How I Got a 82% Conversion Rate in Guest Blogging: Outreach
Conversion in guest blogging goes with receiving a positive response from a guest blog prospect and having your content published on your prospect’s site/blog. This should result into marketing opportunities like links, mentions and brand awareness as you go along with the process of guest blogging.
A few months ago, I’ve started to guest blog in various sites to get involved in the SEO community and connect with webmasters that had been influential in the search industry. Using free SEO tools and having strong connections with mid-level bloggers and influencers in the field makes it easy for me to get a decent amount of links for my site (usually from round-up posts) and had automate social sharing for my posts.
My conversion rate for guest blogging is 82% – 9 out of 11 pitches that I made (excluding this guest post). All of my guest blogging prospects are authoritative and have a large social following which make the campaign better since it amplifies the reach of my brand to my target audience (the more social followers my prospects have, the more people can see and share my guest post).
The two site owners that I reached out did not actually deny my request, they just informed me that they don’t publish guest posts (I should have done my research before asking them for a guest post).
For some of you, success for nine pitches is not as good as having 70 guest posts lived on other blogs. However, if you think again, focusing on the quality of the post can yield better results than having several mediocre guest posts (quantity) published on various sites. The lower the quality of posts you provide, the lesser the chance that people would want to connect to your brand (branding is more important than having tons of scattered links).
Where did I focus myself in guest blogging outreach?
Tracking who to pitch
Addressing the right person in your email outreach could bring either success or failure to your guest blogging campaign. Knowing who to target in your outreach would make it easy for you to initiate the conversation as soon as possible compared to getting in touch with the person who’re working in the support department. It will prolong the process of connecting to the right person as the support person still need to talk to your target person, tell your concern and address it by replying to your message. This is not good if you want immediate results for your guest blogging campaign.
Here are some tips to help you track the right person in guest blogging:
- Use tools like linksy, whois.net and tout app to find the emails of your prospects.
- Check out the internal pages of the site for easy email identification (contact us, about me, meet our team pages).
- Use advanced search query to find email address that have [at] and [dot] in its components. This is an easy tool to find email address for any type of websites (especially for those webmasters who don’t want to receive junk messages from spammers).
Every word that you will include in your email outreach should be carefully reviewed by your outreach specialist or a team member who is tasked to do the outreach. Putting words like, “links” and “link building” would only give you lower response rates in your campaign (especially for those type of industries that are already familiar with how link building works).
If you don’t have any relationship yet with the person, it would be difficult to get a reply back to your message, especially if you’re trying to get links to content deemed as commercial, like web hosting reviews. However, as you go along conversing with the person, you can see a signal whether or not you have a chance to guest blog on your prospect’s site. The more you hurry yourself in getting a positive response from your prospect, the more you lessen the chances of getting your content published on the blog. Build a rapport with your prospect during the conversation (this is a better approach to a stronger relationship building)
Determining the best time to send your emails to your guest blog prospects would help your outreach campaign become more effective in terms of getting higher response rate, seeing that many of the site owners would have time to read your emails (which is a good starting point to receive feedback from them).
I’ve tested this weekly schedule created by Jayson Bagio for guest posting outreach which worked for me in the past few months and I highly recommended it for your guest blogging campaign. The reason is that there is logic behind this schedule.
Obviously, weekends are not good days for guest posting outreach given that webmasters are busy doing non-working activities and they don’t have much time to open their emails for website purposes. The first three weekdays are good options for your outreach seeing these are the days that people are active and receptive to replies (especially if your contact person is working in an in-house team).
The best time to reach out to webmasters (in my experience) is 1:00pm onwards. I noticed that people could easily respond to my emails during those hours (knowing that they have a spare time after lunch).
One of the first few guest posts that I made was published on my friend’s blog. Jason Acidre became my influencer when I started to work in SEO and I learned a lot from him during my first few months in search marketing.
Relationship building made the whole guest blogging campaign more effective than the usual given that the response rates of the first outreach emails that should be low became high.
Building relationships with like-minded people in your community is one of the key secrets to getting higher response rates in your guest blogging outreach.
Here are a few ways to put yourself in front of your guest blogging prospect:
- Share your prospect’s content on social and add a few words to describe how you liked the post and how it can be a good resource to the community.
- Send a pitch to your prospect, thanking him for what he had shared on his blog. Add your own takeaways from the post, lessons you’ve learned and questions(s) that you pondered when you read the article.
- Add value to the community when you comment a post on his blog. If you consistently do that, he’ll be more likely to remember you as a person and when you request for a guest post, there is a high chance that he will respond to it.
Always be natural when you start to build a relationship with your prospect. Think of how you ask for a favor from a friend offline. I know you did something good before you request something from him. Now, do the same thing for your online outreach.
More tips for a better guest blogging outreach:
- Do you own testing. Never expect that you will get the same results for your outreach only by using the email template you’ve read in an article. Conversion or response rates vary in different types of industry so you must do your own experiment to see what works in your industry.
- Cite the number of words that you want to write for your guest post. This is an effective element especially if the target blog has a specific page for guest blogging guidelines and the site owner emphasized the number of words that they want to approve for a guest post. The site owner would want to know if you can create a content that matches to the prospect’s guest posting rules (which would get him more likely to respond to your email outreach).
- Install Yesware to your Gmail account to see if your prospect opened your email but doesn’t reply back to your message. Analyze why did the site owner didn’t respond to your outreach. Review the message you’ve sent to him and track points that let your outreach get a low response rate.