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If there’s one thing I’m certain of in my experience here at CopyPress, it’s that there’s no exact science to outreach. Building and curating relationships with bloggers and pitching quality content are given, but finding decent targets for your content can be a long and arduous process. Finding fresh targets can be especially tricky when you’ve been linkbuilding for a few months on the same campaign. For the situations where you’ve felt you’ve contacted virtually every blog under the sun that accepts guest posts, you need to rethink your strategy. Just like when pitching content, opening yourself up to blog discovery takes a little flex and creative thinking.
There are many little strategies you can employ in order to make the most out of the targets you’ve discovered. Everyone works differently, and some may work better than others depending on the links you are building. Regardless, it’s always good to come to the battle with an arsenal of loaded weapons.
I have the most fun with this strategy because it allows me to really think more about the content I’m pitching out and how the readers will react to it. Stretching the vertical involves tweaking content from one campaign to it can be applied to another. For instance, say you’ve been building links inside sharebait articles aimed at adventure travelers and you’ve been having bad luck with blogger pitches, it may be worth considering other categories. An article originally intended to promote a cruise line can be tweaked and molded into one that promotes tech, or vice versa.
During content ideation, you should always question how flexible your content is. Ultra-niche and highly specific content can be a good thing, but it’s also very risky. By limiting yourself during content creation, you run the risk of alienating potential target placement opportunities. It’s always a good idea to have a backup plan. Come to your campaign with a list of 10 to 12 potential target placements, but be ready to look elsewhere if the well runs dry. An article title such as “The Top 5 Smartphone Apps for Travelers” is a good example of stretching the vertical because it targets two distinctly different audiences and essentially doubles your placement opportunities. Just always be conscious of your client’s intentions before applying this strategy.
I have no shame in saying that I’m a bit spoiled when it comes to outreach. Here at CopyPress, I have a great team of people to turn to, in case I hit a wall when mining for targets. I can’t tell you how many times I was able to score high quality placements for my content just by asking what my co-workers were working on. We all know the strengths of communication and networking, but you might not have considered its strengths when it comes to finding good placements. Finding and maintaining good and open relationships with fellow outreach people is a strong edge in scoring great placements. All you need to do is ask!
While you may not work in an office for your outreach, you can still network and find people. Ask around, connect through Linkedin, Twitter or Facebook, do everything you can to surround yourself with like-minded SEO people and linkbuilders such as yourself. Trust me, if you’re open to sharing relationships and targets with others, they will pay it forward. Community is an amazing resource.
When I played for my junior high basketball team, I remember my coach would always get on my case about following my shot. My shooting skills weren’t the greatest, but I often had a slight height advantage over the other kids allowing me to rebound my own missed shot and score the layup. While my basketball days are all but over, this lesson always stuck with me.
Just like on the court, tenacity is a valuable trait in outreach, and the importance of following up on old pitches should never be discounted. If I’m having bad luck finding good contacts, I’ll take 10 to 15 minutes to browse my old contact pitches and see if I have any loose ends or hanging threads. If nothing jumps out at me, I’ll often just re-contact sites that never responded to my original pitch. Bloggers are people just like everyone else, and people often get busy. Maybe your message got lost, deleted, or skimmed over. In other words, if you were denied on your first pitch, try and try again!
Data mining is tough. It’s tedious, time-consuming and can often yield very little results. I find it important to break up the monotony of searching for targets with a bit of out-of-the-box thinking. By creating flexible content, curating mutual relationships with a community of bloggers and following up on old contacts, you might just score some new placements that you might have missed in the first place.