If you want to properly grow your site, you will need to run a link building campaign sooner or later. Getting backlinks that point to your resource from other sites is extremely beneficial and has a huge impact on your own rankings.
But how do you do it? Today I have prepared a short but sweet step-by-step guide on how to run a link building campaign.
Linkio writes about the best link building tools, which will help you run your campaign more smoothly and quickly.
So, how do you start?
First, You Need to Find Your Prospects
Before you start sending emails to people, you need to find the right set of prospects to reach out to. Your ideal targets are bloggers that work in the same niche as you and are likely to actually respond to your messages.
To put it bluntly, there are three types of websites: ones that have only recently started out, ones that have been online for a while and have grown a considerable audience and the absolute behemoths that you have no chance of reaching via email (unless you do something out of this world to catch their attention).
Ideally, your targets are in the golden middle since a backlink from them will actually have real value for you but they aren’t so high in the clouds you need a spaceship to even have a chance of speaking to them.
Also, when looking for prospects it’s important to pick out the ones that actively tweet or post external content since that raises the chance that they will repost or link to yours.
You can look for influencers on social media or simply Google “car bloggers” if you’re in the automotive niche, for example.
Now, Get Their Contact Information
Some of the time you’ll be able to find your outreach prospect’s emails by simply looking in the header or footer of any of their posts. Other times, you won’t be so lucky though. But don’t worry, if they have an email address, there are ways of finding it.
There are tons of tools like Hunter.io that can scan the entire Web to help you find addresses, given that you know your target’s name. But keep in mind that no such tool is absolute and for every nine emails that you find the tenth is going to remain hidden.
For those cases, there’s this awesome thing called the Email Permutator. What it does is formulates an entire list of all possible combinations after you feed it your prospect’s name, surname and domain name. While it might seem tedious checking every single one, you’re bound to find the real deal eventually.
You can also just paste them into Gmail and if a profile shows up, you know you’ve found it.
Craft Your Pitch
This is probably the hardest part of the entire blogger outreach/link building process since every single prospect needs a unique approach. Remember that the bloggers you’re contacting most likely get dozens, if not hundreds of link pitches a day and they all look pretty much the same. So, to get a response, you need to grab their attention somehow.
And what better way to impress someone than show that you’ve invested some time into learning about them and their content. A good way of learning a little about a person is going through their Twitter and seeing what they share.
Of course reading every blogger’s articles can become tiresome, and you don’t have to do it but if you can make references to something they wrote about in a way that makes it obvious you didn’t just read the title, your chances of getting a response grow dramatically.
Also, don’t use templates (or at least personalize them to the point it’s not obviously templated).
But what exactly should you write about? Well, you can build links in a lot of ways, but I’m going to talk about the most common ones.
- The surest way of getting a backlink is guest posting. It’s pretty straightforward – you offer someone a good piece of content in exchange for a backlink. Lots of websites have a “write for us” form, but you should avoid using that. Contact website owners directly and make it clear why your content is valuable for them.
- Next up, there’s broken link building and snatching links from inferior content. The process for these two is rather similar: you use a backlink checker like SEMRush to reveal dead links that used to point to articles similar to yours or working ones that lead to articles on the same topic as yours, but shorter/less informative or inferior in any way.
Just be clear on why your content deserves to fill that gap created by a 404 or how exactly it is better than the one they’re already linking to. Just don’t be pushy.
Follow Up Once
Don’t be afraid to send follow-up emails if you don’t get a response after a few days. Remember, you’re emailing real people that have important things they have to do, so a single message might slip under their radar.
So, it is perfectly fine to send a short follow-up after 3-5 days in case they haven’t noticed or simply forgot. Just one is enough since if they have chosen to ignore one they will ignore the rest as well, but if they genuinely didn’t notice your first email, you’re likely to get them with the second one.
Any more, and you will look spammy.
There’s far, far more to blogger outreach and link building than what fits in my article, but this should be enough to at least get you started. I hope you learned something from me and good luck with your link building campaign!