Hey Leslie, My name is [INSERT NAME HERE], I see that you have a lot of traffic coming to your blog. I'm a blogger with the most AMAZING product in the world and trust me – you want to send me your traffic. If you do, it will make me money, and I will be happy.
Thank you for your consideration!
– Your potential partner (this is going to be GREAT)!
That's exactly what I read when I get those emails, and the more your blog gets out there, the more of these kinds of emails you get. Yes, of course, they will come in all kinds of sizes and flavors, but the gist is always the same – Help me help myself!
Ok, seriously – How do you expect ANY blogger who spent countless hours beating on their craft, struggling through the beginning stages of their blogging business, almost coming to the point of giving up, but eventually having some level of success?
Emails like this accomplish absolutely NOTHING, so if you're doing it, please stop.
One Tweak To The Email
When I started my biology blog, I really wanted to get it out there relatively quickly, and I knew that one of the fastest ways to get a lot of traffic to your blog is to get someone who already has the traffic to send you some of theirs.
It definitely beats building traffic ONE visitor at a time (a potentially painfully slow process).
So I knew I had to reach out to others, and that's exactly what I did. However, I knew that these kinds of cold emails accomplish absolutely nothing. They are one-sided and kinda selfish (usually unintentionally so).
I did what many new bloggers do – I sent out my email asking for a link. However, I made ONE simple tweak that changed the entire game, and that's the tweak that I would like to suggest to anyone who is getting ready to click on the send button of that somewhat self-centered email.
That tweak is this – I changed the FOCUS of the email.
This is something I covered in some detail in my podcast episode on How I Get Over 50,000 Monthly Visitors To My Blog Using Free Traffic Sources, but it's such a simple, yet VERY important concept that I needed to actually write this blog post about it. If you grasp the concept, it can literally end up resulting in a ton of traffic to your blog.
Lets analyze a sample email I sent out.
Hi Popular Blogger,
My name is Leslie Samuel and I'm a High School Science and Math teacher who loves the content of your website. So many great resources and labs that I've used in my class to enhance what I'm doing. I love how you've integrated technology with what you do, because I REALLY think it enhances the learning experience for students.
I'm also an Internet Marketer who has been doing a lot of stuff with WordPress and building businesses online and I love that you have yours in WordPress now. There are many advantages to doing this, as you have spoken about on your blog.
This is my introduction. Notice that I clearly state who I am and make it very obvious that I have gotten value from what they are doing. This lets them know that this isn't some random person sending tons of emails to random people in a spammy way. Because I'd been PAYING ATTENTION to them online, I even knew that they had recently switched to WordPress. Once again, let me emphasize that I had been PAYING ATTENTION.
Lets continue . . .
Since I've been doing so much online and have learned so much about WordPress, I've decided to give back in a way similar to what you have been doing and since making that decision, I've started my blog at www.interactive-biology.com, where I will be doing something similar to what you have been doing. However, I will be using a lot of video. I'm doing screencasts of all my lectures, and videos on how to do different activities with custom animations, and providing it freely for my students and for other students and teachers to enhance what they are doing in their classes.
This is where I introduced my blog. Note however that I emphasize why I believe my blog is DIFFERENT. I focused on videos and customized animations. Hopefully, when that individual reads the email they would think to themselves – Hmm, that sounds interesting. Let me click on the link and check it out.
Now this is where we try to hit the ball out of the park . . .
The reason I'm contacting you is because I would love if we could work together. I've enjoyed what you do so much and see that you have been well established as an authority site for teaching resources and I believe that we can help each other out significantly by forming some kind of partnership.
Because I'm heavy into internet marketing, I have a lot of knowledge and resources that work well with WordPress, and people that I work with that are extremely good at designing. I do believe that there's a lot that can be done to enhance the end user experience at your blog and would be willing to help you out with that in exchange for you linking to me as a good resource for Biology Video tutorials in a prominent place.
I would love to chat with you sometime about the possibilities. In terms of the tech stuff, I can pretty much help you get anything done with your blog and would be willing to do so because I think your blog provides tremendous value. Also, if you are looking for ways to enhance your blog, I can also help with that. In other words, I would really like to partner with you in some way because I think our blogs would make a good team.
We could work on putting together animations to explain some of the concepts on your site, if you wanted a logo designed, that could be done, or even an more user-friendly theme. Also, if you are interested in other ways of monetizing your site besides Google Adsense, we can work on those kinds of things. Adsense can be intrusive in some ways, but good for specific applications. I'm just shooting some random ideas out there.
Anyways, if you are interested, let me know and we can work something out.
– Leslie Samuel
Making Biology Fun
Do you see it? It's a beautiful thing. This is that stuff about the change in FOCUS. The focus on the email was NOT what you can do for ME, but what I can do for YOU.
Notice that I talk about SPECIFIC ways that I could help them. It was NOT just about them helping me. It was about a mutually beneficial relationship where they were getting TONS of value.
I had gone through and assessed where they were with their blog/business and figured out specific ways in which my experience could be of value to them.
So, to recap, here's the general format:
- Introduce yourself, making it clear that this isn't bulk mail (not by saying so, but by showing the connection to what they're involved/interested in)
- Introduce your blog. Don't make this a huge focus, but try to make the distinction clear. Why is your blog different?
- Make the Value Proposition. How can you help them and their audience. Don't be generic. Based on where they are, offer something specific that can REALLY help them.
- Say bye bye. You can decide how to do this.
How Long Should The Email Be?
This is a very important question. Some people would say that my email was absolutely too long. In many cases, I would agree with them. However, in my case, I disagree.
From understanding my niche, and trying my best to understand the blogger I was email, I knew that reading a long email wouldn't be something that dissuaded them from reading it. In fact, it probably helped.
He/she was an academic who blogged about biology. Chances are – reading is a big part of what he/she does, so the length was not a factor.
Now, if you are sending your email to an extremely busy entrepreneur, chances are – they will see a long email and get turned off. The truth is, I get nervous every time I see a long email, because I know how crazy my schedule is and how email can consume your life if you let it. So much that I have my assistant filter through and deal with 90% of the email that I get.
So, how long should it be? Understand the mindset of the person you are emailing and cater to them. Remember – that's where the focus is – on THEM!
What Was The Result?
The ultimate result came after a few exchanges, but to summarize:
- She turned down my offer for help but ended up writing a post about my site.
- She eventually put a permanent link to my blog in her sidebar
- Other sites started linking to me after finding me on her site
This resulted in a SIGNIFICANT amount of traffic over the last few years and an increased authority as seen by Google, because her site was a HIGH AUTHORITY SITE. It was the jump start I needed to really get my blog going.
So, before you think about clicking on that send button, think about the value you are offering to the person you are emailing. Remember, they have the traffic and you don't. Traffic is not something that's easy to come by. It's of HIGH VALUE.
Make sure you are offering at least the same amount of value, or preferably MUCH more. It might take some creativity, but it's definitely worth it.
Have you tried getting traffic from other bloggers? If so, how did it go? What were the results? If not, what value can you offer to that potential traffic sender? Let me know in the comments below.