Last week I gave you a bit of a sneak peak of the results that this technique had on the authority website that I’m building which is now about 2 months old. Today I want to go into more detail as to how I achieved this.
Step by step.
In my opinion, this is one of the best ways to get your website off the ground and get noticed by the influencers in your niche.
Once you have gone through this, you should have established a network of contacts that you can share other epic content with in the future as it puts your site on the map.
The best part of it is is that it’s 100% white hat and I was able to outsource 90% of it.
Firstly, a Quick Recap…
Before we get into the nitty-gritty, I just want to share some of the stats behind this post so far.
This post went live on the 24th of February and since then has been shared over 1,300 times on social media and generated 33 comments.
It has also resulted in at least 20 new domains linking to my new site which I plan to build on in the future since I now have an asset that I can use to pitch in a targeted outreach campaign.
Although I will need many more than this to start gaining serious traction in Google, it is a great foundation.
The post also received a significant spike in traffic, and although that has started to die down somewhat now, I still managed to squeeze around 40 email signups out of it which could probably have been much more had I optimized my site better.
Since I’m still new at the game, I will start focusing on that more optin optimization once I get some more serious traffic to my site through Google using a similar approach with optin pop-ups that are used at HealthAmbition.com as discussed on Authority Hacker.
What is the Egoscraper Technique?
So the big question is? How did I achieve this?
Well, I’m actually embarrassed to say how simple it is. I wish I could say that I came up with the best thing since sliced bread, but unfortunately that would be giving myself way too much credit.
All that this post is is a glorified list of the best blogs in my niche. It’s a post that is very similar to this one that lists the 20 most influential photography bloggers.
However, there’s one slight twist to it.
In true “Skyscraper” style I didn’t just want to target a measly 20 of them. I wanted my content to stand out from the crowd so I targeted a lot and a lot more.
Let’s just say that I ended up with more than 100 blogs – each with a customized image, description and some nice words about the individuals running these blog.
This is the egobait.
I also didn’t target just any old blogs. I made sure that I specifically targeted those that were managed by either one, or a small group of people, and that were still being updated, so that it would be more likely for them to share and get feedback from.
And share they did!
Advantages of this Technique
So what is so great about this technique?
Well, like I said earlier, I think this is one of the best ways to get a new site off of the ground for a number of reasons.
- It’s very easy to outsource. All you need to do is come up with a list of viable blogs (you can even outsource this) and hire someone to write a nice 100 word blurb about each of the sites.
- It opens the door to relationship building. You have done something nice for these bloggers without requesting anything from them. They now know who you are, and will be a lot more open for anything you may contact them about in the future.
- Instant credibility with your target audience. Think about it. You have just created the ultimate list of the most influential people in your niche. When these bloggers share your list with their followers some of that credibility directly passes onto you.
- It opens up other link building possibilities. Now that you have done something “nice” for these bloggers by putting them on your list of best blogs, they will be much more likely to respond to requests for expert roundups, broken links, or even just sharing content that you produce.
If you do this right, it should really build the foundation of your website and it will make promoting your content so much easier in the future.
I want to take you guys through exactly how I achieved this, step by step.
Step #1: Gather the List of Targets
The first thing you need to do is gather your list of targets that you want to include in your list. If you’re relatively familiar with the niche that you operate in you should already have a good idea of that sites that you want to include.
If not, the best place to start is our good old companion, Mr. Google.
It’s likely that you’re not going to be the first to create a list of the best blogs in your niche, so a simple search in Google will generally be a good start to see some of the lists that are already out there.
Let’s take the home improvement niche for example by searching for the “top home improvement blogs”.
Right off the bat we see that the first four results are pretty good candidates that have all listed out a number of blogs which they felt were some of the best in the home improvement space.
Let’s have a look at the first option.
That’s exactly what we are looking for. A list of links that point to the best blogs in the home improvement niche.
The next step is to extract these urls in a format that we can use and dump into a spreadsheet. The best way to do that, as far as I know, is by using a tool called Simple Google Results (which is free).
This tool gives you a clean list of all the outgoing urls on a particular page that you can easily copy and paste into Excel.
Simply highlight all of it and copy it into Excel as “Text” by using “Paste Special” and you should end up with something like this.
You’ll likely also get some internal links on the website itself that you don’t want, but you’ll just have to remove those manually after you paste them in Excel.
This is by far the easiest way of achieving this, but if someone has a better way, please let me know.
The idea is to do this on as many sites as you can and dump the resulting list into the same Excel file so that you end up with a master list of blogs. Don’t worry if your copying the same blog multiple times, we’ll remove those now.
In order to do this, we’ll need to trim the urls down to their domains and ensure that they are all the same.
In order to do this, simply insert a column between column B and C, call it “Domain”, and copy the following formula into cell C2 and paste it all the way down.
=IF(ISERROR(FIND(“//www.”,B2)), MID(B2,FIND(“:”,B2,4)+3,FIND(“/”,B2,9)-FIND(“:”,B2,4)-3), MID(B2,FIND(“:”,B2,4)+7,FIND(“/”,B2,9)-FIND(“:”,B2,4)-7))
Your spreadsheet should now look something like the below.
Now you can start removing duplicates from your spreadsheet so that you don’t have the same blog listed twice.
In order to do that, just select all your content by pressing CTRL + A, go to the Data Tab above, and click the button called “Remove Duplicates”.
Make sure you just click “Domain” and press “OK”, and you’ll end up with a spreadsheet with just a unique number of blogs.
Step #2: Don’t Miss Out on Any of the Big Boys
The next step is to find out if you have missed out any of the big guys that have a big Klout score on Twitter. For those of you that don’t know what Klout is:
The Klout Score is a number between 1-100 that represents your influence. The more influential you are, the higher your Klout Score.
Basically it’s how a measure of how many followers are reached when these people Tweet something. Since we want our post to reach as many people as possible, it’s a wise idea to include as people in your niche with high Klout scores as possible.
The reason I’m adding this step is because when I first compiled my list using the above approach, I ended up realizing that I actually left out some of the big guys in my niche that are very influential on Twitter.
The more influential in Twitter, the more traffic they will drive to your post when they share. It’s as simple as that.
I had the benefit of someone having compiled a list of the most influential twitter users of my niche already, so I could simply use that list to add to my own.
A search on Google of “most influential twitter experts in home improvement” got me the third result which had another 10 twitter users with blogs that I might have otherwise left out.
Obviously play around with your search string a little until you get what your looking for.
Someone in your niche (especially if it’s one that is somewhat larger like the one you’re likely to target with an authority site) is bound to have put together a list like this, or very similar to this, before.
You’ll want to add the blogs of these users to the list that we created before in the same format.
Step #3 – Check the Site Authority of Your Targets
The next step is completely optional, but I like to get a feeling of the authority for each of the blogs that we have now gathered by running them through Ahrefs.
Please bear in mind that you’ll need to have the paid version in order to do this.
Simply log into your Ahrefs account and go to “Batch Analysis” under “Labs”.
This will bring you to a screen where you can dump your list of domains that we came up with on our spreadsheet before by simply copying them form your spreadsheet and pasting them into the batch backlink checker.
Wait a couple of seconds for Ahrefs to do it’s work and it will spit out the list of domains you put in with a bunch of statistics for each.
I will generally export this to Excel right away and remove any columns that I don’t need. Typically I’ll only keep the domain name and Ahrefs domain rank, and will hide everything else but that’s completely up to you.
I’ll sort by domain rank, after which my spreadsheet now looks something like this.
This will give me a feeling for who the most dominant players are in the niche in terms of website authority, and who it might be most valuable to score a link off of. This will come in handy later when we start our outreach campaign to spend just a little bit of extra time customizing those emails.
It will also give you a feeling for the blogs that you might want to take off of your list. Anything with a domain rank of below 30 is probably not worth the effort.
Step #4 – Review and Trim the List
Now that you have your basic list of blogs in your niche, it’s time to start weeding out the ones that you don’t want to have included in your list.
My criteria was as follows
- The blog is still fresh and active and has at least one new blog post generated in the last 3 months
- The blog is run by one person, or small group of individuals, that will likely be grateful to be listed as part of the best blogs in the niche
- The blog has at least a domain authority of greater than 30
This step is probably the most painful, and you can either do this yourself, or have it outsourced.
To get started, I like to get a couple more columns added to my spreadsheet so that I can keep track of what I’m doing and information that I’ll require later.
Then you’ll unfortunately have to go through each of the blogs to see whether they pass your criteria. If they do, I’ll put a “yes” in column D, and if they don’t, a “no”.
I did this part myself.
I had a very quick glance at each of the websites to see if they passed my criteria and was able to determine pretty quickly whether I wanted them as part of the list or not. Also, if I came across any names or contact information I filled it into the spreadsheet.
Once you’ve gone through each of them, you simply filter out the ones that don’t pass your criteria, and you’re ready to start getting the content written.
Step #5 – Produce the Content and Find Contact Information
The good news about this type of content is that it’s a very good candidate for being outsourced. It doesn’t require any specific knowledge on your niche – all the writer needs to do is visit these websites, rewrite a few snippets from their about pages, throw in a few compliments, and you’re good to go!
You simply send the excel sheet with the websites listed, and they should be ready to get started.
Having said that, you’re most likely going to want to target a candidate that is a native English speaker since you need the quality to be high, but you don’t want to be paying an arm and a leg for it either.
I’m not going to go into exact details about how to find a writer since there is plenty on that topic, but I ended up getting quoted $35 for what ended up being more than 10,000 words of content through Elance. At the same time I asked her to fill out the contact details into the spreadsheet as she went through these websites allowing me to kill two birds with one stone.
I think I was a bit lucky since she was new to Elance and looking to build her reviews, and only realized what she had gotten herself into in hindsight. At the end I ended up paying her $100 since I felt a little bad for her, which is still a decent rate for 10,000 words of high quality content.
In her most recent jobs that I have seen her do she is getting paid around 0.03 – 0.05 per word now that she has built some track record, so that just shows the quality of her work is very good.
Having said that, I can guarantee you that there are plenty of other writers like her out there that are just getting started and looking to build reviews. You just have to be willing to take a bit of gamble.
The best thing to do is to have the writer do one or two blurbs for you and make a determination based on that whether he/she is the right fit.
If all goes well, you’ll have yourself a large list of descriptions and a spreadsheet with most of the contact information completed once all is said and done that you’ll need for your outreach later.
Step #6 – Add Some Images to Your Post
To give the post a bit of extra “umph” you have to go the extra mile.
There are a ton of “best blogs in [niche]” posts out there, but I really wanted to stand out from the crowd so I decided to take a customized screen capture of every website and included that as part of my list similar to the one at Expert Photography.
I’m probably the worst at anything that comes close to having to do with graphic design (as you may have noticed in this blog), but thought it would be worth the extra effort and could have a positive impact on the amount of shares my post would get.
Let me warn you in advance that this took a bit of time, and was painstakingly boring, but I hope it paid off in the end.
Of course, you can always choose to outsource this piece as well, but I was trying to save myself some money.
You’ll need two (free) pieces of software for this:
Once you have installed the tools, you’ll have to go through each of the sites that you listed and take a screen-capture with the Snipping Tool and paste that into Gimp. You can then play with the lighting, rotate it slightly, or do whatever else you can to make it look semi-professional in my case.
Putting this screen-capture above the description of each website will give it that much more sharability in my opinion.
At the end it should look something like this including the blurb.
Most likely your graphic design skills will be much better than mine, but this shows that even my mediocre skills can still result in shareable content.
Once you have all of them completed and your post is ready it’s time to set up your outreach campaign before you publish.
Step #7 – Plan and Execute Your Outreach Strategy
Now, onto arguably the most important part of this process.
This is the “make or break” moment for most epic content. If the influencers don’t share or appreciate it, you’re toast and all that work you spent putting it together was for nothing.
The great news is that with the Egoscraper Technique is that there really isn’t much for your influencers not to like. You’re basically giving them a compliment and asking for nothing in return. Why wouldn’t they share it?
Although there might be free software to use for this, I personally use Buzzstream for my outreach. I couldn’t even start to imagine having to type out 100+ emails manually.
So back to the spreadsheet with the contact details that the Elancer completed for you. Make sure you save it in CSV format so that you can upload it to Buzzstream later.
You’ll want to start a new project in Buzzstream to start off with.
Once you have created your new project, you’ll want to upload your CSV file with your contacts to Buzzstream by going to “Add Websites”, clicking “Add from list of URLs” and going to “Import from CSV”.
Click “Match my CSV” and select the CSV file that you just saved and click “Upload”. Then match your columns to those in Buzzstream like below (you can also choose to do this beforehand by simply giving the columns in your Excel file the same names as in Buzzstream).
I typically only import the Domain, Website Name, Primary Contact, and Email. That’s really the only information you’ll need.
Once that is importing, you can start preparing your outreach email. Click on “Outreach” and select “Create Template” to start writing your template.
I went with something really simple and genuine like the email below.
Subject: you’re one of the best home improvement blogs
Hey [First Name],
Just wanted to let you know that I listed [Website Name] as one of the best home improvement blogs on the internet!
We are relatively new to the vast community of home improvement bloggers and I thought a great way to get more familiar with some of the bloggers like yourself would be to compile a list of some of the best blogs out there.
I ended up putting a list together of the best [number of blogs] blogs that are still active, and mostly managed by either one person or a small group of people.
You can check it out here: [insert url]
Let me know what you think or whether there is someone that I missed out? Feel free to share if you like it of course!
Once your happy with your outreach template, it’s time to start your outreach and scheduling the emails. I sent my emails at around 2 pm Eastern Time in the US, since that is where most of my audience was.
I also manually visited each of the blogs that I couldn’t find contact details for (which was around 15 or so) and dumped my template into their contact form to make sure they were made aware as well.
If all goes well, this is where the traffic and shares start rolling in.
Step #8 – Pitch Your Links
Now the last, but certainly not least, step of the process.
Whenever you put bait out when you’re fishing you don’t do it out of the kindness of your heart. You hope to actually catch some of those buggers.
The same goes with the Egoscraper Technique. Once you have made the influencers aware of your bait, it’s time to start converting some of these into links to your site.
The trick is to sit back and wait for the email responses to start coming in after you have just made everyone aware of your post.
Emails like this.
The great thing is that these people have really appreciated what you have put together, so this is the time to go in to start converting this into some links.
Momentum is on your side now.
You have a couple of things that you can do pitch your link at this point.
1. Blog roll links.
(I just noticed that I had a grammar mistake in the email by the way)
2. Broken links.
3. Weekly roundups.
4. Guest posts.
On top of this, some will naturally link to your post because of the quality of your post.
Lastly, there will most likely also be a few bloggers that you have left out inadvertently as well. I had a number of them contact me, some of which genuinely belonged on the list.
I have promised them that I will be updating the list and will probably add another 10 blogs or so. That should present itself with some more opportunities to pitch links.
That’s a Wrap…
And that’s it for today.
I feel like I’m making good progress on the site, and slowly gaining some authority in the niche. I haven’t really seen any significant traffic from Google yet, but I’m hoping that that is only a matter of time now that I’m building a good foundation and have some decent authority links pointing to my site.
I’d be curious to hear what you guys think of the strategy above. Have any of you ever tried this, or do you have any suggestions on how I can get even more out of it?
I’d love to hear from you in the comments.