Have you been spending time looking for linking opportunities for your new blog or website, searching hours and hours for just the right mix of domain authority, relevance, and owner willingness so you can garner a precious backlink?
In the eyes of the search engines, and especially Google, a relevant backlink is one of the most prized and highly valued components of their ranking algorithm. It’s not hard to imagine why this is so. After all, relevant links from authoritative websites are the hardest of all links to get.
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However, these links often really hard to achieve. In today’s digital world, many marketers believe that the best way to gain links is by connecting or building relationships with other bloggers and site owners. Whether it be guest blogging on a high domain authority site or connecting with an editor there, it’s good ways to get noticed. These relationships allow you to build a connection with other bloggers and increase the possibility for them to link to your blog in the future. In this article, we’ll take a look at some methods to separate yourself from the hordes of link-seekers and get noticed by influential bloggers with sites that pack a backlink punch and can help propel your website further up the search results.
Slower is Better
On the Internet, everything moves at the speed of electrons, and what’s hot this morning could be not-so-hot this afternoon. Living in this instant gratification digital world has conditioned us all to expect immediate results, especially online. I was surfing through television channels the other day and noticed a show I hadn’t seen before, “Married at First Sight”. It’s a crazy concept, but at the time of this writing the show is pretty popular. To me, it’s almost unbelievable, sort of like the “cart before the horse” type of thing. It got me thinking about how most people approach relationship building. Almost everyone will start with tossing out an email to the site owner, something along the lines of:
“I’ve written an epic blog post, when can you publish it”?
I think this is totally the wrong approach. It’s like the “First Sight” example from above. Why would I marry you if I don’t even know you? And why would I publish your article if we don’t know each other? Just like in any relationship, you have to spend a certain amount of time together before anything as intimate as back linking is going to happen. You have to ease into these types of things.
Here are a few recommendations to accomplish that:
- Read the blogs of the people you’d like to build a relationship with and get familiar with the type of articles that are being published.
- Find the social media sites of your favorite blogs and follow them there as well, leaving comments when appropriate.
- Subscribe to their email list and RSS feed so you can keep in touch with what’s happening on the blog.
- Be generally helpful. Give without the thought of receiving anything back in return. These bloggers are very busy folks, and if you can assist them in any manner it’s a great way to get noticed.
It’s important for you to separate yourself from all the other noise on the Internet. There are a number of ways to accomplish this and doing it right will mean the difference between getting noticed and remembered versus getting lost in the shuffle.
Consider these points:
- Make sure you are worth knowing. Understand that the busy blogger you’re trying to build a relationship with is very short on time. One of your goals with relationship building should be to ensure that both parties see a benefit. A great way to do this is to add value to their blog by leaving comments that are insightful and helpful. Don’t just say “great post” and think you’ve done your job. Tell them why you enjoyed the post and include examples from your business experience. Praise their work, but don’t be afraid to tactfully disagree if you have another perspective on the subject. This will definitely make you stand out.
- Social media can be a powerful ally for you and my favorite platform right now is Twitter. Including a @tag in your tweet will immediately notify the blogger that you’ve mentioned them. It’s important to give credit to the author of the blog you’re sharing on Twitter. This is a great way to connect with them and you’re sure to get a thank you from the influencers you’re trying to engage with. They will notice you and appreciate your efforts.
- Send them some traffic. Every blog owner wants more traffic, no matter how big or small their following already is. Mention their product or service on your site and send them some targeted traffic and they will notice you. Believe me, they all pay attention to where their traffic is coming from. You can even tweet them on Twitter or email them to let them know that you’ve mentioned their article in your latest blog as well.
- Include your list of influencers in a content roundup or expert interview article. These articles have become very popular lately because if done correctly, they can help you generate page views and traffic. Readers are often looking for information from experts and inside tips from them, so interviews are great ways to pick at an expert’s brain and sharing your findings with readers. Asking for an interview can be tricky because your targets are so busy, but a lot of bloggers will be open to answering a question or two through email, especially if the questions are in their area of expertise and they can answer them quickly and easily.
- Change your approach to relationship building. By this, I mean that almost everyone is looking to build relationships for only one reason; to gain a valuable backlink and then move on to the next target. Separate yourself from the others by genuinely helping and adding value because relationships are the rocket fuel that will propel your business to the next level. Remember to give more than you get to make sure you stand out in the crowd.
Now that we’ve begun to build a relationship with these folks, then next step will be a bit easier. Remember that your influencers are extremely busy. They’re running a popular blog, probably have a podcast as well, and if their blogs are successful they have a thriving business they’re responsible for.
One thing most of them have in common is a blog audience that’s hungry for actionable advice and techniques they can put to use in their own businesses. Most likely these blog owners are way too busy to write all the content for their blogs themselves, even though that’s exactly what they’d like to do. As a result, lots of them open up their blogs for guest posting. If you’ve done your job correctly with relationship building, you’ll have an advantage over other hopeful contributors.
The best way to contact these blog owners regarding guest posting opportunities is exactly how they recommend on their “write for us”, “contribute”, or “guest post” page.
IMPORTANT NOTE: If they’ve taken the time to create a page that explains what they’re looking for regarding topics, word length, tone, and any other pertinent information related to guest posting, including the best way to contact them, it’s absolute essential that you respect them and adhere to their recommended methods. Don’t think you’ll jump the line and send them a direct message to their inbox; that’s a surefire way to be ignored and even blacklisted.
If their site doesn’t have a visible “write for us” page, you can always do a search in Google using the following search operator:
site:theirblog.com “guest post”
Substitute their site name for theirblog.com, and you can also change the part in quotes to be “write for us” or “contributor” to see if Google can turn up any way to find a guest posting guide. If searching fails to turn up any information, it’s time to craft an email and send it off. This email is just as important as your guest post. See the list below for some recommendations.
- Write a great subject line explaining yourself
- Keep it brief
- Get personal and address them by name, not Site Owner
- Briefly introduce yourself
- Be complimentary
- Link out to your website so they can see that you know how to write
I know it’s a short list, but your email needs to be equally as short. Be respectful of their lack of free time and hone your message to just the bare essentials. Don’t get cute or play games, because they simply don’t have time. Do mention that you enjoy their blog. Don’t mention you’ve written the best blog post in the history of the Internet. Do reference a couple of their posts that you enjoyed. Don’t be pushy. Don’t be afraid to let your personality come through.
Here are a few examples subject lines to stimulate your thought processes:
- About your recent blog post, 10 ways to reduce time wasting activities
- I’m a big fan of your blog and would love to work with you
- I’ll only take two minutes of your time, Mr Blogger( use their real name)
- Opportunity for Blogging on *sitename*
Remember to craft your subject line carefully. If you don’t, your influencer will hit the delete button instead of reading your email.
That’s a Wrap
Relationship building has a reputation for being difficult to accomplish, but I believe that’s because people don’t take the necessary steps to give them the best possible chance at success. Recapping, it’s imperative that you get familiar with the blogs you’re interested in building a relationship with. This means being patient and putting in time and effort both on their site and where they hang out on social media. If you’re helpful and respectful, it won’t take long before you get noticed. When that happens, be sure to craft and introductory email that is every bit as good as the blog post you’re writing for them. Remember how busy these folks are. Anything you can do to assist them will be greatly appreciated and, if you’re lucky, will result in you obtaining a highly relevant and authoritative backlink for your website.