once I got the list of website owners, I paid a contractor from another country about a buck an hour to find the email addresses on all the sites I found and send them back to me in a csv file. Then, I blasted emails to all of the website owners at once.
The emails that I sent were very generalized. In the emails, I let the bloggers know that I was a new blogger in the industry, what I liked writing about and, that I was available to write guest posts if they needed. The email went something like this…
I’m Joshua Rodriguez, a new blogger in the finance world. I like to write about credit cards, credit scores and debt. Also, I’d like to write a post for you…how would I go about doing that?
Something Had To Change…
After a week or so of sending this email out, I received very little by way of responses. Also, most of the responses I got let me know that they were accepting sponsored posts and that I would need to pay to give them free content. Now, that just didn’t make sense.
So, I did a bit of research on outreach. I came across a video post on Moz that was part of their Whiteboard Wednesday. The post described the differences between good and bad outreach. Although, I hate to admit this, my outreach was the picture of bad outreach as explained in this video. The bottom line is that I was sending emails with very little value. If the email had very little value, so would the post I sent over…right?
Time To Come Up With A New Approach
I figured there had to be something different I could do with my own outreach process to make it a more fruitful one. So, I sat and thought about what it would be like when my website started to get a lot of requests. Which requests would I pay the most attention to and which would I ignore or respond to in a negative way. I came up with a list of things that I needed to start addressing in my emails…
- Who I Am – OK, so, I would tell them that my name was Joshua Rodriguez but, I wouldn’t tell them anything about me. Nothing that qualified me as a writer for the post. I figured that the recipient would respond better if they knew that I knew what I was talking about.
- I’m Not Just A Guest Poster – I could very well hire several people to write guest posts and not care about quality or the audience they were writing for. But, if I portrayed in my email that I cared about their website, they would probably respond a bit better.
- I Don’t Take A One Sided Approach – There are tons of people that just want to guest post for links. Luckily, I’m not one of those people and can let the blog owner know that in my email.
The Process Was Built
Change #1 – I Didn’t Just Scrape Google – When looking for websites to reach out to, I stopped scraping Google and started looking for sites that I could personally become connected to in one way or another. I started by going to Technorati and seeing what they ranked as the best blogs in my industry. After reading several, I picked a few that really appealed to me personally and started to read them daily. I got to know what they wrote about, how they wrote posts and who their posts were aimed towards.
Change #2 – I Didn’t Email So Fast – Before emailing the blogger, I kept an eye on their blog for a month or so. This made sure that I really knew who I would be writing for and why! What types of posts I needed to write and what audience they needed to be tailored to. And, the time I took to do this really paid off!
Change #3 – I Changed My Email Strategy – I decided that for this process, template emails just wouldn’t work. So, I couldn’t hire someone in another country for this. I had to just take the time and write the emails personally. So, now my emails look something like this…
I’m Joshua Rodriguez, a new blogger to the personal finance industry. I’ve worked with tons of people on a face to face level to help them finally reach financial stability. So, I figured it’s time for me to try and reach more consumers through branding my name online.
I came across your site about a month ago and, I’m impressed. I love that you mix things up from finance to blogging tips and back to teaching consumers how to manage money once they make it big! I’d love to be part of that movement.
I’d love to write something for you. Is there anything in particular that you’re looking to increase the content on your site for? I can write anything from product reviews to how to articles…just name it!
Also, I want to assure you that this is not a one sided email. If you allow me to post on your site, I will respond to all comments personally, socialize about the post in my social channels and link to it as a resource for future high quality posts online.
I anticipate your response!
The Final Result…
My outreach response rate went way up! Now, I get responses to between 70% and 80% of the emails I send out and, about 95% of the responses I receive are positive. Yes, I admit, it takes more time. I’ve been doing this for 9 months and only have about 120 links. But, the links I do have are quality. 86 of them created personally through this relationship building process.
Because of these links and some social signals, my site is in the top 3 on Google for several keywords currently, I’ve had 75,000 impressions on Google in the last 30 days, 9,000 of them happening in the last 3 days. So, it looks like another huge growth in numbers…which happens about twice a month for me now!
So, no, I don’t have a lot of links but, the links I have are high quality and generating traffic for me! I’d say compared to anything else I’ve tried, this strategy seems to be working the best! Nothing beats great S.E.R.P.s!
That’s All For Today…
Thanks for taking the time to read my post everyone. Also, a special thanks to Jeremy for letting me hijack the Blogging Tips post for this week! I’d love to know what you all think about the topic and the message I sent through today’s post. To let me know what you thought, please leave a comment below!