All Outreach is an Exchange of Value
What do I get out of this deal? What’s in it for me? You’ve likely heard those questions before. Before committing to doing something for you, I need to know what you’re going to do for me. This is called an exchange of value. I will do ABC if you will do XYZ.
The simplest (and least successful in my experience) exchange is monetary. If you publish this post I will pay you $50. Many bloggers don’t like to admit (or recognize) they have a price. Most of the time, they amount you offer will not entice them to do anything.
Think about it this way, if you were a legitimate company, would you publish an article on your company blog for $50? I certainly wouldn’t. The last time I published content I was paid to publish was in 2008 and the company was buying 100 posts per month across my private blog network that was about 500 unique domains. I wouldn’t even answer emails for people asking for a single post. On my company sites there is almost no amount of money that I would take to publish a post. I say “almost” because everyone has a price!
The best way (also in my experience) to exchange value is through content. Content is the backbone of content marketing (who knew?). I start every email conversation with the amazing content that we will create to publish on the target site. I give specific examples of titles that can be published and this is good for at least a 25% response rate. Your emails won’t get responses if the value exchanged is of no actual value.
Your content must be excellent. Fiverr won’t cut it. It doesn’t have to be expensive, but excellent. There is a big difference. Most of my writers are on TextBroker. TextBroker takes a fee but it’s a fee I’m happy to pay because they manage the process, recruit the writers and it’s one less thing I have to think about.
Some bloggers have guidelines they ask you to follow. The rules are unimportant and completely arbitrary, but they want them to be followed. If you don’t, most of them will reject your article. It’s human nature, they worked hard to create these rules and see it as a sign of disrespect if you can’t follow them. Do what they ask and then tell them you tried to follow the guidelines and you’ll have a new best friend. You’ve shown them respect and they will do the same to you…once again, human nature.
Depending on the nature of the link that you’re requesting (ghost writing vs bio link) you might want to include authority links. Some people are still living in the dark ages where they believe linking out to other sites can hurt them. In that case you don’t want to link out, but most people are OK with outbound links as long as they’re relevant.
Always include at least one relevant image. This is a tough thing to do in some cases, but at least include one image that is OK to use according to the Creative Commons license. Send that along with your article, the link to the image and tell them what CC license it has. That way they’ll know if they can legally publish the image you’ve provided.