There is a right approach and a wrong approach when it comes to link outreach. Everyone wants to secure links, but not everyone is willing to do it the right way. Rather than map out a well thought out strategy, the majority of people will just copy and paste a generic message and spam as many email addresses or contact forms as they can find.

Guess how that works for them? It doesn’t. They don’t acquire any links and they waste their time.

Listen, link outreach isn’t easy. It’s a numbers game. These websites are bombarded with requests all day long, and because most of them are spammy, it makes it even harder to get their attention, even with a solid pitch or offer.

You know the saying — marketers fu#k everything up. This is spot-on, especially when it comes to link outreach. So, you need to come up with your own outreach style, whether it’s via email, contact forms, or social media — and find ways to get these websites to want to link back to your blog content and possibly share it as well.

I’m going to break down six very effective strategies that you can use as a foundation, tweaking them to fit your needs. The last thing you want to do is use a template to pitch. Trust me, this blog gets dozens of requests a day, and 99% of them are all using templates found in outreach software. I’ve seen the same templates thousands of times. Guess how many of those attempts worked? Zero.

These should be used to give you ideas and help you create some winning campaigns, but if you really want to see results, make them totally custom and unique to your business and website. If your outreach pitch sounds generic or canned it’s going to immediately be identified as spam. Let the personality of your brand as well as yourself show — often times it’s the personal connection that opens the door to link opportunities.

Use these content outreach strategies to help you secure the solid links your site craves..


1. Identify the top content in your niche, re-write it and reach out to industry authorities as well as those that shared (or linked to) the original.

This is a very effective method many refer to as the “Skyscraper” strategy, which was made popular by Brian Dean of Backlinko. This is something that anyone can replicate for his or her niche and experience great results; that is, if you are willing to put in the work.

The concept is very simple, and it’s a three-part process:


  • Find a very popular piece of content in your niche that received a lot of links and social shares


  • Make a better version of it


  • Reach out to all relevant journalists and websites that showed interest in the original, making note that you created an improved and updated version


When done correctly, your link will sometimes replace the original, as the website wants to show the best and most up-to-date content to its readers — other times they will link to you in a new piece of content.

You have to be fully aware that this is strictly a numbers game and you need to have realistic expectations before you commit to this strategy. It takes a lot of time and effort, as you need to create a piece of content that blows people away. An acquisition rate of anything close to 10% is a home run in my eyes. That means you might reach out to 200 websites and if you are able to acquire 20 links from the effort, I would consider it a massive success.

Remember, this is all about quality, not quantity, and using this method allows you to go after those top tier links because your “bait” is a piece of content that is perceived to be better than anything else out there.

For the best results, use a tool like Buzzsumo and search keywords in your niche. This will help you locate content with the most social shares, which is a very good indication of its popularity. Then, locate a topic you feel confident you can make better.

While taking an 800-word article and creating a more in-depth 2,000-word version is great, you want to make a better effort for the best results. Consider taking popular blog posts and turning them into interactive infographics. These are great resources, as many websites will want to paste your share code on their site, which will link back to you.

The more over-the-top you go in terms of value and creativity, the better your response will be, and ultimately the more links you will acquire.



2. Link out to relevant content found on high authority websites and then notify them of the link.

I like to refer to this strategy as the “guilt-trip” method, where you essentially guilt the website into linking to a random blog post on your website. This is more of a “spray and pray” technique, as there is much less detailed strategy that comes into play.

First, you want to have a list of link acquisition targets. This is something you should constantly be adding to, and hopefully checking off successful wins.

Linking out to authority websites is something you should be doing anyway, as it’s a good SEO practice, so why not link out to websites that you would love a link from? If you only link internally it doesn’t help. You want to link out to relevant authority websites, because it helps to tell Google that your content is relevant to the sites you are linking to.

Make it a habit to link out to 2 or 3 of your authority link targets in each post and then shoot them a quick message to let them know. You don’t want the message to appear to be a pitch or be too spammy. Keep it simple:


“We loved one of your posts so linked to it in this article: [URL]. If there is anything on our blog that you would like to link to in the future feel free!”


It’s short and sweet and many people will appreciate the link so much that they will feel guilted into linking to one of your posts to reciprocate the favor.


3. Allow guest blogging on your website to those with huge audiences, reach, and the willingness to share their contributed content.

Everyone and their brother wants to secure guest blogging spots for the exposure and the link. If you have a website you most certainly get emails offering content, and if you are like me, you delete them all.

Why? Because they are spam and untargeted.

But, if you are open to allowing guest bloggers on your website, make the requirements very strict and leverage the audience of those you allow to post.

First, it’s important to understand that this will only work if your website has some authority and traffic. Most guest bloggers worth allowing are going to be looking for a minimum Domain Authority of 30. If you fall under that you really aren’t going to attract the talent levels that can provide value in return.

Most people looking for guest blogging opportunities will search in Google, so create a “Write for Us” page and make it clear that you only accept submissions from industry experts. Make prospective contributors share their social media handles with you and also look at their own blog.

If their website has strong authority and if they have a large audience, it can pay off to allow them to post. They are likely to reference their guest post on their own blog, resulting in an earned link for you, and if they share it to their large social following it can help attract traffic. It’s a win-win situation if you only allow the top 1% of guest bloggers in your niche.



4. Create a master niche-specific influencer email list with complete contact details and distribute your top-level content to every point of contact.

This is something that can benefit your business far beyond just link acquisitions, so it’s most definitely worth the effort to build a detailed influencer database relevant to your niche. This can include reporters, journalists, authority figures, micro-influencers, etc. — basically anyone with a strong following that comprises of those likely to be interested in your content.

A Google Doc or Excel document will do just fine, and it should include as much contact information as possible, including email address, all social media profiles, website, preferred contact method, as well as any notes related to previous communication.

Then, reach out to this list every time you publish a new piece of content that is worthy of sharing to this high-level list of industry influencers. You don’t want to annoy them and hit them up every time you publish something, as they will quickly block or delete your messages in the future.

But, if you publish a comprehensive case study or a high-quality infographic, then reach out and let them know where they can find it, as well as giving them permission to re-post and distribute it amongst their followers.

This is a great way to build a strong relationship and over time you will see your requests receive better responses. If you have mega-influencer contacts, you can also offer to create exclusive content for them, provided they link back. This is a great way to secure links on huge blogs you otherwise would never score links from.


5. Publish massive industry expert roundup posts.

This is an excellent little trick/method with a twist, something that can get you a dozen links month-after-month, and you can create a system to help you stay on top of it and repeat the strategy every 30-days.

The first thing you are going to want to do is register a free account on HARO (Help a Reporter Out) and then post a very specific query request. I’m going to use my own blog as an example here. If I was going to publish an expert roundup I would submit a HARO query similar to this:


“Looking for SEO professionals to give me your best tip for small businesses looking to be found in Google Maps with a limited budget. Only accepting responses from SEO agency owners. Please also include your company name and website so I can give your response credit in the form of a link to your website.”


This format accomplishes two things: It weeds out the nonsense replies, because if I didn’t make it clear that I was only accepting replies from SEO agency owners, I would get hundreds of replies from people seeking a link. It also lets them know they are going to get a link, which will result in a better response rate.

Go big. If you get 50 good replies, put them all in a roundup post. Once it is published, reach out to everyone that participated and thank them, and ask them to share the post on their social media and ask them if they would mind linking to the post in their own blog.

You will be surprised at how many will do it just because you asked and because their ego takes over – they’ve been featured in the post as an “expert” which they’ll be more than happy to boast about. Also, the way you frame the question ensures that any links you acquire this way are going to very niche-relevant.


6. Submit your content to blogging communities.

Anytime you can get your blog content to be seen by other bloggers it gives you the opportunity to earn links on relevant websites. There are several blogging communities that are still active these days, with three main options worth looking into:


  • BizSugar: Take two minutes to register an account here and then you can submit your blog articles to the community. There is no cost to participate, and it takes just a few seconds to share new content once you publish it, so in my eyes any exposure received from this is worth the effort.


  • Triberr: Register for a free account here and give this a try. It’s an easy way to get more social shares on your content and attract relevant readers, which both can lead to link earning opportunities. There are paid upgrades that give you a bit more leverage, which you can look into if you max out the benefits offered by the free plan.


  • Blog Engage: This is another blogging community you can join for free, and with more than 3,500 members, it presents the opportunity to get some of your content discovered and linked to, with very little effort.




If you take your blog seriously and want to attract more organic traffic, then you need to be constantly acquiring links. They are still the number one signal in Google’s algorithm, which is something that will not change in the immediate future, no matter what nonsense the latest and greatest SEO guru is spewing.

Links matter and you need to have multiple plans in place to constantly acquire new ones, from buying them to acquiring them naturally via outreach.

The six strategies I outlined above work, and work well, but you have to put in a solid effort. There is no magical software or automation that will eliminate the “work” from the equation. You are going to need to put in the time and effort and test different approaches to see what receives the best response in your particular niche.

If you do invest that time and energy, you will soon see it pay off in the form of niche-relevant links.

What is your favorite outreach method? What strategy has been yielding the best results for you? I would love to hear what is working for you, especially if you are using a method that wasn’t discussed above. Drop your thoughts and input in the comments below. Let’s kick off a little discussion about link acquisition strategies.

Tommy McDonald

Tommy is an SEO professional with years of experience running highly successful SEO companies, founded SerpLogic after noticing there was a major void when it came to options for SEO agencies needing a reliable and professional one-stop outsource solution.You can read all about me in the “About” page here on our blog!

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