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Linker Outreach: A Method for Social and Editorial Link Building

Social linking has been one of the most significant and realistic indicators of how credible, useful and/or authoritative a content is these past few years, helping search engines identify high quality pages over the web, and to the extent of somehow improving their search results.

With different social platforms being widely used by people worldwide, link building seems to be much easier than before, especially in reaching out and engaging your link targets.

Social links are now being perceived as the future of links (probably the replacement of the old links that most of us have been accustomed to). However, editorial links voluntarily given by authority websites to cite credible sources around the web is still the best kind of link there is, in my opinion.

As this way of linking to documents passes more value, given that the links are in some ways more descriptive, relevant and have longer lifespan that’s capable of constantly generating referred traffic (especially if the linking page is getting search, social as well as referred traffic).

Now, what if you can get these 2 types of strong links through one solid approach? A method that can improve your site’s social branding and link graph, by offering your content to specifically targeted people in your community – the linkers.

Principles:

Let’s start off with the things that you’ll need to get started in using this approach to acquire social and editorial links.

  • A linkworthy content (not your homepage).
  • Social platforms where you can find natural linkers in your industry.

Linkers are the ones who take the time and effort to personalize or even add comments on the things that they share to their circles, that’s how I personally see it. And most linkers don’t exactly realize that they are linkers.

In this age of the web, pretty much everyone is capable of being a linker – on any industry – thanks to the sudden rise of social media, where almost everyone has the liberty to contribute and express their opinions, especially on topics that they are really passionate about.

So in this post, I’ll be sharing some guides on how to find and identify linkers in your field as well as on how you can approach them effectively (including a few samples below).

Finding Linkers in Delicious

Delicious is definitely one of the best places on the web to find great and popular content that people share and save on any niche – also a good place to find link targets.

In finding linkers through this social platform, you can first start by using Delicious’ search feature to find the most bookmarked webpages in your industry:

Delicious search

See the users who have commented on the bookmarked link by clicking on the number of saves.

So what I did after that is check all the profiles of those who have bookmarked the content on new tabs (yes, I did everything manually).

And see if they have links to their websites from their Delicious profile page.

Check their websites and collect their contact details from there (you can list them all in a spreadsheet, to have an easier process once you start reaching out to them).

With the tests that I’ve done a few weeks ago, it was really easy for me to contact CreativeCaravan, since they already have their email address mentioned on their banner, as seen above.

In scaling your link prospecting with Delicious, you can expand your search for possible link targets by tracking the users who have saved other popular (most bookmarked) content related to your niche through your search’s related tags (placed on the right sidebar of the results page).

Crafting your Pitch

After building your list of linkers to contact, you can then start creating your email copy. Here are a few tips for creating a copy for your email outreach:

  • Keep the message short and clear.
  • Let them know where and how you’ve found them.
  • You’ll need to offer a highly linkable content. In the samples that I’ll share below, I used my recent post about different SEO strategies for 2012 as the link that they can refer to.
  • Don’t give them instructions, since they are natural linkers, and they’ll know exactly what to do next after checking out your content.

Below is the actual copy that I used in testing this approach:

Results:

After sending 20 personalized emails, I got 6 positive responses (30% response rate), with 2 offering to write about the content that I’ve shared to them,  1 proposing a possible business partnership, all of the 6 sharing the post on Twitter, and with the rest, I didn’t receive any response at all.

The accuracy of my tests is not that definite at this time, given that I tested it on a holiday season, where most of the people that I contacted were probably on vacation. Although, most of the responses that I received were really interesting, as most of them have replies longer than the copy that I’ve initially sent to them.

Here are some of the awesome responses that I received from the approach I tested:

From Glen McNiel:

Glen also tweeted the post (he’s a great guy!).

From Paul Wylie:

Paul shared the post on Twitter:

Paul also took the time to contextually link to the post I’ve shared to him (with brand and author mention) on his post about Marketers’ dependency on Google for Traffic and Advertising:

From Andy of CreativeCaravan:

Andy’s tweet about the post:

Bonus Round

You can use the same approach on other social sites (like Twitter, Stumbleupon and Google+) by finding linkers in your industry from these social networks, contacting them, providing a link-worthy content and sharing it to them.

In finding Linkers on Twitter:

You can use Topsy to search for personalized tweets for a popular web content (within your niche) on Twitter, because these users are the ones that will possibly spend time writing about your content (especially if your material is exceptionally written or extremely useful).

Topsy allows you to see the people who’ve shared any web content on Twitter, and it also displays the profile of the users when you hover on their Twitter handle, and there you can see their websites (where you can contact them through email).

In finding Linkers on Google+

What I like about Google+ is that most of its users are very descriptive and more often than not express their own opinions when they’re sharing content to their circles – definitely the linkers that you want in your circle! You can use Google search to track users who have shared a content on Google+ (using this query: “URL of the post” + “site:plus.google.com”).

You can also use this scrapping method to export search results to excel. Once you have a list of Google+ pages/users, you can find their contact details or contact them directly through their Google plus profile.

Ok, that’s Gianluca (he’s a popular figure in the SEO industry), so you’ll really have to provide a great content to be prepared for these kinds of situations (contacting an influencer).

In finding Linkers on Stumbleupon

Stumbleupon is a vast place full of linking opportunities, knowing that this social networking site is home to highly intellectual social media users (most people that I personally know who’re using Stumbleupon are really smart people). In searching for Stumbleupon users (or stumblers) who have bookmarked a particular site/content (in your industry), you can also use Google search by using this search query: “URL of the site/page” + “site:www.stumbleupon.com/stumbler/”.

Extract the list of search results and start contacting them through their profile pages.

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

We are also offering Search Marketing and Link Development services, you can hire us here.

Image Credit: Shortgreenpigg

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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100 replies
  1. James@carbuzz
    James@carbuzz says:

    Interesting to see how you got a fair few tweets as responses. We do a fair bit of link building with infographics, and find that we get a large proportion of tweets (or people uploading to their FB page), but not as many links as we’d like.

    It’s so easy for someone to tweet a link, whereas uploading a quick blog post takes a lot longer. We try making it easier, for example by providing an embed form, and saying if they want a custom size to fit their post width that it’s not a problem, but doesn’t seem to help much.

    Obviously the tweets have value, but we’d prefer the links!

    Reply
  2. Talha
    Talha says:

    Very innovative approach, and it looks like it worked well for you.

    However doing it all manually like you have will take some time but I guess the results will be worth it.

    Have you every used Google Blog Search to find relevant people for outreach?

    Reply
  3. Alex
    Alex says:

    @James, Sure, we’d all love more links, but with Google starting to move away from using links as a ranking factor, strategies like this will become more and more important.

    Awesome post!

    Reply
  4. Vernon
    Vernon says:

    This one is new to me and very interesting to know all of this. Its been a quite of time that I heard about editorial links and now I really read an article based on it. Thankful for me that I already read it and it seems very useful for me. Thanks for sharing this one. I can share this one to my co-social media partners.

    Reply
  5. Chris
    Chris says:

    Jason, an excellent guide & great to see some of the feedback you received as part of the process.

    This is a very good guide for helping SEO’s who are new and possibly a little reluctant to reach out to webmasters or influencers.

    Reply
  6. Levi
    Levi says:

    I didn’t know that there were strategies like this at any social bookmarking site like Delicious. I’ve got an account with it but didn’t know this idea till now, I saw your test response and it’s quite encouraging to try for mine. Although I’m not sure about my open rate or the response rate, getting awesome feedback like you did is such a relief.

    Thanks for sharing this!

    Reply
  7. Anna
    Anna says:

    Awesome approach to link building via social media. This is one of the best posts I read on this topic. Thanks for sharing the real-life example instead of just writing some general blah-blah about how good social media is and how important it is to utilize social media for SEO.

    Do you think this approach will work in less techy niche than SEO, where people don’t really understand what you are contacting them for? Let’s say mobile phones or travel?

    Thanks again!

    Reply
  8. Eric at Evergreen Search
    Eric at Evergreen Search says:

    Jason – really actionable stuff here. One suggestion I recommend for keeping track of your outreach is using Boomerang for g-mail. By using this, e-mails that don’t receive a response will get shot back to you so you can try it one more time. I’ve added this post to my Evernote!

    Reply
  9. Matt@HR Resources
    Matt@HR Resources says:

    Kaiser The Sage: Thank you so much, just created my very first Delicious Stack + will follow your recommendations with Delicious Professionals Following (this is how I call it, a bit nerdy hey!).

    Also via Eric, previous blog post, yes, I have also stumbled upon Boomerang, seems to be an awesome service, but what I also do if I want to send emails out later, I just put them into draft and send them out whenever I feel like it :-).

    PS
    There are two versions of Mister Wong (German original version and the international one), they are very good indeed to find other specialists from your niche! Keep in touch you all & again happy New 2012!

    Reply
  10. Gabe Arredondo
    Gabe Arredondo says:

    Jason, Great stuff, I’m new to all this, but I’m a fast learner. I have several sites in different
    phases of development, but wanting to build my empire as a white-hat SEO/Developer.

    Thanks again, I plan on reading, comprehending and wrapping my head around all of this.
    Look foward to further communications in the future, Thanks, Gabe

    Reply
  11. James
    James says:

    That was such an innovative approach. Great stuff. Blogging will surely be more fun when all the tips you’ve been providing are applied. Thanks a lot.

    Reply
  12. Mat Bennett
    Mat Bennett says:

    I’ve had this post on my ‘to read’ list since you first tweeted it, waiting for a quiet moment to read & digest it without interruption!

    Well worth the wait – another great post. I’ll echo what Anna says above, the fact you give real examples makes your posts crystal clear and is greatly appreciated.

    Reply
  13. Gravytrain@Vancouver SEO
    Gravytrain@Vancouver SEO says:

    This is a great quick how-to, and thanks for sharing. I’d be prone to target those who have either high readership numbers (via Compete) or sites that have high authority signals like PR / Mozrank / whatever is the soup du jour.

    Sure, it’s great to get a few tweets and links from “real people” but in the time that it took you to do this you could have busted out a few guest blog posts or articles that would gather you significantly more backlinks.

    Have to weigh the positives against the negatives, as with anything!

    Reply
  14. Sam @ Online Fundraising
    Sam @ Online Fundraising says:

    This is an unorthodox but evidently very successful technique – I like that. It’s all about reaching out to people as opposed to doing the same thing as everyone else.

    I checked your services tab and would be interested in learning about your thoughts on helping to promote the site in my URL. Feel free to get in touch if you’re interested

    Reply
  15. Manuel Marino
    Manuel Marino says:

    the test seems very good. of course the number of total responses is not enough for a huge boost of visitors, but it’s a beginning.

    I contacted in the past linkers, but on LinkedIn, and now I’ve got more than 20000 contacts there. I spent years, anyway. Just to tell you that it’s hard work 🙁

    Reply
  16. Jack
    Jack says:

    Jason excellent post. Btw a good place to find people on google plus is by using the tool Findpeopleonplus

    A quicker way to research for prospects to contact I find.

    Hopefully it helps you.

    Reply
    • HarryP
      HarryP says:

      Hi Marisa, I agreed with you, but getting No-follow link from a few authentic source is far better that getting hundred’s of Do-follow link from foul source. After all through No-follow link we get Crawl & Indexing benefit from Search Engine.

      Reply
  17. ben
    ben says:

    Thanks for showing us how to find ‘sharers’ on Delicious. I always wondered how people were meant to find the content of new sites so that its links would build naturally.

    Reply
  18. Sheena@Clip in hair extensions
    Sheena@Clip in hair extensions says:

    This is a very comprehensive guide, Jason. I really appreciate what you have written here. I have never used this strategy before but thanks to you, I’ll start doing this. The responses that you got from the linkers are amazing and inspiring. Congratulations!

    Reply
  19. Nica
    Nica says:

    WEW! Great post! I am not much of “linker” per se but I can try this one. I just need to determine how it would help my virtual assistant practice.

    But I will definitely do this for the posts I optimized. Thanks, Jason! i look forward to reading more of your posts.

    Reply
  20. Alex
    Alex says:

    Great post Jason. I tried something earlier last year before reading your post and had mixed results. Most responded proposing a guest blogging opportunity (which was good in some respects) but very few retweeted or reblogged the article.

    Reply
  21. Dr Pauley
    Dr Pauley says:

    That was without a doubt the most interesting and informative article that I have read on link building. Loved your illustrations. I have accounts with Delicious and Stumbleupon but never thought to use them as you outline. Also, I check Topsy just to thank Retweeters, but again your slant is different. I am just starting to use G+ so that information also is very useful. I am going to forward your article to my web builder who does a lot of my SEO even though I am actively link building on a regular basis. Thanks again for a great article.

    Reply
  22. Alex Simring
    Alex Simring says:

    You are definitely right that social signals appear to play a major role in search ranking factors. The only problem has been how to get more of those social signals. I like your idea about how to find those linkers. I suppose it all comes down to whether your site has content worth linking to.

    Reply
  23. Brian Dennis
    Brian Dennis says:

    Awesome genius idea man. Social reach increases traffic indeed but not in PR, so the best way to increase PR is to still do link building. I’ve never been to good on outreach so I guess this maybe the time to try something new. It’s tough? yes?

    Reply
  24. SEObuilder
    SEObuilder says:

    Big hatch idea shared Jason. I always get points of view every time i finished reading a articles and i most likely your articles have given me more innovative enrichment of concept adopt. Thanks anyway !

    Reply
  25. Dani@NSK Bearing
    Dani@NSK Bearing says:

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    Reply
  26. Cerita Lucu
    Cerita Lucu says:

    You are definitely right that social signals appear to play a major role in search ranking factors. The only problem has been how to get more of those social signals. I like your idea about how to find those linkers. I suppose it all comes down to whether your site has content worth linking to.

    Reply
  27. Sam Mudra
    Sam Mudra says:

    Very out of the box idea of getting links, tweet or share from some of the industry experts. Who does not want to get a superb link from an authority website pointing towards own site, everybody will love to get that. Never thought in this way, will give a try on this and will gauge the results. Thanks for letting us know the methods and the processes.

    Reply

Trackbacks & Pingbacks

  1. […] ·      Reaching out to industry influencers and/or other content publishers (that have substantial following base) who are genuinely interested about the topic you’ve written about and letting them know about it (linker outreach). […]

  2. […] Linker Outreach: A Method for Social and Editorial Link Building by Jason Acidre http://kaiserthesage.com/linker-outreach/ […]

  3. […] can start with a linker outreach campaign – where you can find and reach out to sites/people who have linked and/or shared your […]

  4. […] building can often be a slow process; pumping out content, building connections, reaching out in the hope of picking up […]

  5. […] Shout out to my friend Jason from Kaiser the Sage who introduced me to this technique in one of his blog posts. […]

  6. […] Thanks to Jason Acidre from Kaiser The Sage for exposing me to this technique in his linker outreach post. […]

  7. […] Find potential linkers in Delicious who obviously should have blogs to link to your content. See this post by Jason Acidre on how to do linker outreach using Delicious approach. […]

  8. […] comenzar con una campaña de difusión de link – donde se puede encontrar y llegar a los sitios/personas que han vinculado y/o compartido […]

  9. […] Hice un caso de estudio de este método hace 2 años. Puedes revisar esa publicación para una guía más completa paso a paso, con la plantilla de correo electr…. […]

  10. […] Find potential linkers in Delicious who obviously should have blogs to link to your content. See this post by Jason Acidre on how to do linker outreach using Delicious approach. […]

  11. […] Shout out to my friend Jason from Kaiser the Sage who introduced me to this technique in one of his blog posts. […]

  12. […] Llégales a través de sus redes sociales o por correo electrónico (ellos harán el resto) […]

  13. […] Moz. This one comes with a Pro account, so there’s some financial investment involved. SEO expert Jason Acidre recommends Mention.net for tracking brand mentions. I personally have not tried it but I intend to […]

  14. […] Thanks to Jason Acidre from Kaiser The Sage for exposing me to this technique in his linker outreach post. […]

  15. […] wrote an in-depth guide to linker outreach a couple of years back and that post holds up after all this time. If you’re not familiar with […]

  16. […] Linker Outreach: A Method for Social and Editorial Link Building by Jason Acidre http://kaiserthesage.com/linker-outreach/ […]

  17. […] ·      Reaching out to industry influencers and/or other content publishers (that have substantial following base) who are genuinely interested about the topic you’ve written about and letting them know about it (linker outreach). […]

  18. […] Hice un caso de estudio de este método hace 2 años. Puedes revisar esa publicación para una guía más completa paso a paso, con la plantilla de correo electr…. […]

  19. […] publish useful content and promote them using linker outreach – to grow your own readership (because they’re the ones who’ll most probably mention you a […]

  20. […] You’ll have better chances of getting them to see your content, since you’re already sure that they’re really interested about the topic. But it’s very important to ensure that the quality of your content matches or exceeds the content from your competitors (to increase the likelihood of getting more people to share your content). You can also check this guide I wrote a couple of years ago on how to effectively do this type of outreach.“ […]

  21. […] it on your blog, reach out to home improvement bloggers and let them see your content. Use this linker outreach method to attract more links/reviews/mentions for your […]

  22. […] Social linking has increased in importance when you consider the increased credibility that the platform offers. Today, it’s easier than ever to reach out to people and ask them to share your content. Jason Acidre decided to test out this theory and started reaching out to linkers. His first stop was Delicious which he deemed the best platform for link building. After reaching out to users personally he has a 30% response rate with 6 shares on Twitter. Read more at Kaiser the Sage. […]

  23. […] Linker and social outreach – to push content assets that have high potentials of going viral, that’s genuinely link/shareworthy and offer high value proposition. […]

  24. […] For a more extensive guide on this approach, you can check out my older post on linker/social outreach. […]

  25. […] who’re genuinely interested about the topic area of the content I’m planning to create (for outreach and relationship […]

  26. […] who’re genuinely interested about the topic area of the content I’m planning to create (for outreach and relationship […]

  27. […] sample that I can share is detailed on a case study I wrote a year ago – on doing linker outreach. The method has proven its effectiveness both on my site and a few from our […]

  28. […] Linker Outreach: A Method for Social and Editorial Link Building […]

  29. […] the linker outreach method to get your content in front of prospects that really cares or genuinely interested about […]

  30. […] the brand/site is seen to offer real value to its target audience, users, community and industry. Doing outreach (to get links and shares to content assets) is also far more sensible than the other types of pitches link builders […]

  31. […] the brand/site is seen to offer real value to its target audience, users, community and industry. Doing outreach (to get links and shares to content assets) is also far more sensible than the other types of pitches link builders […]

  32. […] The truth is, it’s really easy to promote (great) content when you’re sure and confident about it. And don’t forget to reach out to those who’re really interested about the subject of your content. […]

  33. […] One of the best and most thorough articles I have read recently on this exact subject comes from Jason Acidre (a.k.a – KaiserTheSage) and I strongly recommend you bookmark it for future reading: Linker Outreach: A Method for Social and Editorial Link Building […]

  34. […] your industry), and you can use several promotional methods to get the branded content out, such as linker outreach and paid social ads (you can check out this post for more tips on pushing your social […]

  35. […] Linker and social outreach – to push content assets that have high potentials of going viral, that’s genuinely link/shareworthy and offer high value proposition. […]

  36. […] the process of getting natural in-content links relies on your content promotion strategies (using outreach, social media and link […]

  37. […] These are content assets that deserve better search rankings for very competitive search terms, because they are worth-linking to. They have better chances of getting natural links and it’s reasonable to promote them through manual link building or social outreach. […]

  38. […] 7. Linker Outreach: A Method for Social and Editorial Link Building […]

  39. […] incoming links to the content from other websites through outreach or content distribution (contextually linking to them through your guest blogs). This will increase […]

  40. […] real key to a successful content-based link and social outreach strongly depends on the value proposition. When sharing your content by contacting people (through […]

  41. […] Linker Outreach: A Method for Social and Editorial Link Building <i>Today’s guest post comes from James Agate. James is the </i><i>founder of the content marketing and link building agency </i><i>Skyrocket SEO . We’ve heard great things about James’ work, and he’s helped many of our customers out with guest blogging and link development services. […]

  42. […] Build content assets or strong pages that have high potentials of getting links (editorially or via outreach), social shares and/or ranking better on SERPs for informational search phrases and use these pages […]

  43. […] around the topics that they most frequently shareReach out to them via social channels or email (they’ll do the rest)An easy identifier of those who link out freely are the ones who do weekly or monthly link roundup […]

  44. […] to link to this type of content, as it contains high-value information. Broken link building and linker outreach will work well when building links to your comprehensive free […]

  45. […] was kind to the link building community this month. Check out some of the best of the best.Linker Outreach: A Method for Social and Editorial Link Building – Jason Acidre wrote my favorite link building post of the month with this one. Learn how to do […]

  46. […] Identify and make a list of heavy linkers and social sharers in your industry that will find your content useful and will have high probability of sharing your content. Try reaching out to them (through email) and ask if they’ll be interested to see your content. You can check out this post for more in-depth tips on how to find linkers and on how to do the linker outreach method. […]

  47. […] Linker Outreach: A Method for Social and Editorial Link Building – By using social sites like Delicious, StumbleUpon, and Google+ you can conduct outreach in an entirely new way. Jason Acidre tells you how to identify who’s shared similar content so you can let them know about yours. […]

  48. […] and templates to help with Gmail productivity for link building and even some great content on finding linkers for outreach. In this post I'll focus on five great tools that are specifically useful for link outreach. […]

  49. […] up your business’ unique value proposition, and use content-based link building (like simple linker outreach, editorial link outreach and social media promotions) to make them more visible through search, […]

  50. […] Linker Outreach: A Method for Social and Editorial Link Building – Social linking has been one of the most significant and realistic indicators of how credible, […]

  51. […] great way to empower that sharing, writes Jason Acidre on his blog KaiserTheSage, is to engage in “Linker […]

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