Blogger Outreach Mistakes: 5 Things You Should NEVER Do

Steven28 responsesBlogging
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I have a lot of things in common with a lot of bloggers, and there are a lot of bloggers all over the Web. But just because we’re all bloggers and we have something in common, that doesn’t mean that we’re friends, or even business associates. Assuming that “we’re all in this together” and another blogger is willing to do you a favor is a big mistake. Building a good, strong online reputation takes a lot of hard work but it only takes one little mistake to ruin it. Here are five things you should never do when approaching another blogger.

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words dont potential business partners

Don’t Ask For A Link

Good quality, authoritative backlinks are hard to come by, in this business they’re like gold. Don’t just fire off an email to another blogger and ask for a link. You content may be some of the best on the web but he has no way of knowing if you’re going to leave that content up or replace it with a Viagra ad. If and when that blogger is ready to link out to you he will and he’ll only do it because he’s been following you for a while and trusts your blog.

Don’t Assume He Welcomes Your Opinion

I hate getting emails that tell me what I should be telling my readers. Or worse, those emails that say, “Hey. I wrote this article for your blog and you’re readers are going to love it because…” Unless you’ve been right here in the trenches with me, answering emails and comments since I started my blog, you have no idea what my readers really want to know. And telling me that you do is just presumptuous and rude.

Don’t Suggest A Link Exchange

If I’ve never heard of you there’s no way I’m going to consider a link exchange so please leave me off your list. Even if you are offering me two bucks! As I mentioned above, I have no idea if your blog is legit or not and links are too valuable to risk. If I want to link to you I will in my own time and then, if you want to, you can link back to me.

Don’t Offer A One-Sided Deal

I can’t tell you how many emails I receive asking me to sponsor a blogging contest or publish a guest blog post to help a new blogger get some exposure. What you’re asking me to do will in some way affect my business and before I do that I need to know what’s in it for me. And I’m not always out for money or fame. I frequently do things just to be nice and gain a few Karma points. But when it comes to business, I still need to know – WIIFM?

Don’t Ask First – Give First

If you really want another blogger’s help or cooperation, the best thing you can do is give, first, instead of asking. Want a link from my blog? Link out to me first and you can bet, when I see it, I’ll be checking you out to see if I should return the favor. Want me to guest blog for you? How about guest blogging for me, first, or better yet, link to me to get my attention so I’ll start following your blog.

In short, the best way to remember the things you shouldn’t do when you approach another blogger is to start thinking of your blog as a business. That other blog’s a business, too, and the owner is very protective. If you want a favor, you’re going to have to earn it by building your own blog and doing the legwork to establish a business relationship.

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  1. Kim Garst

    Love this article! Great twist on the standard how to get back links or guest bloggers :-)!

    1. Thanks for the kind words Kim! I’m trying my best ;)

  2. Spot On! You’re so right… being a Blogger doesn’t unite us anymore than saying all people with brown eyes eat a lot of chocolate.

    I love your tips and plan to implement many more of them in the coming year!

    1. Thanks for the comment Molly!

  3. Soki Briggs

    Rejecting their offers no matter how polite you try to be feels bad, so hopefully they’ll learn a lesson and save us the trouble

    1. Rejecting an offer feels bad, but if they didn’t spend the 5 minutes needed to contact me the proper way, I don’t need to spend the 5 minutes to reject them politely.

    2. Soki, I only feel bad if the request seems personally directed to me. If the request is impersonal, doesn’t mention my name or my website’s name, then I don’t feel bad at all.

  4. William Patton

    So me asking for you to link to me via this comment form is of no use??? Then why should I comment? LOL!

    That’s the kind of thinking I see in my blog comments all the time and yet I can’t help but think that if the user comments with something useful… and then we get to know each other I’m likely to link to them BEFORE they ask because they are considered as a friend of the site, and indeed sometimes a personal friend.

    I wish I could ram this post down a certain person’s neck. Maybe I can share this post somewhere they will see it and hope that they’ll read this comment and know it’s about them lol

    1. Well, comments are different. As long as you bring something to the discussion, I’ll gladly let you link back to your own website. However, when the comment is only 4 or 5 words long and is clearly just an attempt to get more backlinks, I’ll usually publish the comment, but remove the link ;)

    2. William Patton

      I do the same, if the comment is ‘comment worthy’ then I’ll remove the link but keep the rest of the comment but 95% of the time the entire comment is either just a link, a link pitch or some form of badly spun text that just doesn’t make any sense in context at all.

      I strongly agree with your ‘Give First’ method and after reading this post (and a couple of others) I can’t believe I’ve never came across this site before. For the second time today I’ve been able to add a new feed to my feed reader and not instantly regretted it.

      Keep your eyes peeled for me popping up around the site, probably on some old posts that haven’t had any comments in a while, trying to pick holes in your methods and just generally being a nuisance to you lol

    3. Hey William, as long as you post constructive comments (even if you disagree with me on various subjects), you’ll not be a nuisance at all and it’ll be a pleasure to reply to you. Have a good one!

  5. Cendrine Marrouat

    Hello Steven,

    Great article!

    I receive tons of pitches on a monthly basis and usually delete about 90% of them. They all fall into the categories you describe above.

    1. Unfortunately, we all receive some of these offers…

      Thanks for your comment, Cendrine

  6. This is great advice, Steven. I have had all of those requests and more. Sometimes I do try to help out new bloggers with guest posts but I try to be very careful to avoid getting burned. I will allow the posts but without the link back. Often these authors aren’t interested without the link back.

    Sometimes I wonder why they’re not asking me to direct my URL to their website. They would have as much of a chance of success as they would with these other requests.

    Happy new year, Steven!

    1. Carolyn, the problem is that “content marketing” is the new weapon of link builders, and a lot of the guest posts that you are receiving, are actually written by SEO firms only to build backlinks. The quality of writing is very low because they’re cheap and only interested in getting a link back to the site they want to promote.

  7. Roundhouse kick to the face of those spammer bloggers! Good stuff Steven!

    1. hehe. Thanks for the comment DJ

  8. Anny

    Good “don’t do it” suggestions.I’ve had all these requests and sometimes it was very unpleasant to read such messages

    1. Hey Anny, just do as most of us do: ignoring this kind of messages

    2. Anny

      100% right :)

  9. Suzanne Chadwick

    Great write up. I agree, re the sponsored posts without any thought as to compensation or partnering for a win win outcome. I’ve just started to say no recently or responded letting them know if I’m happy to do a write up for $XX ….the amazing thing is that most of the time they don’t write back, which I find rude and amazing. There is a whole other post on how PR companies should work with Bloggers as well I think. They pay you or give you a product and then don’t support the post once it’s written like RTing it or Liking it etc. Constantly surprised by brands not optimising their investments with bloggers.

    1. Well, for you it seems like they are not optimizing their investment because you want your posts to gain the maximum visibility for your posts. But have you considered that they are just aiming to get the biggest possible volume of guest posts to get as many links as possible back to their own site?

  10. Nancy Hinchliff

    I totally agree with this. Mutual respect is one of the best things we can give each other, and you have outlined one way of insuring this. Thanks for a great post.

    1. Thanks for these kind words Nancy! I appreciate it

  11. Keith Matthews

    “Don’t Ask First – Give First”

    An old truism in my culture is, “You got to give some to get some.” You sound like my old (reputedly rather well-to-do, but I’m a bit skeptical) aunt, who claims I’m her favorite nephew.

    We’ll see…

    Anyway, good article, Ste`.

    1. Sorry to disappoint you Keith, I’m not your old aunt… and you’re not my favorite nephew ;)

    2. Keith Matthews

      She helps me save money, you help me make money. Kudos/thanks to both of you.

      I’m featuring you on my blog, I really think you can be of assistance to the folks who read my stuff, if for no other reason that you’re helping me. Hope you don’t mind a bit of satirical humor, smiles make the world go ’round!

  12. Mohammed Saimon

    Very nice post. Thanks for your nice tips for the new bloggers.

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