7 Ways to Gain Backlinks Through Outreach


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“Master of information, master of situation”

I believe everyone will agree with this statement. Any kind of information you possess makes you one step ahead of other people. I don’t want to convince you that it doesn’t matter what exactly information you have; the real matter is that you can share this information with the world.

As far as you and other millions of people are an integral part of this tremendously huge world of web, it becomes extremely important for all of us to be in the picture (if you want to be on a roll).

This very information is your secret weapon that will help you earn money and gain your popularity.

However, even if you have some rich information it doesn’t mean you’ll get your popularity and money in a few days or months. No! This very info is just a pabulum for reflection; if you don’t know how to reach right people out and offer this information, you won’t get what you need.

Talking about spreading the information on the web, I must underline one important nuance of why internet marketers do so. And this nuance is as simple as hell – backlinks.

Yes, the major part of “internet warriors” takes part in one huge battle where backlinks are the only reason why this web war exists.

Nobody gives you a backlink for free; no one will share your content or service throughout via social media. No and no!

However, don’t be confused by my forceful statement! I just want you to understand one simple truth – without a long-term quality strategy, your online business won’t be successful.

Thus, in this guide, I want to share with you a step-by-step process of how to earn backlinks using ordinary but yet powerful outreach.

Let’s start.

1. Make Sure You Know Your Niche Very Well

It seems those old conservatives tend to focus their business on developing it on the web. And it is not surprising because due to a modern-day progress we can’t imagine our life without the internet.

If “old-school” marketers know how to promote their services using various strategies that work outside the internet, it doesn’t mean they will be able to succeed online. No, I don’t want to hurt marketers who prefer doing their job without using the internet but I want to emphasize that the world of the web requires specific marketing skills.

Before you start any kind of interconnection with your potential clients, you must examine the niche you are working in.

Agree that the internet represents all existing niches of business but the main cornerstone a newbie marketer may face is the concrete subdivision of a specific niche.

You might think ”what the hell he is talking about?” but let me explain using one simple example.

If you ask Google to provide you with the information on “online marketing”, it will reveal you 14 types of it:

Types of marketing online


Thus, it means that you will have to clarify for yourself what type of online marketing you represent. Yes, it goes without saying – you can embrace all subdivisions of online marketing (and practice them) but it would be far better if you could pay special attention to a specific one.

In other words, if you offer a technical SEO tool, thus it will be inappropriate to focus yourself on adding a kind of Content Marketing service protected or sponsored by your brand. It is better to be a leader in some particular direction of business instead of squandering your talents on trifles.

Due to the fact you will have to operate a blog on your website, it is strictly important not to mess it up with irrelevant content according to your niche. So, adhere to the track you chose!

Once you discovered the niche you want to represent, it is time to think about major priorities.

2. Start with the Background

You might wonder what background am I going to talk about if everything any internet marketer needs is earning backlinks?!

You are right but this very rule works only for stubborn businessmen who are possessed with spreading their services making money on it. Unfortunately, those marketers and businessmen who never solve problems creativity are doomed to a temporary success while those who use an imagination and creativity are always in-demand and on top.

Don’t forget about building business relationships with other marketers and use these connections for your own benefit. Here is good recipe: reach out to dozens of marketers asking their expert commentary; they will likely reply you because they know you will link to them in your case study.

This technique works great due to a few reasons: you get familiar with some cool marketers and you create your own database of contacts (even if you had to get in touch with your competitors).

Perhaps, you might think: “What’s special in all these manipulations?”

Fair question! And here is what I will reply you: “Doing so you gain a worthwhile goal – you know who your main competitors are; thus, you have a key to enter the door where you will stumble upon your target audience; it is a chance for you to turn them into your customers”.

I hope you realize the real importance of working on your background!

Measure once, cut twice:)

3. Competitors – Your Source of Future Customers

It is a well-known fact that competition is a natural process in our daily life. Especially, those people who try to run a business, they face competition all the time. The online world is not an exception as well. Moreover, here the competition has a clearer outline.

You might think why you are supposed to use your competitors for your own sake if your main aim is to be ahead of them.

Yes, your primal goal is to crash your competitors but don’t rush! Take advantage of the connections your competitors have. I mean you should gain the customers offering them your own service. Thus, you will have a chance to turn these customers into your own ones.

However, do you, actually, know dominant names in your niche?

If you don’t know, you can easily find them out. Google is your first helper. Let’s see an example of the most famous internet marketers:


As you can see, these names could help you grow your customer base. The next way of how you can find influencers in the marketing is via reading articles.

 I agree with you that it is inconvenient to use Google all the time trying to find something fresh and unique. That’s why I recommend you use marketing Chrome extensions. The main reason why it worth trying because it is really convenient. I don’t want to list various extensions I just suggest you using the one I prefer. It is called Zest.is.

When you are done with finding competitors it is time to start a pre-outreach phase.


4. Pre-outreach Phase

Perhaps, this step is the hardest one in the entire outreach process (and the most time-consuming). Just imagine – you will have to discover all backlinks to a particular content some of the marketing influencers has posted; afterward, you must collect contact information for every potential customer you have found.

Let’s consider these two steps one by one.

  • Gain backlinks.
  • You could buy linkbacks from a quality linkback service that will place the most relevant and safe backlinks.
  • You can also make a request in Google using a keyword you are interested in and see the results Google suggests:


You can see I made a request “negative SEO” and Google revealed me a few Top-rated articles on this topic. The next step you will have to do is to work with Ahrefs Site Explorer:



Well, these 1.77K backlinks are not an option for you because the major part of them is outdated and messy content you won’t need. I recommend you to narrow your results down to the ones that are relatively new. You can choose the language you need and link type that makes the results more exact:


And now you will have to work with 154 backlinks and it makes real sense. When you are done with finding backlinks, it is time to collect contact information.

2. Collecting contact information. Here you should be interested only in personal email addresses those recipients you are willing to offer your service. Yeah, sometimes these users make their personal data available throughout social media channels (LinkedIn, Twitter, Facebook, Google+):

LinkedIn (as an example)


If it is still impossible to get personal email addresses of your target audience, you should use additional tools, such as Findthat.email and Voilanorbert. These apps will help you find the proper email addresses as fast as hell.

Once your pre-outreach phase is done – get down to outreach.

SIDENOTE: if you want to know a few more of cool tricks on outreach, I suggest you read this blogger outreach guide.

5. No Wrong Templates Must Be Used

The questions over to you: “What kind of messages do you prefer to read?

I believe you will reply me something like that: “Those messages that are personal ones

I will associate myself with this statement because I, personally, hate reading messages that have a completely automatic template. The same happens with the recipients you want to reach out. That’s why it is strictly important to create personal email templates.

Let me give you a few examples of messages and you will see which one is more pleasant to read:


Or this one:


The first example illustrates you the most straightforward approach that I’ve used in this very template. Yes, this template performs horribly due to the fact it is too non-unique and impersonal. When I used this template I was convinced that it looks great (yeah, it was long ago when I just started working as a marketer) and I believed I would get replies. Well, I was mistaken – the messages I sent using this template were not read and replied at all.

The second template is a whole new ball game. Starting with the subject, introduction and ending with a low-key request for linking to your piece of content.This email template rocks!

I could provide you with a few more examples of how personalized email templates should look like but there is no need in that. The only thing I want to recommend you – be persistent in searching some additional facts about the recipients you want to reach out to. Check out what hobbies they have, what previous publications they have published before. This information will help you create more or less personalized email template.

6. Tracking Your Progress

It is so tedious and time-consuming to write and send all emails manually. Thus, if you want to speed your outreach up, you should use specialized tools that will help you automate your outreach and track the progress.

I had worked with a few various tools but my choice is Buzzstream in terms of automatization email outreach.

The process of using Buzzstream is a simple one. There is no need in writing every new email template each time you want to use it. Create it once and, afterward, use as many times as you need. The good feature Buzzstream offers you is “dynamic fields” that help you customize your email template’s body easier:


Another awesome feature I like is Buzzstream Buzzmarker – it is a Chrome extension that will help you make your outreach faster:


And the last but not least lovely feature of Buzzstream – tracking email templates’ progress. It shows you the percentage of opens, clicks and replies the particular template has:


Taking into consideration performance of each template you use, you might exclude those templates that give you a zero result. Believe or not but using Buzzstream makes your outreach better in terms of success you gain.

7. Reap the Benefit of Your Work

I don’t like bomfoggery at all! I am used to backing up with facts. Thus, here are a few examples of my previous outreach campaigns and the results I gained. Here I want to introduce you a few screenshots of the results:

“Counterintuitive SEO truth” outreach


This one outreach was pretty resultative – 702 messages have been sent and 41.9% of replies. However, not every outreach has been so resultative. Let’s see a bad example:


I believe you see the results for yourself, so no need to explain…

Anyway, if you follow all the steps right, you will definitely succeed.


Every marketer does outreach and every marketer has made mistakes in outreach. Despite the fact, you must adjust to this strategy because the outreach is not just spreading a word about yourself and earning backlinks but creating a huge database of contacts that might play a crucial role in your business developing.

I am sure by following this guide you will improve yourself as a marketer by times!

Don’t forget to leave comments and share this useful material:)

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Sergey Aliokhin

Sergey Aliokhin is an Outreach manager at Ahrefs. He spends most of the time discovering and learning SEO and Internet Marketing tendencies. His primary goal is to study and practice new aspects of an outreach strategy. In his spare time, he likes to spend his time with family, visit specialized sports club, study martial arts. If he has nothing to do at all, he prefers reading books on science-fiction and playing the bass guitar.

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