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Published on August 23rd, 2012 | by 011100110110010

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#Protip – 1

A simple way to improve an outreach email

Today I’m starting a series of #protips. I’m really excited about the project and the opportunity to add some real value to the community. So many outreach (acceptable guest post link spam) emails follow the same line:

  1. Hi
  2. I’m a massive fan of www.asiteiwantaguestposton.com
  3. It must be hard writing so much quality content!
  4. Did I mention I’m a writer within your niche?!
  5. I could write about x, y, z or something else if you would like?
  6. Hope to hear from you soon.

Of course I would never send out something so horrifically mundane.

When blog owners are receiving millions of guest post request emails on a daily basis you have to think about how your email can stand out. How can I make my email seem more legitimate?

How about instead of telling the blog owner that you loved a particular article (Your post ’10 things you didn’t know about theĀ Epson FX-890 2 x 9 Pin Dot Matrix Printer’ had me in stitches!) you tell them that you arrived via a referral link from another website.

Telling the blog owner that you arrived via another site sounds legitimate and isĀ too lame to be a lie. I know this sounds retarded but something slightly different, ‘elaborate’ and most importantly boring may be seen as true whereas saying you liked a post/article is transparent bullshit.

When putting together your email quickly review Opensiteexplorer/majestic SEO/whatever to find out a piece of content that links to your target site. If the site doesn’t have any decent content linking to them then choose the best directory ;)

Just in case the blog owner is sharp or weird I would advise that you actually click through the link so that it shows as a referrer in their analytics.

Anyway. I’m tired. Hopefully this #protip will be extremely helpful in your goal of gaining links through a means that will probably be out of date within 12 months.

Good luck!

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About the Author

One day I will make a living out of this industry, until then I'll carry on writing here.



6 Responses to #Protip – 1

  1. Emma says:

    Sean – this is awesome. My Saturday night was spend doing 4 hours of outreach to SEO people – some really well known names as well – and I had to make myself look legit and not a spammer. Luckily, since I do know the SEO niche, I know they’ve all seen crap outreach before.

    The issue was, I had to Copypasta a bunch of stuff to SEO guys I’ve never interacted with before, which was slightly worrying.

    So I just sent a bunch of e-mails with a title that couldn’t possibly ignore (I used “Hi (name), sorry for the worst outreach you’ve ever seen” a lot) and wrote a bunch of random stuff in the first paragraph before apologising for copypasta.

    So yeah, I often get outreach saying “Hi Emma, I loved your article (references an articles where I just ramble at length) – it really taught me a lot!” and then the bullshit alarms go off.

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    • Cheers Emma. I really like the idea of being honest/self deprecating and saying “Sorry for the worst outreach email ever, but there is a point!

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    • Dustin Verburg says:

      I always try to use a little bit of self-depreciation too, but that’s a killer subject line Emma. But I’m usually lame and say stuff like ‘I clicked through on Twitter because I am horribly addicted’ and if I am doing “high level outreach” (especially for a personal freelance project), I’ll usually say something like ‘so I am not just some stupid jerk’ after listing two or three qualificiations or places I’ve been published, and then follow it up with ‘… well, okay I am. But I’m a stupid jerk that has done those things I listed.’

      And people say I’m too wordy for some reason…

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      • It’s a great angle. In fact one of my favourite guest post emails was from you. Honest, real and not sycophantic ;)

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  2. Amy says:

    Good tips Sean, but don’t you think the whole ‘I really loved your blog post on some random topic’ thing is a bit overdone, and now also says ‘generic’ outreach?

    I tend to avoid it, unless I genuinely have read a few things on their blog, because I just think i sound fake and spammy.

    And for that reason, even when I have read and genuinely liked something on their blog, I still feel like I sound fake!

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    • Yo Amy,

      So what you’re really saying is you hate the post. I understand, that’s cool :P

      In terms of the “I really loved your blog post” that bit was under my ‘this is how so many people do it, isn’t it shit section’ and with this I totally agree with you. It’s crap, generic and transparent (as in obviously crap)

      I understand what you mean in terms of wondering whether it comes across as spammy but you’re only concerned because you send x number of outreach emails a day/week etc. You feel that outreach in itself is some form of spam when from the readers perspective it probably comes across well and honest.

      I suppose what I was trying to get across with this was when getting in touch with someone via email, excite them, make them want to open it and come across as a real person and not another guest post request. Think outside the box, what aren’t the other outreach people writing. Those are the ones that will get positive feedback.

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