The Myth of Outreach Success
There are numerous blogs on the Internet; even now, while you are reading this post, the number of blogs is increasing every single minute. Then comes the question: how to make your blog stand out in the search result pages in Google, Yahoo, Bing and other search engines? You really need to dwell upon this issue especially when you intend to earn from blogging. Instead of only blogging away on your own site, you need to go out of your small world and outreach to attract more traffic!
Why are outreach link-building strategies important? It’s because when search engine spiders crawl the web and decide which pages deserve a better ranking, one of the metrics that they looking at is how many websites link to your blog/website. When someone links to your blog, search engines see it as a thumbs up for your website or specific content on your page. The more links you get from other website/blogs, the more credibility you have, which will definitely improve your ranking. Now you realise how important outreach is to your site, but how do you do this?
Tip 1 Find blogs who accept guest post
This is when search engines come in handy. You can just use google to look for bloggers and decent websites that accept guest posts. Here I’d like to give away my favourite advanced searches that help narrow down the list of results and give you more accurate ‘target’.
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keyword “guest blogger”
keyword “guest blogger wanted”
keyword “Submit an article”
Keyword “Write for us”
Keyword “Contribute to our site”
By doing guest posting, you not only increase your online presence but also grow your ‘personal brand’. But the thing is you don’t want to guest blog on any website as many websites in the ‘long-tail’ are quite dodgy and you can just tell when you see it. From a more numeric perspective, you can use SEOmoz research tools to measure a website’s ‘authority’ (for details please see http://www.seomoz.org/tools). I would say the bench mark for a decent domain authority is 25-30; the ones above that threshold require quality content. Once you find the ones you want to contact for the next step, I would recommend you to create a spread sheet to keep a record, and create different labels for their email address, who replies to your messages, who rejected your pitch, who are currently reviewing your articles and who have published your articles. Just to make sure you don’t get confused.
Tip 2 Use social media to do research in your niche
There are many social sites that you can make use of to get more ideas. Check out the social sites, e.g. StumbleUppn, Digg, and see what are the sites in your niche industry that are shared and promoted among the users. For example, if you are from an event company and you find that infographics are frequently shared in social media channels. This is your opportunity as well: you can create either amusing (e.g. traditions of hen parties) or informative (e.g. how much money to run a presidential campaign in the U.S) infographics. Using social media to produce timely content will definitely increase the odds for your content to be shared across various social media platforms. You can also contact some websites to show them your cool, unique content. I firmly believe google and other search engines will look more on the social factors to decide which one deserves a better ranking because in social media platforms people don’t share junk stuff that make them look stupid; people share interesting things that are cool, unique, informational or educational to make them feel good about themselves as well.
Tip 3 Contact other guest bloggers
If you have one article published on a decent site, then you can check who else post here as well as other guest authors are probably doing the same thing and chances are they would be more open to guest post. Thus you can start building a network with other guest authors and guest blogging for each other.
Tip 4 How-to and Tips are still popular
The articles that are easy to get published are ‘how-tos’ and ‘tips’. If you are blogging, say, for a company or an agency, you can write up this kind of piece to provide educational content for your audience, and this would be great for pre product launch or launch products to create more buzz in social media and other press platforms. If your articles are fresh and topical, maybe some day Mashable or Daily Mail Online will link to you and the result is… You will get loads of traffic!
Tip 5 Make Use of Infographics
People love digestible and eye catching things — this is why infographics are still popular now. To produce an interesting infographic that has the potential to go viral, you need good data. It’s better that your infographics are topical related and timely as it will get more chance to be searched by users. Don’t waste your time producing silly infographics that have little value to your audience. Develop complex ideas and turn them into something that is interactive, interesting and informative. With that being said, “Content is King”. Another thing we need to pay attention to is do not use false or confusing data as you might lose your credibility.
Outreaching is not just about getting links, it’s also about building up a good relationship with the people who are willing to pick up your articles. If your articles are published, remember to email them to say thank you, follow them on twitter and even retweet their things that may not be relevant to you. By maintaining good relationships, when you have other cool articles in the future, chances are they are going to link to you again!
Bio: Yang runs her own blog that focus on meetings technology and has strong interest in SEO and social media area. Now she’s working for Chillisauce Ltd. that specialise in organising corporate events.