How I’m building links through blogger outreach

What stinks about being the SEO person for a large, established multinational corporation? Most of the awesome SEO tactics out there I never get the time/buy-in to implement.

What rocks about being the SEO person for a large, established multinational corporation? Today I spent hours getting paid to read home improvement blogs.

Let me explain.

The divisions I work with are just dipping their toes into the water with link building. This week I began my first real link building operation for one client in particular. I’m reaching out to home improvement and DIY bloggers, offering them product in the hopes they’ll use the product and link to us. Thus far I’ve sent three e-mails and I’ve already gotten one enthusiastic “yes, please send me some.” Yay!

So here I’m going to go through my process, and then I’ll keep you updated on how it goes and what I change along the way.

Step one, I started with a perfect blog. There was a blog I’d been reading daily for months that actually gave me the idea for the blogger outreach. This blogger is the perfect person for our product. So I started there, with a custom-crafted e-mail explaining who I am and what I’m offering. This blogger actually stopped accepting straight-up gifts, and now only does givaways, so I started from that angle. I knew there was a process for giveaways, so I searched their site, where they actually lay out what information the pitch e-mail should contain. So of course I included all that info. I kept the e-mail brief and to-the-point, but mentioned that I’m a reader, etc.

No response yet there, but the e-mail was sent just a few days ago, and it’s the holidays, which hopefully won’t hamper my response rate too much. I can always send one follow-up e-mail after the holidays are over.

So then I took that blog’s blogroll and I made an Excel spreadsheet with the following columns:

  • Blog URL
  • Anchor Text (what this blogger is calling this blog)
  • Whether the blog is suitable
  • How I contacted the blogger
  • Result of the contact
  • Date of initial contact
  • Date of Response
  • Page Authority (As measured by the SEOMoz Toolbar)
  • Domain Authority (“”)
  • Last Update

So here I’m figuring out who’s a good candidate for outreach, and I want to contact only the bloggers whose blogs are relevant/likely to feature the product and write about it, still active and authoritative (lots of quality inbound links).

One more thing, and I predict this will turn out to be the most important piece. In each e-mail I’m sending, I’m telling the blogger how they should/might want to use my product. I say, literally, “For example, the next time you do X, like you did X (references previous post where they did an activity that my product could’ve enhanced) you could use X (my product).”

You smelling what I’m cooking? Yeah you are, cuz I’m cooking links, and they smell divine. They smell like qualified traffic and rankings.

Alright buddies, here’s your homework. Think about what kinds of bloggers could use your product and write about it. And I don’t mean “could” like “are physically able to,” I mean could like if you sent it to them they’d rip it out of the box and set it up immediately.


  1. Have you checked out how back links to a site is more important than any other SEO you might do to a website. A few months ago, I was checking out some of the top 5 websites for the key-word SEO, and I ran their site through a web page analyzer, to see what they had going on. Their site had almost nothing corrected that is what the web page analyzer said. The only thing that I could see was they had tons of mostly relevant links going to their site. I am not saying the other things you do to you site is not important I am just saying being popular is more than anything else is.

    • cathyreisenwitz

      I do think links are incredibly important. Knowledgeable people disagree about how important links are. It probably varies from keyword to keyword. The thing about links versus on-page is that you can only get so perfect for on-page, but you can always get more links. So I’d definitely recommend webmasters get their pages good, maybe not bother with perfect, and then start building links, and don’t stop.

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