What Guest Blogging and Blogger Outreach Are Actually About – Stop Perverting Them
Now that "content marketing" is the latest rage people who have no clue what content really means are perverting ages old techniques like guest blogging and blogger outreach. Many lazy SEOs are late to this renamed "great content" and "content is king" bandwagon.
Low level SEO practicioners frantically attempt to use the techniques to substitute for those low quality link building methods that don't work after Google has launched its so called Panda and Penguin updated in 2011 and 2012.
I don't care about Google anymore, at least for this blog here but I care about my time. I get plenty of spammy guest blogging blogger outreach mails that do not deserve even to be called like that. Guest blogging and blogger outreach tends to become the new dofollow blog commenting and article directory submission. Thus
I will explain what guest blogging and blogger outreach are really about.
Right now most people are doing it wrong. Also Matt Cutts of Google has repeatedly stated that guest blogging is not a good link building techniques so that sooner or later they will halt the guest blogging proliferation. So let me start with a few myths:
"blogger outreach = guest blogging"
I read many posts which imply that all blogger outreach is done with the purpose of guest blogging. This is nonsense. Blogger outreach is the art of contacting bloggers while guest blogging is just one reason among dozens if not hundreds to approach bloggers. Let me list a few typical reasons to do blogger outreach:
- Interviewing a blogger or a group of bloggers
- Inviting a blogger to an event like a fair or conference
- Sending a blogger a product to test
- Asking a blogger for permission to cite her/him as a testimonial
- Asking for permission to use some of the blogger's work
"guest blogging is solely about building links"
Many SEOs apparently assume that guest blogging is a drop in and disappear tactic to get a few quick links. The contrary the case. I am still in contact with some of the people who did a guest here back in 2007 during the heydays of SEO 2.0. One guest poster is in my best friends list on Twitter. Btw. she writes for Mashable by now. So guest blogging is about
- getting traffic to your site by way of the recommendation from a blogger who already has an audience
- establishing a connection and trust in you as a good writer
- forging a long standing relationship with a blogger of mutual support in the future
- returning to the blog you contacted periodically
"blogger outreach is about quantity not quality"
I already see plenty of SEO noobs trying to automate and outsource outreach efforts. Many bloggers are already pretty annoyed with the rise of the content marketing moron. No wonder, postings like "how to get 180 outreach leads for 9$" brag about cheap ways to create massive lists of addresses. Such people often write to me too without even knowing the name of my blog they claim to have read and liked. They have apparently just scraped or bought my mail address somewhere. In contrast blogger outreach is about
- personal one-to-one communication with particular bloggers
- approaching a few bloggers with the same message at the same time
- continuity before contacting a blogger, you ideally read the blog, comment there, share posts by the blogger so that you get noticed before you send a mail
- specific approaches, you do not have an "email list" you contact each time with a new press release, that's not outreach
An impersonal and automated or outsourced mass mailing will end up in my spam folder and I am pretty tolerant as I do blogger outreach myself so I am prepared to get such messages:
You have a great blog!
I would like to suggest a guest post "Tips about SEO copywriting"
Let me know what you think about such topic.
What do I think? Tips are for waiters and automated mails like this are worthless."
I will just ignore many pitches instead of moving them to my spam folder but most people will act immediately, especially those outside of the SEO industry. In contrast people I contact in most cases at least respond, even if they want to say "no". From then on you can go on and try to stay connected. I also like simply to contact bloggers just to ask them a question.
I'm no expert when it comes to most disciplines so I'm humble enough to ask without wanting something else than the reply. That's also a good start. One day you can contact such a person again and remind her or him that you mailed already.
I plan a post that will show you real life example of blogging outreach templates you can re-use with small changes of course depending on who you write to.
You can simplify the outreach process and save time by automating repetitive tasks. It's clearly not about the SEO programmer mindset of submitting to hundreds of social bookmarking sites. Nobody can write a personal mail to hundreds of blogger in a short period of time without messing it up. Bloggers are truly intelligent web-savvy people, they notice whether you are genuine or just a part-time bot. So stop perverting guest blogging and blogger outreach.
* Creative Commons image by lintmachine.