Twitter Outreach

How to Use Twitter to Execute a Blogger Outreach Campaign

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Twitter Outreach

  • by Ryan Stewart
  • @HelloWEBRIS
  • @RyanWasHere
  • Ryan Stewart

    I have an unhealthy obsession with being considered the world's top internet marketing expert. This blog is one of the channels I use to demonstrate that. I'm highly active on social media and love a good debate (internet trolls). Click the icons below and fire away.

    Generally, we use search engine operators to find blogger outreach opportunities. However, the internet is a big place – Google/Yahoo/Bing only index a very small portion of opportunities.

    Twitter gives us the ability to find an entirely new set of bloggers for outreach opportunities.

    The network’s search has improved drastically over the years – we can use it to find bloggers who include certain keywords in their profile.

    twitter-bio-link

    In this post, I’m going to cover:

    1. How to build a strategy for outreach prospecting on Twitter
    2. How to find blogger opportunities through manual Twitter searches
    3. How to find blogger opportunities with automation software
    4. How to pitch opportunities for best results

    CHECK OUT OUR LINK BUILDING TRAINING

    Ok, let’s get it.

    prospecting-strategy

    Outreach for link building is 100 times easier when you’re following a predefined strategy. It should revolve around 2 aspects:

    1. Link relevance (is there a clear contextual relationship between my site and the prospects?)
    2. Link quality (does the prospective site’s content provide value?)

    Finding relevant links requires a strategy – I’m going to walk you through this process using one of our clients as an example (they provide tutoring services to high schoolers):

    • Define your site: 
      • What does our site do?
      • Client example: An SAT, ACT, math and English tutoring business with 12 learning centers across the country.
    • Define your audience:
      • Who does our site service?
      • Client example: Parents of children.
    • Define the prospects:
      • What type of sites are relevant to our site / audience?
      • Client example: Education, parenting, schools / universities.

    Use these answers to pick prospecting keywords

    From answering those basic questions, you should be able to derive some keywords to prospect for opportunities. Based on the example I’m using, I’m going to focus on finding “mommy bloggers“:

    1. They’re the direct audience of my client’s website.
    2. There’s millions of them.

    Honestly, picking keywords is the hardest part – once we’ve done that, all we have to do is use them to search for prospects.

    Manual Link Prospecting

    I know it sounds miserable, but honestly, manual prospecting isn’t that time consuming. In addition, you can easily pass this article to your VA and have them do it for you.

    Simply login to Twitter and type your keyword into the search bar (upper right hand corner).

    Twitter Search

    You’ll be directed to a search landing page with 6 options:

    • Top 
    • Live
    • Accounts
    • Photos
    • Videos
    • More options

    While you can use all of them to prospect for opportunities, I prefer to focus on “Accounts“.

    Finding bloggers

    You’ll be directed to a landing page that aggregates Twitter profiles that contain your keyword.

    Mommy bloggers

    Thousands of profiles who are actively engaged in your niche. All you have to do is click through and do a quick analysis.

    Evaluate the prospect

    Quickly analyze the Twitter account

    We want to scan for a few things:

    1. Are they actively Tweeting?
    2. Is their profile relevant to our keywords (i.e. is this a “mommy blogger”?)
    3. Do they have a link in their bio?

    If you answer NO to any of these questions, close the tab and move to the next one – we only want to target qualified bloggers.

    If you answer YES to all of these questions, click through on the link their website.

    Quickly analyze the prospective site

    We need to do another quick analysis to determine if it’s a good link opportunity:

    1. Are they actively posting content updates?
    2. Is the content good (i.e. multimedia usage, length, topics, etc)?
    3. Are they clearly brokering links (i.e. linking to random websites, patterns, etc)?

    I prefer to focus on content quality over traditional SEO metrics (DA, Trust Flow, etc). As long as the blogger creates good content and isn’t involved in link schemes, it’s a good opportunity. 

    Record the opportunity in an Excel file

    I like to use Google Sheets to record all link opportunities. Below you’ll find a screenshot of what we use:

    link-file

    • Niche – this helps us keep multiple topics separate. In this case it would be “Mommy Bloggers” or “Family”.
    • Link Type – quickly scan the site for a “write for us” or “advertise” page – if they don’t have one, we tag it as “Blogger”. Link Type ultimately dictates the outreach email we will send.
    • Site – the website URL.
    • Contact – try and find an email address. Use the Buzzmarker plugin to quickly automate this.
    • Contact Name – if possible, find a name. It helps to personalize outreach.

    Go back to Twitter and do it again

    Repeat this process until you’ve built a solid list of outreach targets.

    The good thing about manual scraping is quality control – you’re able to manually review each prospect and really hone in on quality results. When you mine mass amounts of data you get more results, but they’re often irrelevant and overall link acquisition rate goes down.

    With that being said, I’m all about automating processes…

    Automated Link Prospecting

    Followerwonk is an awesome Twitter search tool you can use to track your following and identify potential influencers for outreach. You can also use it to scrape Twitter search results and download them into a .CSV file.

    To download the data, you need a subscription plan – it only costs $29/month and if you’re serious about white hat outreach, I suggest you look into purchasing it.

    Simply log into Followerwonk and type your keyword in the search bar.

    followerwonk

    Then, download the results to a CSV file.

    twitter-prospecting

    You now have a massive list of relevant Twitter profiles in a CSV file. We want to clean it for low quality opportunities.

    Open it up and add a filter to the top row. In the “URL” field, open the filter and type in “blogspot”. This will filter the CSV file for profiles with .blogspot URLs in the profile.

    CSV Filter

    Delete all of these rows. These are low authority or irrelevant sites, we don’t want to waste time reaching out to them.

    Do the same for the following:

    • WordPress
    • Facebook
    • Pinterest
    • Blogger
    • Weebly
    • Amazon
    • About.me
    • YouTube

    Next, highlight all of Column J (URLs). Under “Data”, select “Remove Duplicates”.

    duplicates

    This will remove any profiles that are linking to the same site. At the end of the day, the profiles are irrelevant – all we care about are the website URLs.

    After this, you should have a list of at least 1,000 URLs – we need to find the contact info for each of them.

    This is a pretty massive undertaking, I use 2 methods:

    1. Upload the list of URLs to BuzzStream and let the software do it for me.
    2. Pass it to my VA to have them do it for me.

    Personally, I like to use my VA. She’s trained on what a good link opportunity looks like and does a much better job that BuzzStream does.

    Pitching Bloggers

    Assuming you followed parts 1 through 3, you should have a large list of relevant bloggers to pitch.

    I know what you’re thinking:

    “Why would a bunch of random bloggers talk about my product / service and link to my site?”

    Because we’re going to create a value proposition to entice them.

    When we pitch bloggers, we use a number of value propositions. For the purpose of this post, I’m going to keep it simple and give you 2:

    1. Guest post. You offer to create content for their site (value = free content for their site).
    2. Sponsored post. You offer to pay for content on their website (value = money).

    Exploring the guest post pitch

    In step 2 and 3, I mentioned you should scan the prospective site to see if they accept guest posts. If they do, it’s an easy guest post outreach pitch.

    If they don’t we can still pitch them on one.

    blogger-guest-post-pitch

    This pitch generally works if you’ve built a track record in the space and have a few live links you can share in the pitch. If you don’t, it’s best to focus on the next tactic.

    Exploring the sponsored post pitch

    Sponsored post pitches tend to get a much higher response rate because, hey, who doesn’t want money?

    blogger-outreach-pitch blogger-response

    However, costs can add up pretty quickly. Most bloggers will want between $100 – $300 per post, plus you’ll have to provide the content.

    If you’ve got a budget, this can work really well. If not, focus on pitching guest posts.

    Wrapping it up

    Blogger outreach is one of my favorite ways to promote content and build links. If you’ve exhausted your opportunities through search engines, turn to Twitter. There’s tens of thousands of bloggers waiting for you.

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    17 Comments

    1. I actually had a scraper built that allows you to enter twitter bio ids and then it pulls all of their followers and who the follow into excel with their domains. Typically I only look at who they follow since followers can be filled with spam. I assume that if they follow someone, there is a good chance that person is in the same niche.

      I then send the file to my VA and she manually checks each domain to see if it is relevant to my target site. If it is, she followers the person on twitter, waits a few days and then outreaches from either their contact form or email on their site. Conversion rates have been pretty high.

      • Ryan Stewart

        That’s a great method Matt, thanks for sharing!

      • Dan

        So did you ever release it? I have a tool sorta like this for instagram thats working well but nothing for Twitter.. Cheers

    2. Hello Ryan,

      Thanks for this great guideline. It’s time to leave black hat and start playing with White hat in 2016 :) And I want to start with Twitter. Will update my result in your group

    3. Awesome Post Ryan!
      I also want to start outreach marketing for one of my client and this time when i just opened my email and see your mail about outreach campaign. It made me crazy to read your post and after reading your post just would like to say you thanks a lot for sharing your valuable thoughts.

      I have one question so for Thanks in Advance if you would like to answer this how to find the niche it’s good for me if you can help me here. Like I have a client CRM consultant so i know that my most of the niches are business man but how to dig more deep and how to find niches for my client (CRM Consultant) don’t know.

      Waiting for your reply if you can can help me here.

    4. DEEP strategy!

      I have been on a guest blogging spree for 3 months but haven’t used Twitter to find opportunities, just existing lists and Google, will try out your strategy and we will see how we do.

      Thanks again and keep bangin’ out pieces of actionable content like this one :)

      Thanks
      Tom

    5. Thanks for this post, Ryan. Some great actionable stuff here. Could this approach be adapted for B2B marketing? Would love to get your thoughts on it.

      • Ryan Stewart

        Absolutely. You just have to me more mindful when you’re pitching – you’re not going to pitch a business owner a sponsored post.

    6. Hey, Ryan, I’m loving what you are trying to achieve with this and I’m wondering if I can help you to supercharge the process by taking your “automated prospecting” to another level. Check out number 6 here: https://www.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLDnRCNtfriapiw4lSVUSpR014wjKKkjF0 and you’ll see what I mean. It uses a combination of Twitter and blogs. I’d love to know what you think.

    7. Ryan. What do you typically pay a VA per hour? What’s an average rate to look for

      • Ryan Stewart

        It depends on the skills they bring to the table. For something like this, the going rate is generally $4 – $6 per hour.

    8. This is super useful. I also filtered a lot of websites with Wix, Etsy and Tumblr!

    9. This post cuts right to the heart of the matter — which is what I find so helpful. No BS. I’m going to employ these tactics going forward.

    10. Hey Ryan, great post! You mentioned your VA a few times – how did you find one who was comfortable enough with Twitter or did you train her? Thanks!

      • Ryan Stewart

        I train all VAs (and staff) pretty intensely. I find the best method is to make screencast videos walking them through the exact process.

    11. It´s a great article.

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