In our previous article “Beginner’s Guide to Outreach Strategy”, we gave you a step-by-step rundown on how to perform blogger outreach for link building. In this article we will be giving you the essential tools you will need to succeed in your outreach journey.
1. Creating your email list
The first step in your outreach strategy is to create a list of influencers to outreach to.
These are some tools we recommend you use to help create your email list:
Buzzsumo has always been considered the holy grail of content marketing and research. We all know and love the site for the ability to find top-performing content in a particular niche.
Buzzsumo’s “Content Research” section provides a great starting point for your list research. If you are a blog that writes about SEO, you want to be outreaching to blogs who publish similar content.
Typing “SEO” into the search bar should present you with a list of trending SEO content alongside their social media engagement, number of links and total shares. You can also filter each search by date, country and content type (for example, article, guest post).
Through this list of trending content you will discover an extensive list of potential blogs to outreach.
The website also has an “Influencers” feature, where you can generate lists of potential influencers and their blogs, followers, domain and page authority which you can again filter by type and country.
Inkybee allows you to create and filter lists of key influencers. For each blogger you can record additional contact information, notes, statuses and relationship information. The tool also features an Ongoing Blog Discovery feature, where new blogs within your niche are automatically discovered. You can even identify influential blogs using information obtained from Twitter followers.
Furthermore, you can use Inkybee to monitor, measure and report on outreach campaign progress.
– Just Reach Out
Just Reach Out is a great tool to use for reaching out to journalists in your chosen niche.
A simple search will provide you with a list of influencers, as well as links to the websites they write for along with links to their Facebook and Twitter. Your account is connected to your email, so you will even have the option of sending them an outreach email directly from the site.
Upon clicking “Send Email Pitch”, you will be redirected several email template options you can utilise and tweak to suit your needs. Don’t forget to personalise your emails. Remember, your goal is to not look spammy.
2. Checking whether the blog is suitable
When searching for influencers, don’t just list any blog as a potential influencer. Just because the blog falls into your niche, doesn’t mean that they would be suitable for outreach. There are a few things you need to check for first to make sure you aren’t wasting your time:
– Domain and page authority (DA & PA)
For the sake of outreach, you are best off not listing any websites with an extremely low DA and PA. These websites may be spammy, or don’t get many views to their website. If you’re going to take the time and effort to undertake outreach, you’re going to want to get results. You may not achieve this by having a link or guest post on a website with a poor DA or PA.
However, it is also worth noting that eliciting an email response from a website with an extremely high DA and PA will be extremely difficult. These websites will be highly influential and will already have a high number of readers. These businesses will already have sufficient content on their website, so there is no advantage to them to publish a link to your business or blog. While it can still be worth sending an email to businesses with a high DA or PA, don’t always expect a response.
Mozbar is a Google Chrome extension perfect for swifty viewing the DA and PA of any website. Mozbar clearly displays DA and PA on search engines or on the top of the page.
– Nofollow links
As well as checking DA and PA, it is also really important to check for nofollow links. The purpose of a Nofollow HTML attribute is to instruct search engine bots that a link should not influence ranking in the search engine’s index. In other words, a nofollow link means that link juice will not be transferred and your rankings will remain unaffected. A nofollow link will still bring traffic, however, as the purpose of outreach is to build links to improve rankings, it is best to stay away from nofollow blogs.
Nofollow is a Google extension which highlights the nofollow links on a page. This a simple solution to quickly find out whether a blog will only give you a nofollow link. If you click into a blog covered in nofollow links, it is often not worth your time to add them to the outreach list.
3. Checking for broken links
Reporting a broken link and offering up your content as a replacement is another way to build links. When we think back to reciprocity, this is a great way of adding a bit of extra value to your email, as you are helping them before asking them to help you. This could also result in links quicker, as opposed to, say, pitching a guest post. It provides a good basis for the beginnings of a relationship with that blogger.
There are several tools you can use to check for broken links, including:
- Broken Link Check
- Dead Link Checker
- W3C Link Checker
- SortSite Error and Link Checker
- Google Chrome extensions including Broken Link Checker and Check My Links
4. Following up your email
As mentioned in our previous article, you should wait around two days before following up an email. However, you may not know that there are email tools you can utilise to help you determine who it would be worth following up.
Some useful tools include:
Boomerang is a Gmail attachment which allows for easy management of your emails. Boomerang allows you to schedule emails to be sent at a specific time and serves as a great tool for follow-up reminder.
Before sending an email, you can set Boomerang to two days along with the option of “if not opened” or “if not clicked” or “if unread”, etc. This allows you to determine whether it’s worth following up an email based on whether the email was ignored or simply not opened.
Like Boomerang, Followup.cc gives you a platform for easy email management and reminders, with the difference being Followup.cc requires a paid subscription. However, they offer many extra features not present in Boomerang. With a 14-day free trial, you don’t need to dive head-first into any decisions without seeing if it works for you.
The tool provide relationship insights with the people you are emailing, as well as allowing you to write notes, tag contacts and update profiles ensuring you never forget any details.
You can set reminders and schedule follow ups to ensure your conversations are not left to be forgotten. When contacts open your emails, you will receive real-time notifications and link tracking allows you to know when people are clicking on your links. You can also schedule when messages are going to be sent and reminders can be easily viewed and managed on the sidebar.
5. Managing and measuring results
A basic Excel spreadsheet is a great way to keep track of contact lists, outreach activity logs, and other information you might need to organise, as well as allowing you to create data of results.
You want to be constantly improving on your campaign, and a thorough collection and analysis of your data and results is the the only way to find out what works and what doesn’t.
You first need to brainstorm which variables you want to be measuring by figuring out which questions you want answered the most. The next step is to form these questions into categories and form an outline. From there, you create your excel spreadsheet and format your data. The last step is to analyse your results, check for statistical significance and take down notes.
Go forth and outreach!
Now that you have all the tools of the trade, ensure that you use to them to reach your full outreach potential. Remember that it’s not the same for everyone. Pick the tools that work for you and you’re sure to find more along the way.