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3. how to contact 1,000+ blogs a week to take your links

by Karl Adamsas,  Last updated 

In this tutorial we're going to  show you how we contact a massive list of blogs and negotiate a guest post.

The list of blogs that you're left with by this stage will generally be in the thousands, sometimes in the tens of thousands. Contacting all of these sites is going to be very time consuming if we don't take some shortcuts.

There are many different ways that we can approach this step

A lot of people like to rely on automated tools like Hunter, MailShake, or Viola Norbert.

These services are all a little different but have a similar purpose, to automate your outreach and all of your followups.

Mail Shake needs you to supply an email address for each site you want to contact.

Hunter and Viola Norbert will try and find all email addresses associated with a website or a person and perform all your called outreach to them.

These services sound great in theory, but in our experience they're not the most effective way to perform outreach on scale. They won't find an email address for most of your list because, most bloggers are very protective of this information these days, and hide behind onsite forms.

Any publicly listed email accounts have usually been spammed to death and any unsolicited emails are ignored. I'm not saying that all automated outreach services are completely useless, they're just not suited to the type of outreach that we are doing. They can work well on smaller projects and specific types of blogs.

Now, there is a way that you can contact all of these blogs without actually doing any of the outreach yourself.

The best way to contact the large list of blogs 
is to have a human do it for you

There are quite a few reasons why we use humans to handle all of our outreach.

  • Accuracy: we make sure that we don't waste any leads. A human can get around hurdles that an automated system cannot. Some of our blogs are looking for advertisers like us, and we want to make sure we go through the correct channels so we don't get ignored.
  • Being Thorough: 95% of blogs are only contactable via an onsite form and you're going to have to contact these sites manually anyway. So you're just adding in an extra step using an automated service.
  • Personalisation: A virtual assistant can properly personalise an email with the correct lead's name from the website. This will always improve your response rate.
  • Automation: People hate automation. If your lead can tell that they've been bulk emailed, you're less likely to get a response.
  • Negotiation: A virtual assistant can handle all of the responses and negotiations for you. Even with an automated outreach service, you're going to have to deal with all the responses and the questions and the negotiations that come with contacting 1,000 blogs in a week.
  • Quality Control: Final quality control on all blogs. Even with a super targeted list, you're still going to want to do a final manual review of each blog to make sure they're relevant and they're suitable. It's very easy to train a virtual assistant on what to look for, so that they can flag any unsuitable blogs.

We've tested a lot of automated outreach services and while they do have their place under certain circumstances, we have yet to have find one that is faster and more accurate and more reliable than a human.

UPWORK.COM 

We usually find all of our virtual assistants on Upwork.

The trick to finding the best assistant is to find fluent English speakers and then train them how to do the task.

Don't look for freelancers who pitch themselves as SEO superstars or an outreach expert. You can use a program like Camtasia to record your desktop and teach them how you want the outreach performed, then share this video with anyone you hire via YouTube for future training. 

This makes building an outreach team very quick and very easy.

An average virtual assistant should be able to contact one site every four minutes.

That's about 15 sites per hour.

If you've got a full-time virtual assistant at eight hours per day, they should be able to contact around 120 blogs per day. Keep in mind, that's just the outreach and doesn't include answering responses from bloggers and negotiating terms and rates.

A team of three assistants should be able to contact 
1,000 blogs in a week and handle all responses

In terms of what kind of a response rate you can expect, this is a very difficult thing to quote since it varies so massively between niche and list quality. We regularly see response rates as low as 5% and as high as 30%.

You should have your assistant keep track of the response rate across the whole project so that, you can abandon a bad list and having another go at scraping up better prospects.

The outreach template that we use in-house has not changed in years. We often tried different variations, but this one continues to out-perform all others.

Simplicity is best, just get straight to the point and don't waste anyone's time.

Subject: Advertising on ___________

Hello ___________,

We're interested in advertising on ___________.
Could you please let me know what advertising options you offer? 

Thanks for your time.

___________

You don't even need to mention the guest post at this stage. You can negotiate that once you've got a dialogue going and you have a bit of a relationship with the blogger.

Don't use Gmail for your outreach, it's best not to include Google into something that's going to violate their terms of service.

I use a private email service and have all my assistants manage their email through Thunderbird, which is like Outlook, but it's free.

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