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Update 7th January, 2019
The original article has now generated 2100+ shares and 22 unique backlinks.
——Original Case Study——
Today I show exactly what I did to get 1543+ shares and 9 links in (about) 8 days of blogger outreach.
Nice, but it wasn’t everything.
The funny part was that I sort of got famous and became part of the community I kind of knew nothing about.
(you should be – come on!)
Very Quick Intro
It happened to me last year…
My affiliate site got a bad rep from Google and my affiliate income reduced by more than 50%.
The thing is – I hated link building.
Tedious, time-consuming, repetitive, daunting…I needed it.
Inspired by Brian’s Skyscraper, I was eager to try it in action.
What Is Skyscraper Technique?
In essence, Skyscraper Technique boils down to finding list-type content (e.g. “10 Benefits of Nuclear Bombs”) and making it “bigger, faster, stronger” by improving it above and beyond (e.g. “73 Benefits of Nuclear Bombs (Pictures Included)”)
You would then reach out to everyone that’s linked to that first article and tell them you have this monster they might want to check out.
After all, Brian promised links 😀
So, all that I needed was a topic.
Getting the Idea in Non-SEO Way
If you are an SEOr, you know how we get topics…we steal.
We go to Ahrefs (love you guys) or Buzzsumo (don’t love you guys) and look for content that’s already performed well in the past because that’s the easiest way to know what would perform well in the future.
Next, we take the topic and build on that, making the whole thing simply amazing (i.e. we develop something we call a linkable asset, which is basically a link magnet)
I didn’t take that path (tbh, I just didn’t know you could do all that at the time)
Instead, I thought in a non-SEO way and…it worked.
Actually that helps a lot.
I am saying that thinking in non-SEO way works great for SEO…just FYI 😉
My affiliate site is all about office chairs, so sitting, with all the consequences of sitting, is definitely a part of it.
- Back pain
- Neck pain
- Leg pain
All of the above need some treatment.
What could treat those?
And this is when randomness helped me.
A few days earlier I was passing by Alexander Technique (AT) studio in Berlin.
I have a thorough interest in human movement patterns and ways of fixing those (when necessary), so it grabbed my attention.
AT, which I heard nothing about before, seemed like a possible opportunity…
The search volume confirmed my thinking – the keyword was worth going for (I didn’t check keyword difficulty at the time).
All looked good, but what exactly should I write about?
Don’t Sell to Them – Sell to The Audience They Sell To
This is the lesson that I learned from my good friend, a very talented knowledgeable marketer.
The idea is simple – you try to help your target audience sell their service to their target audience.
After some more research and brainstorming (can you count scrolling through YouTube feed “brainstorming”?) I discovered that becoming an Alexander Technique practitioner takes some time…and a license.
Naturally, practitioners would also want to sell their service to their audience, but AT is not Yoga – it’s under the radar and needs more traction.
So, what to do about it?
It came to me!
I needed to tell the world how awesome Alexander Technique is.
I needed to help my target audience sell to their target audience.
This is how “52 Reasons to Try Alexander Technique” eventually appeared.
To me the idea was great:
- Every single point had to have some sort of scientific claim. There were studies on AT – research-based content looked promising.
- AT practitioners are separate individuals which operate under the umbrella of Alexander Technique brand (which results in location-based searches). Every AT teacher has a website – I was dreaming of all those links!
- Finding AT practitioners was a piece of cake (thanks to the main AT guy who collected almost every AT teacher on his website and got pissed with me scraping all of that manually).
Editing & Formatting Content is Just as Important as the Content You Produce
If your article looks like a non-appetizing wall of text (even if it’s great writing), you are going nowhere. The Internet is not a book.
We scroll and skim – our attention span is terrible.
It’s massively important to have colorful, engaging content that entertains a dopamine junkie inside visitors (we all have it inside us, thanks to social media algos etc).
I didn’t write the article. My great content writer, Chimerenka (thank you, sir, once again) did some crazy research and put that beast together.
6000+ words of content! All backed by studies…
That’s a lot of work, but crafting something of that caliber leaves no chance to your competitors.
Yes, you spend 1 week on writing that piece and 4 weeks on promoting it, but the amount of traffic and authority you get with time…it’s really worth it.
On top of that, Google doesn’t want you to produce thin low-quality entries – I would imagine that indexing all that crap takes a lot of processing power. I can’t see them encourage this.
One More Anti-Thin Content Reason
So-called “no click searches” are on the rise – they target simple questions that the search engine answers itself without needing the person to click on any result (e.g. “distance from madrid to toledo” or “who is the president of the usa” – none of these require you to “click” to get the answer).
It’s actually a scary thing because Google is your new competitor.
I didn’t write the content, but it was my responsibility to edit and beautify it.
Every single reason for trying AT, in my mind, had to have a separate image.
I used Depositphotos for stock images. I do recommend them (if you need a stock photo), but I don’t use them anymore.
I also imagined every single point to have its own container so readers find it all easy to skim through.
Would I use stock images now?
No way! 😎
Image Search is massive – you can’t waste those opportunities!
So I would instead hire a freelancer to design simple images for me or do something myself at Canva (love you also guys).
Looking for Those That Would Like to See It – Finding Leads
Link prospecting is the term that we use during link building campaigns that we do for our clients…
All that I was doing at the time was finding leads.
In my case it was brutally straightforward – I needed every single AT practitioner on the planet to know about the article.
However, I didn’t know exactly how to get them post the link on their websites…
Now, a year later, we nail link building campaigns for these kinds of articles.
We use resource pages, competitor link building, broken link building, link roundups and some other custom types of link building (e.g. university discounts)
Nevertheless, I did all the scraping myself.
I used NinjaOutreach to find some of their contact details. I did the rest manually (and it was a lot of work).
How to Find Leads?
It was quite easy in my case.
As I already mentioned, there was a guy (no names here, but he owns the exact match domain for AT 😉 ) who collected quite a lot of AT practitioners details all over the world.
Basically, he is a mini-directory.
If I was doing it now, I would look for resource pages, competitors and link roundups.
In order to find those, I would use these search operators:
- alexander technique inurl:links
- alexander technique inurl:resources
- alexander technique “link roundup”
- alexander technique “best blog posts”
For competitors, you would need to use Ahrefs with their Content Explorer feature.
It helps to find content and see all the backlinks that reference it:
You would then filter those (i.e. no Web 2.0s, no Nofollows, English only, only relevant websites, no PBNs and other scammy stuff) and find their contact details (you can use Hunter.io or VoilaNorbert. You can also do it manually).
Getting everything organized in a spreadsheet is the obvious thing you need to do when dealing with blogger outreach at scale.
I obviously didn’t do that at the time – who cares if I had a couple hundreds of emails to manage?
Nevertheless, NinjaOutreach actually helped me to do quite a good job there, so almost nothing got lost (the only problem – I always had to reply through their CRM; I couldn’t use Gmail as it broke the sequence; I don’t know if that’s different now because we use Mailshake.)
Email Outreach Template That Converts
As I send more and more emails, I realize that the actual template (or I should better say “message”) you use is not that important.
I mean, by all means, it should be designed in a smart way, but if you really nail what you pitch, if you really nail the target audience…God bless you – the results will be amazing (even if your outreach template is just that – a template).
Looks nice, right?
I actually like it a lot myself – short, sweet, targeted…everything is there!
“That would get me a link”, – I thought.
Do you know what they reply with?
Come on! It’s on your website!! 😀
Fortunately, there were positive replies as well:
And also this:
Results, What I Did Wrong and What I Would Do Now
By no means did I earn the number of links this article truly deserves (with the update and 22 backlinks…it looks a lot better!).
In spite of that, it received 11 backlinks, 9 of which are Dofollow:
And here are the DR metrics:
- Average – 23.2
- Median – 15
- Max – 74 (!)
- Min – (4)
* Please note that these metrics are obtained after a massive update Ahrefs peeps did a couple of months back (previous numbers looked even better).
To the date, the article has been shared 1543 times (from the metrics you can find on the page itself), so it went pretty viral, but that’s just a tip of the iceberg.
If I was doing the campaign now, I would really push it forward because I ignored one massive bit – the follow-ups.
Following up is extreeeeeeeemely important if you want a link.
People are lazy. People forget. You need to push them a bit.
I didn’t at the time. I learned from it.
Here is one funny thing that happened though (there were 2-3 similar replies):
Isn’t it cool? 😉
Well, if you remember, I still was unsure about what exactly AT was (mind you, I was already Googling it 😀 ), so being listed on somebody else’s workshop was pretty awesome.
From zero to hero…LinksHero so to speak 😉