This video is the first in a series between myself, Ken McGaffin, and Megan Hannay on finding outreach opportunities with the Citation Labs Link Prospector.

Megan: We’re just going to go through quickly, in a few minutes, if you’re looking for guest posting opportunities in your niche, how to use the Link Prospector to find exactly what you’re looking for.

So, you’ll begin on your campaign screen. You’ll want to create a new campaign. This one I’ve called “Cosmetics.” So, we’re pretending that we’re working for a company in the cosmetics industry that wants to do some guest posts around different cosmetics, makeup styles etc., and to get the word out about their line of cosmetics.

Once you’ve created the campaign, the next thing you want to do is navigate over to “Exclusions.” As soon as you create a campaign there will be a new line in your exclusions folder, so you’ll be able to put in exclusions for your specific campaign. You’ll see first we have global exclusions, and those are exclusions for every single campaign. Exclusions are just domains that you do not want to appear in your results. It’s a great way to eliminate those results that appear all the time. So like, Amazon, Facebook, you’re pretty much never going to reach out to Facebook and ask them for a guest post opportunity, so this prevents you from wasting time later.

Ken: And that’s great, Megan, because it then means the quality of results you get are then so much better. So I think that’s a great point, very worthwhile doing.

Megan: Yes. Exactly. And then for your individual campaign, because you might have all sorts of campaigns running for different clients, or different opportunities, or different marketing campaigns, that for each individual Link Prospector campaign, you can add exclusions, websites that you don’t want to see in the results of that particular campaign. So, because we are doing cosmetics, we’re going to put in some of our competitors. Maybe MAC, maybe Sephora, maybe Ulta, because even though they might be blogging about cosmetics, if they’re a competitor of our imaginary cosmetics company, then we just don’t want to waste our time seeing them in the results. Make sure to save it and then you’ll have your list of exclusions all ready.

Then you’ll navigate back over to “Campaigns” and you’ll create a report type. You’ll want to click on “Guest Posting,” since you’re guest posting, and name the report type for what you are going to do. With guest posting, you don’t really have to mess around too much with the advanced options, especially if you’re in the United States prospecting in English. We may do some other videos about if you’re outside of the U.S. or prospecting in languages other than English, but for this we’re just going to keep it simple. The only big change I would make is to change the date range to “The Past Year” as opposed to “Any Time” because with blogs there’s definitely a freshness that you want to keep with your opportunities. Having, finding a blog from 2011 or 2012, that’s the last time they updated, they’re probably, they might not be around anymore and they’re probably not worth your time, because…

Ken: I think that’s another great point, Megan. And what you’re doing is you’re saving people time and, and you’re allowing the tool to bring them back the best results possible. So that’s a great tip.

Megan: Yeah, exactly and that’s what the tool is really designed for. It’s to narrow down the results into what you’re looking for. So when you’re creating your research phrases, a lot of times novice, or first-time, beginner users will use their SEO keywords, research phrases such as “cosmetics,” “makeup,” “makeup tutorial.” These are just exactly what you’d think of if you were thinking of searching for blogs around cosmetics.

However, I want to suggest another way of searching for guest post bloggers, which is getting a lot more specific into the audience that you’re actually looking for and trying to think about these people, these men and women who are talking about makeup. What are the kinds of posts they’ve already written? Because this is how you’re going to find the people who are actually passionate and not just trying to rank for certain keywords. So “eyeliner tutorial,” we’re using advanced operators “intitle:eyeliner,” “intitle:how-to,” which you can use any advanced operator that’s available on a search engine within the Link Prospector. We’re doing “intitle:eyeliner tutorial,” we’re then just doing some phrases in quotes that we think bloggers who may be interested in talking about makeup have probably used, such as, “how to chose eyeliner,” or “how to apply eyeliner.”

Ken: Yeah, I think that’s another really good point that you’re making, that rather than the generic terms that we saw there like “cosmetic,” the getting into something as specific as “intitle:eyeliner tutorial,” that’s great Megan, because I think, I think you’ll see some great results with that.

Megan: Yeah, exactly. And I’m not saying that, not to try the broader terms, especially in some industries. Cosmetics is a huge industry, so you might need to get more specific but with smaller industries you might need to go more broad. So it really is about some trial and error. But I do see a lot of users who aren’t getting specific enough and I think they’re missing out on some passionate people that they could be partnering with. So, really…

Ken: We definitely don’t want to miss out on passionate people, because those are the ones that are most likely to give us…

Megan: Those are the people we want.

Ken: Yeah. Great.

Megan: I’d also recommend trying a couple of searches for just blogs. So if you’re doing a search for blogs, it’s not guaranteed that they’re all looking for guest posters. But I think a lot of times even people who don’t have pages dedicated to guest posting, or who don’t advertise that they’re available for guest posting might, if you approach them correctly with the right topic, with the right opportunity, with the right relationship, be open to a guest post. And that will open up your search even more.

Ken: I think that’s another great point Megan, that you’re making, to try different types of prospects. And you know there’s no one way of doing this right. In fact, and I know one of the things you do, you take time. You go through results and try things and see what works. And it takes a little bit of time to get it to, “Ah, what? Right. Yeah I’ve got a rich vein of prospects here.”

Megan: Exactly, and so that’s what we’re coming to right now, is the results that we got when we did the eyeliner tutorial search. As you can see, we still are getting some, we got YouTube in there, even though we don’t really want YouTube. So we still get a little bit of things that we definitely don’t want. But as you can also see, we’ve got quite a few clearly related to makeup and beauty and fashion blogs and online magazines that we can potentially reach out to.

This particular one that we selected called “Oddly Lovely,” the way that you can select within the Link Prospector, next to each line item, next to each domain you’ll see a plus sign with a number. That means how many opportunities on that domain we found that can possibly match. So you just click that and then you’ll be able to click on the unique opportunities on that blog or on that domain that we think apply to your search. So with this young woman, “Oddly Lovely,” she’s a great example of exactly what someone doing what we were doing with the cosmetics guest posting search may be looking for.

Ken: Because if you just look at the comments it’s got…

Megan: Yeah.

Ken: Gosh. You know…

Megan: Twenty-five comments.

Ken: Twenty-five comments and you can see they’re not machine comments. They’re real comments. So this woman loves a conversation.

Megan: I love that she talks about so many different things. So many people could find something to connect with about her because she really does blog about a lot. But that leaves her open to, you know, different integrations with a lot of different brands, I bet. So she’s actually, from a bloggers perspective, she’s done a great job there as well.

But you know, with the Link Prospector you’re going to find bloggers like this, who are more general, and you’re going to find bloggers who are very specific, who talk only about makeup or maybe only about lipstick, and that’s great, too. So it’s really, your search terms, your research phrases define how broad, or how narrow, you get and they help you find an incredible number of blogs that you may never have discovered. And, like I said, that’s something that maybe you wouldn’t have found if you were searching for the more generic SEO keywords. Because she’s not trying, she might not mention “cosmetics”. She might not be trying to rank for “cosmetics” or “makeup,” but because she’s mentioned literally “how to choose eyeliner,” or “how to choose lipstick,” that’s how we found this great opportunity.

When you’re reaching out to her, if I were reaching out to her, I would try to look beyond just, “Oh, I see that you’ve done a post on lipstick and that you take guest posts, so I was wondering if I could write for you?” I would really want to get more personal with her. So I can see that she has a blog post about introverts and, you know, I’m an introvert. I love talking about introversion, so I might mention that or I might mention some of the recipes she created. She seems like an interesting enough blogger that I’d want to take out 10 to 15 minutes to build an pitch, you know, or an email that introduces myself and explains why I think we should work together. And I think, going back to the beginning of this video, that’s what differentiates the kind of guest blogging Google doesn’t like from the kind of guest blogging that can actually be a really good benefit for your brand.

Ken: Well, I think that’s a great point to finish on.

Megan: So, yeah, thank you, and if people have any questions feel free to email me, or and we’d be happy to point you in the right direction.

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