My 1 link-building module.
Now Today, we're going to cover how to do blogger outreach that leads to backlinks.
And this may very well be the most important lesson in this entire module because nearly
all link-building tactics require some sort of email exchange.
So today, we'll cover the primary objective of blogger outreach, two common approaches,
and I'll break down the anatomy of a good quality outreach email.
So the primary objective of blogger outreach is to convince those with large targeted audiences
to talk about you. And from the perspective of an SEO, you want them to link to your website.
Now, outreach doesn't mean broadcasting, meaning, you shouldn't be sending every
The single person the exact same email like you would through email marketing.
For example, this outreach email that I got is what typical blogger outreach looks like today.
First of all, I can see that they didn't even take a second to check what my name is
when literally two-thirds of all pages on my personal site have my full name on them.
Instead, they stuck with the generic "there," used it in a mass mailing software, and
broadcasted it out to hundreds, maybe even thousands of people.
But the name thing isn't that big of a deal.
Second, this is clearly a generic templated email with zero consideration for the recipients.
The person says "I'm writing because I saw your post here."
Then they didn't even take a second to proofread the email.
And their justification for me to link to them is because "it fits well in my post."
On top of that, the person followed up with me three more times with nearly the exact
same email all sent within the same 30-minute period.
This, ladies and gentlemen, is called spam.
And the results of these kinds of emails lead to nothing.
The page the person wanted me to link to got a total of 2 backlinks and both of them are
irrelevant and look like they've been paid for.
And those backlinks aren't moving the needle since the page gets zero organic search visits.
These kinds of emails along with hundreds of others in my inbox are prime examples of
why you need to write good quality emails.
Otherwise, you'll just blend in with the rest of the spam people get on a daily basis.
After all, these are unsolicited emails.
Now, to be clear, it doesn't mean that you can't use some sort of template to send
a lot of emails efficiently.
For example, I literally just got this email in my inbox and it says:
I just published a roundup post about the Best Personal Blogs to Read and I featured
you in it" -- and that's a link to his post.
Then he explicitly says:
"But I'm not looking for a share or anything like that.
I just wanted to say thank you for all the inspiration you've brought to the blogosphere
and digital marketing world.
Best of luck in your endeavors and keep up the good work on Ahrefs' YouTube channel."
This email didn't come to my Ahrefs email account.
It came to the one on my personal site.
So he clearly did a bit of digging before sending the email and I'm sure he sent
a similar message to all 117 people he featured.
So you might be thinking: what's the point of this email if he's not asking for anything?
We'll get to that later in this lesson.
Now, the first email that I just showed you is one of the common approaches to blogger outreach.
It's called "the shotgun approach" where you build a broad list of targets, load them up
into an outreach tool, and then blast out emails to anyone and everyone.
The opposite approach to this is the sniper method.
This is when you choose targets carefully based on a tight set of criteria and then
send personalized emails.
Of the two methods, we recommend going with the sniper approach because shotgunning emails
to anyone and everyone is a surefire way to burn bridges.
Plus, no one likes spam.
And for that reason, the rest of this lesson will be centered around the sniper approach.
So before we get into actually crafting your outreach emails, let's quickly talk about who
you should be contacting and how to find their email addresses.
In general, you'll want to contact the author of the post if they work for the website.
For example, this is a post written by Joshua Hardwick on the Ahrefs blog.
Seeing as his profile states: "Head of Content @ Ahrefs," you know he works there and controls
what gets published on the Ahrefs' blog.
Now, for this post by Josh, there wouldn't be any use in contacting him because he
doesn't work for Sitepoint.
In this case, you'd want to contact the editor of the blog.
To find who that person is, you can check places like the website's About or Team page,
their "Write for us" page if they have one, or their company's LinkedIn profile.
Now, to actually find the person's email address, the easiest way is to check
Contact and About pages.
This works best for websites with one author.
For websites that have multiple people involved, like Sitepoint or Ahrefs, you usually won't find
individuals' email addresses on their site.
So to find these emails, you can use a tool like Hunter.io, go to their email finder tool,
and just search for their first and last name as well as the domain.
Hunter will then give you their best guess.
In this case, they're wrong, but the success rate is generally quite high.
Alright, so if you've done the work for the lessons in this module to this point, then
you should have chosen one of the 3 tactics I outlined, created a list of prospects, vetted
your list, and found some email addresses.
So it's time to actually write the pitch.
Now, while there isn't exactly a streamlined formula for every outreach email you send,
I want to talk about the anatomy of a simple outreach email that has been effective for me
for many years now.
And there are 5 main parts to a typical outreach email.
First is the subject line.
The goal of the subject line is simply to get them to open the email.
Otherwise, there's no chance at getting a response.
But you don't want to clickbait them because that'll only leave a bad impression.
So when you're writing a subject line, you want to briefly and accurately describe why
you're emailing them and ideally, evoke curiosity.
If we look back at my guest blogging outreach email from the previous lesson, I showed you
a hypothetical pitch where I asked if I could write a post for a golf site and share
data I have on the best golf balls for high handicappers.
So I might use a subject line like:
"New data: best balls for high-handicappers."
In my opinion, the "new data" part evokes curiosity and the rest of the subject line
explains the topic of the email.
The next part is the introduction.
And while there are numerous ways to write an intro, I think it's best to start by telling
them why you're emailing them.
And the goal of this part is to get them to read the next part of the email.
For example, with our guest posting sample email, I said:
"I was digging through your site and saw that you have a couple of posts on the best golf
balls for kids and for distance.
But I was pretty surprised to see that you don't have one for other types of players
Now, I will admit that the first sentence could definitely be stronger, but I'm basically saying
that you've done this and this, but looks like you're missing out an opportunity here.
The next part of the email is qualification and justification.
Simply asking someone for a favor and expecting them to see a mutual benefit is naive.
You need to show them why you're qualified and justify the pitch that
we'll get to in a second.
For example, if you're contacting someone to guest post, then explain why they should
accept your post over potentially hundreds of other submissions.
If you're asking them to add your link to a page on their site, give them an actual
A good reason why they should.
So in our guest posting sample, you'll see that I said:
"Being a high-handicapper myself, I spent hundreds of dollars on balls and countless
hours on launch monitors to find the best ball for me."
So the fact that a) I mention I'm a high handicapper
and b) I've tested numerous balls and got factual data from launch monitors, qualifies
and justifies what I'm about to pitch, which again, is a guest post about the best golf
balls for high handicappers.
Now, to really drill in on the concept of qualification and justification, let's look
at an example email for the Skyscraper technique.
A little while back, we did some outreach to get links to our blog post on SEO statistics.
So we emailed people with an email that looked something like this:
I saw you mentioned how 93% of online experiences begin with a search engine on your page about how to do keyword research.