In this guest post my friend Tor Refsland is going to share his best strategies for effective blogger outreach, and what not to do if you want to get featured on 85 blogs in one year.
I recently came across Tor Refsland's awesome blog Time Management Chef, and I was very impressed by the extremely high quality articles, and the way Tor built authentic, powerful relationships with some of the biggest names in the online space in a very short time…. he even has great testimonials from some of them. That's why I invited him to share his blogger outreach strategies with you, and I couldn't be more excited to have Tor write this awesome guest post for my site.
You’ll enjoy this — take it away, Tor!
Have you ever felt like this?
You want to grow your business and there is a specific activity people are constantly advising you to do…
…and deep down inside, you know that you should do it.
The activity is blogger outreach.
But it´s easier said than done.
And you are dreading to start doing it. Because you are…
afraid that you will mess up…
afraid that you will look like a fool…
afraid that you will burn some bridges…
afraid that the influencers will ignore you…
or even worse – blacklist you.
Does that sound familiar? I totally get it.
I've been there too, and it sucks. BIG time.
Relax and breathe. I got your back. I will tell you what NOT to do.
But first let me tell you about why blogger outreach can be…
The Make It Or Break It Factor For Your Business
You are probably thinking, “Can blogger outreach REALLY skyrocket my online business?”
It´s a fair question.
The short answer is yes.
Having a blogger outreach strategy was the key to me getting featured on 85 blogs and getting 3000+ email subscribers in my first year of blogging.
There are basically only three things you need in order to succeed online:
1. Targeted traffic
2. Conversion from traffic to subscriber
3. Conversion from subscriber to customer
If you can master those three, you will be able to build a successful online business.
Note: In order for this to work it´s obvious that you need to create awesome content and be able to over-deliver. But you already knew that, right?
You might be thinking, “But Tor, what does blogger outreach have to do with the three things above?”
A great question indeed.
Let me explain.
1. Targeted traffic
If you know the right influencers, you can get traffic whenever you want.
In order for this to work you need to:
- Have built a relationship with the influencers in advance
- Have created awesome content that is relevant for their audience
- Have asked them in a polite way to share it
If you do that, you can get replies like these…
Jon Morrow from Boost Blog Traffic replied:
Jaime Tardy from Eventual Millionaire replied:
Brian Dean from Backlinko replied:
2. Conversion from traffic to subscriber
You can write a guest post for them, like I did for…
Noah Kagan´s SumoMe:
Or you can get interviewed on their podcast, like I did for Adam Franklin and Tony Jenkins on their “Web Marketing That Works Podcast”.
Yeah, that´s my mug, but that´s not the cool part.
Here are some of the other guests on their podcast…
Darren Rowse from CopyBlogger
Pat Flynn from Smart Passive Income
Nathan Chan from Foundr.
Michael Port from Michael Port
Jeff Goins from Goins Writer
3. Conversion from subscriber to customer
So how can you get influencers to help you with conversion from subscriber to customer?
Well there are at least two things you can do.
Thing 1: You can ask them to give you a testimonial (yes, that´s a BIG ask), like I did for my blogger outreach skills…
Yaro Starak from Entrepreneurs Journey:
John Lee Dumas from EOFire:
Evan Carmichael from Evan Carmichael:
Thing 2: You can ask them to become an affiliate for your product (yes, this is an even BIGGER ask.)
I am about to create an awesome product on blogger outreach and I have already a few influencers who are interested in promoting it. One of them has an email list of 306 000 people.
I just wanted to show you what´s possible if you do blogger outreach the right way.
Since I can check that off my to do list now, let´s move on to the next part.
What NOT To Do If You Want To Get Featured On 85 Blogs In One Year
Whatever you do, you do NOT want to make these crippling mistakes.
Here Are The Seven Deadly Sinners Of Blogger Outreach
1. The Link Beggar
This is a person who just asks an influencer to share his / her link without having built any relationship in advance.
The first engagement with an influencer is to start asking for favors.
Are you freakin' kidding me? That is rude.
It´s like lurking behind a bush outside a popular restaurant, and when the influencer is leaving the restaurant after a nice dinner with his / her family, you ambush them and scream: “Hey, can you buy me a beer!”
And no, that won´t be any more polite, if you throw in a please at the end of the question.
Build a relationship first. How?
By providing value, being polite and never ask for anything in the start. You need to be genuine.
The important part is to not expect anything from the influencer. You need to focus on just giving awesomeness.
That will help you to immediately stand out from all the beggars out there.
2. The Template Laughing Stock
My very good friend Sue Anne Dunlevie from Successful Blogging, who is totally kicking *ss, sent me an email with the topic: “Funny Story!”
“I just got an email from a guy I don't know and the email was for a request to do an roundup post question.
My email was addressed to Dear Jeff Bullas!
Either he doesn't want me or forgot to change the name out from his template!!!
The guy reached out to Sue Anne and he didn't even change out the name. What the heck?
That´s a nice way to show how dumb or lazy you are.
In the template Sue got, there were three big mistakes.
Can you identify them?
I will give you 5 seconds.
Okay, here we go.
Mistakes 1: Writing Dear.
We are not living in the 18th century. Neither are you sending an email to the Queen of England or a love letter.
Mistake 2: Including first and last name.
You don´t want to be too formal. This is not an email to the CEO of a big international bank. Stick to the first name.
Mistake 3: Not putting in the right name.
Duh! I don't need to say anything more about this part.
Solution: Start by avoiding the mistakes mentioned above.
3. The Automation Robot
I received an email with the topic: “Your timemanagementchef.com small business readers need this info!”
The email said:
I’m [First name][Last name] from [Name of company]. I came across your timemanagementchef.com small business marketing content today. Congratulations on your 13370 followers!
I write content focused on small/medium business online marketing strategies, and I thought perhaps your timemanagementchef.com audience could benefit from a post that I wrote on local SEO tips for better presence in Google organic searches. Many of our SMB clients have minimal understanding of how to get their business found in local search results. In my blog post, I discuss the importance of getting your business listed correctly with data aggregators (ie, Infogroup, Acxiom, et. al), and other important online citation sources. It also includes a video tutorial.
Let me know if this is something you'd be interested in and I can send it your way to check out. Maybe you have a round-up post coming up where you could reference these local search tips.
[First name][Last name]
[Name of Company]“
Note: In this case, he wrote his first name, last name and the name of his company. I didn't include it here, because I don´t call people out in the public. That´s not the way I roll.
I sent him this email:
I haven´t received any reply yet.
Okay, so he is obviously using an outreach tool with a bad template.
How do I know?
Well, he mentions my URL 3 times! Once in the topic and twice in the email.
Yeah, I definitely know the URL of my own website, no need to spray it all over the email.
Secondly, he writes:
“I came across your timemanagementchef.com small business marketing content today.”
So what content is he referring to? My blog posts on my blog, my guest posts, my interviews, the expert round ups I´m featured in or my social media content?
Once again it proves that he hasn't read anything. If so, he should at least point out what he had read.
But hey, who can blame him?
Perhaps his template didn't have the “Insert specific URL that you are pretending to have read” field.
If you use outreach tools, for your own sake, use common sense and let the template at least sound like it comes from a human being.
Personalize your email. If you say that you have read a blog post, specify which blog post and what part you liked the best. That will help you to stand out from the rest of the robots out there.
4. The “I Don´t Know How To Do Research” Clown
The topic of the email said: “Hi Sara. Question about timemanagementchef.com.”
The email said:
My name is [First name] [Last name]. I'm the Affiliate Manager for [Name of Internet Marketer], a well-known figure in Internet Marketing and Search Engine Optimization. I found your site in Google and wanted to drop you a personal email to see if we could help each other.
If you're open to it, we would like to create high quality content for your site at no cost to you. All we would ask in return is a single link in the (very brief) About the Author section at the end of the article. High quality images come with each article as well.
We have a team of writers with expertise in many markets. After reviewing your site I think we'd be a good match for each other.
If you're interested or have any questions, please let me know. If not, thank you for taking the time to read this all the same.
The following two sentences makes him do a face plant on the concrete floor:
Stupid sentence 1: “Hi Sara”
My name is still Tor, at least that is what my driver license says, and also every place where I have been featured online. Yes, my better half´s name is Sara, and once upon a time my domain name was registered in her name. But not anymore.
Stupid sentence 2: “I found your site in Google and wanted to drop you a personal email to see if we could help each other.”
The email is NOT personal at all. It´s a template. Don´t say it´s a personal email if it´s not, it just makes you look like a clown.
Stupid sentence 3: After reviewing your site I think we'd be a good match for each other.
No you have NOT reviewed my site, and you don´t even know my first name. Liar, liar, pants on fire.
When you reach out to influencers it doesn't matter how good your product is or how big the person you might be representing is…
if you can´t do your freakin' research it just shows that you are incompetent and it makes you look like a clown. And to be quite honest, you don´t need to be Sherlock Holmes to find out that my website is being run by a dude from Norway with the name Tor.
5. The “I Will Drown You With My Email” Murderer
Have you ever gotten an email from a person who you don´t know and the email is so long that you are thinking: “Hmm…what a nice way to murder my motivation to read this email, and yes, you are definitely killing any chance of me ever responding to you”?
I have, and I get annoyed. It´s like having a vampire in your inbox trying to suck your blood, or at least your will to ever want to open an email from a stranger ever again.
Influencers are extremely busy. Be short and succinct.
They didn't subscribe to your “long cryptic emails that will bore you to death” newsletter.
6. The “Way Too Big Ask” Fool
Sometimes people are doing descent blogger outreach. However, they do a fatal mistake. They ask for way too much.
If an influencer is replying to your emails, it doesn't mean that you suddenly can ask him / her to share a link. Unless you give them a very good reason.
In addition, getting an influencer to share your link is a win, be happy and celebrate with a happy dance. Don´t ask him / her to review your website for free.
Know what you can ask for. A good rule is to give, give, give and ask.
You give 3 times and then you ask, if what you are asking for is appropriate.
If you are unsure about what you can ask for, send me an email. But the topic has to say “Navid rocks”. Yup, that´s an open invitation for you to get feedback from me. My clients are paying me $500 per month for that access.
7. The “I Can´t Deliver The Goods” Loser
Sometimes I experience that people are reaching out in an okay way.
Since I have been commenting on a certain blog post (they mention the blog post), and now they have just published a blog post that has a different angle or is going deeper into the details.
And then they ask me if I am interested.
I reply: “Sure, send it over.”
And what happens next?
They send me a low quality article that never should be allowed to see the light of day.
Listen. This is important.
Your blogger outreach can be top notch. You can be a total grand master in it.
However, if you are not able to deliver the goods, you will look like a total loser. And you will definitely have burned a bridge with the influencer.
It´s like opening a restaurant. You know a lot of popular people and you are able to get them visit your restaurant at the opening day and bring their friends.
Sounds like a great start, right?
Well, your reputation will be ruined forever and your restaurant will go bankrupt if you can´t…
let´s say it together…
deliver the goods.
Solution: This should be needless to say, but I will still say it. Why? Because it´s really important. Before you ever ask influencers to share any of your content, be sure that it´s top notch.
If your content isn´t top notch, why should the influencers share your stuff? Remember that if the influencers start to share bad stuff, they will ruin their own brand.
What To Do Next…
Now you know which type of blogger outreach mistakes that you should avoid, and how to avoid them.
However, that knowledge totally is useless, if you don´t apply it.
What´s your experience with reaching out to influencers?
And even more interesting, what´s your experience when people have been reaching out to you?
Let us know in the comments!
About The Author
Tor Refsland helps online entrepreneurs skyrocket their business by building genuine relationships with influencers. Want to skyrocket your blog?
He will soon launch the free course How To Blog Outreach Like A Boss . But he only has 100 spots (seriously). Click here to reserve your spot now, so you can receive some of Tor`s BEST tips (that no one else uses).