*Updated July 2017*
Finding blogger outreach opportunities and pitching to bloggers can be time-consuming, laborious and sometimes a logistical nightmare when you’re trying to do it at scale.
Some outreach specialists create content first, then outreach to bloggers and try and tempt them to publish that particular piece, others like us may take the route of building a relationship first discussing the great content they already have and work out ways we can collaborate with them on future content projects. Whichever way you approach it, there is a common problem of finding and connecting to lots of bloggers in your target audience and niche. This post is designed to give you a great insight and some fresh ideas on where to find all those bloggers and outreach opportunities.
Here are some handy jump to links:
- Hack #1 – Blog Directories & Search Engines
- Hack #2 – Story & Blog Aggregators
- Hack #3 – Blog Badges, Banners & Communities
- Hack #4 – Check Blog Comments
- Hack #5 – Check Inbound Links to Blogs
- Hack #6 – Check Inbound Links to Competitors
- Hack #7 – Just Google It
- Hack #8 – Paid for Crowdsourced Software
- Bonus Hack – Link Klipper
Firstly I think Google Blog Search needs a mention here. It was a way of searching blog websites indexed by Google and unfortunately as you’ll have noticed this fizzled out and was discontinued last summer (May 2014). There is an alternative way to search blogs on Google though:
- Simply go to Google News, type your search query like ‘cars’ and then click search
- Click on the ‘Tools’ option and then change the second setting from ‘All News’ to ‘Blogs’
Hey presto 🙂
Whilst it won’t just bring you every blog up in that category, it will display the most newsworthy posts from blogs.
There are a number of blog search engines and blog directories where bloggers can add their website. These are just a few of them but they allow you to find blogs easily within categories and sub-categories in just a few clicks. It’s then a case of extracting them and filtering them out to match your quality metrics.
Some Examples of Blog Directories and Blog Search Engines:
- https://www.bloglovin.com/ (Blog Directory)
- http://www.blogcatalog.com/ (Blog Directory)
- http://www.bloggapedia.com/ (Blog Directory)
- http://dir.blogflux.com/ (Blog Directory)
- http://www.bloggingfusion.com/ (Blog Directory)
- http://blogs.botw.org/ (Blog Directory Best of The Web)
- http://www.spillbean.com/ (Blog Directory)
- http://www.blogmetrics.org/ (Top 50 Blog Directory)
- http://portal.eatonweb.com/ (Blog Directory)
- http://www.ontoplist.com/ (Blog Directory)
- http://globeofblogs.com/ (Blog Directory)
- http://www.blogsearchengine.com/ (Blog Directory)
- http://www.icerocket.com/ (Blog Directory / Search Engine)
- http://www.findblogs.com/ (Blog Search Engine) – This one’s a little different, I believe they are using Google custom search option to filter blogs only in their results.
There are a lot more of these. Just Google ‘blog directory’.
Just like blog directories and blog search engines, blog aggregators can be a great source of outreach opportunities searchable by categories and latest posts.
Some Examples of Story and Blog Aggregators:
When you find good blogs to approach you’ll find an awful lot of them are part of really close-knit blogging communities. They love to shout about them so they’ll usually link out to the main community site via badges, banners or links in their blog sidebar. For example, take this mom blog here Mami Talks. If you scroll down a little you’ll see on the right she is displaying banners for Top 50 Mom Blogger and many others in her sidebar. Those sites are a great way to find even more blogger outreach opportunities.
Here are some more examples of Blogger Communities:
Bonus Hack: There’s an even quicker way to find blog communities by using Google’s Image search function and using key phrases like ‘Mom Blogger Badge‘. This will reveal tons of blogger badge images for various communities.
Lots of bloggers, especially those who partake in blogging communities tend to comment on each other’s blogs. Not only do they love to share, discuss and comment on other blogs but they also do this to build their own audience and traffic. This is a good thing for us because not only does it tell us a blog is active but it also allows us to find and connect with other like-minded bloggers in the same industry. Next time you come across an active blog, take a look at their blog comments and just see how many other opportunities you can find 🙂
To be honest, this is a little follow on from Hack #3 and #4 above. Bloggers in communities love to share, discuss, comment and even link to each others blogs. The easiest way to find more opportunities is to run their site through your favourite backlink checker and hey presto you’ll find even more opportunities from other bloggers in the same niche.
Investigating the backlinks of high ranking competitors can present you with some nice blogger outreach opportunities. Investigate the blogs linking to competitors and find out why they are linking. Is it a review? Is it a recommendation of a service/product? The chances are if they are linking to/reviewing your competitors; they will link to/review you too.
See below a screenshot of worldsim.com’s backlinks (no affiliation). Upon a quick glance, I can see they have a fair few blogs linking to them. If I were doing outreach for this company, I would add these to my list outreach too.
A lot of savvy bloggers are very forthcoming about their willingness to receive and review products, place advertisements or accept writing opportunities. This is very ‘outreach 101’ but there may be some terms in the list below you haven’t thought of searching.
Note the word ‘blog’ added to most of the search terms below. This separates the larger, more corporate online publications that offer advertising opportunities.
- “Write For Us” + [niche]
- “PR Friendly” blog + [niche]
- “disclosure policy” blog + [niche]
- “Advertising” blog + [niche]
- “product review” blog + [niche]
- “guest post” + [niche]
Firstly don’t confuse these with the old guest blogging community services like My Blog Guest, Post Joint, Guestr and so on. Those sites were effectively a portal for bloggers to advertise either the opportunity to exchange guest posts and links or even the opportunity to publish on their site for money. These sites I’m mentioning here are effectively marketing software and communications companies that allow you to find and connect to bloggers, journalists, and social influencers. Some of their data is crowdsourced, and some of it is indexed from the web based on blog characteristics and metrics. It’s a great starting platform to scour for placement opportunities however it can be very expensive costing thousands of dollars per month.
When we’re doing outreach, we often find we need to save long lists of links from blog directory categories. This chrome extension called Klipper has saved us loads of time. You can drag a selection around the links you want to ‘klip’ and you’ll get it in a CSV. Check it out!
We hope these hacks will help you with your blogger outreach efforts. If you feel we have missed anything out or have any hacks to add, please let us know in the comments.