Ever spent a lot of time on link prospecting but ended up with miserable results? You’re not alone.

The whole process seems straightforward. Take a backlink checker, download websites linking to content and product like yours, and voila! Your list of link prospects is ready.

No rocket science.

But the problem is everyone who promotes their business via blogger outreach and link building follows the same blueprint.

The outcome? The same people receive tons of similar link requests.

Once the threshold of around 50 emails is crossed (the number depends on each blogger’s emotional stability), many of them start ignoring all the upcoming messages on the same subject, including yours.

While the reality is becoming harsh on the link building arena, it’s still too early to give up.

Learn how to do link prospecting in a way to face less competition.

P.S. For convenience, I divided the guide based on the type of blogger outreach targets.

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Bloggers who’ve published content on your target topic

A short foreword. You and bloggers who cover your topics are pretty much on the same page.

They are interested in the same stuff you are and should be curious to check out any related content.

Finding like-minded link prospects in Google is a moment’s work.

If you followed the previous step, you should already have them. I’m referring to pages that rank for your target keywords in Google, those you extracted via a web scraper.

What most folks do. Many writers ask bloggers to check out their similar articles and never hear back from them.

No wonder.

While common interests can attract the attention of your topic allies, similar content can’t.

When you reach out to authors of posts on your topic, you’re trying to deal with your content competitors.

Not all of them will be responsive, especially if you don’t give them a compelling reason to be.

What you should do. You should approach such link prospects delicately and only if your content permits.

Find out what’s missing in a competing post and make sure yours can fill the gap.

Then, reach out and explain why your data could be a useful addition to the info already published.

For example, almost no one makes a feature comparison. Hell yeah, it requires a huge investment of time to test each tool and gain such insights.

But don’t regret spending time on unique content. Regret spending time on outreach that will bring you little to no backlinks.

If you compare features of tools, you can offer bloggers to embed your comparison table with link attribution to your original.

Their readers will appreciate such a convenient way to compare items on their list.

Note. Reach out to this category of link prospects only if you compete with them on the topic. If they are your direct competitors on the product, better stay away.

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Bloggers who accept guest posts (for free, of course)

A short foreword. Guest blogs are basically the only link prospects that give you some control over the anchor text.

Does your backlink profile contain mostly branded and URL anchors? Then, do some guest posting to mix them with keyword anchors.

What most folks do. Many guest post seekers use the same search strings to find guest blogs:

keyword “write for us”
keyword “submit content”
keyword “guest post by”

And the list goes on.

The truth is blogs that have “write for us” pages receive multiple pitches daily.

Some of them have become so picky that they discard good pitches.

Others have come up with a more creative way of selection. They welcome only writers who won’t mind paying them a “small publishing fee,” which is nonsense if your content is good.

What you should do. Take a look at guest blogging from a content angle – it’s not all about link building.

If you offer bloggers high-quality content for free, it’s in their best interest to publish it.

To accept your pitch, bloggers don’t necessarily have to have a “write for us” page. Neither should they mark some of their articles as “guest posts.”

And they do have a point.

Especially since Matt Cutts from Google said any backlink manipulations via guest blogging are forbidden.

The bottom line?

To find blogs potentially interested in your topic, google it without any search strings.

Next, check out if your target blog accepts guest contributions. Head to an author’s bio to see if that person is an in-house writer or from an outside company.

Let’s enter the first blog in the top 10 and click through its articles.

Many of them are written by Buffer’s staff, except for this one. Its author is Anum Hussain from a different company Acciyo.

 
 

There’s not a single mention on the page that it’s a guest post, but it still is!

So, Buffer does accept guest posts, regardless of the fact that they don’t have a “write for us’ page.

Also, install a free extension from Moz to make sure outgoing links in a guest post are dofollow.

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Bloggers who mentioned you but never linked to your site

A short foreword. There are cases when you’re much closer to gaining backlinks than you think.

These are sites with unlinked mentions of your business. By default, they’ll give you privilege over others who will reach out to owners of those blogs.

You are not a complete stranger to those bloggers. They should have a good impression of your business if they decided to give it a mention.

Half the job is already done for you.

To find unlinked mentions, you can use Google and a bunch of advanced search operators:

intext:

Use this operator to find pages containing your business name.

– (a minus sign)

This operator will help you exclude pages from domains you don’t need to check. These can be your site or sites, guest blogs you contribute to, or any other sites that make no sense for link building like social networks.

Since Google won’t show you all the results found, make sure to exclude as many unnecessary domains as possible.

For example, there are 11,900 results for OutreachMama, social networks excluded.

But you’ll be able to check only 196 results.

If you include omitted results, the number will grow to 319, but that’s still not even a thousand.

Is it a dead end? No, you can filter results by different date ranges to extract more URLs, e.g. first for 2020, next for 2019, and so on.

 

 

 

 

 

 

What most folks do. Many hunters for unlinked mentions check their company or domain names only and call it a day.

But that way, a lot of other business mentions drop off their radars.

What you should do. Expand your list with more possible mentions related to your business. Here they are.

Branded product names

If you give unique names to your products, check them for unlinked mentions.

For example, Apple’s branded product names are iPad, iPhone, Mac, Safari, iTunes, etc.

The U.S. developer of website templates, TemplateMonster, brands their products with creative names too – Woostroid, Apparelix, etc. You got the idea.

Mentions of team members

When quoting someone, bloggers usually refer to the company’s representatives rather than the company as a whole.

That’s why you should google mentions of your team members to see if they’re all linked to your site.

Stolen visuals without link attribution

The reason why people steal content is a mystery [sarcasm]. But the fact is they do, and visual content isn’t an exception here.

Do a reverse image search to check if someone has re-posted your pics and forgot to link to the original.

Right-click on your target image and then left-click on “Search Google for image.”

You can perform a search for any visuals, including custom featured images, research graphs and charts, infographics, logos, etc.

Links to social media profiles

At times, bloggers link to companies’ social media profiles instead of their websites directly.

Such links do give some exposure, but they are absolutely useless for growing website authority and search rankings along the way.

You can find such wasted link opportunities with a backlink checker you have at hand.

Enter URLs of your company’s social media profiles and team members.

For example, guys from Tribute Media link to OutreachMama’s Twitter profile via a dofollow backlink. But there’s no outreachmama.com among the domains tributemedia.com links to.

Since tributemedia.com has a high DR of 72, it makes sense to redirect the currently wasted link juice to outreachmama.com.

Misspelled backlinks

Lack of attention is quite common among bloggers, and some of them misspell domain names when linking out.

While such incorrectly linked mentions are legally yours, link juice they send still doesn’t reach its destination.

To find misspelled backlinks, generate possible typos of your domain name via this free tool.

Next, use your backlink checker to see if any of those misspelled domains have backlinks.

For example, fromthedogspaw.com links to outreachmOma.com instead of its correct version outreachmAma.com via a dofollow backlink.

Final Word

Following this guide, you should find bloggers who will be more responsive to your emails.

Note that link prospecting tactics that most folks use don’t always fail.

With a solid product (or content) and some luck, you’ll be able to find a bunch of cool link prospects that way.

But you’ll also have to beat off more competitors there, which will result in lower response rates of your link requests.

And the goal of this guide is to bring you to places with easier backlink wins.