Launching a Guestographic Link Building Campaign
The primary objective of this article is to establish a process to find guestographic (infographic guest posts) opportunities, and reach out to the respective site owners and/or editors.
The target is to be able to consistently build high-quality, not spammy, contextual backlinks to your site through the infographics you create.
This is important as Link building is an essential element of SEO. If you want to rank for competitive and queries, you will need to build links. Of course, building links through articles you publish on high-ranking websites is very useful - but adding the infographic link building tactic to your portfolio will increase the chances of getting more backlinks (and thus, more SEO “juice”).
Perform keyword research
Determine the topic / searcher intent that you want to build links around. Each of these link building campaigns will be limited to a single searcher intent. For example:
“Who creates emojis” and “unicode consortium” have a similar searcher intent.
“Who creates emojis” and “emoji chrome extension” have different searcher intents.
Create a list of all the keywords associated with the searcher intent you selected.
Find / create a share-worthy infographic
Creating infographics is usually more time-consuming than creating articles, but it can also reap more benefits (e.g. they are much more likely to be shared by other websites, especially if they look good and provide genuinely useful information).
To make sure your infographic is share-worthy, follow these tips:
Avoid branding your infographic - or at least keep it to a minimum. Most editors and site owners will say “no” to an infographic that’s filled with your logos, simply because it makes it very obvious that you’re trying to promote your business, rather than provide useful information.
Think of topics that are interesting to readers. Most of the times, a bland infographic about your own company is not really that interesting (or at least not to most people).
Use small paragraphs and bits of information. The longer your chunks of text are, the less likely it is that people will actually enjoy acquiring information through your infographic.
Make sure your text is easy to read and include graphics that are easy to understand and leave enough empty space between the different elements on an infographic. Basically, your entire design and content need to feel “light” and very well organized.
Try to create infographics on topics that are currently trending - they tend to have a higher acceptance rate among editors and site owners.
Find guest posting opportunities (prospecting)
Note: If you can afford it, we recommend that you hire a freelancer or virtual assistant to perform this step for you as it can be very time-consuming.
Open the Guestographic Link Building Campaign Control Sheet. .
Go to “File → Make a copy” and make a copy of the spreadsheet.
Update the name of the file by changing “[Searcher Intent]” with the searcher intent you selected for the campaign.
In the “Keywords” worksheet, add the list of keywords associated with your campaign to column A.
Copy the first keyword in your spreadsheet and paste it into the Google search field.
Visit the first 50 search results (pages 1 through 4 of Google’s search results) and use the following criteria to qualify an opportunity:
You haven’t included this root domain in your prospecting campaign yet.
The page does not belong to one of your competitors. Important: If you hired someone else to do prospecting for you, make sure to give them a comprehensive list of competitor’s websites.
The page is a blog post (and not a sales page for a product, a website’s homepage, a blog directory, a contact page, a social media post… you get the point.)
The content of the blog post is relevant to your query. For example, if my query is “who makes emojis” a blog post about “the coolest emoji t-shirts” would NOT be a relevant result.
The website has published at least one new blog post in the last 3 months.
Check that the site receives at least 5,000 visits per month. You can do that by using the Similar Web Chrome extension and checking the “Estimated Visits” metric.
Important: If the page does not meet ALL of these criteria, skip it and move on to the next result.
If the page meets all of the criteria above, look for the email of the site owner or editor (DON’T look for the contact information of the author of the post, because they will be guest authors.) Here are the 3 things you can do to find this information:
Look for a “Contact us”, “Contribute to our blog”, or similar link in the top navigation, sidebar, or footer of the site.
If you find the name of the website owner / editor, try looking for their Twitter profile and check if they have an email listed on their profile.
Use the Mail Hunter Chrome extension. If you are using the free version of Email Hunter, only use this as your last option since you get only 150 requests per month.
Important: Don’t spend more that 3-4 minutes attempting to find the email address of the site owner / editor. If you can’t find it quickly using the three methods above, skip the site and move on to the next one.
If a page meets the selection criteria (prospecting step #8) and you’re able to find contact information for the site (previous step), then record the data for the page in the “Prospecting / Outreach” worksheet. You will need to input the following information in that sheet:
Page URL: self explanatory.
Blog post title: be sure to write this down using title capitalization (i.e. capitalize words with five or more letters), you can use this simple online tool to easily obtain the proper capitalization.
Blog post author: full name of the person who wrote the blog post, with proper capitalization.
Website name: the name of the site where the blog post was published. Use proper capitalization as well.
Editor / owner first name: this is an optional field, if the name is not available, then leave the field empty. Use proper capitalization as well.
Editor / owner email: the email address of the contact you found in the previous step.
You don’t need to fill out the “Status”, “Notes”, or “Guest post URL” columns yet.
After you’re done with a query, move on to the next one on the same row. After you’re done with all the queries in a row, mark the keyword as used in column F, and move on to the next row.
Launch your outreach campaign
Open Buzzstream and create a new project
Set up your project:
Name of your project: Use the following nomenclature “Guestographic Link Building Campaign - [Searcher Intent]”
Select the team members for the project:
If someone else will be helping you perform outreach, you can choose to share the project with them (you can also add them later.)
If you are performing outreach yourself, you can just leave the default option selected.
Add the URL you are building links to.
Choose to track links only to the specified URL. Note: This is the preferred option for this type of campaign (guestographic) because you will be the one placing the links in the post.
Make sure that the option to receive a backlink report is selected.
Click on “Create Project”
Go back to the campaign control sheet, navigate to the “Prospecting/Outreach” sheet, and click on “File → Download as → Comma-separated values (.csv, current sheet)” to download a .csv file.
Go back to Buzzstream and click on “Add Websites.”
Choose to upload a CSV and select the “Match My CSV” option.
Once you have uploaded the .csv file, you will have to match your columns with the content in each of them. This allows BuzzStream to pick up the information and use it to customize your emails, according to your instructions (as you will later on see).
Except for the columns that are already matched 100%, you will most likely have to choose “-New Field-” for each of the other columns.
Furthermore, you will most probably not need the last three columns, so you can just ignore them.
To import your data into BuzzStream, click the “Import” button in the bottom right side of the screen.
When your data is imported, you can move on to creating a sequence of emails that will be sent according to the aforementioned data and your specific instructions.
Go to Outreach -> Manage Outreach -> Create New Sequence (if you don’t have one which is already created and you want to use).
Name your sequence. Our suggestion is that you name it: “Guestographic Link Building Campaign” + the search intent you want to work on (e.g., in our example, this became “Guestographic Link Building Campaign - Who creates emojis”).
On the right side of the screen, you will see the dynamic fields BuzzStream provides. You can use these fields in your email templates to automatically add data you imported with your .csv file (e.g. the names of the editors).
In the example above, you can see how we added the the “[Editor/ owner first name” dynamic field into the email template.
Pay attention: the template we used is a general example. Our advice is for you to create a template of your own with each email outreach campaign. Doing this will add a unique voice to your emails, making them more personal (and thus, more likely to receive a reply). However, if you need inspiration, here’s the template we created for our example:
“Hey [Editor / owner first name],
I was researching content about <<SEARCHER INTENT>> and I stumbled upon this post by [Blog post author] on your site: [Page URL]
Soooo helpful! I really enjoyed it.
Upon looking a lot into this and I recently found that <<SOMETHING SURPRISING OR INTERESTING ABOUT THE TOPIC>>. I'm just finishing an infographic that includes all of this information.
Let me know if you want to check it out—happy to share it with you.
[User First Name]”
Furthermore, in the given example, you will see text marked with “<< >>”. That is where you should enter the necessary details, according to your particular data (e.g. in our example, the “<< SEARCH INTENT >>” was replaced with “emoji marketing”.
Also, you should keep in mind to use the [User First Name] dynamic field as a signature, especially if there are multiple people using the same BuzzStream account. Doing this will allow everyone on your team to use the same template and still have them customized with their name when they have to run an outreach campaign.
Once done with the first email, you should add two follow-up emails as well. BuzzStream allows you to do this easily and even set up very precise parameters (e.g. sending the first follow-up email if the recipient doesn’t reply in 3 days).
The process stays the same as with the first outreach email, but the text should change, so that it’s adapted to the situation. Following, you will see the texts we used for the first, respectively for the second follow-up. Again, same as with the original email, our suggestion is that you use texts created by yourself, as this will make the entire campaign more credible.
“Hey [Editor / owner first name],
Just following up on my last email. Would love to know what you think of the info I found.
[User First Name]”
“Hey [Editor / owner first name],
I thought I’d reach out one last time and share my infographic about <<TOPIC OF THE INFOGRAPHIC>>. Would love to get your thoughts on it!
[User First Name]”
Make sure the “Send follow-ups as replies” box is ticked because this will make your emails look more natural (and thus, it will make editors and site owners trust you more).
When your email templates are all set up, it is time for you to begin the actual outreach. You can do this two ways:
Send Individually. This is the recommended option if you are using this outreach campaign for the first time (or if you are using BuzzStream for the first time, for that matter). To do it, follow these steps:
I. Select the sites you want to outreach to.
II. Click on Outreach -> Send Individually
III. Click on Start Outreach.
IV. Check to see if all the details and the text are correct.
V. Click on Start sequence now.
VI. Repeat the same process with all the websites on your list.
Bulk Send. This is an easier, less time-consuming method, but it is generally recommended if you are already familiar with your campaign and/or BuzzStream. To go on this path, follow these steps:
i. Click on Outreach -> Bulk Send.
ii. Choose a sequence or template.
iii. Check to see if everything is correct.
iv. Click on Next: Review.
v. Check again to see if everything is correct.
vi. Click on Next: Confirm.
vii. Check to see if the settings are correct (in case you modified anything in the previous steps). And yes, this is the last check - we can see the eye rolls from here! :)
viii. Click Send Now.
Replying to emails
Simply launching an outreach campaign will not do anything for your website’s SEO - not if you don’t make sure to actually get your links on other, high-ranking websites.
So, once your outreach emails are sent, you should be ready to reply to whatever replies you get. Here are the steps to follow if you want to make the most out of this stage of the link-building stage:
Reply to emails as soon as you receive them. You want to show editors and site owners you are genuinely interested in working with them. Plus, leaving these emails “for later” can be quite risky—chances are they’ll soon get lost in a sea of random newsletters and chain emails. :)
Most of the times, the replies you receive will fall into one of the following categories:
Positive reply. If one of your outreach email recipients replies saying they would like to host your infographics, they will most likely provide a process of their own you’ll need to follow to submit it. Our suggestion is this: when you reply to a positive email, attach your infographic and add this (or something along the same lines) to your email as well:
“If you want to add this infographic to your site, feel free to do so! I can write a custom intro for you—just let me know.”
If they want a custom intro, make sure you send them one that includes a link back to your site (e.g. “This infographic was created by A Site about Emojis, a unique place on the Internet focusing exclusively on emojis - and everything they mean”)
If they don’t want a custom intro, ask them to please mention your website as a source for the infographic they are sharing.
Negative reply. If one of your targeted site editors or site owners reply with a negative answer, mark them as rejected in the spreadsheet.
Charging you. If your recipients want to charge you for publishing the guest post, politely turn down their offer.
No reply. If your outreach email recipients don’t reply, they will receive a follow-up email via BuzzStream, according to the sequence you created and the settings you chose for your campaign.
Update the tracking sheet based on their replies (the “Status” and “Notes” columns in your tracking spreadsheet).
Using this technique, you will be able to consistently attract backlinks to your website. Yes, creating infographics can get quite time-consuming, but the results will definitely pay off!