As part of our PR and manual outreach module, this lesson focuses on how to find link prospects by targeting relevant niche websites and getting their contact details.
Unlike our lessons on guest blogging and influencer outreach, this lesson focuses solely on finding niche websites/blogs to target as opposed to individual authors and guest blogging opportunities.
What can Link Prospecting be used for?
Topic-based link prospecting can be used for a number of PR outreach and link building strategies such as:
- Infographic Outreach
- Gaining coverage for new tools or features on your site
- Promoting survey results or industry research/white papers
- Providing write-ups for a new service or report
- Promoting exclusive deals and offers
- eCommerce competitions and giveaways
- Relationship building
6 Strategies for Finding Link Prospect for Outreach:
We’ll now teach you 6 strategies for finding link prospects for manual outreach.
We’ve referenced a number of outreach tools that you might also find useful. For more information on tools, we recommend reading our article on the best PR and manual outreach tools.
- Using BuzzStream.com to Find and Collect Contact Details
The first thing you should be doing is setting up an account at BuzzStream..com. This PR tool allows you to easily save all of your target websites and helps manage the outreach process for you.
The advantage of BuzzStream.com is that you can easily “pin” all target websites to your dashboard with the click of the button. This then automatically pulls out the contact details for you. You can also then use BuzzStream.com to send out email s(using your personalized templates), filter websites by priority, and keep track of all communications.
- Use Advanced Search Queries in Google to Find Relevant Sites
Google Search still remains one of the best and easiest ways to find relevant sites for your article topic, niche or industry. In fact, according to TopRedRocket.co.uk, 87% of SEOs use search to find bloggers for outreach.
Simply use the advanced search queries below to find websites that have published similar articles/infographics/promotions/stories to the one you’re doing outreach for.
- “Keyword Topic” – searches for all articles with your specific keywords or phrase
- Allintitle: keyword – this query searches for all articles with your specific keywords in the page title. This helps find more targeted results around your topic.
- Allinanchor: keyword – this query searches for all posts that include this keyword as an anchor text in their backlinks,
- Allinurl: keyword keyword2 – this query searches for all posts that include your keyword(s) in the URL parameter. e.g. http://www.wikiweb.com/keyword-keyword2
Bear in mind that this process works better for more niche topics. For example, if you’ve done an infographic on the History of HFT Trading then you can search for keywords such as “HFT Trading”, “HFT risks”, “HFT history”, “allintitle: HFT trading” etc.
- Google Alerts/Mention.net
Google Alerts and Mention.net are free tools that allow you to track mentions of your brand or specific keywords across the Internet. Once you’ve found a website mentioning a topic or your brand, you can reach out to them through email or pin them to your BuzzStream.com dashboard.
For example, if you’re written a report or conducted an interview with an expert on problem gambling amongst teenagers, you can use keywords such as “problem gambling”, “gambling teenagers”, “problem gambling young people” to find targeted outreach opportunities.
- Backlink Analysis
Is there a similar infographic or contest similar to yours that has been promoted in the past? Why not go through their backlinks using OpenSiteExplorer.org or Ahrefs.com to steal their backlinks. Read more in this lesson on stealing your competitors backlinks.
Once you’ve got a list of your competitors backlinks in OSE or Ahrefs.com, you can export these to a CSV file and then re-import them back into BuzzStream.com. This will then automatically find the contact details and log them into your outreach campaign on your behalf.
- Search Topsy.com to Find Relevant Authors with Websites
Although this technically falls under our lesson “finding influential authors”, we can also use this tactic to find bloggers on Twitter who have their own sites.
For example, on Topsy.com you can search for Twitter bios in your industry (make sure you apply the URL filter to only show results from users who have a blog). You can then export these results and import them into BuzzStream.com, just like the previous method.
You can see a video demonstration of this strategy courtesy of Matt Barby here:
- Reverse image Search
As covered in a previous lesson on promoting infographics, you can also use this tool to find unaccredited link opportunities for your graphics or visual charts. Simply email any blog owners who have used your graphics and kindly ask them for a link credit.
- Utilize Existing Relationships and Twitter Followers with Blogs
Do you have existing relationships with bloggers or journalists? Why not contact them with your new PR story or feature to try to get the balls rolling.
You can also research your brand/personal followers on Twitter, export a list of your followers, filter out those without blogs, and then import their URL into BuzzStream.com just like step 5.
Film critics and bloggers are amongst the most social media savvy. I managed to get a film review gig at Cine Vue, talking about financial broker dishonesty in the Big Short, by speaking to their editor over Twitter.
- Use Guest Blogging Outreach Networks (I Don’t Recommend Them Personally)
Personally, I’m not a fan of using guest blogging outreach networks since the types of blogs in the network are very questionable and most end up getting penalized eventually anyway. For example, take a look at how MyBlogGuest.com (which many marketers promoted) was penalized in March 2014.
Nevertheless, here’s a list of some guest blog networks in case you’re interested in seeing them:
How to Find Bloggers Contact Details:
If you’ve found a blog owner you’d like to contact but can’t find a contact address, there’s a few strategies you can use to get around this.
First of all, you should search for their contact details in the Who.is database. This displays the contact details for 90% of websites (unless they have a private who.is address such as DomainsByProxy.com).
If you have BuzzStream.com, you can pin the website to your account using the BuzzMarker tool. This automatically finds the contact details (including Twitter profile) if available.
Finally, you can try searching for the author’s name in the articles and search for their Linkedin profile or other social network profiles (I’ve used this method successfully on a number of occasions).
In conclusion, we’ve provided you a number of strategies you can use for finding link prospects for outreach. For more link building strategies, we recommend reading our main link building guide. In order to improve your outreach success, you should also read our lesson on writing an outreach email.