The Link Builder’s Guide to Landing “Link Roundups”
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Yesterday, I was briefing a client on the link outreach strategy we built for them.
When covering the different link types we’d be targeting, the client stopped me mid-sentence and asked “What’s a link roundup?“.
I gave him a short, 2 sentence response – he didn’t follow. I told him I’d follow up with some additional information.
This blog post is his follow up.
In this post, I’ll cover:
- What a link roundup is.
- How link roundups should fit into your link building campaigns.
- How you can find link roundups (THREE killer methods) opportunities.
- How to pitch link roundups.
- Screenshot proof of accepted roundup pitches.
- The exact search operators and email outreach template we use to crush link roundup outreach.
NOTE: Please leave a comment thanking my client for asking the question!
I also have a 6 video guide to link roundups which I strongly suggest you check out. Each video is short, actionable and to the point but contains loads of detail I won’t cover in this post.
- Video 1: Intro to the Link Roundup Process
- Video 2: What is a Link Roundup (Live Examples)
- Video 3: How to Find Link Roundup Opportunities Using Search Engine Operators
- Video 4: How to Find Link Roundup Opportunities Using Twitter
- Video 5: How to Find Link Roundup Opportunities Scraping Big Sites
- Video 6: How to Pitch / Send Outreach Emails to Link Roundup Opportunities
Also, these videos are ripped directly from my link building course. There are over 100 videos geared towards helping you build a white hat outreach team for your own website.
I’m biased, but I can honestly say it’s the best training ever created. Go check it out. NOW!
Link roundups are curated updates from bloggers that link out to their favorite content during a given time period.
Here are some examples:
Link roundups are one of my favorite link building and PR tactics, for a number of reasons:
- Roundups are a mutually beneficial relationship. It’s really hard to curate content (I’ve tried) – maintaining a roundup is a lot of work. The bloggers creating these roundups are actively seeking content to link to. They need content, you have it – boom, easy.
- You can land links in bunches. I landed well over 25 link roundups when I launched my content marketing guide back in August (some examples included below).
- Over time, you will gain roundup coverage naturally. After I pitch the blogger who curates the roundup, I connect on social media. That way, they’ll discover my future updates naturally. I now consistently find my content featured without pitching – this is truly white hat link building.
However, there’s a few things you need to keep in mind before blasting off emails…
Success depends on your ability to create great content.
As a reader, I love a good link roundup. As busy as I am, it’s great to find a curated update with everything I missed that week/month.
From the blogger’s point of view, the quality of their roundup is dependent on the quality of the links they curate. If they aren’t providing their visitors with top notch content, they’ll lose their trust and eventually, their traffic.
Therefore, the content you create and pitch has to be really, really good. If you don’t have something of tremendous value, don’t waste your time.
When I say “content”, I don’t mean your home page…
You can’t pitch a product, services or home page. It has to be something of value – a guide, resource or blog post that provides insight for the audience. It should also be free and non gated (i.e. no opt in required to view).
Your content has to be relevant to the roundup.
This should go without saying but don’t pitch your guide about Bitcoin to a blog about SEO. It’s irrelevant and a waste of your time.
Your content should be recently published.
The content you’re pitching needs to have gone live within the time period the roundup covers.
For example, if you’re pitching “Top Posts of the Week”, your content needs to have gone live that week. Same concept applies to all time periods (month, year, etc).
Don’t pitch the same roundup too much.
It’s ok to pitch the same roundup if you’ve built a relationship with that blogger, but don’t bother them with every update on your blog.
Not every roundup is called “link roundup”, making them difficult to find. We use 3 different methods to prospect for them, which I will detail below.
But first, we need to talk about project management and tracking. If you’re planning on doing this for clients or at a large scale, organization is key.
Below is an example of a client’s tracker:
We use Google Sheets for almost everything – it’s light, easily shareable and easy to collaborate with teams. In it, we want to record a number of fields:
- Website URL
- Name of the blogger
- Name of the roundup (i.e. “Magic Monday Roundup”)
- Blogger contact info
I’ll cover why in the pitching portion of this post.
Now, let’s get into the prospecting methods.
Method 1: Using search engine operators to find opportunities.
Search engine operators are query types used to get specific results from Google, Yahoo, Bing and Duck Duck Go. They are the number 1 way to find quality link outreach opportunities.
I’ve saved you a ton of time by giving you the exact ones we use – simply click the button below to get the spreadsheet.
All you have to do is take the root operator (i.e. “top updates”) and combine it with your modifier or keyword (i.e. seo, couponing, boner pills, etc).
This is an incredibly time consuming process. When I first got started in this industry, I did it all myself. Now, I’ve built out a team to support this process.
While there are a ton of tools to help speed up the link prospecting process, none are better than humans. This is a task best suited for a VA or outsourced labor.
Search engine prospecting tips
We want to add additional filters to search engines to ensure the results we’re getting are recent.
We only want to target websites actively posting roundups – you’ll find a large number of sites have roundups, but aren’t creating them regularly. Don’t waste your time pitching them. This search filter will save you a ton of time.
In addition, pay close attention to the title and meta description of the search results. A lot of search results won’t be link roundups, but rather posts about link roundups (like this one!).
If they pass these tests, click on the result. The last quality check you want to run is to make sure they’re linking to external posts, not internal ones.
A lot of larger sites (Search Engine Land) will do weekly roundups of their best content. Obviously, these are bad results so you want to be aware of this while prospecting.
Finding contact information
Once we’ve identified a quality opportunity, we need to find their contact info.
Most posts will have an author – we want to contact this person, as they control the roundup’s content.
There’s a number of ways we can reach out to them, each has a varying level of success (from my experience). I’m going to walk you through each method in order of preference.
BEST METHOD: Find their personal email address
Having their name and personal email allows us to send highly personalized outreach emails, pushing up response rate significantly.
I use a few methods to find an email address:
- Check their “about” or “contact” page
- Run their info through http://findanyemail.net/
There’s no guarantees the tool will bring back a result. If you don’t find their personal email, move to the next method.
2nd BEST METHOD: Find their LinkedIn
If you can find a person on LinkedIn, you can accomplish 2 things:
- Make a personal impression on them, showing you’re not a spammer.
- Send a personalized inbox message, which also pushes to their email.
I track them down on LinkedIn using a few methods:
- Check their “about” or “contact” page
- Search Google for “their name + LinkedIn + site name”
- Search LinkedIn directly
3rd BEST METHOD: Find their personal Facebook account
If they aren’t on LinkedIn, they’re probably on Facebook.
There’s a few ways to find them on Facebook:
- Check their “about” or “contact” page
- Search Google for “their name + Facebook + site name”
- Search Facebook directly
4th BEST METHOD: Find them on Twitter
Twitter is a little tougher, as they have to be following you back to send them a direct message. However, Twitter direct messages always get read because, well, no one uses them, so getting one is a surprise.
There’s a few ways to find them on Twitter:
- Check their “about” or “contact” page
- Search Google for “their name + Twitter + site name”
- Search Twitter directly
FINAL METHOD: Use their contact page
I hate contact pages because you have no idea who is reading it or where it’s being sent. Use them as a last resort.
Method 2: Using Twitter to find opportunities.
- Simply take the search operators and type them into Twitter search
- Navigate to Live > More Options
- Check Tweets and From Everyone
- You’ll see a live feed of the latest Tweets with those keywords in them
- Scroll until you find some that are relevant, click through on the link
- Follow the same process outlined about to find contact into and record the opportunity
Method 3: Scraping large blogs to find opportunities.
As previously mentioned, most link roundups don’t call themselves a link roundup. That makes searching for it tricky.
This method we’re going to find top industry content, scrape the link profiles and sift through the results to find opportunities.
- Start by heading to top websites in your vertical (Moz, Search Engine Land, etc). Search through content looking for high engagement metrics (comments, likes, shares, etc)
- Or, use Ahrefs content explorer or BuzzSumo to discover top shared and linked content
- Run Majestic SEO browser plugin on the URL with high engagement
- We’re looking for articles with a large number of referring domains
- When you find an article with links, dump the URL into Ahrefs
- Navigate to “Links”
- Scan the links page looking for titles and descriptions related to “roundups”
- When / if you find one, click through and analyze
- Record the result in your link tracker
- Rinses and repeat
The majority of the work is done in the prospecting phase – pitching all of the prospects won’t take more than an hour of your time.
There’s some quality tools on the market to help you automate / speed up the pitch process, but I’m going to train you to do it without them (you don’t NEED them).
We use Gmail, for a number of reasons, but mainly for canned responses. They automate tedious aspects of manual outreach but still allow for heavy personalization.
Here’s the exact pitch I use for our content marketing guide:
I don’t want to waste a ton of your time going through it, so I’ll cover a few key points:
- In the subject line, I like to tell them WHY I’m emailing them.
- I also like to personalize it with their name.
- Keep the body of the email short and to the point.
- Personalize the email with the name of their roundup (i.e. Magic Monday Roundup).
- Give a QUICK overview of your post.
- Drop a link, thank them and keep it moving.
NOTE: When pitching via social platforms (Facebook, Twitter and LinkedIn) you can use the same template as above, you will just need to send it from the network (obviously).
I don’t really have anything else to say.
If you want us to do this type of work for your website, contact us and let’s set up a time to chat. If not, I strongly suggest you enroll in my link building course, it’s jam packed with this exact information.