by Isabella Woods
The internet is packed with information on a whole host of topics, much of which comes from the countless bloggers across the world. Blogging has now become a genuine source of news, information and entertainment, and there is an almost limitless supply of blogs out there. But with this saturation comes a certain difficulty: namely being able to generate solid and reliable traffic. One of the key methods to achieve this is via a blog outreach campaign. The concept revolves around networking, and the fact that being linked to from other blogs will boost your popularity, and bolster your SEO. Let’s look at the top secrets to launching a top-notch blog outreach effort.
Do your research and know your audience
Key to boosting the popularity of your blog is knowing who your readers are. Armed with this crucial information, you can then set out to discover blogs that may be suitable for linking to your own. For example, if your blog is on the topic of a certain video game, you may want to reach out to a blogger who runs a blog on a similar game. You can then share links with one another, and essentially share relevant traffic. And that’s what a blog outreach campaign is all about: increasing the amount of relevant traffic to your blog. If you can find a steady source of people who are interested in your topic, you’ll see your blog’s popularity soar and (with any luck) stay there. This depends on the quality of your content, of course, so make sure your posts remain as good as they can be. Before sending out requests for backlinks and such, you’ll need to do your research: find out which blogs have the best quality traffic, and reach out to the people that run them.
Connecting with bloggers can seem like quite a lot of work to the uninitiated. And because it’s a fundamentally social system, there’s the etiquette and protocol which might seem impenetrable to outsiders.
One of the first things you need to do is comment on their blog posts. It’s courteous, and (as long as you post some content) it’s going to add value to their blog. If they like the cut of your jib, they’ll come and visit your blog and comment on one of your posts. A connection is born. Be very clear about who you are, where your website is and what the blog is about, but remember you’re in their domain and as such you should be focusing on what to add to their blog.
There are other ways of getting in touch. You’ll have heard of social media? Look on their blog for links to other profiles and ways to communicate. This is another excellent reason to have prominent Facebook and Twitter buttons on your site – it’s all very well being good at outreach, but you’re shooting yourself in the foot if you’ve made it difficult for others to find you.
It’s always right under your nose
Ever spent half an hour looking for something, only to find it right where you were sitting? The same is true online. No amount of clever searches and outreach strategies will match the benefit of checking your own blog, Twitter feed and social media profiles for enterprising bloggers who have found you. If you’ve been engaged by a blogger, it demonstrates their marketing prowess and probably indicates that they’ll give your online presence a great deal of coverage.
Always be patient
As with most web-based ventures (specifically SEO), a blog outreach campaign is a long-tail game. It requires that you plant seeds, so to speak, then wait to watch them come to fruition. Whether that’s in the form of a backlink from a fellow blogger or a featured on your blog, it’s a great feeling when your work starts to pay off. Just remember that it won’t happen overnight, just as your blog probably took quite a look to pick up steam, so too will its promotion. All you have to do is sit back, put your feet up on the sofa, and wait for your hard work to start paying dividends. A blog outreach campaign is most certainly worth your time, just as long as you’re willing to put the work in (and be as patient as possible at the same time).
Social networking can be your secret weapon
The world of blogging is inextricably linked to the world of social media. In fact, many people assume they are one and the same. In this way, social networking sites can be a real godsend when it comes to blogger outreach. You can use the search function on Twitter to do all sorts of things; from discovering bloggers who are looking for guest posts, to finding out exactly which blogs are being talked about most.
Twitter’s search function is a surprisingly powerful piece of software. It functions in a very similar way to Google, so you can make enquiries in a very specific way. For example, if you’re looking for a blog in York, England, any search for “York” will be polluted with blogs from New York. Adding “-New” to the search will eliminate this problem. It seems simple, but along with using the “near:” function (which adds a geographical element to your search) it’s an invaluable tool in social networking.
Obviously if you want to write relationship articles for blogs in York, England, searching for “relationships York + guest post –New” will be a good search string and will give you only the relevant results. It’ll only take a few moments too.
If you’re serious about social media, there are some powerful tools which help you get the most out of Twitter. They’re too numerous and complex to list here, but services like Hootsuite and Tweetdeck give you the ability to use Twitter in ways you never imagined. Another blog post for another day.
This kind of ‘market research’ is not really possible with any other media, so make the most of it. You can also use sites like Twitter and Facebook to make direct contact with the bloggers whose sites you like the look of. This will give them a chance to check out your blog before making a decision about whether or not you can help each other out.
Blogger outreach is not unlike traditional networking in the world of business. It’s all about making connections and sharing valuable traffic (whether that be clients for a business or visitors on a blog). If you dedicate a good amount of time and effort to finding bloggers who are relevant to your topic, and who are willing to trade links, you’ll find that blogger outreach can be one of the most useful tactics in the world of online content publishing. So what are you waiting for? Get on those search engines and social networking sites, and find yourself a fellow blogger who shares your passion for the web!
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