How I Got 103 Shares and 42 Comments When I Had Zero Traffic and No Email List
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So you decided to start a blog. You don’t really know what you’re doing, but you think you’ve got the basics down. You got your site set up. You have an email list with opt-ins. You’ve even published several posts.
But it feels like a graveyard. It’s quiet. There’s no one around. No one is reading your articles, no one is commenting, and no one is sharing anything of yours on social media.
I know how you feel.
This is what my blog’s pageviews looked like when I first started.
It was a ghost town.
There was practically nobody coming to my site.
If you’re just starting out and struggling to get comments, shares, and traffic, this one simple strategy can give your blog the boost it needs.
Posting content is a waste of time if nobody sees it right? And you wouldn’t continue to keep posting content thinking that randomly one day people will finally start seeing your stuff, would you?
It could take you several years until you finally start getting the kind of comments and shares you want if you went that route.
Just because you write a blog post that doesn’t mean people are going to read it.
You could write the most useful and inspiring post, but if nobody knows about it then who’s going to see it? Who’s going to share it or leave a comment?
When you write a blog post, you need to promote it.
You should spend just as much time telling people about your blog post as you spent writing it, if not more.
Yes, even if you’re broke, have no marketing budget, have no email list, have no social media following and don’t have Jon Morrow or Neil Patel for a best friend.
It’s how I went from 56 to 1,000 pageviews.
Here’s before blogger outreach
And here’s after
Even my bounce rate went down, and my session duration went up. That means that fewer people were leaving after they landed on my site and the ones who stayed started staying longer.
Did I mention that after my first week of blogger outreach I was asked to write half a dozen different guest posts without ever making a pitch?
And that I was featured on 2 different blogs?
It even lead to getting featured in a roundup on Huffington Post.
Here’s how I did it.
Step 1: Make Your Hit List
Imagine if you had a list of 100 bloggers in your niche who shared your blog posts, would that make a difference in your traffic and engagement? Of course, it would.
Not only will more people read your work, your credibility will improve.
First, you need to make a list of your favorite top 10 influencers in your niche, the kind of people who if you had a personal relationship with would radically transform your blog or business in a great way.
Don’t get anxious and start emailing these people asking for links or shares to your blog posts. They’re incredibly busy and get tons of emails every day. Most of them would probably get annoyed and simply delete your email, and you don’t want to spoil any future opportunities to build authentic relationships with them.
We’re focusing on a more grassroots approach.
Step 2: Make Your Blogger Outreach List
Once you have your hit list, the next step is to connect with the followers of those influencers. These are the people who you are going to establish relationships with. They’re the ones who will help drive traffic and engagement to your blog.
Start by creating a Google or Excel spreadsheet, with 3 columns labeled “Name”, “Website” and “Email. Then off to the side create 4 more columns labeled “Follow”, “Share”, “Comment”, and “Email”.
It should look something like this.
The goal here is to fill out the columns on the left with the information of fellow bloggers in your niche. Then follow them on social media, share and comment on one of their blog posts, and send them an email. I like to keep track of each of those things by simply placing an “x” in the appropriate column.
Step 3: Find Bloggers
Now it’s time to go visit the blogs on your hit list. Look for the most popular blog post in the last 1-3 days. If there hasn’t been a post that recent, move on to the next blogger on your hit list and come back later, or look for the most popular post in the last 7 days, but I wouldn’t consider any post older than that.
When you’ve found the right blog post (give it a quick read if you want) scroll down to the comment section.
Record the names and websites of everyone who has left a comment on that blog post. Here’s a service that helps you find email addresses.
Copy and paste usually works best.
If you’re dealing with a 3rd party comment system like Disqus or Facebook comments you’ll have to do a little digging and follow some links to find their URLs.
If you’re working with the native WordPress comments, you can use a quick hack to copy paste all the names and websites of the commenters.
Download the Scraper tool for Chrome
After it’s installed, right-click on the name of any of the commenters.
Then click on the Scrape tool.
Then you can copy all the names and website URLs and paste them into your spreadsheet.
Step 4: Find Their Emails
Collecting emails is vital. Without them your list is pointless.
The first place I always look for an email is on the contact page. Most of the time contact pages should be in the main menu, but sometimes you’ll have to do a bit of searching. If it’s not in the main menu, check the footer.
If I don’t find an email on the contact page, the next place I go is the about page. Sometimes you’ll also find emails on work with me pages.
If you can’t find their email anywhere you can always opt-in to their list and get their email that way.
If nothing else at least copy paste the URL for their contact form if they have one.
Email Hunter is a great tool for finding emails if you’re having trouble.
Step 5: Blogger Outreach
This is when you start connecting with other bloggers in your niche.
Networking and building quality relationships is crucial for the survival and growth of your blog. More traffic and increased engagement are practically just a bonus, the tangible results you’ll get right away.
You can do your blogger outreach one person at a time as you enter them into your list, or you can finish your list first.
I like doing different batches according to the blog posts where I find the bloggers, otherwise. make sure you record the URL where you found them. This is really important, make sure you know where you found each individual blogger because that’s how you’re going to make your initial connection.
Follow Them On Social Media
First, you need to follow the bloggers on social media. Using one platform is fine. I like to use Twitter.
Share One Of Their Blog Posts
Find one of their recent blog posts that you like and share it on social media. Buffer is a great tool for this. It’s quick, easy and you can share one post across multiple platforms at once.
They have a free plan you can check out.
Comment On The Same Blog Post
Leave a comment on the same blog post that you share. Of course, make sure to read the post first. And make sure to leave a genuine comment that adds to the conversation.
Send Them An Email
This is the last step of your blogger outreach, and honestly, it’s the most important one.
With one email you can build a long-lasting relationship that will completely transform your blog, or you can totally offend someone and ruin any chance of friendship.
Communication is a skill. You should put a lot of thought into these emails. No one wants to feel like they’re being taken advantage of. So make sure to give as much as possible. Relate to them in an authentic way.
The good thing is, most bloggers are super friendly and awesome people.
When I first started I reached out to 81 bloggers and got 47 responses, and all of them were positive.
One blogger even sent me a thank you video.
Check out some of these emails I got:
and this one
I know. I was blown away too. It was very encouraging, and it motivated me a ton.
Here’s the email template I used:
Feel free to use my template, but please don’t copy it word for word. You need to be authentic and original. Make sure to make it your own.
Blogger Outreach is the Gateway to Your Blogging Success
Blogger outreach will boost your blog by driving traffic and increasing your engagement. And that’s only the beginning. You’ll get numbers that you can measure, and even more powerful are the relationships you’ll build.
Who knows what will happen when you work together with other like-minded bloggers. The possibilities are endless. One thing’s for sure, it’s all going to be incredible.
Thank You for the Motivation, Support and Making this Possible
Ahmad Imran | Alize Camp | Andy Walker | Anthony Metivier | Brent Jones | Bryan Collins | Caleb Cousens | Camilla Hallstrom | Camille Harris | Clement Lim | Cynthia | Dave Chesson | Don Purdum | Ed Ruiz | Elna Cain | Enstine Muki | Erika Mohssen-Beyk | Esther Fink | Gerald Rhodes | Gwen Irwin | Harry | Jackson | Jan Ramsey Brick | Jen Francis | Jennifer Nini | Joe Elliott | John Yeoman | Kim Willis | Lisa Pierson | Lisa Sicard | M.C. Simon | Mark Newsome | Marlena Bontas | Mel Wicks | Mohinder Paul Verma | Patt | Paul | Peter Beckenham | PJ Zafra | Ryan Biddulph | Swadhin Agrawal | Tariq | Tiffany Griffin | Umesh Singh | Vikas Singh |
Michael Pozdnev *( special thanks to Michael for introducing me to some of the strategies mentioned in this article)
Leave a comment below. Tell me about your experience with blogger outreach, and let me know if you have any questions.
Eli Seekins helps business owners and entrepreneurs make money online. He’ll help you start your blog or business with a boom, get noticed quick, become an authority and make the money you deserve. To get his Perfect Blogging Toolkit FREE click here.