Everything you need to know about SEO, delivered every Thursday.
Will Pitching Guest Posts Be The Death of Marketers?
Nothing kills my link building buzz more than receiving this email after (what I consider) a top-notch pitch:
I don’t know the exact moment when marketers started getting this bad reputation, but I’m seeing it a lot. Frankly, if you’re getting good content or getting more value for your website, it shouldn’t matter if I’m a freelancer writer, a webmaster, an in-house marketer, or an agency. But it does.
We live in a world where SEO leaves a bad taste in people’s mouths and marketers are seen as pushy people who’ll do anything for a product mention. (Thanks for that, Black Hats.) So, you have to adapt your approach if you want a successful link building campaign.
Above All, You’re A Writer
I would almost guarantee that if I wrote the exact same pitch from an email address that didn’t have “media” in it, I would have gotten a much different response. (We’re testing this now: I’ll update you with the findings.)
When you’re pitching blog posts, yes you’re a marketer, but above all, you’re a writer. Your focus shouldn’t be on the outbound link: It should be on the content.
Writers want to provide quality information; writers want to add value; and writers want to share advice. Your pitch should reflect that.
Even if you’re an in-house marketer, you can (and should) still use Gmail if you’re making straight pitches for most one-off guest blog posts.
You’re Also The Client
Remember: I said most guest blog posts. There are instances where it makes sense to be the marketer. In-housers, no problem there: You’re already “the client.”
Agencies, always have access to an @clientdomainname.com email address. Always.
Not only do many directories and local citation sources require you to have an email address that matches the domain you’re listing, it gives you a stronger tie when pitching expertise and not just content.
For example, one of my clients is a mortgage lender. Not only are we writing articles where we could mention them as a resource, but part of our strategy is furthering their expertise within the home loan industry. When I’m pitching articles that need more credibility behind it than just “writer,” I opt for the client’s email address to show that expertise.
Don’t Forget The Golden Rules
Bloggers are busy, and they get lots of pitches every day. So before you pitch, think about how you would want to be pitched to if you had a blog. (In fact, go start a blog, say you offer guest posts, and put yourselves in their shoes.)
Keep in mind, this not just with bloggers. Whether you’re hoping to get listed as a resource, joining a community or forum, or asking for product reviews, always treat your sources how you’d want to be treated. Link building is a strange combination between art and science, but you’re always going to deal with people.
Finally, never be afraid to follow-up. Because they get lots of pitches from unknown email addresses, spam filters are likely on high alert.
Whether they’ve seen the original email and forgot about it or it ended up in their junk mail, there’s no harm in checking in to get a status update. I typically wait a week before sending a follow up email, and when I do, I’ll email it off the original email I sent so they have the thread right there and don’t have to go hunt.
Some opinions expressed in this article may be those of a guest author and not necessarily Search Engine Land. Staff authors are listed here.