Guest blogging opportunities are everywhere. Some of them are easily searchable on Google, while others require you to be a bit more resourceful. You can fish out the latter using one of the world’s most popular social networking sites: Twitter.
Why Twitter? Well, for one thing, connecting with anyone on that site is as simple as clicking the “Follow” button. Also, you have the real-time updates, the trending hashtags, the mentions and other metrics that quantify a person’s/company’s/brand’s influence on Twitter. It’s an outreach machine, basically.
In order to make the most of Twitter, try some of the following outreach strategies on for size.
Conduct a (Strategic) Social Search
The first thing to try is just searching for people looking for guest bloggers. Don’t underestimate the power of a simple search for any of the following terms:
- Guest bloggers
- Seeking guest bloggers
- Seeking guest posts
- Write for us
- Looking for contributors
Try to find tweets with an intention of finding new contributors, as these will likely be the easiest opportunities to start with. However, your search will probably at the very least turn up lots of bloggers who use guest bloggers, which is still a worthwhile stepping stone to becoming one. You may just need to work a little harder in the meantime.
Twitter search results for “Seeking Guest Bloggers”
The regular old Twitter search leaves some things to be desired. Its results are limited to a pretty short window of time (a week or two). However, there are some incredibly useful search operators you can use to help you find exactly what you are looking for. Here’s a great list by Mark Schaefer of Businesses Grow:
Twitter Search Operators
Fortunately, if Twitter’s search isn’t suiting your needs, there are several other tools that should help.
This is probably one of the most—if not the most—effective Twitter search tools. Not only does Topsy search through every Tweet related to your keywords, but it also shows “sentiment scores” related to those keywords. The only downside is that you have to pay for additional services like in-depth graphical analysis.
This is basically a free, albeit lower-quality, version of Topsy. Sometimes, SocialMention brings up unrelated results, and even then, you may not get all the results you need. Still, it’s a good starting point if Topsy isn’t an option.
If you want to monitor a keyword, hashtag or brand on Twitter, TweetReach is the way to go. This tool provides reports on reach, number of tweets and number of contributors, among others.
This is one of the more straightforward Twitter search tools. Just type in your keywords, and related Twitter accounts—sorted according to their number of followers—will show up. Even if it doesn’t tell you anything about the quality of those accounts, FollowerWonk is still a quick-and-dirty way to find major influencers.
BuzzSumo works similarly to Topsy, except it’s more content-oriented, and provides additional information on social shares across Facebook, LinkedIn, Pinterest, Google+ and Twitter. Also, you can filter the results according to type (i.e. article, infographics, guest posts, giveaways, interviews, and videos).
Getting on Their Radar
After you’ve exhausted the opportunities you found with a basic search, you’ll want to get on your higher-quality targets’ radars. Here’s how.
1. Create Twitter Lists
Basically, a Twitter list divides the people in your network into groups. For example, List A may be composed of personal contacts (family, friends, casual acquaintances), while List B is made up of professional contacts. The purpose of a Twitter list is to (1) organize your contacts; (2) track updates only from people in a specific list; and (3) make it easier for you to reach out to these people when necessary.
To make a Twitter list, log in to your Twitter account. Click your profile picture on the right-hand corner of your screen, then click “View Profile” from the drop-down menu. Click “Lists,” click “Create new list,” type your list name (e.g. “must-read marketing blogs”) along with a short description, and click “Save list.” Make sure your list is “Public,” so that anyone with a Twitter account can subscribe to it, and anyone you add will see the notification that they’ve been added. This is a great way to flatter your target as you start to get on their radar!
To add guest blogging prospects to your list, visit your prospect’s Twitter profile. Click the gear icon next to the “Follow” button, then click “Add or remove from lists.” Check whether the addition is successful by clicking your “List” tab, and scrolling through the “Members” section. If you’ve followed the steps above accordingly, your prospect should show up there.
Create a Twitter List
2. Be a “Super Advocate”
Before you do the electronic equivalent of tapping your prospect on the shoulder and screaming “Hello person I’ve never met, can I guest post for you?!” you need to build a solid relationship with your prospect first. Retweet, and leave insightful comments on, their most interesting posts. Thank them if they do the same for you in return. They should come to recognize you as you share their content, and will appreciate the support.
In other words, being a “super advocate” is essentially the same as being a good person. Don’t just view them as people you’d do favors for in order to get favors in return. Be genuinely interested in what they have to say, and they’ll be interested in you as well.
I wouldn’t recommend trying to butter up twenty contacts at once, but there’s nothing bad about heavily sharing content from three or four high-level contacts that you’re trying to leave an impression on. Look for their content on the list you set up once or twice per day. I also use Buffer to line up shares two or three days at a time; I’ll visit the sites I’m hoping to write for, find a new post that I have something interesting to say about, and Buffer it. I also use BuzzSumo to dig up their most popular content (there’s often something controversial or another side to the story that you can comment on) and line up those comments as updates as well. The end result of this is a stream of sharing and supporting those opportunities with less of a time investment.
Okay, so you’ve identified good opportunities and you’re on their radar through a few days or weeks of generous sharing. Great work! It’s time to jump in and ask to write for them.
1. Making First Contact on Twitter
Ready to get in touch? I’ve found that in some cases, it pays to make first contact via Twitter. Sometimes I will tweet a prospect and straight-up ask about the contributorship process for their blog; other times, I might send a DM or a more generic tweet asking about contact information.
Especially when you’re talking about bigger companies with a dedicated person (or even team) to monitor their Twitter, I have found this to be a quicker way to get the information I need and take that first step without getting buried amidst lots of other emails.
Reach Out to Prospects via Twitter
2. Watch Your Mentions
Sometimes opportunities just fall into your lap. I mentioned this technique in an earlier piece on increasing your response rate, but I’ll say it again.
Carefully watch your Twitter mentions. More than likely, if you’ve been guest posting for a while, people share your stuff all the time and you’ve learned to ignore shares. Don’t ignore them! I’ve gotten great results by checking out the people who share my content, and if they have a great blog that I think I’d be a good writer for, I reach out.
Why not? It can’t hurt; the worst they could say is “I liked your article, but we’re not looking for contributors at this time.” And the best?
A Successful Twitter Exchange
What Are You Waiting For?
Who knew that Twitter could be such a great outreach tool? Not your competitors, that’s for sure. Twitter is amazing for outreach not just because of the focus on short-form and snappy communication, but also because it’s a non-traditional avenue for pitching influencers and publishers.
When you do a short and sweet pitch over Twitter, you stand out from the low-quality mail merged emails filling their inbox. You seem more authentic, more in-tune with technology, and it’s easy for your contact to check you and your writing samples out before they respond either way.
So get out there and start outreaching on Twitter! Do some searches, butter up your contacts by getting and staying on their radar, and then go for the win. Good luck!
How do you use Twitter for your influencer outreach?