Content Outreach: 4 Examples of Awful Attempts to Earn a Link

I know what you’re thinking. And don’t worry, this isn’t going to be just another fluffy blog post that talks about the value of outreaching your content for link building. You already know that content outreach has value. I mean let’s be honest, you’re an elite marketer. That’s right, the best of the best. And I’m sure you’re creating some amazing content too. Hopefully even some 10x content.

Which is why for this post, I wanted to try to motivate you into seeing why you should invest more time into outreaching your killer content. And lucky you, this new found motivation is going to come through the humiliation of others.

As you’ll see, the bar for quality content outreach is actually quite a bit lower than you think. I mean really, it’s low. This post is my way to help you see why you should commit to spending more time outreaching your content and developing strategic relationships online (and offline) to drive better results for your content, your clients and yourself.

Outreach Marketing Gone Bad

First, a bit of background. As the Content Marketing Director for MnSearch. It’s my responsibility to manage all of the content on the website, blog and any print materials that need to be created for the association. Part of the role also means receiving all emails to content@mnsearch.com. It’s not a lot, but typically a few times a week I’ll get someone’s feeble attempt at offering up a guest post for our blog or asking for a link to a piece of content. If you’ve ever managed a corporate or even personal blog, I’m sure you know what I’m talking about.

Unfortunately for them, they didn’t know that I would be highlighting their outreach efforts in this blog post one day. Probably not the type of link that they wanted. Sorry.

You’ll see that the outreach attempts are straight up awful. So keep reading, get a good laugh at their expense and learn from these four common mistakes.

#1 – Don’t Blow Smoke

content outreach 1

Upon reading this outreach attempt as the content marketing director I’m thinking. Yep. It’s certainly great to meet you. And I’m really excited to hear that you write exceptional, appropriate and well-written articles without cost. Not. Catch my sarcasm there? Frankly, I’m a little concerned that they described the content as ‘unusual’ quality. I’m mean what does that even mean?

Takeaway: Don’t blow smoke you know where. If it sounds like your trying too hard it’s because you are. If you content is really good enough for a link, let it speak for itself.

#2 – Liar, Liar, Pants on Fire

content outreach 2

In this example, it goes sideways really quick. First, it’s not that much work to find out who the “editor” is for our blog. Just look at our board of director’s page and take a wild guess. Because if you were a regular reader you would know my name and know that we don’t feature content related to web design. Never mind the fact that I would never let anyone contribute to any blog that uses “gonna” in a professional email.

Takeaway: Don’t ever send an outreach email without the name of the person you’re trying to reach. Do some research and find a name. And once you do certainly don’t lie about being a regular reader.

#3 – I’m Not Impressed

content outreach 3

Here’s the problem, of the two examples you provided one I’ve never heard of and the other is LinkedIn. A place where literally anyone can be published. Not very impressive. But what really got me was the first sentence in the second paragraph. I’m glad that you found articles on the blog that were informative and full of informative articles on digital marketing. We certainly take pride in making sure our content is always double informative.

Takeaway: Starting out it can be really difficult to portray yourself as a quality contributor or individual with authority. You should always be working to develop your personal brand online. It takes time so stick with it. Because once you have it, outreach gets a whole lot easier. In the meantime, stick behind your brand authority and keep building relationships. After all, you don’t ask for someone’s hand in marriage on the first date, right? Sometimes it takes time to prove you’re worth the investment.

#4 – Don’t Push It

content outreach 4

If you’re reading closely, you may have noticed that the last two screenshots are from the same person. Which normally isn’t a big deal. We all know that relationships require constant communication. However, like asking someone out on a date, conducting outreach takes some careful maneuvering. Being pushy for a response isn’t going to get you a date or a link.

Takeaway: Try developing a mutually beneficial relationship slowly over time by commenting, liking and retweeting their content and play the long game. It goes a long way in creating that trust that will allow us to take our relationship to the next level; linking.

Content Outreach Success Doesn’t Happen Overnight

Don’t let your own outreach attempts end up in a blog post like this. Commit to starting to spend 30 minutes each week for developing new relationships in order to get your content and brand in front a new and larger audiences. And hopefully, one day, you’ll be able to look into your Google Analytics reports and see a spike in traffic that came as a direct result of a placement you received from one of your own outreach efforts.

And if you ever want to take a shot at honing your outreach talents or possibly writing a ‘high-quality’ post for MnSearch, just email me at content@mnsearch.org.

Learn From the Best at the MnSearch Summit

Not everyone is lucky enough to receive individual outreach training from industry experts. But just think of the possibilities if you could?

Well, it’s your lucky day because now you can. Purchase a ticket to the 2016 MnSearch Summit and you will have the opportunity to learn from industry expert Lexi Mills, a leading global specialist in PR and outreach coming all the way from the United Kingdom to share her wealth of knowledge to help you learn how to conduct your own successful outreach efforts. See you there!

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