When it comes to link building, “publish it, and they will come” doesn’t usually work. Lots of well-researched and helpful content remains unnoticed and hence unlinked, resulting in lower organic search rankings than it may deserve.
Links remain a key ranking factor. So how can authors, bloggers, and journalists discover your content to link to it?
The first step is ensuring your content is link-worthy. In my experience, the top candidates are:
- New studies,
- Original statistics,
- New ways of doing something,
- Personal stories,
- Expert opinion on recent trends,
- Original visualizations of data with new insights.
However, even if your content is compelling, potential linkers may not see it. The best discovery method is email outreach. And that process starts with a good email address.
But how can you find email addresses for writers, bloggers, and journalists?
How to Find an Author’s Email
On-site info. Say you found an article or a resource and think your content would interest the author. Instead of filling in a generic form, spend a few minutes locating that person’s email.
I follow these steps:
- Click to that person’s bio. Journalists sometimes post their email addresses for story ideas and reliable sources.
- Search the author’s name in Google for appearances in other publications. Those sites may include the author’s contact details.
- Find that person on Twitter and Linkedin. Journalists often leave DMs open or add email addresses to their bios inviting readers to send ideas and pitches. While there, follow them. Growing your professional network never hurts, plus it improves your chances of a response.
- Click to the sites linked from the authors’ bylines or social media bios. Authors’ personal sites usually offer a contact form or, even better, an email address.
- Contact the publication’s editor. If a promising article contains no author byline, look for the editor’s name and contact details on the About page.
Author portals. Buzzsumo can provide information about an author. Enter an article URL into Buzzsumo’s Content Analyzer tool, and it will generate the author’s details. Create an alert for any author and receive notifications when she publishes a new article.
Here is what comes up for my author bio when I enter an article URL from Practical Ecommerce.
Muck Rack is another helpful resource. Authors’ profiles can include social media accounts, contact details, and recent articles — especially if Muck Rack has verified those writers.
Email finders. I resort to email-finder tools as a last resort after the steps above. This happens in roughly a third of all searches.
There are quite a few solid email finders — most offer a free trial or free limited searches. A quick Google search will give you a few good finder platforms to try.
Regardless, make sure to verify email addresses to ensure they’re valid.
Further, search for an email address before using it. You will likely find a name and company associated with it to confirm the author is relevant to your pitch.
Streamline the Outreach
Finding a good email address can take time, but it’s the best way to ensure an author will see your pitch. Then, personalize your message based on the info you’ve discovered about the writer.
Backlinks remain an essential ranking factor. Obtaining them is hard work. Start with a bit of legwork to find an author’s direct contact details. The effort will streamline the outreach and, importantly, will enable authentic long-term connections.