When done right, guest blogging can be a great way to build a brand, build authority, and generate buzz for a product.
But here’s the problem:
Most people take the quick and dirty approach to guest blogging. The goal is to publish as many articles as fast and cheap as possible – without much thought to quality.
They’ll scrape the web for blogs that probably aren’t relevant then send them all the exact same outreach email that they found in an article on the web. The same as 7,000 other people.
… And for those on the receiving end, it gets old quick.
And this approach can be brand damaging.
Yes! Send people spammy outreach emails from a branded email and it will likely influence their perception of the brand.
When you’re emailing influencers, or even micro-influencers, that can be a bigger problem than most people think.
Then the inevitable happens – they reach the end of the rainbow and find there is no pot of gold. And have to contact those “burnt opportunities” again in the hope they’ve forgotten their terrible pitch, or start contacting sites with even less relevance to their target audience.
But, this time round, their branded email address has been marked as spam so many times that most emails don’t even reach their recipient.
Then, there’s the knock-on effect those spammed emails have on other emails the business sends (ouch).
And all of a sudden, customers stop getting important emails and revenue starts to slide. The situation turns into a completely avoidable dumpster fire.
Introducing “Framework Outreach” – A smarter approach to guest blogging
What if you didn’t have to send 100-200 emails to get 5 positive responses? What if you could send 20 and get more than 5 positive responses? Well, you can.
First of all – throw out those templates. Especially if you found a template in a freely available blog post.
Start with pre-outreach. Pick a handful of blogs (preferably personal blogs that DO accept guest posts) and get to know the bloggers behind them.
For example, you could:
- Comment on their blog
- Share their content on social media and tag them
- Reply to their social media updates
- Help them out with something – e.g. an error on their site they may have missed
- Sign up to their email list and engage with them
The last one is without a doubt, the best way to get on someone’s radar and forging a relationship with them.
This is part of the goal – getting to know other bloggers in your niche. Once you do this, you’ll be able to develop a long-term relationship where you help each other out.
And if building links to your site is your goal, you’ll find you get more natural links when you focus on nurturing relationships.
Once you’ve gotten to know them you can start to formulate your pitch.
And because sharing outreach templates isn’t helpful in the long-run, I’m not going to give you one. Instead, I’ll share a framework you can use to create your own.
Here’s how your email should be arranged:
- Personalize – By far the most important part of the email, you need to at the very least, address the recipient by name. You can go a step further by mentioning something you know about them to show you’ve put thought into your email.
- Help – Like Seth Godin says, people don’t want email, they want ME-mail. Do something to help them out without asking. It doesn’t have to be much. It could just be a social share or a mention somewhere.
- Ask – The folks you’ll be contacting are busy. So be clear and concise in what you’re asking them to do. In this case, it’ll be asking if they’d consider a guest post from you.
- Help again – If they agree to your “ask,” let them know you’ll do something else for them as well. In the case of a guest post, you could say something like “I’ll share the finished post with my # social media followers, and link back to it from future articles on other sites.” (marketing savvy bloggers would love this).
- Sign off – Let them know who you are. Use a signature that shows your photo, website, and social accounts – most bloggers will “vet” guest contributors and this makes it easy for them.
This formula can work extremely well for other types of outreach too – not just guest blogging.
For example, Eugene Mota used my approach to generate an 80% response rate from an influencer outreach campaign.
And even without the pre-outreach phase, you’ll get far better results using my Framework Outreach approach.
Just don’t forget to optimize the rest of your campaign as well. Follow-up emails will be a consideration too. Be sure to use the same type of thinking in these types of emails as well.
But, you can take things further, so, what’s next? Be sure to check out my article on guest blogging strategy.
Inside, you’ll learn how to position your guest post for maximum traffic, while increasing your chances of being invited back to contribute in the future.