The concept of building a connection sounds easy enough, right? The site gets free, awesome content, the company gets exposure, everyone is happy. It may or may not surprise you to learn that this is no easy feat. The job of connecting a piece of content to a website correctly by creating value for the readers is one of the more difficult positions at CopyPress, so I thought it would be interesting to look at this job from various angles.
What is a connector?
Almost 7 months ago I applied for a position at CopyPress as a “connector.” Here was my initial job description from the original ad I came across.
- Build relationships with online Publishers (website and blog owners)
- Deliver content for free to Publishers who post the content on their website or blog
WHY DOES COPYPRESS NEED CONNECTORS?
Publishing content on a variety of websites and blogs offers several benefits for our clients:
1. Online Public Relations – Public relations is different from traditional marketing in that it is focused on the relationship between a company and the public – not moving a client to a purchase. Client visibility is increased with each connection.
2. Traffic Generation – The new audience reached with each connection leads to both direct and referral traffic for a client. This is why we often link to our clients from the content.
3. Viral Marketing – Online publications serve as great platforms for viral marketing and explosive content sharing. High-quality, editorially-driven publications can create a large amount of traffic generating links.
4. SEO – The direct and viral links initiated by the connection provide high SEO benefits for our clients as well.
It’s a very generic overview, but one that certainly touches the foundation of connecting.
A connector’s ultimate goal is to constantly create mutually beneficial long-term relationships with site administrators in the hope of building an inventory of relationships that can be utilized to place high quality content on an ongoing basis.
What is the Process?
For the sake of argument, let us assume that we have a client in the tech vertical and that our content (an article) has already been created. The content now comes to the connector with the purpose of finding a proper home somewhere on the Internet for this article.
Step 1: Know what you are dealing with.
The most important information needed to properly connect a piece of content with a website is to understand both the client and the content. I’ve already briefed you on the client (technology) but what else do we know about this client? Are they a cell phone brand that only works on one provider? Or are they a general electrical service that can touch a variety of different topics? Understanding the client and their brand’s goal will help you understand what sort of websites to target. It will also reveal any taboo areas that would not make sense to put a placement on.
Also, read your content thoroughly to understand the type of person that would benefit from the article. This will facilitate the process of placing the content on a relevant site where the readers will actually enjoy and share the article.
Step 2: Plan your course of action.
After you have a good idea about the client and the content, take some time to list out relevant topics for both, emphasizing ones that overlap. For instance: Assume our client is a Video Game Console and our article is “5 Ways to Provide Cheap Entertainment for the Family”
Client: Entertainment, Innovation, Gaming, Technology, Affordable, Options, Youth
Article: Family, Entertainment, Cheap, Bonding, Lifestyle, List, Games, Television
Above are just a few areas associated with the client and the article and as you can see there are at least four overlapping areas that can be used to target relatable areas to the client and article topic.
Step 3: Find a site.
Now that you have a general target for topics that would make sense for your article and client, it is time to find a site. This sounds like it would be easy, but as you have learned there is nothing easy about connections. You need to find a website that fits the genre you are looking for but then you need to assess it for other parameters.
- Does the site fit the required metrics? If the site meets all the standards outlined by the client as far as Page rank, Alexa rank, Domain rank, Host Country, and anything else specified; then you are good to go! However, if it fails to meet any one of the requirements you must try again.
- Is the site an advertising dumping ground? If the site is loaded with spam, commercial links, or is just an article graveyard with a low probability of anyone reading or sharing the content, then you need to find somewhere else.
- Does the site allow outbound links? If the site does not allow outbound (dofollow) links then most likely you will not be able to get the client link inserted into the article you have published.
There are many more areas that need to be assessed before a site passes to the next stage, but these are the most common.
Step 4: Find the Contact.
This is my favorite part about connecting because it allows me to stalk with a purpose. After several years of stalking ex-girlfriends, future girlfriends, and well, girls in general, I now have an occupation that utilizes those trained skills. Finding the right contact is more important than the pitch itself. If you are able to bypass the many obstacles that deter the mass swarm of “guest bloggers” then you are more apt to establish a connection. Here are some of the obstacles:
- Contact Form- Do not waste your time trying to reach out through a contact form. You will just get funneled into a cluster of other pitches.
- Generic Emails- A lot of sites will have a contact us section that gives you an address similar to “firstname.lastname@example.org” or “email@example.com.” These emails are often glorified contact forms and should be avoided at all costs*.
- * not every generic email address is a dead end; a CopyPress team member is always available to answer Info@copypress.com emails. 🙂
Finding the contact requires searching through the site itself for any pertinent information. This could mean editors names, personal emails, Twitter/Facebook accounts, etc. Once you gather the information and have found a personal email the next step is to actually contact them.
Step 5: Pitch the Contact.
As a connector your main job is to develop relationships with editors and administrators. The pitch is your first encounter with an editor so the initial impression is vital. It is important to develop a really great subject line because that is what will get the editor to either open or trash your pitch.
The pitch itself is hard to define because there is not one perfect pitch. Various people respond differently to styles or approaches. You can be direct and honest about your intentions or you can be creative and vague. It is really open to discussion but the importance is paramount.
This process is repeated several times a day until it yields a response. The connectors’ job is not done once a response is had, oh no… it is just beginning. After you receive a response (assumedly positive) the connector then builds rapport and establishes a strong, genuine relationship. The connector then delivers the the content.
To read more about the connections process, check out Part 2 in my next article.