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How to Use Email Outreach to Build Links to Your WordPress Site

Regardless of your niche, your website will have a lot of competition for views and shares. There are now over 26 billion websites powered by WordPress – that’s around 55% of the entire internet.

CMS usage distribution

Great content alone won’t bring your site to the top of the search engine results. You’ll need to invest time and energy into building your backlink profile. Guest posting should form a central part of your link building strategy.

Guest posting simply means contributing an article to another site in exchange for a link back to yours. Since Google aims to show the highest quality content to its users, backlinks from high authority websites directly impact your search result rankings in a significant way.

Read on to learn how to do outreach that will land you those top-quality guest posting spots so you can profit from blogging.

Research the Competition

Before you can start growing your backlink profile, you need to know how you’re doing now. That means checking how your site currently ranks in search results and comparing it against other sites in your niche. 

Take some time researching the keywords you’d like to rank for. Which sites are currently claiming the top spots for those search terms? Study their content and make sure that yours is of comparable quality. If not, you might need to spend time on your content strategy first. There is no point in wasting time building links to a website with minimal or poor-quality content. 

Say, for example, I was looking to rank for the keyword “content marketing”.

Research the Competition

I’d first check the search volume for the phrase using a tool like Keywords Everywhere. This gives me a sense of how many people are searching for this term.

I could then use a tool like Ahrefs to check what sites are ranking for that term, and importantly, how many referring domains they have. This is important.

Google uses referring domains, amongst a variety of other factors, to determine if a piece of content should appear on the first page of Google. Therefore, for your site to turn up on the first page of Google, you’ll need a comparable number of referring domains.

Of course, it’s not just a numbers game. It’s important that those referring domains have relevance and authority.  You can see Ahrefs provides an estimate of how many referring domains you’d need to rank for the term – 619 links – in the image below.

ahrefs

You should use a keyword research tool to figure out how many referring domains you’ll need for the keyword you want to rank for. Once you’ve established your baseline and a number of guest posts to strive for, it’s time to start identifying targets and reaching out.

Identifying Websites to Write Guest Posts for

Not all backlinks are created equal. Some will result in a massive boost in traffic to your site, while others won’t be as effective. Choose your backlink targets wisely to get the most out of your guest posts.

When I’m looking for guest posting opportunities, I target websites that meet the following criteria:

  • A Domain Authority (DR) score of 50 or higher.
  • Minimum monthly traffic of 3,000 visitors.
  • A Trust Flow (DA) score of 15 or higher.
  • Relevant to my niche.

It’s easy to identify relevant domains in your niche. Simply, search for an authority website in your niche and review the referring domains linking to that site.

Not all backlinks are created equal. Some will result in a massive boost in traffic to your site, while others won’t be as effective. Choose your backlink targets wisely to get the most out of your guest posts.

When I’m looking for guest posting opportunities, I target websites that meet the following criteria:

  • A Domain Authority (DR) score of 50 or higher.
  • Minimum monthly traffic of 3,000 visitors.
  • A Trust Flow (DA) score of 15 or higher.
  • Relevant to my niche.

It’s easy to identify relevant domains in your niche. Simply, search for an authority website in your niche and review the referring domains linking to that site.

Pitching Your Guest Post Ideas through Email Outreach

email outreach

In the vast majority of cases, you’ll be doing cold outreach to pitch your guest post ideas. Cold outreach simply means contacting somebody with whom you have no prior relationship. The best way to reach a site owner or editor is usually by email. 

LinkedIn is a gold mine of useful information, including email addresses and contact numbers. I recommend using an email verifier like Voila Norbert or Find Emails to ensure you’re sending your outreach email to the right place.

Cold outreach can be nerve-wracking – talking to strangers doesn’t come easily to everyone! Fortunately, it becomes much easier once you get the hang of it. Pitches get rejected all the time and for all sorts of reasons, so don’t take it personally if an editor says no or doesn’t respond.

The next step is to create an outreach email template that increases your chances of acceptance.

Use an Enticing Subject Line

The editor of your target site probably gets dozens of emails every day. Therefore, you need to grab their attention with the subject line if you want them even to open your email. 

The best cold outreach subject lines are personalized, to the point, and attention-grabbing. Consider using the subject’s name or the name of their website. 

Here are some examples, but you should brainstorm and create your own:

  • Awesome content for [website name]!
  • [Name], can we work together? 
  • Guest post ideas for [website name]! 

In some contexts, using emojis can also be a good strategy. Emojis draw the eye, and research from Experian showed that they increased open rates in 56% of cases. 

A Guest Post Outreach Template that Works

Content editors are busy people. Therefore the best outreach emails are concise, to the point, and offer clear value. 

Don’t try empty flattery – it doesn’t work, and it’s transparent. I can’t tell you how many emails I receive every week that say “I love your content!” and then make it abundantly clear that they haven’t read it.

Instead, your pitch should be brief and straightforward, and zero in on these items:

  • Who you are and what you do. 
  • What you’re asking them for. 
  • What you can give in return. 

Give your name, the company you represent and your position, and a summary of what the business does. Say that you’re interested in contributing a guest post and ask if they would welcome some pitches. Don’t go into the specifics of your ideas at this stage unless their “Write For Us” page explicitly asks you to do so. 

If you’re an expert in a particular area or have an unusual specialism, say so. It’s also worth mentioning other prestigious sites you’ve written for if any. 

Your tone should be friendly and informal while remaining professional. Always use the person’s name and the name of the website. This shows you’re writing to them individually, not taking a scattergun approach. 

If you don’t get a reply within a few days, it’s fine to send a polite follow-up. Don’t just copy and paste your first email, though. Instead, reiterate your interest and ask if they’ve had a chance to consider your proposal. In many cases, this will give them the nudge they need to get back to you. If you still don’t get a response, assume that the answer is no and move on. 

With a bit of luck, the editor will reply and ask to hear some of your topic ideas. Congratulations! You’ve overcome the most challenging hurdle: getting a response. Now you need to pitch some killer post ideas.

Creating Guest Post Ideas

There is a popular misconception that it’s necessary to write about something completely new that has never been covered before. Unless you’re doing groundbreaking scientific research or investigative journalism, don’t put this undue pressure on yourself. Very little is truly original, and most topics have been covered, often multiple times.

Fortunately, there is no shortage of angles from which to approach a topic. You can draw inspiration from the topics that have already been covered on the site. Your perspective or approach should be fresh and creative, but your theme doesn’t have to be. 

Google your general topic area to see what has been written on the subject before. If you use the affordable Keywords Everywhere plugin, you’ll see how popular that keyword is (and therefore how difficult it will be to rank for) and a list of related keywords. You might find additional inspiration from these suggestions:

Guest Post Ideas

Before you pitch your guest post idea, make sure that the same angle hasn’t already been covered on that site. Do a Google search of the site’s URL and the keyword, like this:

If no relevant results for that site appear, it’s probably a good keyword to target. 

Another to get inspiration for guest post ideas is to see what topics are trending on social media/ BuzzSumo is a useful tool which will show you relevant results and their level of engagement on all the major social media platforms.

It’s worth taking the time to come up with great and relevant ideas for your guest post. You’ve made all the effort to reach out to the editor and managed to get them to reply, so you mustn’t throw away that budding relationship at this stage! 

If you get a positive response to their initial query, try to respond with some specific ideas within no longer than 48 hours. Unless they’ve asked for one idea only, pitch 2 – 3 different potential headlines for your guest post. 

Remember to be gracious and polite at every stage. The opportunity to guest post on someone’s site is valuable, and you should treat it as such. Therefore, respond promptly, say thank you, and be unfailingly professional. 

If the editor rejects your ideas, don’t despair! You might just have not quite hit upon the right angle for that website. Study the site or blog again, and tweak your pitches to align with the themes and tone more closely. Then try again. I’ve had plenty of editors reject the first ideas I sent them, only to accept a revised pitch later.

Write and Deliver Your Guest Blog

When your guest post idea has been accepted, it’s time to get writing. Make sure your content is original, well-written with a clear structure, and free from spelling and grammatical errors. Try to mirror the tone of other posts on the site (without losing your unique voice,) and follow the style guide if there is one. 

Don’t forget to include your backlinks within the article. That is why you’re guest posting in the first place! But don’t be tempted to throw in as many backlinks as possible. One or two is usually enough, and any more is pushing it. 

You must deliver your guest post on or before the date agreed. Missing a deadline might well cost you the opportunity. If you run into a problem and need more time, notify the editor as quickly as possible. Most people will be happy to accommodate a revised delivery date as long as you communicate with them.  

When you deliver your guest post, thank the editor again for the opportunity and say that you hope their readers find the piece useful. 

Building Links to Your Site with Email Outreach

Guest posting for high-authority websites is one of the best ways to build backlinks to your site, improving your search engine results ranking and bringing more leads and customers to your business. 

But if you want editors to agree to allow you to post on their sites, a robust email outreach strategy is vital. 

First, define how many backlinks you need and research authority sites within your niche. Craft an enticing cold outreach email that the editor won’t be able to resist opening and reading. If you pitch relevant ideas, write brilliant content, and deliver on time, you’ll build strong relationships with site owners, which can benefit your business beyond this guest post.

Link building is a strategy where it pays to take your time and get it right. The more cold outreach you do, the easier it will get. You won’t see results overnight, but if you follow these steps consistently, you’ll build a profile of quality backlinks and start to climb the search engine rankings. Slow and steady wins the link building race. Good luck with your guest posts!

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