It’s common in the outreach process to come across bloggers and editors who expect more than free, quality content to their blog. Nay, the awesome article you wrote on your own time isn’t enough to please some bloggers, they’re generally looking for cold, hard cash. Once this fact is established, it’s time to bust out your creativity to avoid whipping out your PayPal account. You can of course simply pay them, or you can turn on your negotiation skills. Remember: you have nothing to lose in this situation, other than the site that you’ve almost already lost. At this point you have more options than you might think:

Ask for a Trial Run

If you simply cannot pay to get your article placed – or don’t want to – try asking if they’re willing to waive the fee for this article as a “trial run.” This route is one of the trickier to navigate, because you’re essentially questioning the effectiveness of getting your post on a particular blog. This could insult the blog owner, but it’s more likely to get them thinking. From their perspective, if you post free of charge, you may come back for more in the future which is money, err, music to their ears.  This is also an opportunity to prove your ability to drive traffic to their blog through…

Social Sharing

Social Media is an incredibly valuable asset for contributors and outreachers alike. It’s important that these mediums are maintained and cultivated, as they can make negotiating that much easier. If you have hundreds of twitter followers, many of which actively interact with your posted content, you have some room to negotiate with bloggers. Simply promising unique traffic from your social pages can sometimes be enough to have the blogger waive their fee.

Link Exchange

You can offer to get links and anchor texts placed on other high tier sites in exchange for the opportunity to post free of charge. Just make sure you can actually deliver on your promises as you could ruin the relationship and get your past links deleted.

Relationship management is one of the most important and fruitful functions of an outreacher. Over time, you should be building trusted relationships with bloggers among a broad range of topics. These relationships can benefit you in many ways, not the least of which is link exchange. The more effective method of link exchange is to actually build a relationship with a blogger you feel has the potential to give you greater posting privileges and offer them link exchanges as a courtesy or favor. This is as a sign of goodwill unlike the latter method which is a form of payment. This can secure a long-term, mutually beneficial relationship.

Paid Social Ads

Of course you want to spend the least amount of money possible when trying to get placement, but sometimes you will have to spend a couple clams. By offering traffic from paid social ads you run yourself, you are showing the blogger that you take your writing seriously and can deliver real, measureable social traffic. This can be a great negotiation tactic to leverage when necessary and won’t cost you as much as the $50-$100 contributor fee.

It may be hard to justify doing favors when you’re providing free content to a blog, but remember, you’re looking for placement, and if you want it, sometimes you’ll have to give up something for it. If you use these leverage tactics, you can save yourself a pretty penny and cultivate lasting relationships that will be well worth it in the future. Any tactics I forgot? Let me know in the comments.