Some websites achieve massive financial success, and some websites you only hear about once. And then there are websites that somehow skyrocket themselves to online superstardom. You’ve never heard of these websites before, so how did they achieve viral status so quickly? How are they rubbing shoulders with those on top of their niche so comfortably?
You could have sworn that this certain website started only yesterday. Their social media accounts have the freshest content. Somehow that seems believable. On all fronts. But that’s not why you’re here. You’re here because you know better. You know that this online superstardom is achieved through something else.
Is it some new blogging technique you haven’t heard about? What formula or secret could this blog have done to rise to the very top? Or is it some new call to action formula that hacks into people’s psychology?
We’re here to tell you it’s none of those. There is a technique, however, it’s not new at all. It’s an old internet method that’s been used since the web 1.0 days! And it works.
It’s an old method for sure, but it’s still a method that many websites use to boost their online presence and achieve online superstardom. As you go along with this article, you’ll realize how simple and practical these methods are. The process might take up your time, but we promise that the results will be extremely rewarding.
Are you ready to find out more? Let’s dive in!
THE OLD METHOD TO ACHIEVE ONLINE SUPERSTARDOM
Back in the Web 1.0 days, bloggers ruled the internet. They still exist now, and they’re still killing it in what they do. However, we now have a new term for certain people on the internet. Influencers. These are people who have websites, social media accounts and even podcast shows. Influencers produce content on one or more platforms, and their content reaches the masses. We want you to learn about outreach. This means reaching out to Influencers within your niche and borrowing their influence. Learn to offer value, and these Influencers might give you their sharing power. Get your content in front of them and your website could be introduced to thousands. Maybe tens of thousands. If you’re someone that is producing great content already, now is the time to show the world how awesome your content really is!
Throughout this article, you’ll learn about generating a master list of Influencers to reach out to. You’ll also learn how to rank your Influencers based on their actual influence and reach. We suggest a ranking system of high-Impact, medium-impact, and low-impact. Based on how you ranked these people, we’ll show you the strategies for getting your content in front of them. Some people will have more incentive to work with you. Some people will be completely unavailable. Through this process of outreach, you win some and you lose some. In order to make this process effective for you, you’ll need a lot of contacts to reach out to. The idea is to have so many contacts that rejection won’t even feel personal at all.
How can you find all these people you may ask? It starts with good research, online tools, and proper methods. All of these combined will help you find the right people in your niche to reach out to. We want you to find the important people within your niche.
WHO’S IMPORTANT IN YOUR NICHE
Are you pumped? We hope you are.
We know you can’t wait to find out the insider secrets to wooing Influencers. But before we do any of that, you need a master list of contacts. We want you to find as many Influencers/websites as possible. And we need you to get their contact information. This means Facebook, Twitter, email, Instagram, and any other communication channel you can get your hands on. Here’s an example of the master list you can generate on a spreadsheet.
As you go through your search process, make sure you’re not too picky. This master list is supposed to be your contact database. It’s supposed to have as many contacts as possible.
INFLUENCERS YOU ALREADY KNOW
The first step is to find people in your niche based on your memory. If you know anything about your niche at all, examples will pop up for sure. Let’s say you’re starting a YouTube cooking show. Your niche would be YouTube channels that talk about food specifically. Some obvious examples might be Binging with Babish or First we Feast. Comb through that memory bank of yours. Try to remember. Think about the Influencers that inspired you to do what you’re doing.
USE SOCIAL MEDIA FOR OUTREACH
If that first step was easy, then you should step up your game. You may know the top Influencers in your niche, but how well do you know your niche’s social media landscape? What we’re trying to ask you is, what hashtags are being used for your niche? For starters, use those hashtags that you know are obvious for your niche. If you’re doing a YouTube cooking show, some obvious ones might be #cookingshow, or #youtubecook. A quick search on Instagram can give you massive results! Here on Instagram, we see the top results for #youtubecooking. As you click through the top results, you get to see which accounts are getting more social engagement (likes and comments) for these hashtags. If you don’t find anything worthwhile there, no sweat!
Check out Instagram’s related hashtags suggestions to continue your search! Okay, so now we’ve gone through the obvious hashtags. What else can social media offer you? There’re more than just hashtags, right? Yes, in fact, we want you to use what you’ve found so far to help your search!
Let’s use our influencer results from Step 1.
Check out Bingin with Babish’s Instagram. He is huge on Instagram, and Instagram knows it. He also posts a lot. Instagram knows what Binging with Babish’s account is about. He posts a lot about food. Because of this, we want to click on suggested Instagram accounts. Check out the drop-down button we circled for you. This will give you a list of all associated accounts similar to Binging with Babish. Pretty amazing right? Keep clicking through similar accounts and find as many people as you can. Once you’ve exhausted this method, try the same thing on Twitter!
Click on the following button on the Twitter account, and Twitter will give you suggestions.
DO A CONTENT SWEEP
Now that you learned how to leverage social media and hashtags, what else is there? The Influencers/websites you found are active and famous on social media. But what are they primarily known for? Their content of course. We want you to search for more Influencers/websites based on a content search. The type of content you find can be popular, trending, or basic to your niche. Let’s use Binging with Babish again. Go to his YouTube channel, and search for the most popular videos. We saw a video about making ratatouille. The keyword to focus on here is “ratatouille confit byaldi”. When you do your content search, find that specific target keyword within the content title. After that, do a search query. In this case, we’ll search “ratatouille confit byaldi” on YouTube. Right away you get some good results. You get other channels that made popular ratatouille videos. As you go through the list of popular content, you can continue scaling down to the less popular and more basic content. You can keep doing this until the content is no longer generating any other content produced by other Influencers. The possibilities of this process are endless. But hang on, we’re not done yet! Before you get too comfortable with this strategy. We also want you to use your own content to find Influencers.
Let’s say you’ve made a video titled “Best Asian Curries to make”. Your own video might not be getting millions of views, but chances are that other Influencers have made a similar video. Here’s a YouTube search on “Best Asian Curries to make”. Right away we see some similar videos made by other channels. Through this method, you can easily find more Influencers in your niche. There’s a lot of potential with this strategy. But what if one platform is not giving you enough results?
Switch to other search platforms. Don’t get stuck on one! Try Facebook, Google etc. You can also expand your search by niching up. Using a broader target keyword like “Asian Curries” can give you more results. In this example on Facebook, you can filter your results accordingly based on what you want to find. On Google, there are also endless results once you have a broad enough keyword.
Long story short if you have a niche topic to search for do it. If the topic is too narrow, niche up and get a broader search keyword. We’re hoping these three methods will get you at least fifty contacts in your niche. If you can get more than fifty, it’s even better!
Keep in mind that not all the Influencers on your list will be as popular as Binging with Babish. Some you might have heard of, but the majority will be those you have not heard of. That’s the purpose of doing a thorough search. If you’ve heard of all the Influencers/websites on your master list, you haven’t searched hard enough.
Go back and try harder!
NOT EVERY INFLUENCER IS MADE THE SAME
By now you know how much work is required to generate a master list of Influencer/website contacts. In fact, you should have a sense of who has the most influence, and who has very little. Binging with Babish definitely commands more influence and respect compared to your own YouTube channel. This is obvious of course.
We want you to take your understanding of who has more influence on another level! We want you to rank your contacts in three tiers. High-impact, medium-impact, and low-impact. You can do this objectively by using metrics. There are 3 things that you should learn about.
Social Authority, Domain Authority, and Social Engagement.
Add these three metrics to your master list like this. As we go through each of these metrics, you might realize that Domain authority might not apply to your niche. You can then remove that column from your list. You might also learn that within social engagement itself, there are other metrics that you can use.
Social Authority is a measure of how much actual influence a person has. This is based on the number of quality followers a person has. Could some of these followers be other famous people in the same niche? Or are they mostly people that are inactive on that platform? If person A had Rihanna and Eminem following them, they could have much more influence than person B (who has ten times the number of followers than person A). This is our definition of social authority. In order to get a number, go and use Followerwonk’s social authority metric. Type in the Influencer’s name to get their social authority score. Here we can see Binging with Babish with a score of 64.
When it comes to websites, search engines rank their websites based on different factors. The website with more value goes on top. In order to get a sense of which websites would rank better, Moz.com developed a value called Domain Authority. Domain Authority is a useful metric. It tells you how many external important websites are talking about the DA website. So, if a website has a high domain authority score, it most likely means that it has many inbound links coming from high-quality websites. Let’s take firstwefeast.com for example. We will be using Ahrefs’s website authority checker.
Here we see firstwefeast.com with a score of 75. This is a decent score, and the number you can include in your master list. Note: For YouTube or other social media Influencers, domain authority scores won’t be a good metric. A domain authority checker tool will be scanning the authority of the social media platform itself. For example, the domain authority score of Binging with Babish’s YouTube channel will be the same score as youtube.com itself.
If your niche is specifically based on a social media platform or YouTube, then we suggest removing domain authority as a column in your master list.
For every online platform, a person’s influence is measured by different things. Video subscribers measure a YouTube channel’s social engagement more, whereas for website domains it might be blog comments. Here are some metrics you can use to measure social engagement for each online platform.
Make sure to use metrics based on the main or most used platform for your niche. YouTube: Subscribers, Overall, Views. Social shares.
Websites: Blog Comments. Social shares.
Pinterest: Followers, Social Shares
Facebook: Likes, Comments, Social Shares
Twitter: Likes, Comments, Social Shares.
For a YouTube cooking show, you can choose to measure with two social engagement metrics. Subscribers and overall views. Binging with Babish has 5.28 million subscribers and 862 million video views. You could record your master list information in this kind of spreadsheet. But what about other online platforms? Is there a tool that you can use to measure social engagement? Absolutely.
For other online platforms, go and use Buzzsumo’s content social engagement tool. How do you use it? Let us show you a specialty coffee website as an example. In the coffee website/blogging niche, Sprudge.com is a leading website that produces content about coffee. By typing sprudge.com into the search bar, Buzzsumo generates the top content associated with sprudge.com. It shows you the amount of social engagement on several platforms that each content page has received. If you hover your mouse over the Facebook icon, you get more analytics.
For “The Coffee Lover’s Guide to Cluj-Napoca, Romania”, it received 2.2k likes, 1.1k shares, and 132 comments.
Once again, track your metrics based on the online platform that is relevant to your niche.
Sprudge.com might have gotten a ton of Facebook engagement, however, the specialty coffee online community might be more active on YouTube or websites.
Pro Tip: If DA score is a metric that is worth tracking for your niche, we suggest you sort based on a higher DA score first. DA is still a good metric on a website’s rankability and traffic.
After you’re done sorting your list based on who has better metrics, separate the contacts into three equal sections.
The top section will be your high-impact contacts. The middle section will be medium-impact contacts. The last section will be low-impact contacts.
REACHING THE INFLUENCER ELITE
Now that you have sorted your contacts based on how much influence they have, it’s time to strategize accordingly. People with more influence will require a different approach compared to people with less influence. Through this process of outreach, there will be many rejections and some moments of success. These are the contacts that you have ranked as high-impact. Some high-impact contacts might surprise you in their eagerness to work with you. Some, of course, might not even respond to you at all. With that said, every contact on your list is a prospect, and we intend to help you find a way to work with them!
COMMENT ON THEIR CONTENT
Leaving comments is one of the most effective strategies you can use. It requires little time, and it could get you talking to a big influencer. The trick is in what the comment is about. It must come across as genuine, and not just another word of flattery. You also don’t want to spam their content. Here’s a sample comment we wrote just for you!
Sprudge.com published a post on how the Square app is going to affect a cafe’s business. As suggested by our sample comment, the structure is easy to follow!
Hello, [Simple compliment on article] + [Offer relevant and valuable insight].
No matter how big an Influencer gets, their website still needs maintenance. The bigger you get, the more problems you’re likely to have. And that’s good news for you!
We want you to find a website’s broken links. These are easy problems to find, and quite easy to point out. Check out the Check my Links chrome extension. This baby will light up every broken link on a website! Let us show you what we mean!
Install the Check my links extension and go to any page you want. Click on the extension in the top right corner. A pop-up window should appear in the top right corner as well. You’ll see the extension pop-up doing its work and scanning all links on the page you’re on. The invalid links will be highlighted in red. Click on it to see what the problem is for yourself!
After that, choose a handful of links and include them in an email. Write to the website and offer your help. We recommend email as broken links are a more private and personal matter. Don’t be hanging someone’s dirty laundry out on social media!
SHARE THEIR CONTENT
Every successful website/Influencer loves flattery. They worked super hard to get where they were. Of course, they want to feel important! Who doesn’t? It’s basic human nature to want to feel acknowledged for your work. With that said, we want you to share a website/Influencer’s content on Twitter. Do these enough times and consistently, you’ll get noticed! Not every website or Influencer might reply to you, but they’ll remember who you are!
If flattery on Twitter is too subtle for you, we got something better. Email!
Not just any email, but a personalized one. Send your compliments through email and start building a more private dialogue with the heavy hitters! Here’s how we would do it.
Firstly, choose a piece of content to compliment them on! Make the compliment specific and personal.
You want them to feel good about their effort in producing that content. Within that piece of content, choose a section that you really love, and think is their best work.
Now give them an opinion regarding that section.
This will show the Influencer that you recognize their best work and understand why you think it is their best work. It’s about showing off a bit of your own industry knowledge and leaving a good impression!
OFFER A HELPING HAND
Nothing says “I want to help you” more than offering value. What do we mean by value?
Reach out to an Influencer and offer them a resource.
This can come in the form of a:
- Industry-specific tool
- Industry-specific book
- Any other educational resource
Here’s how we would do it.
European Coffee Trip is a reputable website in the specialty coffee niche.
Based on this podcast they did with Gwilym Davies, there are several things you can offer:
- An In-depth video/written review on Gwilym Davies Barista Courses
- Other great podcast platforms that are popular are easy to manage.
- A feature article talking about Prufrock Coffee or Square Mile
These articles were chosen for their relevance to European Coffee Trip’s post. We consider them great resources as they complement what the post is about. If European Coffee Trip likes these resources, they could include them in their article! What’s even better? They’ll mention your website as well!
GOING IN FOR THE CLOSE
Every salesman understands how a sales funnel works. But not every one of them knows how to close a warm prospect the right way. The strategies above were meant for colder leads. And you understand why they work. You know that with the right strategy, you can easily interact with Influencers/websites that have less interest in working with you. Now let’s interact with those that have more interest in working with you! This process is different and may appear slightly easier. But it’s not. It still requires patience and hard work.
The outreach methods we teach you here will be measured based on results.
What kind of results?
There are 3 results we want when closing a prospect.
- Getting a Quality Backlink
- Social Share of your Content (e.g. Tweet, Facebook, YouTube, Instagram)
- Guest Post Opportunity
GETTING A QUALITY BACKLINK
It’s time to return to our two favorite words. Offering Value. When it comes to any online interaction, offering value is the best way of self-promotion.
And it’s no different when you’re getting a quality backlink. If you want something awesome, you need to provide something awesome as well.
In this example we’re showing you, you’ll be offering a piece of written content
Let’s revisit European Coffee Trip. Here they have an article featuring specialty instant coffee produced by Barn.
Based on this article’s content, you can provide a piece of your own content.
Here are some ideas:
- “Best Products produced by Barn”
- “Top Specialty Instant Coffees of 2019”
- “In-depth review of Barn’s Specialty Instant Coffee”
Make sure the content you provide is contextual and relevant to the Influencer’s/Website’s content as well.
Give them a good and easy reason to link to your article within their page.
Once you find that awesome article they can link to. Time for an email!
Here’s an email template that we think will work great for you.
Keep the email simple and short.
Make sure you talk about their article and why it was good.
After that, you talk about a similar article you’ve been writing that has been getting valuable feedback.
Proceed to then ask for their opinion on your article.
Finish the email with a note of support and a compliment.
Once again, the email is direct, simple, and short. We’re offering value in the form of written content.
If they like your article, they’ll link to it!
GETTING A GUEST POST OPPORTUNITY
Doing a Guest Post is a quality backlink opportunity as well.
When you write for someone else, you’ll be allowed to link back to your website.
What’s the key to landing a guest post opportunity? You must treat it as an elevator pitch.
It must be short, clear and to the point. You offer value in the email, and you leave an impression.
Here’s a template you can try!
Before producing great ideas to write about, make sure you do your research!
Search through the person’s website to make sure your ideas are not too similar to already published content.
When you offer your own content for the Influencer to validate, make sure you offer your best work!
GETTING A SOCIAL SHARE
One way to make this happen is to build a large following. But that could take a long time.
Thankfully, you have a list of Influencers who can make that problem go away. Why not use these Influencers to get your content in front of the masses?
It’s a simple and effective strategy.
Here is an email template you can use!
The idea is to be non-pushy. Keep it simple and feed them your content. If your content is good, it will stand out.
Of course, if the Influencer really loves it, they will share it!
RELATIONSHIP BUILDING 101
Now that you’ve put in the hours to get all the opportunities to promote your content, let’s take it one step further.
Let’s develop a long-lasting relationship between you and the Influencer.
You may have what it takes to get important people to share your content on Twitter, but it can’t just stop there!
Develop the interaction you have with these Influencers. Build some rapport with them and see where your relationship takes you.
We’ve prepared some quick and easy tips for you to do this.
HELP THE INFLUENCER GROW
If you feel you can add value to an Influencer’s business, start developing your ideas.
As always, pitch the idea properly in a non-pushy way. You could start small by becoming a regular contributor.
Or the project could be something as big as doing a podcast together. Either way, the sky’s the limit.
When you plan your idea, it is important to make sure the collaboration benefits the Influencer more than it benefits you.
You want to keep the Influencer hooked. You want him or her to have a really good reason to continue working with you.
At the end of the day, remember it’s about growing the relationship with the Influencer.
It’s not so much about the project or the revenue you might generate.
MEETING IN PERSON
There’s nothing more personal than meeting a person face to face. The same applies to a relationship with an Influencer.
If you can, find a reason for both of you to meet.
In fact, make the meeting as social as possible.
Is there a social activity both of you enjoy? If there is, plan it.
Make a subtle suggestion to meet up.
Suggest it, but no need to push for it. If the Influencer is willing to meet, he or she will make time.
SHOW YOUR GRATITUDE
Every time an Influencer shares or promotes your content/website in any way, thank them!
If the content promotion was on social media, thank them on social media.
Be genuine with your gratitude, and you’ll make yourself stand out.
You’re someone that appreciates the free promotion and wants to show it.
This kind of approach will show the Influencer that you’re not just someone looking for free handouts!
START VIDEO CALLING
If it’s difficult to meet the Influencer in person, do the next best thing.
Do a video call.
Use Google Hangouts, Skype or any other video calling software.
Start having online video conversations. These conversations can be anything regarding work in your niche, personal matters, or just light banter.
The idea is to get more face time with the Influencer. Build rapport with this person over a video call.
Keep the conversation fun and light-hearted. And most importantly, make sure you’re relaxed.
We don’t believe in reinventing the wheel here. If something is old-fashioned but works great, we want to teach it to you.
The Influencer outreach methods we gave you are designed to get you as many opportunities as possible.
Trust the research you have done, and the way you ranked your contacts. Stick to the methods and allocate time to do the outreach.
The process might feel slow at first, however, half an hour of outreach works every day is a great habit to develop.
Remember to trust the process and be patient. When the opportunity comes for your content to go viral, you’ll know that you earned it.
Other people might assume that you got lucky. But you know it was the old secret methods of outreach that got you to online superstardom.