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Why and How To Create a Blogger Outreach Program

by John Souza | Social Media Marketing University

A blogger outreach program can ramp up your views from 5000 to hundreds of thousands, if you know what you’re doing. Too few small business owners know about blogger outreach, so today I’m taking the time to teach you how to create one from scratch.

What Is A Blogger Outreach Program?

Marketing is key to building any sort of online business. You have a blog, but no-one’s reading, commenting or sharing on it. How on earth do you accelerate your traffic so that you can start building a readership that will eventually become your core community? Easy! With a dynamic, and well-planned blogger outreach program.

A blogger outreach program allows your business to create a plan around which blogs you’ll target as potential publishing platforms. Then you’ll create a professional blog for that site and appear as a guest blogger – if you can get past the pitch process.

There are 5 core stages in any blogger outreach program. In order to be successful, you’ll need to follow these rules to the letter. Guest blogging creates backlinks for your site, giving it more link juice on Google – AND it helps attract loads of traffic and new fans.

#1: Identify The Right Blogs

Step one in your blogger outreach program is to find the top 20 blogs in your niche. I don’t bother with bloggers outside this circle for 2 reasons.

First of all – they have the most traffic and fans, so you get more benefits from publishing repeatedly on these blogs, as opposed to publishing on a new, lower traffic blog. And secondly, it makes you synonymous with the best in your field, effectively raising your status as ‘one of the best.’

Arrange your blogs in order of traffic, interaction and accessibility. You’ll have 3 lists with all 20 blogs lined up according to these rankings. Blogger outreach programs that do this, save time on pitching and repeat publishing.

Use Alexa.com to find out which blogs get the most traffic. Then, by looking at their comment sections, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest pages assess how interactive they are. Finally, ‘accessibility’ refers to your blog contact. You’ll need to pitch and publish first, then rank them. Some bloggers will like you more than others. Take note of the ones that do!

#2: Find Your Value Before Pitching

It’s nice that you are an expert at golf, but why should other bloggers care? What valuable contribution can you make to their blog? By asking these questions now, your blogger outreach program will be a lot stronger later. For example, a golf blog may have TONS of tips about the game of golf, but none about the equipment.

If you happen to be an expert at golf club creation and manufacturing, and you have wonderful things to say about it – this is a big selling point for bloggers. They are always on the lookout for the best information in their niche to impress their readership. If you can do it for them for free, you’re in!

That’s why it’s essential that you focus on your value as a contributor on their blog. Each blog is unique, and honing in on what they need, can really give you the edge in your blogger outreach program pitches.

#3: Blogger Outreach Program Pitches

Let me be clear about this – sending mass blogger outreach program pitches is not going to get you anywhere. Bloggers are like celebrities, only they don’t have to pretend to care about you or what you have to say as a fan.

Use your organized lists to set priorities for yourself. You’ll have your top 3 blogs – work hard on pitching to them. Find out people’s names, email addresses and join their social networks. Connect with them there first. Share their content. I like to become a fan, before I become a potential partner.

Then you’ll have your other potential blogs. A good blogger outreach program pitch is personal, unique (not copy pasted) and it proves 3 things. The first is your credibility, or the reason WHY you’re approaching them. Next is your level of expertise – spell it out, and don’t be afraid to boast just a little. Finally, give them something valuable.

Sometimes I assess a blog based on content and create an expert post first before sending it, along with my pitch for that particular post – to the blogger. If an email doesn’t get their attention, a great post will. Make sure it’s not published anywhere else. Blogger outreach programs should never contain duplicate content.

Most of the time however – I ask the blogger what they need, and detail my expertise. If the blogger ignores you though, try the post and pitch – it’s worked for me in the past.

#4: The Program Response Manager

I used to manage my blogger outreach program using Excel, until I came across some software that helps you manage everything. It’s called Grouphigh and I heard about it a while ago from Jay Baer on the Convince and Convert blog here.

Long story short, it helps you manage your blogs, find new ones and keep track of stats in general. Aside from that, you’ll need to follow a strict blogger outreach program response protocol. Bloggers don’t wait for anyone – they don’t have to. They can afford to be picky, selective and even nasty if they want to be.

The moment you get a response from them, read it carefully and reply. In this reply set a deadline for yourself for the post or clarify the details for their recommended post. You’ll also want a Gravatar image (thumbnail image) of yourself, with a tweet sized write-up. The write-up must say who you are, what you do and prompt people to click on your link.

#5: Editing, Publishing and Long Term Relationships

Once the blogger has read your blog and liked it – you’re in! They will set a publication date and will let you know when the post will appear on their blog. There are a few things you can do to improve your relationship at this point.

  • Create a blog series that compliments the post you wrote for them
  • Link to their blog in your posts
  • Create a social marketing strategy around your post – ie, share on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, StumbleUpon, Digg, Reddit and Delicious.
  • Work to get people to your guest post to drive traffic to the bloggers blog.

If your blogger outreach program goes well, that blogger will be impressed. People commented, shared and liked your post – and you chatted to them in the comments section. You inspired communication, traffic and excellence on their blog. The next time you want to post on their blog, they’ll say yes please!

  • Always be on time, don’t make people wait for posts
  • Always respond to comments in the comment section
  • Never start a fight or be rude on someone else’s blog
  • Go out of your way to promote their blog, while your post is there

A great blogger outreach program will follow this formula repeatedly, until you have thousands of extra views per day because you’ve been guest blogging. As a traffic generation process it’s easily one of the most effective.

How do you contact bloggers when you want to guest post?

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