The Easiest Way to Bait Links – Get Guest Authors

by Jason Acidre on January 18, 2013 · 37 comments · Content, Search


Link baiting is an online marketing method that’s considerably regarded as both art and science. Given that the process of naturally gaining positive reception to any form of content is replicable and can be mastered through experience, data and constant practice.

That’s why several online viral marketing techniques exist.  Getting back to the topic, there are many approaches to acquiring natural editorial links, but not everything in any viral marketing playbook comes easy, even the one that I’m about to share, I presume.

I’ve already shared this strategy/process on a group interview by Jon Cooper about creative link building strategies, which actually got me few client inquiries this past month.

Anyway, the strategy is about inviting/hiring authority guest bloggers in your industry to contribute content to your site to attract and build more naturally earned links.

I decided to write about it, as there are so many facets and details worth expounding that can make the strategy a process of its own.

The tactic is so powerful, since inviting guest authors to publish content to your site can benefit you in so many ways, such as:

  • Absorbing readership and followers from their blogs.
  • Improving your site’s trust signals, as you improve its author portfolio (getting value from their AuthorRank).
  • Building authority and strong online brand presence through associating with known authors in your industry.
  • Getting continual traffic through referring links and also when their content contribution started to get ranked on search results (possibly for long-tail search terms).
  • Expanding your connections/network through the comments and social mentions that their guest entries are receiving.

But best of all, the strategy can help attract and generate links to your site naturally, since:

  • The contributed content will have better social spread, as both ends will promote it (you and the guest author). This means higher content visibility and more opportunities for linking.
  • Most active bloggers (who do guest blogging) link back and reference their own works – whether it’s published on their blog or on other websites. So the probability of getting a link to their guest entries is very high.

Basically, in this process, your guest authors will build links for you (they’ll do it eventually. I did).

Factors to increase the chances of getting authority guest bloggers

There are some things that you also have to consider before inviting authority bloggers to write for you. To make your guest blog invitations more efficient, it’s important to ensure that your target guest bloggers will also benefit from this type of content partnership.

Reciprocation and value proposition are very important parts of this strategy for it to be effective and scalable. It’s best to start assessing your brand’s assets first, to determine if you can really offer value to your prospected bloggers.

Factors that will make it easier for you to invite and get authority contributors:

  • Your blog’s target audience, readership, number of traffic, subscribers and/or social followers.
  • High SEO value – like domain authority and/or PageRank.
  • Relationships – if you’re well connected with bloggers in your industry and if you’re really good at social networking, the probability of getting approval from them will be higher.
  • Budget – if you don’t have the first 3 factors I’ve mentioned above, then hiring them (to write a single content) is a plausible way to get a post from them.

There are also other approaches (or angles for outreach) that you can utilize to increase the response and approval rates when inviting guest bloggers to your site – which I’ll be sharing more below.

Prospecting

Targeting high-profile bloggers to contribute content to your site is one of the main objectives of this strategy. But that’s going to be really tough if you don’t have enough value to offer.

So instead of targeting popular authors in your niche immediately, you can first start your campaign with bloggers who’re looking to promote themselves as well. Then use their needs as an angle when pitching to them to have an effective outreach campaign.

Industry Peers

Start with your friends in your industry. It’ll be easier to request and get guest contributions from them since they already know who you are.

Bloggers who have products or are about to launch their own product(s)

Find bloggers who have recently launched their own products or are already scheduled to launch a new product. Inviting them to do a guest post to your site will be more feasible for them, especially if you’ll allow them to promote their upcoming product within their guest posts.

You can use Google search to find blogs/sites in your industry that have recently launched a product. Use the “search tools” feature, and sort the results by time of publication (to display fresher results).

Bloggers in your space who are already active in guest blogging

Guest blogging has been the go-to-strategy by most online marketers and bloggers these past couple of years. So it’s kind of easier to spot people in any industry who are actively promoting their sites through this method.

The best thing about this type of prospect is that they are the ones that will really build links to their guest entries, since they do guest blogging a lot. Using their entry on your site as a resource on their future guest posts is more likely to happen.

Pitching

Using angles in your pitches – when inviting guest bloggers – is critical. Determine what you can really offer something of high value to them, and use it as the core of your pitches.

Here are few samples of my own email requests for this type of outreach:

 If you’ll notice, most of the messages contain the following:

  • Personalized introduction.
  • The value that they’ll get from contributing.
  • Targeting their needs (by enabling them to promote their products, services and/or clients).

So far, I have 100% positive response rate from this approach. Perhaps the biggest reasons and factors are the relationship that I’ve already established with the people I’ve contacted and the value proposition as well as the angle used in the request.

Hiring Freelance Bloggers

Another option for this kind of link and brand building strategy is to hire already established bloggers in your industry (who of course do freelance work).

There are 2 ways to find freelance bloggers in any niche. The first one is to use Google search.

While the second one is using Followerwonk to find freelance bloggers who have strong social following base.

It’s also important to evaluate your target freelance bloggers, before actually hiring them. Ensure the quality of the content they produce, if they already have author display on their works’ search result snippets, and if they’re also getting natural links and social shares.

Most freelance bloggers charge $35 – $100 per post, so it’s important to ensure that you’ll be making most out of this investment.

Getting the Links

These content contributions will always result to links, particularly if they’re created by active authors/bloggers. As I’ve mentioned above, links to their guest posts could be voluntarily given by their readers/followers and also by them through the succeeding content that they’ll produce.

Here are some examples of how effective this strategy is when used as a link baiting technique.

Nick Eubanks’ guest post here a few months ago about advancing from SEO to CRO, which has 52 linking root domains (including links from Search Engine Watch, SEOmoz and from his own blog).

Neil Patel’s guest post here about conversion killers, which has 12 linking root domains (including links from his latter posts on Search Engine Journal and Quicksprout).

Kristi Hines’ post on Social Media Examiner about Pinterest Business Accounts, which has 120 linking root domains.

And my guest post on Kikolani about how I built a blog that earned $10,000 in 5 months, which has 9 linking root domains (not much, but it did get natural links from SEOmoz, Blogpreneurs and Webimax – and now here).

Ok, so I gave Kristi some good links there, right? And I also got some really hard-to-replicate links from authority link sources through Nick and Neil’s guest posts as well. I guess that’s enough proof to say how effective this marketing and link development tactic is.

If you liked this post, you can subscribe to my feed and follow me on Twitter @jasonacidre.

Jason Acidre

Jason Acidre is Co-Founder and CEO of Xight Interactive, marketing consultant for Affilorama and Traffic Travis, and also the sole author of this SEO blog. You can follow him on Twitter @jasonacidre and on Google+.

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