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:
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Link roundups are curated updates from bloggers that link out to their favorite content during a given time period.
Here are some examples:
These are all marketing sites, but roundups occur in almost every niche on the web.
Link roundups are one of my favorite link building and PR tactics, for a number of reasons:
However, there’s a few things you need to keep in mind before blasting off emails…
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.
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).
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.
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).
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:
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:
I’ll cover why in the pitching portion of this post.
Now, let’s get into the prospecting methods.
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.
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.
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:
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:
I track them down on LinkedIn using a few methods:
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:
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:
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.
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.
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:
That’s really all there is to writing a good pitch.
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.
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