Last week, Peter and I spoke at SMX Toronto. Where he covered how to prove the ROI in social media, I talked about the hardest and most time-consuming aspect of SEO: link building. And because we adore you, our readers, so much, we’re giving you a taste of what we covered at the low low cost of a Facebook like or a Twitter share. You can thank us later.

Using Twitter, LinkedIn and Pinterest to Reach Bloggers

Here at 352, 90% of our link building centers around producing good content on behalf of our clients. We do that through guest blogging and executing blogger outreach campaigns, and there are two ways to beat everyone at this type of link building: great content and even better relationships. Too bad everyone already knows that. Bloggers are inundated with emails for guest blogs pitches on a daily basis, so you need to find prospects that your competitors can’t. Everyone knows how to search in Google for “industry + blog,” and that only puts you in touch with the source. Instead, find the people first. They are the ones you are going to be writing about you or accepting your contact, so why wouldn’t you start the relationship with them first? You can do this easily by searching searching in LinkedIn, Twitter and Pinterest.


On LinkedIn, search for people first by looking for “industry + writer.” You can also narrow it down by area if working on location-specific marketing. If you have the company or outlet you’re interested in but can’t find the contact information, you can also search for people within that specific company. This will drastically help increase your response rate because face it: No one ever answers an email address.


Similarly, search for these content creators in Twitter using the same search queries that you would for LinkedIn. Yes, actually use the Twitter interface. There are also a number of tools that you can use to find lists of content people in your in your industry. Listorious is one of my favorites.


While yes all links on Pinterest are nofollowed, don’t devalue the site as a great way to find sources and start building that relationship. You can search on Pins, Boards and People that will each bring you a different set of opportunities and results. Pro Tip: My good friend Aaron “Double A Ron” Friedman pointed me to this amazing post by Monique Pouget about how to build link building personas using Pinterest. Totally worth the read.

Contacting People

Finding sources is just part of the battle. You actually have to contact people if you hope to start the relationship that could turn into a link. Because bloggers get dozens, if not hundreds, of email pitches each and every day, start first on Twitter. Find them on Twitter, follow them, and then tweet to them that shows that you read their blog and  you’re a real person. Tell them you have an idea and then ask if you can go to email. People are much more inclined to answer emails if they know the person. And above all…MAINTAIN THE RELATIONSHIP. Say thank you. Follow up. Comment on their blog. Email them just to say you liked something. Besides, this is just the first date.
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