• Guest Blogger outreach- The good, The Bad and the ugly

    Blogger Outreach Services: The Good, The Bad & The Really Ugly

    Well, guest blogging may not be completely dead, but the ways and means of executing on blogger outreach campaigns can be hugely beneficial on one hand or wildly damaging to your SEO on the other.

    Everyone wants access to the most influential blogs and publishers both in and out of their niche. It’s the best way to increase niche relevant exposure for your brand and website.

    Outsourcing your blogger c can also help you collaborate with the right influencer, improve brand visibility and achieve high-authority mentions. 

    Not to mention, the backlinks for SEO. However, the buyer beware. Not all blogger outreach services is helpful. Some are good. Some are bad. Some are downright ugly!

    The Good: The Pros of Guest Blogger Outreach Services 

    The best thing about quality blog outreach marketing is that you get access to a well-established audience. 

    When you work with a reliable blogger outreach firm, you get to take advantage of their expertise, experience and partnerships. They identify the target blogs and send them article pitches on your behalf. 

    And once the bloggers and their audiences pick up on your message, expect the following:

    1. Quality & Relevant Backlinks 

    A blogger outreach Services allows you to gain quality free backlinks (almost) trough link building techniques from other popular websites in your niche that can help you rank higher on search engines. The greater the credibility of website link placements linking back to you, the higher search engines pages will hold you as an authority on the subject.

    2. Increased Social Shares

    A blogger outreach agency can expose your brand to many opportunities. Chances are that your website address and social media handles will go out with the guest blog or blogger outreach strategy, driving more organic traffic and warm leads your way

    Millennials are more ‘influenced’ by bloggers than celebrities, and 4 in 10 subscribers say that influential bloggers understand their preferences better than their friends. So there’s no doubt that your consumers often turn their attention to their favorite bloggers when researching possible purchases. Data also shows that 81% of buyers explicitly trust the advice that comes from bloggers. 

    3. Higher ROI on Traffic Sources 

    You don’t have to spend more to generate leads or find the right audience.

    Collaborating with high profile websites and blogs ensures that your content is shared with people who are already interested in your products. 

    The right guest blogger outreach services can be one of the biggest boons you’ll ever have for your SEO ROI, but only if you do it right!

    The Bad: What To Ask When Hiring A Blogger Outreach Company

    Bloggers who can spread the word about your brand and ‘influence’ people to invest in your products can go a long way in generating good PR around your brand. 

    However, you must consider a few things before you finalize an agency to streamline your blogger outreach services process. When sourcing link placement opportunities, it is important to keep the following in mind: 

    If a link is easy to acquire, it is much less valuable. The harder a backlink is to secure, the more value will be placed on it.

    This is true whether or not that site has high or low domain authority.

    Make sure you know the answers to the following questions before signing them on:

    How Well Do They Conduct A Target Audience Analysis?

    As with any marketing agency, getting to know their clients and brands should be their first priority. 

    Did they send out a questionnaire to get to know your business? Have they reviewed the top relevant blogs in your niche? What creative & link building strategies are they applying to help your brand stand out from the competition? Do they already have a database of influential bloggers that can help your brand get a wider exposure? 

    Ask questions about the agency’s past and current clients, some of their most popular marketing strategies, and their usual target audience. This can help you decide whether they’d be a good fit for your brand.

    Are the Publishers Relevant To Your Niche? 

    One of the most critical factors in hiring an agency is making sure they actually perform blogger outreach services to your industry. 

    Yes, getting high authority links is great, but relevancy is also critical to your acquired links.

    If they are used to working in the beauty space, your SaaS business will give them a tough time. 

    You don’t need to hire an expensive agency just because they seem to be experts. Get one that maintains a good relationship with bloggers so you can have access to an audience related to your brand’s target market. 

    For example, if your product is protein shakes aimed at fitness buffs, you would want to collaborate with an agency that has a target of people catering to sports buffs and athletes. In this case, your blogger outreach campaign or outreach process can outsource your brand marketing to B2B businesses and companies that have good relationships with wellness and fitness blogs. 

    Gone are the days where the following strategy for finding guest blogging opportunities is listed as “best practice” or “white hat”. In fact, that’s one of the very reasons, guest blogging has been declared as dead.

    Again, if others are regularly contributing guest posts, then the value of your site posting on such a site is greatly diminished.

    Moreover, it will be beneficial for your marketing strategy to go with an agency that hand-picks their bloggers. 

    How Does The Agency Treat Bloggers In Your Industry?

    You want partnering bloggers to be genuinely excited about your brand. They should genuinely appreciate your product and recommend it to their readers wholeheartedly, without sounding too sales-y. 

    A compelling campaign will ensure that content is authentically integrated with the blogger’s own content. Your agency should find ways beneficial for both the blogger’s outreach and your brand’s. The eagerness of bloggers to talk about your brand will be reflected in their content. 

    Even after your campaign ends, maintaining a good blogger relationship will ensure that they put in a good word about your brand with other influential bloggers. You can also promote their blog by having giveaways, sending them sponsored content, and providing them maximal license over their blog writing

    A marketing agency that goes an extra mile in showing appreciation to their bloggers is bound to have influencers who will go to great lengths in promoting their brands. 

    Do They Create The Right Content? Is it Quality? 

    Influencers have reached their current popularity status by creating evergreen, valuable content and engaging audience in creative ways. So the only way you can expect blogger outreach serviceto work is by producing reciprocal content that is useful for both influencers and your consumers. 

    After all, if the content is not engaging enough to attract influencers in the industry, chances are that it won’t be successful in attracting your target demographic either. 

    A 2019 marketing survey shows that 61% of marketers found it challenging to find relevant influencers for a campaign. And partnering with the wrong influencers led to a campaign fail. 

    Guest posts can only be useful if you have already developed a genuine relationship with bloggers through your content. For example, if your brand operates in the fashion industry, a guest post with an influencer from the food industry will not help you increase exposure. However, at the same time, collaborating with an influencer from the beauty industry might help. 

    Therefore, one of the most critical factors in growing your brand through blogger outreach Service is to create the right content for the right influencers. 

    How Do They Measure Success?

    Lastly, whichever blogger outreach campaign service you choose, make sure that they can give you relevant statistics that can help you determine your campaign’s success. 

    The most common metrics used for measuring a blogger campaign’s success is the level of an efficient blogger relationship, regular engagement, and conversions that it can get. Influencers with many followers are usually more successful in ‘influencing’ their audience about a specific brand.  However, the factors that drive your success will ultimately depend on the goals you have for your campaign. 

    Here are some questions to ask your agency regarding the goals of your brand campaign:

    1. Brand Awareness

    Suppose you’re collaborating with bloggers to spread awareness about a new product or service. In that case, tactics like guest posting on other blogs can help you generate an audience from your niche. You can ask your agency for soft metrics such as the number of shares your post gets and the amount of organic traffic it drives to your website.

    2. Lead Generation

    If your campaign aims to increase B2B leads, you are likely to collaborate with bloggers who are popular among your target people. In this case, ask your agency to give you statistics such as the number of people signing up for a free trial or the number of people visiting your landing page.

    3. Product Purchases

    Is it your campaign’s goal is to generate positive product reviews? 

    Your success metrics can be the number of conversions or increase in organic traffic after a specific content is published. Additionally, you can also give your agency a target percent to achieve when setting up a campaign.

    3. Improved SEO Exposure & Keyword Rankings Increases 

    Depending on the type, volume and velocity of your link building agency, you can expect some volatility and dancing when you start blogging and link building via blogger outreach from nothing.

    But how does your site stack up 3, 6, 9 and 12 months after a particular campaign is launched?

    Do your relevant keywords continue to rise in the SERPs, like this?

    What Services Do They Offer?

    It is a fair idea to be aware of what services and features your blogger outreach service offers. Many bloggers and influencers offer a variety, volume and velocity of content according to their specific areas of SEO expertise.

    For example, if your brand mainly caters to a professional, corporate audience, a blogger with expertise over written content would be more beneficial than a blogger with an influential Instagram presence.

    The key to building a long-term relationship with your backlink outreach agency is to make sure that it offers a wide range of services so you can switch between types of content. 

    When you’re closing a deal, ensure that your agency offers a comprehensive content creation service plan and provides you with useful statistics to help you make an informed decision. 

    Are they really performing outreach or are they just paying a private blog network for links that anyone can acquire? 

    The Ugly: Selecting Bloggers For Successful Outreach

    When starting out on your blogger outreach journey, your agency conducts relevant research about the blogs that’ll host content about your business. They’ll lookout for the following factors when selecting the right blogging partner for your marketing needs: 

    Post Frequency

    One of the most important things to check is the blogger’s post frequency. Most of the agencies have lists of popular blogs on different niches that they offer their clients. However, many blogs in the list might be inactive, taking a break, or not accepting sponsored or guest posts at the moment.

    In cases like these, when the blog updates only once a month, chances are that engagement is low, and you won’t get increased reach and audience engagement for your brand. 

    Social Media Following & Traffic Assessment 

    One of the things that marketers confuse is between a large social media following and greater engagement

    A blog might have thousands of followers, but if only a couple of hundred people engage with their content, it has little outreach. On the other hand, a blog may have fewer than a hundred followers, but if all of them leave authentic comments and engage regularly, chances are collaborating with the said blog is likely to earn you greater exposure and conversion. 

    On the contrary, tons of organic traffic should not be confused with tons of authority. Followers can easily be manipulated or bought by paid apps. Having a strong, authentic social media following on different platforms is usually indicative of an authoritative blog.

    High Search Authority

    One of the significant indicators of a high ranking website on SERPs is the relevancy of content according to its blog niche, a strong following, good trust/citation flow, high organic traffic, active engagement, high domain authority and a decent post frequency. 

    Domain authority refers to the number of backlinks that your website gets. Some websites may have high-search keywords naturally integrated into their website will their content authoritative. For example, IMDB has a high domain authority because of the naturally existing keywords all over its website. 

    Collaborating with high authoritative websites will not only earn you relevant backlinks. This will simultaneously also establish you as an authority on the topic. 

    Further Publisher Analysis to Avoid PBNs

    Any blogger outreach service should be performing the following “trust” analysis assessment on the publishers who may be willing to provide guest posts on their site:

    • What is the Moz Domain Authority, Ahrefs Domain Rating?
    • What is the SEMrush Citation Flow and Trust Flow? Does it look natural?
    • Does the incoming backlink profile look natural?
    • Is the site niche specific from real bloggers or does the header menu look like this: “Home | Marketing | Finance | Celebrity | CBD | Write for Us!
    • How is the overall content? Is it well-written or does it sound like it was written by a foreigner?
    • What do the outbound links look like coming from various blogs on the site? Do they use natural anchor text or are they keyword specific? Does every post look like it includes links to some sort of paid promotional site?
    • Has the site been historically reviewed via archive.org lookup to ensure it’s not been repurposed to simply take advantage of the existing link profile only to be converted as a gem inside a link wheel or a private blog network (PBN)?
    • Have the site’s IP address been checked against other IP addresses in a “guest post list’? Duplicate IP addresses should be flagged as “no go.”
    • How frequently is content refreshed on the site?

    Find Amazing Blogger Publishing Opportunities + Examples

    Blogger outreach campaigns tend to be fun and creative as bloggers collaborate with brands to create relatable content. In many cases, publications are looking for great content from great brands. 

    You just need the right connection to them.

    Sometimes the publishers throw the GOOD bloggers a bone. When they do, you should have already established a name for yourself. That’s why it’s best to always have your line in the water. 

    Here are a few examples:

    ModCloth

    Modcloth, a popular fashion brand, implemented a well-thought-out, creative strategy to increase their sales and conversions through a blogger outreach campaign. Their “Blogger Of The Moment” Campaign was incredibly successful because it was about fashion bloggers’ success and not the brand itself. 

    They took a step further to empower these bloggers by naming dresses after featured bloggers that were part of the campaign. This campaign is a prime example of how bloggers can incorporate a brand into their content authentically when they get creative freedom.

    Wendy’s

    The marketing team of Wendy’s launched the ‘Sweet Made Sweeter’ blogger campaign for their new waffle cones that targeted family, lifestyle, and mom blogs. 

    The marketing team sponsored these bloggers to write posts about how Wendy’s Frosty Waffle Cone can make them nostalgic about some of the sweetest moments of their lives. These bloggers also took super-cute pictures with their families to make it enjoyable, showing awkward moments while eating the ice-cream.

    One Kings Lanes

    This company called on bloggers to create an aesthetic mood board for their vanities using their signature line of mirrors. One Kings Lane shows that blogging outreach campaigns can quite a lot of buzz at a minimal cost.

    The focus on aesthetics and vanity is a brilliant way of engaging audiences from different niches such as the beauty industry, home décor blogs, and interior design buffs. Participants are attracted to these ideas, leading to an increase in One Kings Lane’s website for additional inspiration and purchases. 

    Conclusion

    Depending on your campaign’s goals, think about what a blogger outreach campaign can bring to your brand. Make sure that your SEO agency delivers everything they promise and update you with regular statistics from the campaign. 

    It may be challenging and time-consuming, but this tactic has proven effective for SEO success and brand development for countless businesses.

    But the trouble is that it can be challenging to ascertain if a blogger really is as influential as their media kit shows them. 

    When your organization is looking to pitch a guest post or a review, it isn’t a good idea to go in blindly. You will need to make sure that they can reach the audiences you intend to sell to. 

    And this makes it a good idea to work with a blogger outreach agency that can do the research and due diligence on your behalf. 

    Of course, as a hardworking entrepreneur, you might want to wing it. But think of the costs and difficulties you’ll face when identifying target websites, reaching out to writers and editors, pitching blog ideas, securing backlinks, and more. Do you really have the time and dedication needed for successful blogger outreach?

    Let our professional blogger outreach service take the burden off your shoulders. 

    Get in touch with us to find out how we reach leading industry blogs to get you the exposure you need! And, if you’re not running organic campaigns, but are doing PPC, we can use that PPC data to help influence how we do SEO

    And, take a look at our custom backlink checker to know where your site might be deficient.

    Timothy Carter