Link Building Campaign Fast

Do you understand the fundamentals of link building but find it difficult to launch a campaign? This in-depth manual will quickly demonstrate how to do it.

Link building outreach can be broken down into three tasks:

Finding prospects

Finding contact information

Sending emails

Sending emails is the main emphasis of the majority of the web articles you read. However, if you have ever conducted blogger outreach, you are aware that the actual obstacles are in locating prospects and contact details.

If you get those right, sending emails will be simple.

We’ll concentrate on improving the effectiveness of the first two steps of the process in this practical tutorial. We’ll also cover systematizing, automating, and scaling your outreach.

Let’s begin right away.

The process

Prior to taking any action, we must decide on the kind of campaign to undertake.

So let’s go with a guest posting campaign to keep things straightforward.

Let me just mention that I understand guest writing is not at all fascinating before I lose your attention. It’s tedious and outdated. It’s a simple example, which is why I’m using it to show how this procedure works. Later on, I’ll go into detail about how you may use it with other link-building techniques.

Ready? Let’s leave.

Step 1. Finding prospects

Giving up the customary method of finding prospects by using Google is the first component of the jigsaw.

Don’t get me wrong, Google is great for identifying prospects for various kinds of campaigns, but when speed is the goal, it becomes a huge bottleneck. It takes too long to extract results and use a third-party application to bulk-check SEO indicators.

We will therefore substitute Ahrefs’ Content Explorer.

A searchable, filterable database of roughly one billion online pages is called Content Explorer.

Even though it’s possible with Content Explorer, we’re not going to use search operators to locate “write for us pages” in this instance.

Instead, we’ll employ it to locate websites that publish content on pertinent subjects.

There are three reasons for this:

Most people are open to guest posts—even if they don’t have a “write for us” page.

If websites have already published content about relevant topics, then we know they’re suitable prospects.

It gives us two key pieces of data (post URL and author) to make finding contact information easier.

To begin, we’ll head over to Content Explorer and conduct a “In title” search to identify blog posts about pertinent subjects:

For instance, if we have a website that offers nutritional supplements, we may conduct a search using the following terms:

Just to explain how this search works:

The brackets group words together.

The OR operator says to return results containing either of the words in the brackets (e.g., how or why).

The AND operator says to return results with at least one of the words from the first group (how or why) and from the second group (muscle or gym).

When all of this is combined, what we are actually looking for are web pages that have the words “how” or “why” as well as “muscle” or “gym” in their title tags.

The majority of these will be blogs about working out or bulking up.

Here are just a few examples of the outcomes from our search:

From here, we need to filter the results for only pages that are:

English. Content Explorer stores pages in many languages, but we only want English pages because we’re doing outreach in English. People who’ve written content in another language might not be able to read our outreach email.

Live. Content Explorer stores live and dead pages. It doesn’t make sense for us to reach out to the authors of dead pages because they’ll question how we found that page, and why they’re receiving an email from us.

On DR 20-95 websites. Domain Rating (DR) is an Ahrefs SEO metric that measures a site’s “link authority.” It probably isn’t worth spending a lot of time and effort writing guest posts for most low DR websites. And domains with super high DR scores are almost always websites like Facebook, Google, etc. We want to filter both of these out to avoid wasting time.

How to use these filters in Content Explorer is as follows:

Because we only want to contact each website once, we also need to filter out numerous pages from the same domain.

We can use the “one page per domain” checkbox to do that.

2,685 potential customers. For two minutes of work, it wasn’t awful.

The last step is to upload everything into a Google Sheet after exporting the data to CSV. Use Excel not for this. In the subsequent phase, the rationale will be made obvious.

SIDENOTE.

When using the “One page per domain” setting, Content Explorer allows you to export up to 2,000 results. Adjust the DR filter and export the results in batches if your search returns more than 2,000 results. For instance, if you filter for pages on DR 20–95 sites and get 3,500 results, you may filter for pages on DR 20–50 sites instead, export the results, and then repeat the process for pages on DR 51–95 sites. The final step is just to integrate them in Google Sheets.

Step 2. Finding contact information

We need to locate some contact information, specifically the first name, last name, and email address of a suitable person, before we may contact any of these websites.

This is usually a huge bottleneck for two reasons:

It’s a manual process. You have to visit the sites, find the name of the person to contact, and hunt down their email address.

It’s easier to find some sites’ contact information than others. Sometimes you can easily spend 15+ minutes looking for just one email address.

So here’s the solution:

We’re going to use an email lookup program called Hunter to find emails for us rather than doing it manually. Just a first name, last name, and domain name are required to be inputted.

For instance, Hunter will locate my email address if we type in my entire name and “ahrefs.com”:

However, how can we obtain the names and domains of our prospects?

We can see that certain prospects already have author names if we look at the export from Content Explorer.

SIDENOTE.

For concerns of privacy, I changed every name in the export with a fictitious name.

These will be fed to Hunter along with the “Content URL,” and it will get the domain and attempt to locate the email address of that person. If it does, we know that they are connected to the site in some way. In the event that it doesn’t, we may just presume that they are a guest blogger and disregard them for the time being.

So here is how it works:

We’ll start by eliminating the pages without author names.

Second, all columns other than Content Title, Content URL, and Author will be removed.

Thirdly, we’ll include two additional columns (D and E):

We will type the following formula in cell D1:

We will type the following formula in cell E1:

First and last names are divided in this way.

This is crucial because instead of finding email addresses using Hunter’s web tool, we’ll utilize their Google Sheets add-on to check them in mass.

If you’re keeping up, you’ll need to register and obtain an API key for this, which entitles you to 50 cost-free searches each month. When you are prepared, open it in Sheets and select the email finder option.

Tell it where to look for the URL, first and last names. Don’t fill in the company name.

Once you click “discover email addresses,” it will begin to perform its magic.

Keep in mind that not everyone’s email address will be found. The name must already be in Hunter’s database and come from a person connected to the website (i.e., they have a personal @domain email).

The last step is to use a program like Neverbounce to confirm the emails Hunter discovers.

We’ll go to Neverbounces’ bulk tool, upload the list, and then clean the list to accomplish this.

SIDENOTE.

When you sign up for Neverbounce, you will receive 1,000 free credits. After that, it’s relatively affordable—between $3 and $8 per 1,000 emails—should you require more.

Finally, we’ll export the valid emails and import them into our sheet using a VLOOKUP formula.

We now have a number of prospects who are essentially prepared to throw.

We can go on to the next step of the procedure after exporting these to CSV.

Step 3. Sending emails

The majority of the difficult work has been completed, which is good news. Uploading the prospects to a tool for outreach like Mailshake, Buzzstream, or Pitchbox is the last step.

The only thing left to do is to create an outreach template using merge fields.

SIDENOTE.

Write a more effective outreach email than the one shown above. For demonstration purposes, I made it deliberately simple. It’s a poor sales presentation.

You could start sending out emails randomly at this point without any personalisation, but we really don’t advise it. Personalizing your emails is about the only thing that separates a spammy strategy from a non-spammy one in this situation. The principles of effective outreach continue to hold true just because we are automating some processes.

The way I view it, we’re automating the tedious tasks so we can focus more time on the important ones, like tailoring emails and making sure our leads are solid.

Does this cause a delay? Of agree, but even if personalizing each email takes five minutes, that still amounts to 12 emails each hour.

Even with a low conversion rate of 8%, an hour’s worth of work still results in one link.

However, if you still think that’s a lot of work for just one link, you might find the next section interesting.

How to systematize, automate, and scale this process

Simply submit a job offering on a freelancing platform like Upwork to find someone to send outreach emails for you.

But why stop there? It’s entirely possible to:

Systematize and delegate almost every part of the process.

Automate things to reduce moving parts.

Scale and reach out to more prospects.

Here’s how to do each of these things:

Systematizing

The link-building process we’ve just discussed is not the same as a system, though. A system connects those phases, whereas a process consists of actions taken to reach a certain objective.

In general, once a system is in motion, everything basically takes care of itself.

Here is a quick method for making the aforementioned procedure into a system:

Create a Trello board first, including lists for every step of the process.

Create documentation for each step after that.

Because it’s so simple to share them with other team members, I believe Google Docs to be the ideal option for this. As a result, for the process described above, you would produce three documents: one for prospecting, one for locating contacts, and one for emailing.

Now, all you have to do to begin a campaign is create a new card, tag the person in charge of completing the first task, and direct them to the documentation.

But what happens when the person completes this assignment, you might be wondering? Don’t you need to monitor the situation and keep delegating tasks to the next person?

Nope. Simply include assigning the subsequent step in your documentation.

Automating

It’s great to have a system where all the cogs keep rotating, but wouldn’t it be even better to have fewer cogs that need to turn?

Automation becomes important in this situation.

To understand how to use Zapier to automate most of the aforementioned procedure, watch the video below:

Scaling

You may have noted while reading this tutorial that while this procedure is quick, systematized, and can even be partially automated, it leaves a lot of opportunities on the table.

After all, only some pages have names found by Content Explorer, some prospects have email addresses found by Hunter, and some emails are verified by Neverbounce.

At the end of this process, you could only have 100 prospects who are ready to move if you started with 1,000.

It doesn’t make sense to leave 90% of the chances on the table because there are only a finite amount of prospects for any campaign.

The fact is, though, that I’m not directing you to.

The goal of this approach is to launch a link building campaign as soon as feasible, not to carry it out flawlessly.

By proceeding in this manner, you may rapidly determine whether a campaign is viable.

Knock it on the head if it has no legs.

It’s time to scale if it does indeed have legs.

Scaling things is as simple as adding another piece of documentation for manually looking up names and email addresses now that you have a system in place.

However, this isn’t the only way to scale. You can also:

Run more campaigns.

Apply these principles to more link building tactics.

Let’s talk more about option B.

Using this process for other link building tactics

As long as your prospecting process provides you with first and last names, everything we’ve discussed above may be used to pretty much any link-building strategy.

The majority of prospecting techniques, however, don’t provide you with this.

Let’s imagine, for illustration purposes, that you discover a broken link building opportunity in Site Explorer.

Author names won’t appear if you export the backlinks report for this chance.

This is not a major problem. You only need to add one more step to the procedure, and that is to utilize URL Profiler to extract names, as long as your list of prospects is a list of web pages (not websites).

How? Simply paste the prospects into URL Profiler and select “Readability” from the drop-down menu.

SIDENOTE.

Although URL Profiler is not free, a 14-day trial is available.

How many does it find compared to Content Explorer? Not quite—but it’s not a million miles off—in my experience.

Utilizing Google Sheets’ VLOOKUPS, combine this with your current data.

USING GOOGLE TO FIND PROSPECTS?

With URL Profiler, you can also extract Ahrefs’ SEO metrics, including DR, UR, and organic traffic.

Simply check the relevant boxes next to the data points you want to extract.

The next step is to basically repeat the previous steps: identify emails, validate them, and conduct outreach. The key aspects of link-building are the link-building tools. Here are The Only 8 Link-Building Tools You Need (Free & Paid) you must know.

Final thoughts

A link building campaign can be launched in a matter of hours rather than days.

Even if you don’t have much link building experience, you should be able to pitch a few guest posts in about 30 minutes using the method described in this guide.

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By MuhammadJunaid

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