Connections: Why Quality Takes Time

Working with clients on the Connection side of CopyPress, I’m often asked, “how long do you think it will take you to place all of the content?” This is always a tough one to answer because I can only ever give a rough estimate with a secondary response of, “well, you know if we were buying links we could do this in about a week.”  Sure we could throw some money at bloggers on low-end sites just to get the content published, but what value does that have to our client? So what if we wow them with a speedy delivery?  When you rush through and half-arse something, the end results are never what you really want.

Quality takes time.

Since we only offer 100% natural content placement it’s hard to predict when the first and last piece of content will get placed. As a best practice, I always run the client through the potential delaying obstacles that we MAY face, and the nature of the beast that is natural outreach.

Mining Domains

For our Connections service we work within some strict metrics and boundaries to ensure consistency and overall quality. We have a lot of quality disqualifiers such as ranking for any keywords in SEM Rush; if a domain fails even one of these tests we won’t use it for a campaign.

Even though we have established relationships with thousands of bloggers, we always venture into new verticals to continue to grow our inventory and get the client exactly what they are looking for. Of most recent we were doing some UK Fashion work for a very specific target market. It took us some time to mine the domains, and here’s why:

  • Approximately 20,000 out of the top 1,000,000 Alexa Ranked sites are labeled as UK based.
  • Our client wanted domains in the top 250,000 of Alexa.
  • So to break that down, we had an average base market of 5,000 (20,000/4) UK based domains.
  • From there, how many do you think are Fashion? To be GENEROUS let’s say 1 in 5 is a Fashion website = 1,000 domains
  • Of that 1,000 how many would you say would be ecommerce (we’re not allowed to place content on a competitor’s site)? Maybe 50%?  That takes us down to 500 domains.
  • Of that 500 I estimate that no more than ¼ was within the client’s target market. This cuts us down even further to an optimistic 125 domains.

Now 125 domains sounds like a ton to work with – and it is when you’re placing 3 or 4 links, but the entire mining process still took longer than expected. However, the perk for the client is that we were able to place content on domains where their specific target market would see the link. In my eyes this is a HUGE win for the client in targeted marketing.

Approvals

If our client wants to be really hands on with the process that’s completely fine, other clients are totally hands off. If a client is looking to be involved then they typically want to start with checking out the domains that we’re going to approach.  We understand that our clients are just as busy; if not busier than us and that sometimes approvals can take time. However involved you want to be, we have software and tools designed to accommodate those needs.

Bloggers

Bloggers are real people – did you know that? They’re just a busy as us; they have lives and families like us, they don’t want to be spammed like us, and sometimes they just don’t have time to check and respond to emails as quickly as we would like. Sometimes we can make a pitch to a blogger and get a response within a matter of minutes, others we may not hear from at all.  If that is the case, we have to follow up and try to tantalize them with flattery and our content. Blogger outreach is a bit like dating, sometimes all you need is one line, one look, one dance move to get your foot in the door and sometimes people just are not interested. We always cover our bases by mining and outreaching to extra domains for a campaign but a few days waiting here and there quickly adds up.  As I’d mentioned earlier we have relationships with thousands of bloggers and domains – if we go back to a domain that we’ve used before this process is usually expedited.

More Approvals

Again, depending on how hands on the client wants to be we may have to get approval on the content we’re writing, titles, co-citation links and all that other good stuff.  Some clients don’t really care about content in which case we just skip this step.

More Bloggers

So the content and domain has been approved, the blogger has said yes to our pitch and we sent the content over for review. We’re good to go right? Not so fast tiger. Sometimes there’s one small catch to getting the content published; the blogger wants money now they’ve seen the content.

We do not pay bloggers, we do not give them freebies, we do not give them compensation and so it seems that all hope is lost. Thankfully we have a few suave negotiation tactics up our sleeve that can side step this problem. However, if we can’t resolve the issue then we simply have to rewind and pitch the content out to another blogger.

Editorial Calendars

One step closer to getting published! Everyone is happy with the domain and the content that’ll be getting placed. What we’re finding on the higher quality domains is that they have their own editorial calendars (even the CopyPress blog has one) and so can’t necessarily just hit “Publish” immediately. If this is the case then we’ll almost always get a publication date or rough estimate of when it will go live. The positive to take away from this step is that they blogger has agreed to post the content, all the hard work is done and we’re just playing a waiting game.

Bloggers Again

It’s uncommon that a blogger will say yes to your content and then not publish it, however it does happen. There are follow up emails and so forth but what if we don’t get a response, the harsh reality is that the blogger may never get back to us and may never publish the content. If that’s the case its back to the drawing board with more outreach pitches and emails. We’ve also had bloggers go AWOL and then out of the blue email us with a publication URL for content that we sent over several months ago.

We Don’t Hate Bloggers

Bloggers, webmasters, editors and anyone who we reach out to are integral to what we do. It may seem that bloggers have been thrown under the bus a lot in this post, but that’s not really what this is all about. We understand that bloggers are just like you and me; they have jobs, kids, priorities and other things to do besides respond to emails from us, and that’s why quality does take time. Building solid relationships takes time. We’re not looking for a “wham bam thank you ma’am” relationship because in the long run no one truly benefits.

It All Adds Up

As you see there’s a ton of things to account for in the outreach process that can cause it to take some time.  Whatever the reason it’s all natural and all part of the process that helps us achieve quality. Again, if we were buying links and placements we could probably turn a campaign around in no time, but why sacrifice quality over speed?

About the author

Lizzie Seedhouse