The great guest posting gate of 2014 seems to have truly settled now and the stalwart of gaining trusted links and mentions to your site through hard work and quality content creation seems to be back to whatever is normal in the world of SEO is. The perception of the space is now undoubtedly cleaner, so it would seem the FUD Google created worked with many web masters running scared.
Coupled with the nuking of a few well respecting link building exchanges and participating sites, may welcomed the downfall of platforms facilitating the proliferation of blatantly and extremely dubious, sorry I mean total built for post spam sites as the main mechanism.
Nevertheless, it’s all systems go! After the dust settled the greater SEO community, agencies and freelancers alike have been left chasing a raised bar in terms of difficulty to deliver and desired quality from clients and website owners alike.
As if link building wasn’t already challenging, outreach can be likened to knocking on a stranger’s door and asking for a cup of sugar whilst wearing a bright neon sign announcing you have an infectious strain of bubonic plague or something equally unpleasant. The net outcome is you get a lot of doors slammed in your face and unless you have an angle to get your foot wedged in the door the whole enterprise can be economically unviable as 99.9% of webmasters will slam that very door in your face, turn out the lights and pretend no-one is home.
Compounding the problem is the army of non-native English speaking SEO’s attempting to cash in/pursue the same ends with laughably poor outreach emails lacking any cultural sensitivity followed up with a barely readable 300 word article.
An Alternative Approach
Prospecting: I’ll write a follow up article on this subject later as there are a multitude of techniques that feed into one another. Finding a link to move the needle requires a combination of relevance and juice. I am personally a fan of Majestic Topical Trust Flow, Domain Authority can be easily manipulated.
Learn about your target: Spend the time to read the site, and get involved. Tweet thier interesting tweets, join the facebook group. And comment on some published work if you can. Certainly make it clear you are keen on the site and wish to contribute with integrity.
The Standard Approach
The Pitch: Most SEO’s will tell you not to use templated emails as that leads to an automatic rejection
Learn about your target: Spend the time to read the site, and get involved. Tweet their interesting tweets, join the Facebook group. And comment on some published if you can. Certainly make it clear you are keen on the site and wish to contribute with integrity.
SEO’s like Chandler from Moxie SEO in Texas advises “You need to showcase your integrity in your email and give as much reason to reply as possible. They will have approaches from other willing candidates you need to make sure yours stands out from them masses.
Make a strong offer: This is what will set you apart from the rest make a good offer for them. Not just about writing for them but offer to share the work and if possible due to your level of contacts offer to give something back on a site that you can easily write for.
Personally I find this approach to be exhausting and it certainly doesn’t leave the desired impression. If I’m going to start knocking on a random stranger’s door introducing myself, I’ll equip myself with a bottle of wine and dress for the occasion.
My Pitch: So I want a link from someone’s website, life is about give and take. The pitch email is titled “An Invitation to Collaborate.” That usually gets their attention.
The Hook: Life is about give and take, the spoonful of sugar to help the medicine go down in this case in a site purpose build from the ground up in the prospects niche to exclude authority, trust, quality content and desirable metrics (an asset). I simply offer the prospective website an exchange, you get a link on my site and in return I would like a like back to my client on related but different site.
Producing grade quality content that is over 600 words and has sources well documented doesn’t cut it these days.
The content produced needs to be authoritative and longer, think minimum 1250 words+. The cherry on top is the Skyscraper Technique (BacklinkO has a great guide on their site). This enabled most copywriters to push out near Shakespear.
Make sure that you work hard to gain some engagement by sharing with your social media channels and reaching out to others to help gain some momentum. Keep an eye on the comment section to reply to anyone that has left a question in combination with the above works wonders.