Last updated on December 22nd, 2015
When link building, you cannot simply write good content and then sit back and wait for traffic to visit your website. Without promoting your content yourself, you are not likely to receive the kind of traffic you want or need for your business to thrive. Most people will tell you that harder to obtain links are more valuable to your content.
Chances are if you’ve been creating content for a while and it seems like you’re getting no traffic, you’ve most likely failed to add outreach to your marketing plan. Rather than simply slap your new content on your established website, you need to add this new content into your marketing plan as well.
What is Outreach?
If you’ve never heard of outreach, it is an early SEO tactic to obtain website traffic by gaining links. To perform outreach, you search for a site you want a link from, find the webmaster’s email address or contact form and ask permission for a link. Perform this enough and you’ll learn just what to say that will work to gain links quickly. While it may seem like an ancient practice, outreach is still a very effective link-building tool.
Why Do We Still Use Outreach?
Easy, because it works. It works because you’re able to prove that you are a human, and more importantly, that you’re willing to do something in return for the link(s) you want. This includes being willing to create content for them, help them by being an authority on one of their topics or some sort of promotion. As you hone your pitching skills, remember that the webmasters you’re pitching to have this knowledge as well. Moreover, remember to take the time (and have the respect for) to plan for smaller blogs just as you would with seasoned publications.
Tricks to Gain Links through Outreach
You need to familiarize yourself with the website(s) you are pitching to before contacting them. This gives you time to personalize your pitch, show that you care enough to have taken an interest in their site, and why it will make sense to link to your content. Remember that each site will vary on how long it will take to obtain your desired link—some webmasters will be happy with your first pitch (or maybe a follow-up) and others will require numerous emails. Don’t just send one email and expect immediate results.
- Pitch softly, but not so much so that you seem unprepared.
- Find common ground and do your research! If you need a link about x-topic, then you should be able to discuss the topic with your contact without hesitation.
- Don’t expect something for nothing. Be able to provide your contact with something in return. This could be a guest post or a bit of interesting content (which could be something for them personally or something that they can also share with their readers).
- Be personable! Also known as, be awesome, because awesome people rock—and they get results.
In many respects, old school ways of direct communication still yield results. Don’t neglect the opportunities for link building from direct outreach. To learn more about effective link building, check out part II of our miniseries on direct outreach and content refreshing, and continue browsing our link building blog for more.