How many times have you sent an outreach email? And how many times were you completely satisfied with it? What was the response rate?
If the answer to the second question was “not so many times”, and to the third one “ummm… below 5%?”, then you have a problem, and you’re probably aware of it. If you look at the time you’ve spent searching for the guest posting prospects and analyzing them, only to have less than 5% of them respond to your initial email, you can easily conclude that you’re not being very productive. And that you’ve wasted 95% of them.
If we assume that you did the initial search with keywords “guest post” or “write for us” included, then all of the blogs you’ve contacted are normally welcoming guest bloggers; so that can’t be it. You probably didn’t send the article you’d like to publish… wait, you did? Ouch! Ok, that’s the mistake No. 1. But for those of you who didn’t, you still don’t have a problem – they didn’t see your text, so it’s not that they didn’t like it.
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There’s something wrong with what you have written in your email.
Why do you reach out anyway?
You’re looking to get some quality links from websites related to yours, and that has significant authority so that they can send some link juice and traffic your way. Guest posting is the best way to do it, so you, like so many others, have jumped on it. The problem is, you need a great number of links, so you start looking for blogs that are worth your time, inspecting them, sorting them, and writing emails to their owners, all at the same time.
You’re trying to do too many things at once
Yep. That’s the core problem. Every aspect of this process is a science of its own, and you’re trying to juggle them, hoping that it will all magically come to its place. Sorry, it won’t.
When you spend hours looking at different blogs and analyzing them, your mind is oriented towards numbers, inspection and drawing conclusions. If you start sending the outreach emails in bulk right after that, you’ll lack the other segment needed to connect with bloggers: the human approach.
Also, if your process is different, and you work on one blog at a time – find the blog, analyze it and send the email right away, you’re missing the human part again, because you’re probably too focused on getting it done and crossing that blog off of your list.
So you send out the emails that come out all wrong. And bloggers won’t like them, they probably won’t even notice them.
You have to be efficient and scale your efforts, we get it. You have to deal with whole this guest posting thing in a way that will get you results; you can’t afford to think about every single blog for an entire day. And you don’t have to, no; you just have to find the way to organize your efforts and your time better.
Create a new Excel or Google Docs document where you will be making notes on every single detail about the blogs you’re going to approach for guest posting. It’s entirely up to you which columns you will put in there, but at the very least you should make the columns containing:
- Blog’s name,
- Blog’s URL,
- Resume of guidelines (so that you don’t have to check them all the time),
- Main topic and popular headline format,
- A post or topic that you found interesting,
- Blog owner’s name,
- Blog owner’s contact,
- Your article ideas (or even headlines if you can spot a trend in the headlines of their most popular posts).
Tip: you’ll probably be adding much more than these columns as you go, and do try to fill each of them for every blog – if you needed that info once, chances are that you will be needing it again, and it only takes a few seconds to write it down.
Why are these data so important?
Because they will allow you to personalize your initial email, and to focus on giving the blog owner something tangible in the form of article ideas or headlines, that will resonate well with their blog. And that’s pretty much what an outreach email should look like: you are showing them that you’ve read at least some of their articles, you are familiar with the guidelines (if there’s any particular request there, make sure that you’ve honored it), and you’re not being pushy because you’re only suggesting article ideas.
This approach has significantly better response rate than an impersonal template email that pitches them the already finished article (that often doesn’t have much in common with the topics on their blog); you’re being friendly, you’re introducing yourself and asking for their opinion.
So, how about it then? Do you think it’s put a bit extra effort in 100 blogs that you’ve already found in order to get a better response rate from them, or to leave things as they are and go searching for another 100 blogs? However you may feel about it, just keep in mind that there are only so many decent blogs out there.
Jeff Gross is a professional blogger and an SEO expert for over 6 years. At the moment, he is working on finding guest post opportunities for his latest client, serijskiubojica.hr.