What is Link Building Outreach?
Link building outreach is the process of creating valuable inbound links from other websites by reaching out to bloggers and asking them to link back to your site.
The goals of outreach link building are to:
- Build brand awareness
- Grow your target audience
- Boost search engine rankings
- Get organic and referral traffic
- Increase sales
Link building outreach can be difficult because it requires having the technical, social media, creative and interpersonal skills + patience and tenacity.
Luckily, I've developed an outreach system effectively delivers high quality backlinks within a step-by-step process that works whether you're a newbie or trying to scale.
Our Link Building Outreach Framework
The Value First Outreach (VFO) Approach is our link building outreach framework that starts with one guest post and turn it into further link opportunities using the Private Influencer Network concept.
The simple goal is to end up generating enough links from quality contacts in your industry that your rankings shoot up and you don't have to worry about penalties later on.
Starting link building campaigns in general can be overwhelming at first but this is a simple repeatable framework that can help you get started.
Have Great Content to Link To
To successfully build links via outreach, your website should look good and contain several pieces of high quality content that link back to your site.
If the site looks dated or the content looks lazy, only the lower quality sites will be interested.
To make sure your website is link-worthy, take the time and effort to publish at least 5 great articles on your blog.
They should be informational guide-like content targeting mid- and top- of funnel keywords in your niche. T
Think about topics that are general enough where you will find lots of link building opportunities for them.
Tips for Writing Great Content
A good blogger knows immediately whether your content is worth their time or not.
Interestingly, its more primal than just "writing great content".
Knowing HOW to write for the web is the main thing that subconsciously sways them.
Avoid falling into the trap of writing long paragraphs and chunks of text.
That's writing for textbooks.
Writing for the web is short 1-2 sentence paragraphs with a clear line break in between.
This simple change will satisfy 90% of quality bloggers, I promise you.
Another tip is to make sure that your introduction doesn't sound like a book report.
Try to hook the reader or acknowledge their problem within the first 1-2 sentences.
Oftentimes, the blogger will only read the first line and judge the rest of the article based on that.
Next, front load your most important information in the beginning.
Attention spans are short and only 5% of readers will scroll past the first few paragraphs.
Next, when you're approaching each section of your article, approach the section with this framework:
- What is it?
- What is the goal?
- Why is it hard?
- How to make it easier?
By following this simple framework, your content will flow easily and you'll be able to stay focused on being solution-oriented.
Finally, don't use stock images. It's a pretty clear sign of lazy content when you have a giant picture of a laptop in your blog post about content marketing.
Use a free tool like Canva to easily make custom images. It can be as simple as a text image under your headline to add some pizzaz.
Build a List of Bloggers
The first step in link building outreach is to find bloggers. This can be done by using Google Search or link building tools like Ahrefs. The goal is to only target high quality blogs in your niche that do not accept paid guest posts and that publish quality content.
It can feel overwhelming at first when you see thousands of websites to sort through, but it’s important to only focus on a few key target blogs. Start with identifying just 20 great blogs in your niche.
Build a list of websites that have slightly more authority than you. If they have a write for us page, but don't publish paid guest posts - they are probably a good target.
It's best to email the specific person in charge of guest posting or SEO where possible. By doing this, you will increase your chances of getting your link published on a high-quality blog.
Secure One Guest Post
If you're looking to do link building outreach, one of the best ways to go about it is by securing a guest post. A guest post is when you write an article that gets published on someone else's blog.
The beauty of this system is that you only need one guest post to start with.
The key is to make sure that the blog you're writing for allows you to include a few do-follow links within your content - otherwise the Big Bang Method won't be effective.
That said, if you're new to guest posting, it can be difficult to secure a spot on high quality websites.
You might find yourself only getting responses from paid providers.
In this case, it's important to keep pushing until you find a good opportunity.
Alternatively, sometimes a paid opportunity is okay if the website is really good and hasn't fully fallen into guest post farm depravity.
To make link building outreach easier, try creating a guest post template and personalizing each email before sending.
You should also prepare a really good guest post draft before pitching to a website - this way, bloggers can quickly eyeball it and give it a yay or a nay.
Finally, avoid sounding like other link builders in your email subject by avoiding words related to guest posting. Bloggers are trained to ignore typical emails from link builders.
Use the Guest Post to Secure More Link Partners
Reach out to other bloggers in your space and offer to link to them in your upcoming guest post.
In exchange, you can ask for a link from their blog.
This is a great way to get 2-5 extra backlinks from just one guest post.
Leverage the list of bloggers you built in the initial prospecting here just remember to stay organized and keep strict deadlines, otherwise its easy to lose steam.
Once you deliver the guest post link, you can usually request where the blogger should add your link.
Asking for Link Inserts (The Right Way)
I love link insertions because they're so quick and low effort but most people do them ineffectively.
The key is to consistently insert links into relevant and high-traffic pages to make the most impact. Knowing how to find these pages can be difficult, but these tips can help.
Maintaining Good Etiquette
When requesting links from bloggers, it is important to maintain good etiquette.
Only request links from their blog posts, not homepage or service page.
In addition, don't ask for a link to your blog post from a directly competing blog post on their blog.
This can come across as pushy and self-serving.
Finally, don't ask for links to your service pages.
While you might occasionally get away with this, most bloggers prefer not to link to pages that are selling something.
This approach ensures your link requests are well-received and more likely to be successful.
Target a Hyper-Relevant Page
Getting a link from a hyper-relevant page is one of the best ways to get a backlink.
This is because the page is not only relevant to your keywords, but also has your keywords in the title, URL, and article.
However, this can be difficult to do because people tend to get lazy and just pick the first blog post they see.
To make it easier, you can use Google to search for relevant blog posts by using the "site:domain.com keyword" search.
This will give you a list of all the relevant blog posts on that site so you can pick the most appropriate one.
Target Recent Posts
The goal is to get a backlink from the most recently published relevant article.
It looks less spammy to Google and more recent articles have more internal link juice, which makes your backlink more powerful.
When you have the choice of multiple relevant ones, go for the most recent.
Target High Page Authority Blog Posts
Higher page authority blog posts send stronger link signals, a factor most link inserters ignore. because it can be hard to identify which pages are high authority.
To make things easier, you can use Ahrefs.com.
Target High Ranking Pages
The best link is one from a high traffic page, another factor commonly ignored because it requires extra effort.
Ahrefs makes this easier by allowing you to enter a website and explore their keyword rankings.
You can then filter by your own keywords to see if they have any good rankings.
If they do, you can click on the pages that rank and see if they would be a good fit for your backlink.
Its rare to find the perfect page that has all these attributes for every opportunity - and you don't need that.
Just keep these checks in mind while you go about your link exchange requests and you'll end up with a enviable backlink profile.
Pitch the Link Partners a Guest Post
If you get your first guest post published and your link partners have had a link from you, they will see the quality of your content and have a generally positive experience.
This is the perfect time to pitch them a guest post.
The goal is to get half of them to say yes.
However, this can be difficult to manage, as it may increase workload and project management headaches.
To make things easier, stay organized within spreadsheets and hire people to help with things like prospecting, writing and outreach management.
This system is a great way to build backlinks via link outreach for multiple reasons. High quality backlinks, of course, but this give-first form of outreach will help you built lots of good will and contacts in the community.
Bloggers will come to know your name and respect your brand. Future outreach campaigns will become easier - all while you've been building links that have been helping to improve your rankings.
At Only Outreach, this is one of our main forms of link building for our clients. So if you don't have the bandwidth for it, our blogger outreach agency can help.