In this ultimate guide on how to do blogger outreach that stands out, I’m breaking down how I’ve personally used blogger outreach to help get 500,000+ monthly readers to my blog—including the exact blogger outreach email templates that’ve helped me land articles on sites like Forbes, Inc, Entrepreneur, Fast Company and more.
But before we get into the strategies, tactics and templates behind smart blogger outreach, let’s lay the foundation for why you should consider doing outreach in the first place.
You’ve started a blog. Now, however great your content is, the reality is that nobody will ever learn about your blog—unless you get the word out there.
And while your family on Facebook or friends on Twitter might be happy to cheer you on, you’re probably going to want to expand your audience beyond the people you already know. One of the best ways to grow your audience is through blogger outreach.
What is Blogger Outreach?
Blogger outreach is when you “reach out” to other bloggers, publishers or website owners who might be able to help get your name (and content) in front of their audiences. That’ll usually be through actions like sharing your content on their social channels, accepting a guest blog post from you, linking to a relevant article of yours, or even more creative outlets like appearing as a guest on their podcast, co-hosting a webinar, speaking at a conference or otherwise.
The ultimate goal of blogger outreach is to build your audience, credibility and business.
You want the blogger outreach you do, to have a tangible benefit in some way—it should lead to driving more traffic, generating new leads (email subscribers) or even direct revenue.
Even more importantly, when done right, blogger outreach should be a win-win relationship.
The blogger or publisher you’re reaching out to should get something from your newly formed partnership too—like a great free piece of guest content for their blog, an expert quote for them to include in an upcoming article or even just a highly relevant resource suggestion they can share in a future post for their readers.
Today however, most blogger outreach is really bad. And that’s why I’ve compiled my ultimate guide to doing smart blogger outreach, so let’s jump in.
Blogger Outreach 101: How to Do Smart Blogger Outreach (+ Free Email Templates)
- The 3 Biggest Problems with (Most) Blogger Outreach Today
- Things to Avoid in Your Blogger Outreach Email Template
- How to Do Smart Blogger Outreach in 10 Easy Steps
- Good Examples: 3 Amazing Blogger Outreach Emails to Learn From
- Bad Examples: 7 Terrible Blogger Outreach Emails to Steer Clear of
- My 3 Best (Free) Blogger Outreach Email Templates to Use Today
Be sure to grab my free outreach email templates at the end of this guide!
Alright, now let’s dive into my ultimate guide on how to do blogger outreach (that doesn’t suck).
Unfortunately, blogger outreach isn’t usually done very well. In fact, the vast majority of blogger outreach is so bad that it’s completely useless (and arguably hurts your promotion efforts much more than it ever helps).
Here’s a snapshot of just a few of the worst blogger outreach emails I’ve gotten in the past 3 days:
There are literally thousands more of these terrible blogger outreach emails sitting unread in my trash right now.
The sad reality is that most of the blogger outreach I get comes in the form of mass, un-targeted emails that are rife with bad spelling mistakes and show clear signs of a broken automation tool at work (like mentioning the wrong website, calling me by the wrong name, broken formatting and so on).
Even the (few) blogger outreach emails that appear to be crafted with care—usually consist of:
- Low quality (not researched) guest blog post pitches rarely related to my blog niche
- Link addition requests that fly in the face of SEO best practices
- Requests for me to do free product reviews or social media shoutouts
Most blogger outreach sucks. But it doesn’t have to.
If you want your blogger outreach to be effective in growing your blog, start here:
Blogger Outreach Problem #1: Focus on Quantity (Not Quality)
Blogger outreach isn’t a numbers game.
It’s much better to build one solid relationship with a well-respected, highly relevant website owner that can introduce you to others in their network.
If you were to instead send out hundreds of emails all at once using an outreach automation tool—with the goal of trying to start dozens of conversations or score a higher volume of links from small, spammy websites—you’re all but wasting your time.
More on the nuances of link building (and why you shouldn’t do most “link building” in the first place) right here.
Blogger Outreach Problem #2: Not Personalizing Your Approach
As we’ll see in a moment when we touch on some real examples, many outreach emails aren’t personalized at all.
Even those that are personalized, they tend to only include the most basic of details—like the blogger’s name, website name or the mention of a particular article at best.
You want to be much more personal and engaging than that with your blogger outreach. Show you’re a real human by mentioning something you love about the blog the recipient’s work.
Blogger Outreach Problem #3: Not Offering Something Valuable First
If you’re contacting a blogger for the very first time, don’t immediately ask for a social share or guest posting opportunity.
Make sure you’re doing something useful (or at least offering them something useful) in your initial outreach email.
To figure out how you can be most useful to the blogger or publisher in question, think about what they want and need. Determine what’s feasible for you to accomplish for them by using your own skills, experience or relationships.
That could be things like:
- Leaving thoughtful comments on their blog for a few days or weeks before emailing
- Regularly sharing their content on your social media channels (and tagging them)
- Mentioning or linking to their blog from an article you wrote
- Turning one of their articles into a well-designed PDF eBook they can use
- Pointing out a spelling mistake or broken link in an existing article on their site
The list could go on and on.
Ultimately though, successful blogger outreach boils down to starting a relationship on a foundation of providing value first (before asking for something from them).
At the very least, you need to offer something genuinely useful to your recipients—like a piece of free guest content for their blog, the promise to include a quote from them in an upcoming article on your blog (or in a guest post for a larger site if you’re still brand new to blogging).
Now, let’s walk through some case studies of real(ly) bad blogger outreach examples and I’ll show you exactly what to avoid in your own outreach efforts.
So what does it look like when blogger outreach goes very, very wrong?
Let’s start by taking a look at some real life examples from inside my inbox right now:
Email Teardown #1: Mr. Webmaster Fastmoney’s Epic Fail
Where do we even begin with this one?
In case the screenshot (above) is hard to read, here’s the text of that blogger outreach email:
Subject: GUEST POST
I love your site and have been reading a lot of articles on here, its so well laid out and meticulous. I couldn’t help wondering since we are a small business and would love to write an article for you to publish on your website on a topic of your choice for a link back to our site.
Please provide me the topic you wish us to write about and we will provide you with the content for your approval. This is absolutely FREE and all we are asking for is credit in the form of a link back to our website. The article can be about anything you like and we will write you a 500 word article completely FREE!!
Ouch. This one’s pretty rough.
Based on how this email reads, would you want to take that “FREE” 500 word article for your blog?
Would you feel confident that you’re going to get a good piece of content from a reputable blogger?
There are a lot of things wrong with this blogger outreach email though, so let’s take them one-by-one:
- The name of the sender. I mean come on, ha! The name “Webmaster Fastmoney” had me instantly laughing out loud upon seeing this. If I hadn’t been sourcing horrible blogger outreach email examples to highlight for this guide, I would’ve instantly spammed this one and never even considered opening it. Add the subject line into that quick analysis and wow, what a bad start.
- The all caps subject line is spammy at best. Never send an email to a brand new recipient—especially one you’re hoping to partner with—using a subject line that’s in all capitalized text. It’s a miracle that my Gmail spam filters didn’t pull this one straight into the spam folder.
- There’s not even a nod towards personalization. This blogger doesn’t bother to even use my name or the name of the site. Not to mention the fact that this email has clearly been sent to 50+ other recipients on the same exact thread.
- It comes across as disingenuous. The first sentence says “I love your site,” but it’s easy to see from the email that it’s being sent to dozens of people all at the same time—so there’s no indication that this blogger has even read a single post on my blog. In fact, it suggests the opposite since they’re clearly sending identical emails to dozens (if not hundreds) of other bloggers.
- There’s a grammatical error in the first sentence. We all make some mistakes, but you should be proofing your blogger outreach emails before hitting send. The word “its” should be “it’s” (short for “it is”) in the first sentence of this outreach email. While typos happen, when you’re asking for a guest posting opportunity, you can’t afford to give the immediate impression that your writing is going to be poorly edited.
- The writing style is just plain bad. The second sentence, for instance, is long and convoluted and doesn’t really make sense—this blogger starts the sentence with “I couldn’t help wondering” but doesn’t actually pose a question, which makes the entire email a pretty confusing experience.
- The emphasis on the word FREE looks very spammy. Putting “FREE” in all caps and doing it twice, comes across as desperate and pushy. It also seems like an odd selling point, as most bloggers will expect guest posts to be offered for free anyway.
- There’s no actual pitch. This would-be guest poster asks me to do the work for them and “provide me the topic you wish us to write about.” As well as being rather ungrammatical, this is a red flag because good guest posters will be willing to suggest an idea that they feel they could do justice to.
- There’s no indication of where “a link back to our website” would go. Bloggers with large sites have worked hard building their reputation, often over the course of years. We don’t want to risk harming that reputation by allowing a link to a spammy website, or one that runs counter to my our values. Be transparent about what you’re hoping to achieve in your blogger outreach emails and you’ll have a much better shot at forming a genuine relationship.
Now that blogger outreach email example is truly one of the worst I’ve seen in quite a while.
So, to ease back into what makes a blogger outreach email actually stand out from the crowd—let’s walk through a bad example that’s not as egregious.
Email Teardown #2: The Most Common (Bad) Blogger Outreach Email Template
This outreach email is a great example of the “average” level of effort that goes into blogger outreach by most people.
While it isn’t terrible from a pure content perspective, it fails big time in trying to capture my interest. Though to the sender’s credit, this outreach email doesn’t have any glaring spelling or grammatical errors—it’s just not enticing enough for me to take action on.
In case the screenshot (above) is difficult to read, here’s the text of that blogger outreach email:
Subject: Guest post on ryrob.com
First of all, I would like to say that I enjoyed browsing ryrob.com. The content provided is genuine and engaging to read.
My name is [name] and I work for a company that employs a number of talented and experienced copywriters that deliver content on a wide variety of subjects.
I was wondering if you would be willing to accept an article that matches editorial style and topics of ryrob.com. Since an article would contain a contextually integrated link to our partner’s website we would be willing to reward you for publishing it.
Would you be interested?
While this isn’t anywhere near as bad as the previous example, it still leaves a lot to be desired (and most importantly—it wasn’t effective at getting me to take action on it).
Believe it or not, this blogger outreach email actually makes many of the same mistakes as our first one, including:
- No meaningful personalization. Although there’s a small degree of personalization (with my blog URL in the subject line and the body of the email), there’s no indication that the sender has actually ever looked at my site. Plus, I happen to know there are tons of automation tools that can insert a website’s name into the body of an outreach email that’s done at scale—so from the very start I’m already skeptical here because it doesn’t address me by name.
- The first sentence reads as a very generic template. “The content provided is genuine and engaging to read…” is a very vague compliment that could be used for almost any blog, suggesting again that this is part of a larger, automated outreach campaign.
- It’s not clear who’d be writing the post or where I’d be linking. They mention, “a link to our partner’s website,” in the email which could be something that’s totally unrelated to my blog niche (or worse, a site that’s spammy and could damage my blog’s reputation).
- Instead of promising a “FREE” post, this email makes an offer of payment. “We would be willing to reward you for publishing it”. While this may at first seem an attractive offer, seasoned bloggers will know that guest posters offering money won’t normally have high-quality content (which creates more work for me). On top of that, selling a “contextually integrated link” could land your site in hot water with search engines, unless you either Nofollow the link or mark it as sponsored—and it’s unlikely your would-be guest poster will accept those terms.
On the plus side though, there’s at least a straightforward request—to send me a guest post.
Though going back to our core foundation of smart blogger outreach here, I wouldn’t recommend making this kind of ask (especially without actually pitching a real idea) before building up a relationship with your recipient first.
It’s probably clear from these blogger outreach email examples, that there are lots of straightforward things you can do to get your outreach right.
Now, I’m going to walk you through this process step-by-step, to make crafting a standout outreach campaign as easy as possible for you. I’ll also share my own blogger outreach email templates that you can tweak, modify and use in your own blogger outreach.
Before we get started, though, here’s something important to remember:
If you’ve tried your hand at blogger outreach in the past and produced emails similar to the bad examples above—don’t worry.
You’re not here to be shamed… you’re here to learn how to do better blogger outreach that actually gets real results for the growth of your blog.
While it’s not ideal if you’ve already sent a lot of outreach emails that looked like our examples above—it’s not the end of the world, either.
Unless you’ve emailed the same bloggers over and over and over again, they’re very unlikely to remember your name or email address.
Successful bloggers get targeted with so many of these bad outreach emails that most of us just hit “delete” right away without internalizing any of the information about the sender.
So with that in mind… let’s learn how to do blogger outreach the right way.
1. Choose a Small Number of Bloggers to Reach Out to
The root of the problem with our bad examples above, is that the bloggers who sent these outreach emails are concentrating on sending out as many emails as possible.
If you’re doing that, it’s understandable that you’ll end up with minimal personalization—and that you’ll be pitching to some blogs that are (at best) only slightly related to your topic.
It’s better to pick a small number of bloggers to target for your outreach efforts.
When you take the approach of trying to connect with a smaller number of bloggers, it means that you can focus on really high-quality outreach, rather than treating your entire campaign as just a numbers game. Your entire outreach approach will be different (in a positive way).
A good place to start with who to reach out to in the first place, is with the blogs that you already follow and enjoy.
For example, if you run a blog that shares in-depth WordPress tutorials, then you’d probably consider reaching out to blogs in your space that produce content in related (but not directly competitive) fields. That might include blogs like mine that write about keyword phrases like:
- The best hosting plans for bloggers
- Top affiliate programs for bloggers and website owners
- How much does it cost to blog?
Your goal could be something like landing a guest post, getting a quote featured, having your content shared on my social channel or otherwise.
If you don’t yet read many blogs in your niche, ask around for recommendations, do keyword research to see who’s already a heavy hitter in top search rankings, or look at what the big names in your industry are retweeting and sharing on social media.
2. Build a Relationship in Comments or on Social Media
While it’s not impossible to cold email someone for the first time—perhaps with a great guest post pitch—and have them accept, it’s always better to establish some kind of connection with the blogger before your email (with a request of them) lands in their inbox.
Here are a couple of good ways to build a value-driven relationship with bloggers before reaching out:
- Commenting on their blog regularly. Leave thoughtful, useful comments over the course of a week or two before emailing and they’ll start to notice you. Make sure your comments are genuinely adding to the conversation, though. If you can’t think of anything to say for a particular piece other than “great post,” skip commenting on that one.
- Sharing their content on your social media channels. Even if you don’t have a large following of your own, this is still a nice gesture and genuinely helpful thing to do—especially if you’re adding some genuine commentary, asking a compelling question and tagging the blogger. Whenever possible, add your own little snippet to the social share (like “I loved tip #9 here” or “great advice on SEO for new bloggers”), rather than simply sharing the title and link to the post. The more personalized your share, the more likely you’ll be to make a lasting impression.
If genuine, leaving regular blog comments works extremely well at building a foundational relationship.
Here’s an example of a couple comments (on a recent blog income report of mine) from readers that started by regularly leaving comments on my blog posts… and have since gone on to collaborate with me on a range of projects like guest posts, quote placements, social shares and more.
Here are some great ways to go even further—and offer your target blogger something more valuable could include:
- Linking to their blog from your own. Especially if you’re offering a recommendation, using one of their articles as a positive example of something, or including some sort of commentary about the blogger you’re trying to build a relationship with.
- Rating and reviewing their podcast on iTunes. This is another extremely genuine way to help a blogger out, as well as a good way to get noticed by them. It also demonstrates that you’re actually listening to their content, which will come in handy in convincing them you’re really invested in them once you send your blogger outreach email.
- Reviewing their book on Amazon or GoodReads. Like reviewing a podcast, this is truly helpful to the blogger in question—and shows that you’ve read at least a decent amount of their work (and in most cases, paid to do so).
- Proactively offering a testimonial for their product or service. If you’ve bought one of their blogging courses, purchased a book, put a free template to good use or have used their services at some point, it’s incredibly helpful to reach out and offer a testimonial that the blogger can use in their marketing efforts or directly on their sales page. Very few people offer unsolicited testimonials, so this is a great way to stand out from the crowd—I can personally tell you this is a guaranteed way to get a response from a blogger like me. Plus, it also helps remind the blogger that you’re a paying customer.
3. Make a Highly Targeted Ask (Pitch Them Something They Can’t Refuse)
Whatever you’re asking for—a quote with a link, a social share or a guest post slot—you need your pitch to be highly relevant to the blog and individual you’re reaching out to.
I hope it’s obvious that you shouldn’t pitch a guest post about “ten makeup tips” to a blog about SEO. But being highly relevant goes far beyond that simple example.
You need your ask to match up with the existing blog post ideas they tend to cover—and types of content the blog regularly produces.
For instance, if you’ve just written an in-depth guide aimed at bloggers who want to get started with SEO, it might make sense to ask for shoutout or share from a beginner-friendly site for bloggers, such as my blog here, or sites like ProBlogger and SmartBlogger. On the other hand, it probably wouldn’t be a good idea to ask an in-depth SEO publication like Ahrefs, to link to your guide, as it wouldn’t be the right fit for their audience or more advanced bloggers.
When you’re pitching a guest post, make sure your idea is tailor-made for the blog you’re reaching out to.
Don’t just outline a blog post and then figure out where you might be able to get it published. That’s going backwards (and won’t yield the same results).
Choose the right blog you’d like to get published on first… and then you can come up with a catchy title that’ll resonate with their editors, an enticing outline that’d be the perfect fit for them—and the chances will be much higher that they’ll give you a thumbs up to dive in and start writing a blog post for them.
4. Make it Worth Their While
Whatever you’re asking, make sure that it’s worthwhile for the blogger to spend their time and resources (1) evaluating and (2) taking action on your ask.
Sure, it might only take them a minute or two in order to check out an article you sent and type out a quick tweet promoting it to their audience—but that’s an activity they’ll be doing on your behalf, instead of working on something of their own. Make your ask a no-brainer that also benefits them in some way.
Understand that your blogger outreach is asking the recipient to divert their time to something else—make it worth their while.
There are plenty of ways to make your blogger outreach ask a worthy endeavor for your prospective partner:
- Link to them first. If you’re asking a prominent blogger to share your article on their social media channels, it’s great if that post already links to them or one of their products somewhere within the article. Note: You definitely shouldn’t make linking to them conditional on getting a share though!
- Eliminate any potential friction. If you’re asking to write a guest post for their blog, do your absolute best to make the process as hassle-free for them as possible. Pitch a clear blog post idea with a simple structure that relates to content topics they regularly cover, so they can give you a quick “yes, let’s do it” or “no, that’s not for us” without having to do a lot of critical thinking (or back and forth communicating with you).
- Use your own strengths. If you have a large enough audience—or have a friend that does—make it clear that you’ll help promote your guest post, or that you’ll be glad to share any of their content that could do with a boost. Note: This won’t have a lot of credibility if your audience only consists of a dozen Twitter followers.
Like I’ve said many times throughout this guide to smart blogger outreach…
Blogger outreach that makes an immediate ask is far less effective than when you show that you’re investing into the relationship first.
5. Don’t Offer Money in Your Blogger Outreach Email
Unless the blog specifically offers sponsorship options (which is normal in some industries) and you want to go down that path, it looks tacky and scammy to offer money in return for having your guest post published—or getting your content shared.
The offer of money in an initial outreach email is one of the big red flags I look out for when evaluating legitimacy.
One example of where you definitely should NOT offer money, is in exchange for a backlink.
Unless you’re fine with the link to be set to Nofollow (meaning it won’t pass on any SEO benefits), then this kind of outreach is a major no-go.
6. Make a Clear (Simple) Request
Whatever you’re asking for in your blogger outreach email, be clear and straightforward about it.
With a nearly 62% of emails being read on a mobile device today, the busy blogger reading your email may also have dozens (or even hundreds) of emails to get through today—and you don’t want them to decide that yours is too much work to deal with.
To make your request clear and simple, it’s a good idea to:
- Write a subject line that succinctly reflects what you’re asking for. A few examples of great blogger outreach email subject lines include things like, “Guest post submission: Ten Ways to Get Your First Hundred Subscribers” or “Would you share my post about beginner-friendly SEO?” or “Your feature on my blog” which are all very clear. Subject lines like, “QUESTION” or “Hi” or “(no subject)” are usually instantly archived when I sort through my emails in the morning.
- Ask for what you want early in the email. For example, if your blogger outreach starts with a subject line that makes it clear you’re hoping to guest post for the recipient, then it’d be smart to position your pitch (and why it’d be perfect for your blogger to run with) high up in the email—so that your recipient doesn’t have to read through paragraphs of text just to get to the purpose of your email.
- Keep your blogger outreach email short and sweet. If you’re writing a novel in your outreach email, you’re doing something wrong. Remember the purpose of sending an outreach email in the first place… to open up a line of communication, start forming a relationship, provide value to your recipient and eventually make an ask they won’t want to refuse. Jump down to my blogger outreach email templates here toward the bottom of this guide for examples of my most effective emails you can use today.
To make your request simple and clear, it’s also important to be sure you’re only asking for one thing—not making multiple different requests. That can cause instant overwhelm.
Don’t ask your recipient to do something time consuming right off the bat.
Time intensive requests like, “will you review my blog?” or “will you meet up with me for coffee?” will come across as lacking proper awareness—especially if you haven’t yet established some sort of relationship with the blogger you’re reaching out to.
7. Offer Alternative Ideas
You don’t want to make your blogger outreach email unclear or overly complicated. That priority comes first and foremost.
However, in some cases, it might make sense to offer your recipient a couple of quick alternatives to your original ask—especially if you’ve been cultivating the relationship for at least a few exchanges over email, in their blog comments and on their social feeds.
For example, you might pitch a particular guest post title with a quick outline. And at the end of your email, you could quickly add a clarifying sentence like, “If that idea doesn’t quite fit though, a couple of other articles I could write are [title] and [title].”
With this very simple mention of some alternative ideas, you’re not only showing your flexibility, but saving them from the back-and-forth of potential situations like, “We’ve already got something in the works on [title #1] – do you have any other ideas?”
Remember, your goal is to provide value to your recipient—so put yourself in their shoes before hitting send on your blogger outreach emails.
8. Edit and Proofread Your Blogger Outreach Email
Once you’ve written your blogger outreach email, make sure you allow enough time to carefully edit and proofread it for any mistakes.
This doesn’t just mean checking for typos—though that’s obviously important too. You should also watch out for missteps like:
- Sentences that are ambiguous or unclear. Rephrase these to make them more straightforward and easy for your recipient to understand.
- Too much information. You don’t need to give multiple paragraphs of information about your background, the history of blogging or how that inspired you to launch your blog. Get straight to the point and make sure everything you’ve included in your blogger outreach email is extremely relevant to them.
- Grammatical mistakes. Some easily confused words and phrases won’t be picked up by every spell checking tool (“its” and “it’s” are easy to confuse, as we saw in one of the bad examples above), so proofread slowly—and consult an online thesaurus if need be.
- Incorrect personalized details. If you’re using a blogger outreach email template, be very careful not to copy and paste it with the wrong name or website name! Make sure you check the spelling, too—especially if the blogger has an unusual name, or the site has a name with unusual capitalization (i.e. “ProBlogger” has a capital in the middle, but “Copyblogger” doesn’t).
While a small mistake won’t necessarily ruin your chances of forging a relationship with your recipient, you do want to make the best possible first impression.
This is especially true if your blogger outreach contains any sort of pitch to create content for their audience—they’ll want to see you’ve got your writing down pat.
9. Don’t Push Your Luck
Remember, successful bloggers are busy people—they’re running an online business with a lot of moving parts and you’re probably popping into their inbox without an invitation.
If you don’t get a reply to your blogger outreach email within a day or two, don’t immediately send a follow up. Be patient and considerate.
My advice is to wait at least 5 days before following up, especially if your email is completely cold and you don’t have an existing relationship.
If they haven’t gotten back to your first email within a week, then the chances are high that either (1) they’re just extremely busy or (2) you haven’t delivered a pitch that was compelling enough for them to take action on. The safest bet is to assume both—which will inform on how you should best position your follow up. More on that soon.
If your recipient replies and the answer is no, then accept that (for now).
However great you think your content is, and however much you think they’re missing out—don’t try to persuade them to take your guest post or link to your content. If the blogger replies back and asks you not to email again, then respect that too.
The chances of them changing their mind are very slim. And even more importantly, they’ll be much less likely to want to collaborate with you in future if you get on their nerves during your first interaction.
Your ask probably wasn’t the right fit for them at this time, so don’t take it personally.
10. Follow Up on Your Blogger Outreach Emails
Right, right… you know that successful bloggers (and marketers, editors, publishers at top brands & websites) are all busy people.
The reality of our digital world today is that we’re more distracted than ever. And research shows that long-form content is becoming increasingly more important to ranking high in organic search—meaning that bloggers are having to spend more time on content creation than ever before, too.
It’s safe to assume that we’re all short on time. That means you should assume the need to follow up on your outreach emails in most cases—especially if you haven’t yet established a personal brand for yourself within your niche.
The success of your blogger outreach campaigns will be measured by your follow up game.
He shares, “I follow up as many times as necessary until I get a response. I don’t care what the response is as long as I get one. If someone tells me they need another 14 days to get back to me, I will put that in my calendar and ping them again in 14 days. If they tell me they’re busy and they don’t have time right now, I will respond and ask them when they feel like a good time would be for me ping them. The key here is to actually keep following up. If someone tells me they are not interested—I leave them alone. But here is the kicker—if they don’t respond at all, I will keep pinging them until they do. And trust me, they always do.”
Steli goes on to share a story about how it took him 48 follow up attempts to get a potential investor to reply to him. Many months later, his persistence paid off and that person ended up investing.
Follow up until you get a definitive answer to your blogger outreach emails.
Now, let’s walk through a couple of examples to break down what successful follow ups look like in the context of blogger outreach.
Here’s an example of a really fun follow up email I got from Andriana Moskovska at Go Remotely:
She had a pretty strong subject line and initial blogger outreach email in the first place, but I hadn’t replied as I was on vacation when her email came in.
Her follow up email is hilarious and starts by capturing my attention with a funny (fake) quote and GIF from a popular tv show I used to watch and have written about. Her email then wraps up with one polite sentence reiterating the request from her original email without trying to guilt trip me whatsoever.
Needless to say, Andriana got a reply after that awesome follow up.
Let’s look at another blogger outreach follow up email example.
This person has an admirable follow up hustle (2 follow ups within 14 days), but the content of those follow ups weren’t adding any value to the conversation:
Because I immediately deemed the original email and request not to be a good fit for my blog (plus it followed a very stale template I get multiple times per day), this blogger outreach was already off to a start that didn’t resonate with me.
Where the follow ups went wrong though, is that they never sought to add more (or different) value.
Both of these follow up emails from this blogger just followed the format of coldly nudging me to respond to their email.
They didn’t offer up an alternative idea, they weren’t humorous or interesting at all and they only referred me back to their original email without a reminder about the context of their initial ask (more work for me to do).
What happens when your blogger outreach succeeds?
On the other hand, let’s assume that your target blogger does do what you’re asking of them in your outreach email.
You need to make sure you follow up with them after they’ve done that too.
First, it’s important to thank them for taking time to work with you—which is just good manners.
Cultivate that relationship, especially if the first collaboration goes well.
Depending upon the size of their publishing organization, perhaps after a few weeks have gone by, you might want to send them another guest post pitch, or suggest another mutually beneficial collaboration.
Take care not to ping your content partners too frequently that you sour the relationship—particularly when you’re asking for something without providing more value first.
If this sounds like a broken record, it’s because so few people take the approach of giving value first in their outreach.
Continue helping them out by commenting on their blog posts and sharing their content on your social channels.
Alright, now that we’ve gone through my step-by-step process for writing a successful blogger outreach email, I thought it’d be fun to explore a few more examples of great outreach emails I’ve gotten over the past couple of weeks.
Good Outreach Email Example #1: Jon Dabach
This outreach email from Jon Dabach at Rhino Marketing Group blew my mind with how much up front value he delivered in his initial pitch:
(Click here to open this full-size screenshot in a new tab)
His email starts with an excellent subject line that’s (1) funny and (2) immediately captured my attention.
It then dives straight into a genuine complement of my content and a crazy value add—he took one of my existing articles and packaged it into a digital eBook for me (including some high quality images to go along with it).
This is all before making any ask of me whatsoever. How can I not reply to this?
We’re now working on making a potential collaboration happen over the coming months.
Good Outreach Email Example #2: Dane Maxwell
With a killer subject line, Dane Maxwell of The Foundation came in hot with great outreach email seeing if I’d be interested in reviewing his upcoming book, Start From Zero and for considering a podcast interview:
(Click here to open this full-size screenshot in a new tab)
This email is packed with great lessons you can apply to your own blogger outreach:
- Starting with a complement and showing that you have a real interest in your recipient
- Building your credibility based on your own unique experiences
- Making an ultra clear (relevant) ask
- Note that the formatting of Dane’s email is also very clean, simple and doesn’t feel stressful
We’ll be doing a podcast interview soon—and have also found a couple other win-win collaborations that make a lot of sense.
Good Outreach Email Example #3: Josh Crist
Another recent great outreach email example pitching me on a podcast appearance came from Josh Crist of Be My Guest FM, where he delivered a very standout pitch to have on the CEO of Freshbooks (a brand I’ve worked with in the past):
(Click here to open this full-size screenshot in a new tab)
Josh starts out by complementing my podcast and sharing a screenshot of a 5-star review he just left on iTunes, which is light years ahead of any other guest pitch email I’ve ever received.
From there, he makes a very clear ask, establishes why it should be relevant to my audience (including three different angles I could consider for framing an episode), reinforces the guest’s credibility and wraps up with a clear sentence that reiterates his ask. This is a text book excellent outreach email.
There’s seriously so much about it that’s amazing—please parse through my commentary on the screenshot above.
Before we get into my personal blogger outreach email templates, I want to highlight a few more specific examples of bad outreach emails… so that you know what to steer clear of as you work on your own outreach campaign.
Bad Blogger Outreach Email Example #1: Formatting Disaster
Check out the formatting mistakes in this email—ranging from the subject line through the entire body of the email with spacing that’s off and content that’s packed with poor grammar:
It feels like this one was sent using an automation tool that got something massively wrong. Plus, the email came from a very suspicious sounding @gmail.com account that doesn’t do anything to help their cause.
Bad Blogger Outreach Email Example #2: The Worst Formatting Blunders Ever
The subject line gets off to a terrible start by using my full blog URL directly in the subject (looks spammy).
And it truly only goes downhill from here with formatting mistakes and what looks like the entire body of the email being pasted in a total of 4 times (this screenshot only has the first three), including the names of different websites…
This one is pretty surprisingly bad. Want to avoid sending an outreach email like this? Don’t use an automation tool.
Bad Blogger Outreach Email Example #3: Link Building Mishap
If anyone reaches out to me specifically talking about link building, I’m a pretty instant no (as that goes against Google policies):
Add to the fact that this blogger outreach email isn’t personalized, has a lot of poor grammar, spelling mistakes and appears to be sent at scale—it’s a hard pass for me.
Bad Blogger Outreach Email Example #4: Paid Offer to Post Client Work
This outreach email is just a fancier wording of, “can I get a backlink for my client from your blog?” and offers to pay me for it. Again, an instant no because it goes against SEO best practices:
There are some obvious formatting blips here too, that suggest this was sent to a big list of people using an automated tool of some sort as well—another sign that I should steer clear of this person.
Bad Blogger Outreach Email Example #5: Am I Experiencing Déjà Vu?
This (really bad) outreach email is shockingly similar to about a dozen others currently in my inbox:
It’s also from an @gmail.com account and makes very little sense from a real conversation perspective. Nope.
Bad Blogger Outreach Email Example #6: Ok Now I’m Definitely Seeing Double
Yep, we’ve now confirmed that there are some awful email templates (and link builders who use them) floating around out there in the wild. I got this one on the same day as #5 above.
Again, we’ve got a bunch of formatting and grammar mistakes in addition to the email having zero substance. It’s gonna be a no for me dawg.
Bad Blogger Outreach Email Example #7: You Get the Point
Ok, ok… this is the last one, I promise. But come on, right?! This is exactly the same as the previous one:
I want to reiterate that the vast majority of blogger outreach I get is this bad.
Really, I’m not kidding.
If you want to send blogger outreach emails that actually get you real results… then use one of my templates here.
If you’re not sure how to write a successful blogger outreach email, try using one of my free templates to guide you.
While you may want to change some of the language, verbiage and tone to suit your own voice and style—don’t worry about whether or not these blogger outreach emails will be “just another one of these common templates” that appear dozens of times in the inbox of bloggers and publishers each day.
These templates will forever stand the test of time, I promise that. Why?
These blogger outreach email templates will never be over-used… because they require doing real work, thinking strategically and providing up front value to your recipients.
I will continue using these three blogger outreach email templates for years to come—because they require work.
And building real relationships with other bloggers, brands and publishers requires putting in the work.
Those that aren’t willing to invest in the partnerships they want to build will send emails like some of the bad ones above, which make these templates rise even further above the noise.
Blogger Outreach Email Template #1: The Feature Notification
The entire premise of this blogger outreach email template is that it forces you to take the (first) step in providing value to the relationship you’re hoping to build here.
In this case, the upfront value comes in the form of a mention I gave the recipient at Copyhackers in a recent post on my blog (about how to name a blog), which I did strategically—knowing that I’d soon want to reach out to see about guest writing for their blog, where they have an audience very similar to my own.
Here’s a template version of that blogger outreach email you can use for yourself:
Subject: Your feature in my article
I’ve been a reader of the [COMPANY] blog for quite a while now, and I always come across your content in the writing I do for other sites like [SITE #1], [SITE #2], [SITE #3] and the like. I actually just mentioned you guys in a recent article I published (here) on the [DESTINATION] blog.
Would you be up for taking a guest post from me?
I’d be so pumped to do a piece of content for your readers and would work hard promoting it to my own blog audience, on social and amplify through other channels that I have access to as well 🙂
Let me know what you think!
While you likely don’t have the same credentials and audience size to back up your pitch in the same way as I can (now) do today, don’t let that discourage you from using this outreach approach.
The important part about this angle is that it’s very strategic in starting the relationship off by doing something valuable for your recipient first… and even if you get turned down today, you’ll have a potential friendship here that can grow over time.
Blogger Outreach Email Template #2: The Genuine Guest Post Request
When I want to pitch a blog or publication on hosting a guest post from me, but I’ve never mentioned them in my writing before, I’ll use this blogger outreach email template that doesn’t lean as much on the upfront value angle—yet still shows that I’m willing to go to bat for making my article a success for them.
Here’s the template version of this email you can use:
Subject: Content collaboration
I’ve been a reader of the [COMPANY] blog for quite a while now, and I always come across your content in the writing I do for other sites like [SITE #1], [SITE #2], [SITE #3] and the like.
Would you be up for taking a guest post from me?
I’d be so pumped to do a piece of content for your readers and would work hard promoting it to my own blog audience, on social and amplify through other channels that I have access to as well 🙂
Let me know what you think!
Sometimes, I’ll take my own advice here and include a couple of blog post ideas that I could write for them in this initial outreach email—but as I’ve built my brand and find that most other bloggers in my space already recognize me when I pop into their inboxes, I like to keep my first emails a little on the shorter side.
If you’re not quite at the stage I’m at yet with your audience, you might want to use a blogger outreach email template that makes the most of your existing credentials and pitches a specific guest post, like next one.
Blogger Outreach Email Template #3: The Curated Pitch
Here’s a blogger outreach email template I used from back in 2017 during the days before I really learned how to drive traffic to a blog (and long before I had an audience or figured out how to make money blogging).
It’s an example of how you can be successful at your blogger outreach efforts with a very simple, human and value-driven email—while having no existing audience of your own yet:
Here’s a template version of this outreach email you can use today, that makes a more direct ask of accepting a guest post than what you’ll see in my screenshot from above. I encourage you to experiment with both versions:
Subject: Your feature on my blog
I’ve been a reader of the [COMPANY] blog for quite a while now, and I particularly loved your post [LAST WEEK/A FEW WEEKS BACK/ETC] about [TOPIC/TITLE]. I actually just mentioned you guys in a recent article I published (here) on my blog too.
Would you be up for taking a guest post from me? I’d love to write about [PROPOSED TITLE] and would cover [SHORT LIST OF WHAT YOU’D COVER IN THE POST].
You can check out some of my writing here too:
[Link to two or three of your best articles—ideally guest posts to help boost your credibility if you’ve written any]
Let me know what you think!
And that’s a wrap, my friends 🙏
I hope you put these email templates to good use—and remember not to shy away from the (hard) work that is building real, value-driven relationships with the bloggers in your niche.
The investment will pay off, I promise.
Final Thoughts: Win-Win Blogger Outreach is the Way of the Future
In a world where 99% of blogger outreach emails immediately ask the recipient to take a one-sided action on behalf of the sender… it’s shockingly easy to stand out from the crowd and build real relationships with other bloggers.
By starting your outreach with a win-win proposition (and using templates like the ones here), you’ll be far more likely to succeed in your efforts.
Remember, effective blogger outreach isn’t about sending dozens (or hundreds) of emails.
It’s about finding a small number of bloggers and publishers you can authentically connect to and build a mutually beneficial relationship with.
The best blogger outreach emails will make your recipient think, hell yes!
Smart outreach offers something genuinely useful—like a piece of free guest content that the blogger’s readers will love—and the best outreach emails are written in a genuine, engaging way.
Get started with the first 3 steps to effective blogger outreach today:
- Make a shortlist of the top ten bloggers you’d love to connect with and follow them on social media
- Look for ways to help by sharing their content, answering their questions, or commenting on their posts
- Plan to reach out to them with one of these outreach email templates within the next week or two
Like it or not, starting a blog and growing it into a profitable business is a long game.
And the relationships you can forge from win-win blogger outreach will help immensely over the weeks, months and years to come.