Link building is an essential part of search engine optimization in today’s marketing world, and it is well-known that guest blogging (and obtaining a backlink) is one of the best ways to do it. As a marketing assistant for a cruise travel agency, I am constantly reaching out to relevant blogs and websites in an effort to obtain backlinks and build relationships with great websites and bloggers.
Through my experiences, I’ve learned a lot, so I have put together this list for you with 8 tips to consider when searching for and reaching out to potential guest blogging opportunities.
1- Peruse through the website. Don’t just read the website name and decide whether or not it is a good option. Look through the website, click on a few pages, and check out the tone, the style, the content. Make sure it is a good fit for you, and use this information when reaching out and writing for the website.
2- Look for a section regarding guest post submissions. This may seem like a rudimentary tip, but you’d be surprised at how many people fail to read simple guidelines and rules before reaching out to potential guest blogging opportunities. If you can’t find this section, be sure to ask for guidelines in your first contact e-mail.
3- Consider how you can get the most value out of a link. When you are crafting your first contact, and are pitching an idea (which I expand on in # 4 & #5) consider how you can make the most of your post. Don’t be afraid to write a blog post around a link you really need to get out there, but make sure you do it subtlety! For example, lately I have been trying to promote our cruise destinations (e.g. cruises to the Mediterranean) so if I find a food blog, I would discuss food excursions available on an Mediterranean cruise. If I do this subtlety, I am able to include a link that compliments my content.
4- Compliment the reader before asking for an opportunity. Let’s be honest, everyone likes to be complimented. That being said, bloggers aren’t stupid. Read an article on their website about a topic you enjoy, and tell them what you thought of it. Or, find a feature you think is cool on one of their pages. Most readers will be more receptive to your request this way.
5- Be honest. When you are reaching out to bloggers, be transparent. Tell them how you found them, why you’ve contacted them, and what you’re looking to get out of it. Trust me, your chances will be much higher when you go about things the right way and tell the person up front what you are trying to achieve. Whether it’s a backlink for your corporate website, or increased traffic for your personal blog, just be honest. For example, if I am trying to increase traffic to our Caribbean cruise deals page, I will try and let the potential blog know up front.
6- Keep a list of declines, follow-ups, and successes. By having a good record of your outreach, you will know who you have already contacted, who you need to follow up with, and where your links have been placed. This helps if you want to form a relationship with a certain blogger, or you want to publish a follow-up post.
7- If you can’t find an e-mail to contact, use the contact form. Many people will leave a site or blog, because they can’t find a person or e-mail to contact. Always make sure to look for a contact form first. Blogs almost always have a contact form, and some webmasters will check their contact form submissions more frequently than their email.
8- Be courteous. Everything you would do when calling someone on the phone, should translate into your contact email. Be clear and succinct. Let them respond to you in any way they would like (make sure you have your contact information displayed prominently so they can easily respond). Most importantly, thank them for their time and consideration.
There you have it, 8 tips for those searching for and reaching out to potential guest blogging opportunities. Next time you are conducting blog outreach, pull up this article and use it as a checklist. After you start becoming more successful and comfortable with the process, make your own list! If you have a tip you think should be on this list, tell us in the comments below!
Author: Austin Gambino is a marketing assistant at The Cruise Web. The Cruise Web is a travel agency that specializes in cruising. The expert cruise consultants focus on providing travelers with the best value for their time and money in finding and booking a cruise vacation! Interact with us on Facebook and learn more.