Twitter Marketing: Build Relevant High-Powered Backlinks!
The gripes among link builders are plentiful, but not without reason. Hours can be spent crafting a personalized outreach email, with links to your previous work, topics of interest and a reference of the host’s guidelines, only to be rejected.
This picture accurately reflects our frustration at this point:
Part of the problem is leverage. The majority of outreach takes part from a position of weakness. You are asking for a do-follow link from a relevant, high-powered domain. There’s a good chance they will ask “what’s in it for me?” That’s when you need to get creative.
Intuition may tell you to head to a major search engine, like Google, type in “write for us,” “guest post,” or “contribute content” and your niche to find prospects. However, the internet is a big place. Websites with dedicated ‘Write For Us’ pages, that are found on the first page, will receive thousands of requests every week.
Twitter gives you an entirely new way to find bloggers and influencers for outreach opportunities. The platform has moved on in recent years; we can now use it to find bloggers using the keywords found in their bio’s.
In this article, we are going to cover:
- How to build an outreach strategy using Twitter.
- How to use Twitter to find outreach prospects.
- How to build relationships with bloggers and influencers.
- How to pitch opportunities for the best results.
Step 1: Create a strategy based on links.
Outreach for link building has a much higher success rate when you’re following a pre-set strategy.
Finding the best links should revolve around two aspects:
Link quality (does the prospective site have a high domain rank and authority score?):
The first and most critical aspect of any link building campaign is finding quality websites to secure backlinks. By quality, we mean non-spammy sites. First impressions are often all you need to make an assessment. Ask yourself:
- Is the website responsive? (the user experience should be exceptional on all devices)
- Are the posts optimized to rank in search engines?
- Does the site have a high domain rank and authority score?
Download the Moz Bar for answers to these questions. It’s a free, all-in-one SEO toolbar for research on the go.
If they are a serious blogger with aspirations to maximize their following, they will include a link to their website and an optimized description in their Twitter bio. If not, don’t even go there.
Relevance (is there a clear contextual connection between my website and the prospects?):
Firstly, the website should be hyper-relevant to your niche. The days are long gone where you can build links from any old domain and see your rankings skyrocket. You need to be smarter.
Build links from domains with a relevant trust flow. You can check the trust flow of a domain using Majestic SEO.
As you can see, this particular domain (the biggest SEO software platform, Moz) has a topical trust flow, including computers, programming, business, and advertising. All of these are a great fit for someone in the technology or marketing industry looking to improve their backlink profile with links from a high-powered domain.
It’s common sense, really. As an SEO company, you wouldn’t reach out to a beauty blogger for a link from their domain. If anything, this will harm your rankings for optimized pages.
Pro tip: Look for relevant keywords in the domain name and be sure to include a keyword at the start of your pitched article title. ‘SEO Link Building: The Basics Of Quality Outreach.’ Can you guess the keyword? 😉
I’m going to talk you through the process used to find relevant prospects for a family photographer in London, UK.
Define your site:
- What does our site do?
- Client example: A family photography business based in London specializing in classic, black and white photographs.
Define your audience:
- Who does our site service?
- Client example: Parents of children.
Define the prospects:
- What sites are relevant to your audience?
- Client example: Parent and lifestyle bloggers, community forums, gifts for pregnant mums, etc.
The next step is to use these keywords to find link prospects on Twitter. Based on this example, I’m going to use the keyword ‘mummy blogger’ as I know tons of prospects are active on social media.
Step 2: Locate link opportunities.
The first and most common way to conduct outreach is manually. Simply log into Twitter and type your keyword into the search bar.
You will be presented with a page with the following options:
I’d recommend clicking on ‘people’ for a complete overview of users who fall under this category.
There are thousands of profiles that are active in this niche. All that you need to do is click through and do a quick analysis.
Analyze their account:
You can find out a lot about a person and their online activity in this section alone.
It’s a great place to locate links to websites and find further opportunities. Ask yourself:
- Do they have a YouTube link in their bio? If so, it’s possible they are a vlogger, so there may be an opportunity to work with them on brand promotion.
- Do they include hashtags in their bio? If so, you can take these to locate further outreach prospects. #ParentingBlogger, #FamilyBlog, #MummyVlogger, etc.
- Are they actively tweeting? If they post regularly, you can be sure they will not only reply to your pitch but promote your content.
- Do they post quality content? If you find yourself scrolling down their page, reacting to posts, clicking on links, and basically engaging with their content, you know you’ve hit on a good prospect.
Hashtag your #PRRequests:
For this next approach, we need to skip a couple of steps. We’re not targeting people directly via their profile. Instead, we’re letting hashtags do the hard work!
Personally, I have great success using this tactic to locate backlink opportunities. Bloggers like to use hashtags. Not only do they use them, but they follow them. They may even have alerts set up for specific hashtags. And before you ask; yes, it’s possible!
Start by doing some research into common hashtags. I use hashtag generators, like All Hashtags, to find suggestions. For the most part, you can use Twitter to search for hashtag alternatives.
The next step is to create a tweet asking people to like, comment and retweet if they would like to collaborate. It works like a chain reaction that results in tons of responses. The more people who retweet your content, the more engagement you will get, as their followers jump on the bandwagon.
Then it’s a case of sifting through your responses to find the best ones in keeping with your above strategy of link quality and relevance.
Pro tip: If you are finding a list of prospects overwhelming, create a Google Form instead. Tweet the form link and ask people to fill in their details. That way, you can filter the responses in one place.
Followerwonk is an incredible outreach marketing tool used to track your Twitter following and identify new prospects. You can also use it to scrape the Twitter search results and download the results as a CSV file.
Compile these, along with the above backlink prospects in a spreadsheet. Filter the results for low quality, irrelevant sites. You don’t want to be reaching out to them.
Step 3: Build relationships.
Marketers often skip this step in favor of a quick result. When, honestly, this step can be the difference between an accepted pitch and that dreaded rejection email.
Don’t go in for a pitch to post content right away. Rookie error!
They don’t know you. You need to build a relationship with your prospects before hitting them with a pitch. Our rules are as follows:
- Follow them on their company and personal social media accounts — Twitter, LinkedIn, and Facebook.
- Comment on their most recent or relevant posts to show that you are actively contributing to the success of their business.
- Tag them in posts on your Twitter. Make a statement, link to a blog post, or request their opinion followed by a @mention.
If they are active on social media, you can bet they read every comment and tagged post. That means, when it comes to pitching content, they will remember you (for all the right reasons!)
You can even go one step further and ask them to co-create content with you. This is a great way to establish a connection before writing for them. By asking them to co-create with you, your customers are getting a fresh perspective, and the influencers are getting to reach a new audience.
It could be something as simple as a quote for an article you’re writing. It shows that you consider them to be an authoritative source. When you come to pitch to them, they will be more likely to accept.
Step 4: Optimize your profile.
You know how to find prospects, but how do they find you? It’s possible to optimize your profile to bring prospects to you. Using the same hashtags and keywords you found above along with a little section to say #PRfriendly goes a long way.
Step 5: Pitch a killer article.
Presuming you have followed the steps above, you will have a long list of bloggers to contact.
I know what you’re thinking.
“Why would a random bunch of bloggers agree to work with me?”
Because you are going to create an irresistible pitch to entice them.
There are two reasons you want them to contribute:
- You want a do-follow link to boost your rankings.
- You want to build brand awareness with readers who may purchase from you.
What does the host get in return?
A valuable article that will generate engagement — right?
Yes, but in most cases, that’s not enough. The host may get thousands of requests and can afford to be selective with who they accept.
You can go down the sponsored post route (pay for space on their site). However, if you want a guest post, you need to work on your magic in order to get published.
We use these rules on a regular basis when pitching:
- Always address them by their name. ‘Hello There’ is not acceptable.
- Give them multiple article titles to choose from BUT make it clear that you are open to suggestions.
- Link to previous works you have published to show that you are a legitimate author.
- Read previous posts to make sure you don’t cover old ground. However, you could offer to provide a follow-up article to one of their most popular posts. It shows that you read their content.
- Offer to promote their website (link to their website from a third-party site to boost their authority, promote content on social media and recommend to others.)
- Reference their guidelines to show that you fully understand what is expected of you.
And whatever you do, when it comes to writing your article, take pride in your work. Optimize your content to rank, include details and make it informative. That way, you will impress your host and their readers will no doubt look to you for further information.
While these are small details, they can be the difference between a pitch that secures a backlink and one that’s dead in the water.