Backlinks and the process of acquiring quality ones, is among the biggest pains in the head in SEO. However, there are ways and means.
I’ve used the strategy below to get hundreds of offers and have often only really spent 20 minutes setting things up. So, how do I do it?
Groups for Bloggers
There are numerous UK bloggers groups set up with the aim of helping each other, as well as creating a centralised place for PR opportunities.
The groups themselves are mainly comprised of lifestyle, mom and fashion bloggers and of course – PRs, SEOs and other folks like you and I.
There tends to be moderation in most groups, preventing spam and I guess some of the less ethical offers coming through, however in the most part once you’re not promoting a blog selling something remarkably dubious you should be fine.
The use of a real profile is also a good idea. Shell profiles set up with the sole aim of gaining from these groups often lower chances of moderation or rejection. So, either use your own personal profile or create something that looks somewhat real and has a comprehensive number of posts that create that illusion.
There are plenty more besides, some facing different niches to the ones above – do a quick search to see what you can find.
Needless to say if you live outside the UK, you’ll find similar sorts of groups in your own immediate area. Take a look via Facebook search to identify.
Set up a G Form
The easiest and most effective way to gather the names and URLs of bloggers is to create a Google Form. It doesn’t have to be too comprehensive. We’re looking for the following:
- Blog URL
- Name of Blogger
- Cost of a Post or Link Insertion
- DA (not ideal I know but this is how these folks work)
How to create a pitch
Same thing here, creating a pitch shouldn’t be rocket science.
On a simple human level, it’s good to introduce yourself, your niche and what you’re looking for from the campaign, as well as the ideal sort of blogger or individual you’re looking to blog for you.
Here’s a few caveats when asking for offers:
- Don’t ask for a do follow link
- Don’t ask for a ‘Collaboration’ or ‘Sponsorship’ tag or mention to be omitted from the post
Asking for either or both of these in a public blogger group on Facebook will result in hundreds of angry, fire toting mommy bloggers arriving at your door at 3am requesting your head on a stick. It will also result in angry Google guideline citing comments below your post, which limit your chances of getting as many offers.
Once again, here’s a sample pitch that works well and does the trick.
All going well, you should have a nice list of bloggers to utilise. I’ve often found we get hundreds of offers.
However, there is an element of quantity over quality – same as everything in SEO I guess.
The biggest issue you’re going to face with this list is the artificial inflation of metrics.
Because a lot of companies with little to no clue of SEO like to outreach to mommy bloggers, Moz’s domain authority is the go to for quality. The higher the DA the greater your chance of getting a company to pay you to place a post on your blog.
As we all know, the best way to inflate DA is through blog comments on other websites with a backlink to your own.
Mommy bloggers love blog comments and if you look closely at a lot of the sites through Ahrefs or whatever other tool you use, you’ll see in some cases 80% of the referring domains are no follow. Cheers blog comments and cheers Moz.
So, how do you sort the wheat from the chaff? Well, it takes a little bit of time.
I usually run each through Ahrefs to check the percentage of do follow to no follow links. If over half of all of the links to the blog are no follow then I’ve a pretty good idea it’s been spammed with comments. In some cases, I’ve seen do follow links in the low teens on a site with hundreds of referring domains. These guys are hungry for a high DA.
Obviously, all the other things you should look out for when checking a blog you’re going to get a link on apply too – traffic, good quality links etc.
Obviously, social media presence and email marketing among other things should also be considered if you are interested in these areas too.
Follow up email
So you’ve decided on your blogs and want to discuss the opportunity to post your site on theirs. It’s a simple process and once again, we’ve provided a sample below.
One thing that I would suggest is to be very clear with what you’re looking for. We previously suggested you don’t mention do follow links or discuss whether collaboration will be placed on the published post or not, however now is the time to ask this.
Mommy bloggers can be very wriggly if you don’t clarify exactly what you want beforehand. So, in your follow up email make sure to spell it all out clearly. If you want a do follow link, state so. If you want to ensure there is no mention it’s a sponsored post, do that here too.
Yes, you’ll get some that will fall by the wayside as they won’t want to jeopardise their blog and break advertising or Google guidelines, however most will still be game as they realise there’s little real risk involved.
So, send these out, wait for some responses to come in and wait to be published – voila!
From start to finish the whole process should take around 20 minutes and you should start receiving offers as soon as they go live on these groups.
SEO is to a fair degree about balance and using any one strategy can cause a site to leave a footprint and issues, so my advice is to use this as part of a holistic effort when it comes to acquiring back links.