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Awkward Outreach: How to Handle Sticky Situations

We’ve all had to deal with awkward situations. Misunderstandings, communication breakdowns, Freudian slips, etc. There are a myriad of ways to sour a pleasant conversation; outreach is no exception. Bloggers always want to have the upper hand when it comes to placing content, and guest contributors should always go out of way to make the placement process easy. He or she should also act courteously, as not to offend and poison the relationship. However, despite best intentions, things can sometimes get a little weird. Here are just a couple examples of sticky situations in outreach and how you should handle them.

Link Removal/No Follow

shutterstock_99477716There’s nothing worse than when a blogger removes or changes a link on one of your placements. Unfortunately, this is something that every outreach manager must learn to deal with, head on. No-follow status or the removal of an affiliate link can happen for a number of reasons:

  • The blogger does not allow affiliate links and never agreed to them in the first place
  • The blogger does not like the page you’re promoting
  • The blogger charges for links and does not tell you until after publication
  • The blogger forgot to add it after submitting through WordPress

Be Honest and Proactive

The best way to avoid this scenario is to be as honest and transparent as possible about your intentions. Do not skate around the fact that you intend on keeping your links intact and as do-follow. If you are confident in the quality of your content, in my experience, most bloggers can be quite accommodating.

However, there are times where even if you’ve been as open and honest as possible, some bloggers still will change your link placements. In these situations, your best move is to be proactive in making further contact with said bloggers. Be sure to ask why the link was removed or marked as no-follow and follow-up by asking if he or she can edit it back in. As always, be courteous by thanking the blogger for the content publication. This simple and effective step works more times than you might expect. However, for stubborn bloggers that refuse to work with you, your best maneuver would be to cut your losses and move on.

Publication Confusion

confusedHere’s a scenario that you might have encountered. You’ve just sent a fresh piece of sharebait content over to a blogger. The blogger absolutely loves it and cannot wait to include it on his or her blog. The blogger excitedly tells you that the content will go live over the upcoming weekend. The weekend passes and the content hasn’t gone live. There are no new responses from the blogger. You wait a few more days. Nothing. You wait a week. Zip. Did the blogger forget about you? Was it something you said?

Always follow up!

followDo not be afraid to simply re-contact a blogger. Bloggers are only human and make mistakes. There is nothing wrong with politely sending follow-up emails questioning when your content will go live. It’s always a good idea to ask for a solid date, that way you know when to check again in case you need to follow-up. Yes, there may be cases to follow up several times before an article gets published. That’s the reality of the situation. Do not let a good placement opportunity go to waste due to disorganized bloggers!

The trend here is to keep in mind three key factors: be polite, be proactive, and be patient. It’s your role as an outreach manager to engage relationships with bloggers and back up your talk with great content. Awkward moments will happen, and sometimes you may get on the wrong foot with a blogger. It’s important to handle these situations with care, and not to take things too personally. If you’re accommodating to them, 9 times out of 10 they will treat you right.

About the author

Jaime Spector