This week we’re pleased to offer this guest post by Frank Anderson of Webhosting.net. In a cool twist of life imitating the blogosphere (or vice versa) Frank neatly demonstrates the fruits of his action plan by having used all of the following steps to get published here on the Savvy B2B Marketing blog!
If you are involved in Content Marketing, you know that getting your content published on third-party blogs is a great way to build credibility and extend the reach of your content. Blogs are the easiest publishers to approach, Google loves their content, and their network and reach is often quite large.
But when you are building your list of potential blogs to target, you have to carefully judge the worth of each blog. Your blog list could potentially include hundreds of blogs and you want to spend most of your time conversing with the bloggers, not finding them. For this reason you’ll need to quickly and accurately judge which blogs have the largest reach, are updated regularly, and are most receptive to your pitch.
There is a lot of debate within the marketing world about how reliable Google PageRank is. But I still find it to be the first thing I check and here is why:
- It isn’t updated that often so you can easily weed out very new blogs (they don’t have any PageRank)
- It isn’t easy to earn a PageRank 4 or higher and you can usually trust that these blogs are high-value targets
- Blogs that aren’t updated are quickly demoted with each new PageRank update
Alexa / Compete
Last Post Date
Many blogs become neglected; these blogs are bad for your outreach efforts. So before you add a blog to your list, see when they last posted to make sure it is regularly updated.
You want to be sure that the blog you are targeting writes about the type of things you are pitching. Obviously you want to pitch blogs that talk about similar topics to your pitch, but your research should go a little further than that.
You want to also see if the blog covers topics that you could see a guest writer producing. If a blog simply talks about industry news then you’ll want to either avoid this blog or spin your email to emphasize the newsworthy aspect of it.
And if a blog clearly writes about products pitched to them, you might also want to search their site for their policy on it; many of these endorsements come with a price or strict guidelines.
You always want to determine who exactly is behind the blog. Your best find is a writer who has the blog simply for the love of writing and the blog’s topic. You want to watch out for blogs that are simply a promotional arm of a company – you don’t want to waste your time pitching to the competition.
Corporate blogs can quickly be identified by their URL (but not always). The blog might be a sub-folder on the primary domain; check out the company’s main page to see what purpose the blog is serving.
Once you have found a blog that avoids all the above pitfalls, it is time to see how receptive they are to pitches. Many blogs will provide a page or directions on their contact page with explicit guidance on how they like to be pitched. While their ideal method of pitching might not exactly meet your plans, if you follow their rules your chances of success are going to be a lot higher. It is worth the extra work.
Easy to Find Email Address
One thing that people overlook is how easy it is to find the blog authors’ email. The easier they make it to contact them, the more they want you to contact them. Not to mention that blogs that have very obscured contact information are probably hiding something.
I usually check the About Page before the Contact Page as the About Page often lists email address and gives a little more context to why they wish to be contacted. The contact page might just display a form that takes away much of your control as to how you frame the initial contact.
Don’t give up after the email has been sent! Persistence pays off and if you are really passionate about what you are pitching you will take the extra step and interact with the blog authors through their social media profiles.
Many bloggers get hundreds of emails a day and it is often difficult to get past that initial email gate, but an @reply or message on LinkedIn might just get a more receptive look.