Archive for the ‘Blogger Relations’ Category

How to Increase Your Guest Blogging Response Rate

Today’s Guest Post comes from one of our favorite BuzzStream customers, Adrienne Erin. Adrienne is a writer and outreach specialist at WebpageFX. Outside of work, she loves travel, practicing her French, and baking cookies.

Guest blogging has become the cornerstone of link building. Love it or hate it, chances are that if you need to build links for your own site or a client’s, you’re going to need to get in the guest blogging game. And once you jump into it, if you’re at all competitive like I am, you’ll want to do all you can to get better and better at it.

How do you get better at guest blogging? Well, improving the quality of your writing and the quality of your connections are both great, but they’re not always the most measurable of traits or easy to judge when you’re getting better. I’m a fan of numbers. And response rate is a number you can really sink your teeth into.

If you’re stuck in a rut of firing off email after email offering to guest blog and getting few positive responses, perhaps it’s time to reexamine your approach. Here are six simple tips to help you increase your guest blogging response rate. Go on, feed your competitive side. You know you want to.

Response Rate vs. Positive Response Rate

Too many people send off emails soliciting guest blog spots willy nilly without tracking which blogs they’ve approached before or what the answer was. It’s much smarter – and much more efficient – to track our response rate. Start a spreadsheet in Excel or Google Docs with the name of the blog you’ve approached, the date you sent the email, the response and any other notes you need to keep on top of things. If you’re using templates, BuzzStream can also track your response rate for you.

If you’re keeping track for yourself using a spreadsheet, when you receive a response to your query, record the answer you get – yes or no – in the line for that contact. After sending a few emails, you can determine your response rate. Divide the total number of responses by the total number of queries you’ve sent out. For example, if you’ve sent out ten queries and get four replies, your response rate is 40 percent. As your response rate trends up or down, you can see when your approach is working and when it’s not. If you’re working with a team, you can track everyone’s response rate to inspire some friendly competition.

outreach response rates

Positive response rate, determined by dividing only your positive responses by the total number of emails, is perhaps an even more telling statistic. This number will be lower than your response rate (unless no one ever tells you no!), so don’t be discouraged when you see it.

In my opinion, both types of response rate are very important to track and measure. After all, in the world of email inundation and countless distractions, it’s far easier to just ignore or delete an email than to take the time to respond. A negative response isn’t always a terrible thing. Perhaps your idea just isn’t there yet, or the blogger has a full editorial calendar at the moment. Something about your message still compelled a response, and that “no” you just got might really mean “not right now.”

1. Work Your Way Up the Ladder

If you’d never run for office before, would you start your political career with a run for president? No. You’d run for a few local offices, then the state level and so on. The world of guest blogging is similar, with perhaps the biggest exception being if you already run a popular blog. Don’t start by querying big names like Smashing Magazine or Search Engine Land if you have never guest posted before. With nothing to show for the quality of your writing, the answer will most likely be silence.

Instead, start with smaller, but well-respected, blogs where you have a better chance of being accepted. Work your way up to bigger blogs, and be sure to continue blogging high-quality content on your own site to prove you have the chops to handle a more important assignment.

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How to Approach Blogger Outreach in a New Market

Todays’s post come from one of our favorite customers, Lexi Mills. Lexi has six years experience in online marketing and communications and spent 2 and a half years at an International SEO Agency becoming an SEO PR specialist.  She now heads up digital for Dynamo PR.

She has designed and implemented PR, SEO link building, and social campaigns in the UK and USA for B2B and B2C clients.  Her client experience covers everything from the music industry to debt, insurance, travel, tech, and luxury goods for both small start-ups and big brands.

Outreach is a tricky game, if you promote yourself too aggressively, you will turn off the very people you were hoping to build relationships with. Having worked in PR and outreach for several years I have relationships in quite a few areas however I was recently set the tasked of building relationships in a new market, specifically with design and decorating blogs for my client Bathrooms.com

Bathrooms.com   Inspiration blog image1

I put a lot of thought into how I would go about doing this and thought it might be useful to share the strategy I mapped out with our head of social for contacting influential bloggers in a new market, so you can apply the tactics we used to your own outreach projects.

After the first few months of implementing the strategy I also went back and quizzed the key bloggers we were speaking to find out which parts of our approach made them want to engage with us.  I have summarized these into 6 key takeaways.

Our Outreach Strategy

1.) Build list of influencers

Attempt to build a list of the 100 most influential bloggers in your target niche. (We actually built a list of 200 to begin with and then eliminated a hundred further down the line.)

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Create Content, Not Clutter, By Changing Your Marketing Habits

Today’s post comes from Britt Klontz. Britt is a New Media brand journalist who believes that a successful marketing campaign is rooted in the interests and emotions of the target audience.  She constantly strives to develop content ideas and campaign strategies that integrate collaboration from online influencers and truly serve a purpose to those who matter most, the audience that the campaign was created for.  

As the popularity of infographics grew and were created in an abundance, so did the number of pitches sent to the inboxes of influential bloggers everywhere.  Companies quickly jumped on the infographic bandwagon, churned out visuals that have no real reason to exist, and contributed to today’s content clutter epidemic. 

clutter

When infographics that are not useful or entertaining are created in mass quantity, an insane amount of pressure is put on those whose duty is to perform blogger outreach.  Ultimately, a vicious cycle ensues in which blogger outreach specialists have to spend hours trying to receive coverage on content that was created in haste and had no other purpose than to keep up with the status quo.

From a content creation standpoint, we must remember the importance of quality over quantity.  Also, we must make it a habit to create content that caters to those intended to consume it.  Engaging content is now a leading form of advertising and the power of audience participation should never be underestimated. 

In order to avoid adding to the noise by creating another infographic that produces a low ROI, I like to incorporate two key habits into my brainstorming habits:  developing an audience persona, and incorporating influencer feedback. 

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How to Improve Your Guest Post Pitches (And How to Pitch BuzzStream a Guest Post)

Ah, the guest post pitch.  For busy publishers and blog editors (like the team here at BuzzStream), guest blog pitches are a mixed blessing.

We’ve had some truly awesome guest blogs from industry leaders and up-and-comers on our blog – like this one, this one, this one, and this one.  (There are more – just check out our Guest Author postings.) 

Personally, I’ve been lucky enough to guest post on some great blogs, like Marketing Agency Insider, KISSMetrics, and the John Doherty Blog.  So I love good guest posts – writing them, receiving them, reading them, introducing great guest posters to blog editors – and everything that goes along with them.

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Turning Blogger Relations into an Overall Inbound Strategy

 

 

Sarah Fudin

 

Today’s guest post comes from Sarah Fudin. Sarah is an inbound marketing manager at 2U Inc., an education company that supplies universities with the resources to go online. Sarah currently works with the the George Washington University on their online MPH programOutside of work Sarah enjoys running, reading, and Pinkberry frozen yogurt.

 

As a retired college athlete, turned coach, turned customer management guru, turned social media lady (I’m not ready to name myself a queen or guru at this point), turned linkbuilder slash community manager (is that even possible?), I’ve learned many things, but one thing has stood out to me: it’s all about building relationships.

I’ve realized in my short 25 years and even shorter 4 years in the workplace that relationships are king.  Relationships are what move you forward in your personal life, your career and your bigger aspirations.  I also have come to believe that it’s not actually who you know, but who you’re willing to get to know that will help to move you forward.

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The Psychology of Behavior Change: a Guide for Link Development Professionals

As marketers and link development professionals, we spend our days understanding how to change people’s behavior and take action.  Fortunately, we’re not alone in this pursuit – behavioral psychologists also study the phenomenon of persuasion, and come up with some fascinating findings.

Stanford’s Professor BJ Fogg has created a framework for analyzing behavioral change that’s particularly applicable to marketing problems.  In this post, I’ll give a brief summary of his theories, and show some examples applied to link development and online marketing.

The Taxonomy of Behavior changes

behavior grid

Image Courtesy BehaviorGrid.org

BJ Fogg divides behavioral change into 15 types via a combination of shapes and colors:

  • Dot Behavior
    • One-time Behavior Change
  • Span Behavior
    • Changing Behavior Over a Period of Time
  • Path Behavior
    • Permanent Behavior Change

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Applying Sales and Recruiting Principles to Outreach

In a lot of the posts I see about content promotion, an underlying theme is “if you want great results from your outreach, follow the golden rule.” While the “do unto others” sentiment is heartwarming, it’s not particularly helpful for improving outreach performance. More useful lessons can be learned by looking at models found in disciplines like employee recruitment and sales.  

I’ll explain more in a minute. But first, a story.

My Strangest Interview Ever

My first real job in technology was with a big software company in Houston. The company was known for treating its employees incredibly well and in my third year the company offered me an opportunity to spend a year in one of the company’s European offices. I’d also recently entered a relationship with a girl that had gotten serious quickly, so I was feeling pretty settled in my life.

One day I got a call from a recruiter about an opportunity at a software startup in the Valley called support.com. The company was founded by Mark Pincus, who went on to found Zynga. At the time, he wasn’t someone I’d heard of and, as I said, I wasn’t looking to make a move. Nevertheless, I agreed to talk more about the opportunity and I ended up spending an hour and a half on the phone with Mark. Something intrigued me, so I scheduled a trip out to the Valley for an in-person interview.

I went to their office, which was located in a seedy building in a seedy part of Redwood City. The front door to the office was glass and the words ‘Star Physical Therapy’ had just been scraped off of it. The interior of the office was in bad shape…the floorboards were warped, there was almost no light and there were hockey sticks lying in various places throughout the room. In contrast, the office at my current company was in a (more…)

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Using Blog Subscriber Metrics for Better Outreach Decision Making

Today’s guest post is from Traian Neacsu. Traian is the Director of SEO and co-founder of Pitstop Media Inc, a Canadian company that provides top rated search engine marketing services to businesses across North America. To invite the author to publish articles on your blog please contact www.pitstopmedia.com

If you’re a link builder who chooses his or her link partners based on their social influence, you probably don’t like to be cheated when it comes to decision-making metrics. Would you spend hours writing a guest article for a blogger with only 5 subscribers, or would you rather publish it on a blog with 250 subscribers? Or how would you like to acquire a PR8 link, only to find out later that the PR was forged, and it’s actually 0 (zero)? I don’t think anyone likes that kind of “sorcery”.

I consider the numbers of blog subscribers in addition to the useful metrics provided by default within BuzzStream when I decide on how to approach link partners.

This article will show you how to find this metric in BuzzStream, with the help of custom fields and a bit of detective work.

Create a new custom field with BuzzStream

This is easy. Just go to your Account -> Customize Fields -> New Custom Field:

custom fields

 

Name it Blog Subscribers and use “type numerical”.

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The Definitive Guide to Killing it with Video Outreach

Today’s guest post comes from one of our favorite customers, Adria Saracino.Adria Saracino is the Head of Outreach at Distilled. When not consulting on content strategy or leading her team of outreach warriors, you can find her writing about style on her personal fashion blog, The Emerald Closet.

Video is becoming one of the most highly searched items on the internet—YouTube is now the second most used search engine on the web. Internet users are watching more video than ever before, which has made video marketing a valuable tool. But what do you do with that tool? How do you reap search engine optimization (SEO) benefits from video, or create effective link building/outreach with video?

SEO Benefits

Video is an extremely valuable resource for SEO, specifically by assisting with the following goals: generating more traffic through rich content signals and rich snippets, improving conversions, and link building.

Generating more traffic through rich content signals and rich snippets

A page with varied media types (like images, text, and video) show search engines that page contains a variety of content, which suggests that page is engaging and useful for users. Video increases a user’s time on page, and search engines choose to reward pages with these “rich content signals” in order to provide the relevant results in search queries.

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10 Blogs Every Link Builder Should Read… That Aren’t About Link Building

There are lots of great link building blogs.  But to really gain competitive advantage to dominate the SERPs, you can’t just read blogs about link building.  You need to go beyond what your competition is reading, and become a fantastic all-around marketer.

1) Social Triggers

Derek Halpern writes about how to turn traffic into subscribers into customers by understanding social psychology and the power of language.

Social Triggers is his excellent blog on the topic.  While it’s geared towards the blogger/affiliate community (with guides on list building and increasing online sales), Derek’s blog is about how to use language and persuasive psychology to get people to take action – exactly what link development professionals need to do.

Favorite Posts

How To Eliminate “Wallet Closing Words” From Your emails, Sales Pages, and Speech

Why We Buy What We Can Get for Free

How People Make Decisions (and How it Helps You Grow Your Business)

 

2) SpinSucks

SpinSucks covers professional development for marketing and PR professionals.  This includes a broad range of topics, from traditional PR and crisis communications to advertising, social media, and SEO.   

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