Finding names and email addresses is easy when dealing with blogs and article-based websites. Sometimes, though, contact information seems hard to come by. Don’t give up! Instead, get creative. Try connecting with authors on Facebook, Twitter or LinkedIn, or search their names on Google to possibly find other points of contact. Also, most businesses have Facebook pages, and you can mine these pages for names if you don’t already have specific people to target.
Stay organized as you do this research. Make a spreadsheet to keep track of the names, email addresses, social media profiles and other relevant information for each website you want to contact. You can also record the domain authority of each website – that can help when prioritizing who to contact first.
Make Your Pitch
Asking for a backlink is a lot like making a sales pitch. You can’t simply ask for a backlink without offering something in return. And your rate of success will rise dramatically if you flip that around. Tell your contacts what you want to give them, and move the backlink into the background.
Here’s an example. Let’s say you own a roofing business, and an unseasonably wet winter is almost over. Contact your local newspaper editor and offer to be quoted in a story about how to get rid of moss without damaging your roof shingles. Or, say you sell sporting goods, and you’re in the midst of a hot summer. Contact a well-known recreation blogger and offer to contribute a post about buying a first-time kayak.
Clarify the Backlink
When making your sales pitch, you don’t want everything to be about you. However, at some point in the conversation you’ll need to confirm that you’re getting a backlink. A good way to clarify this condition is to say something along the lines of, “All I ask is I get a link to my site included with my byline wherever my content is shared.” Then, after agreeing on that term, you can ask that your content be shared on the website’s related online channels such as Facebook or Twitter.
Don’t Fade Away
Persistence is key when building backlinks via outreach. When trying to establish contacts, you might need to message people in a few different ways before they’ll finally get back to you. Even after you’ve successfully earned a backlink, following up with contacts can result in more (and easier) backlinks later on. Don’t stop reaching out because you fear coming on too strong. Marketers who go away quietly usually don’t get very far.
Cultivating your network of backlinks will not happen overnight. It’s a slow-going process that requires patience and persistence, sometimes taking several months or even a few years. Even if you’re able to find quality backlinks, you might still experience slow progress if you’re in a highly competitive market. That doesn’t mean you should give up. It may be an uphill climb, but the reward at the top is worth it.
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