Blogging and Writing

Blogger Outreach: Why Random People Want Your Links

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If you’ve been blogging for a while and you have either a contact form or an email contact listed on your blog, you’ve probably gotten messages from random people wanting you to link to their content. In case you’re wondering why, let’s chat about it.

Links matter to Google, and as a result, links matter to people who want attention from Google. Links show Google that people have an interest in your site, and therefore searchers might be interested too. There are various ways of trying to quantify this, such as domain authority, which is a system developed by Moz that gives its best guess as to what Google might think of your site.

You can slowly, naturally build up links to your site (aka backlinks) by interacting with others online. Or, you can try to do it faster. One way of doing it faster is through “blogger outreach”, which is a sufficiently mainstream strategy that marketing guru Neil Patel is writing about it.

The Neil Patel way is classy and there’s reciprocity. The one link I’ve ever inserted by request was from a site that offered to share the page I’d be putting the link on across their social media. It was a website I was already familiar with anyway, so that was a good fit.

The classy ones are few and far between on a smaller blog; they’ve got bigger fish to fry. Instead, we get the sketchy ones.

I very recently found out that marketers can sometimes tell if you’ve opened an email or not. Sounds creepy, right? Yeah. This explanation may not be 100% right, but the general idea is that there’s a tracker linked to an image in the email, and when you open the email, it fetches the image from the source, and boom, they know you’ve opened it. You can get around this creepy business by setting up your email so that it doesn’t automatically load images. No image loaded, they don’t know you’ve opened it.

I find that they typically send three emails, or sometimes four, before giving up. They will include a hyperlink to your blog post/page they want to put their link on. If they include a link to their site and you’re curious, don’t click on it. Copy the text of the link and paste it into your browser instead, because often, the actual hyperlink has a tracker so they know you clicked through from the email. So while I might write https://mentalhealthathome.org/, the link itself actually takes you to Youtube to watch a video of my guinea pig boys.

Another variation on this is random people wanting to do guest posts for your blog. Sometimes they will claim to be a “freelance writer”, and the email address they use is a personal email. It’s just another variation on wanting to get a link on your site. They may even offer to pay you an “administration fee.”

If you are interested in getting sponsored posts, random sketchy people is not the way to do it. Get Blogged is on legit avenue to explore that kind of thing.

If nothing else, these kinds of messages often provide amusement value. I remember when I first started getting them, though, I was rather confused as to what was going on.

Do you get many of these blogger outreach contacts, or anything similar to this?

A blogger's guide to blogging from Mental Health @ Home

The Blogger’s Guide to Blogging isn’t about what the blogging gurus say you should do; it’s about relevant tips that the regular, personal blogger can use.

26 thoughts on “Blogger Outreach: Why Random People Want Your Links”

  1. I’ve never had contact information on any of my blogs ever. But then I’m just a “hobby” blogger. If I mention another blogger in one of my posts I always make their name a clickable link to their blog – does that count for anything?

    1. Absolutely. I set up a contact form right from the beginning because it seemed like the thing to do, but other bloggers mostly just talk in the comments.

  2. My blog isn’t popular enough that I have ever had to deal with these issues. I also never have to deal with plagiarism, presumably because I’m too small and too weird. Silver linings πŸ™‚πŸ™ƒ

  3. I’ve never had this but I do get random spam from people which is very annoying lol! Interesting to know though πŸ™‚

  4. I had heard that there were ways to know if an email was opened, but I didn’t know how that was possible! Thanks for the info! Weirdness. But I’ve never gotten such messages through my contact! None of it makes much sense to me!! You’re a total internet guru. Rock on!! πŸ˜€

  5. I have not receive any requests for placing a link. I have heard that they can tell if you have opened their email. I learned this just this past month. I poked around my Outlook and found you can have a setting clicked and it will trace an email you send, then it will give you a notice when it has been received.
    I am just starting to see spam messages coming through my blog, it’s frustrating when you don’t understand what to do.

    1. Yeah, I remember initially trying to figure out the whole spam thing. Now, I figure if a comment looks strange in any way, chances are very high it’s spam.

  6. I wished I had read this as soon as you published it because I have been getting so many emails like these and I didn’t know why and if it was genuine or not. Most of the time, they ask if I can include their link in a guest post (from my series) and I’m just left dumbfounded. I always say to myself when i get can email like that, “How dare you just swoop in and ask to have your link embedded into someone’s guest post”. It’s unacceptable in my eyes. Rant over. But seriously, thank you for sharing this πŸ™‚

    1. I think it’s super-lame, especially when they’re referring to a post that’s clearly inappropriate. But I guess they’re probably not even reading the post, they’re just searching for keywords they’re interested in. I would guess that the only success they have is with bloggers who haven’t gotten a lot of those kinds of emails before and aren’t onto their trick.

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