In this post, I’m going to show you how we secure editorial links – meaning links that we don’t have to write a guest post for – from high DR websites (60+).
They’re placed in an already existing article for you, and you don’t have to pay for them. It’s all done via stone cold email outreach.
Pretty awesome, right?
I’m going to show you how to do it, why it’s better to do it this way, and why you’ll actually get more authority per link using this method.
Benefits of Getting a Link Without Writing a Guest Post
There are a few big reasons why you should always try to secure a backlink without writing a guest post for it.
No Writing Necessary
First of all, a guest post takes a lot more time. If you’re submitting a guest post, you have to either spend a lot of time writing it or you have to hire someone, which costs a lot of money.
And either way you slice it, it’s going to take time to write and revise. People are going to ask for revisions, corrections, etc. – it’s a pain in the neck.
Editorial Links Are More Powerful
And the second problem with guest posts – even bigger than the first one – is that they pass less authority than editorial links.
When you look at a website’s portfolio on Ahrefs, most immediately look at the website’s DR (Domain Rating), which is a measure of how strong a website is.
Ahrefs measures this based on (mostly) how many links it has, and the quality of those links.
However, there’s another metric that often goes unnoticed, the UR (URL Rating).
This is just like DR, except instead of measuring the strength of the entire domain, the UR measures the strength of that specific page.
As you can see in my terribly drawn diagram below, UR is determined by the number of inbound links to a specific page. (The black lines to the old post represent backlinks – notice that as the pages become newer, they have less backlinks, and lower UR ratings.)
Think about it:
The reason you build links to a page is to increase the authority of that page.
Of course, links to any page on a website will increase the overall authority of the entire domain, but links pass most of their authority to a specific page, not the domain.
There is not an exact number, but I’d say in general, 80% of the “link juice” goes to the target page, and only 20% to the domain.
Again, those are just my numbers, but you get the idea.
As you can see in the diagram, the new post (guest post) doesn’t have any backlinks, so its UR (authority) is very low when compared to an old post that has a lot of backlinks.
Using this strategy, you can secure a link from a page with a lot of existing links, traffic, and authority.
What’s the bottom line here?
Getting a link without a guest post will:
- Save you time
- Save you money
- Pass more authority
Now, let’s talk about how you can pull this off:
How to Get Powerful Editorial Backlinks
Now that you understand why this is definitely the move, let’s go over how to secure editorial backlinks.
1. Determine Your Objective
First you have to figure out what page you want to rank.
Let’s say your website is about fishing, and you want to rank your page about fishing rods.
If your target keyword is “best fishing rods under 300 dollars”, you’re probably going to want to get links from fishing websites – that’s obvious. But you can also secure links from websites that are topically relevant like hunting and outdoors websites.
Either way, for this example we’ll say we want links from other fishing websites. Let’s target websites with at least a 40DR and 5,000 organic traffic on Ahrefs.
Next, decide how many links you want. If you decide you want to build 5 super high quality links, you should probably send 100 emails.
We can normally pull off 15-20 replies minimum per 100 emails sent, but you’re new to this – assuming you’re going to suck because it’s your first time, you can definitely get 5 responses per 100 emails.
That’s only a 5% response rate, which is bad. Worst case scenario you get 5 replies, but you may very well get more if you send good emails.
Anyway, you need to make a list of 100 websites in your niche that fit your criteria in terms of size and strength. The size and strength of the website is up to you, but more powerful websites are obviously better.
2. Find Your Targets
With your list of 100 websites created, you need to figure out who the owners are so you can reach out to them.
You can usually figure this out via their about or team page, but sometimes you have to dig a bit deeper. Searching Google for “company name” + “owner” or “company name” + “founder” is usually going to do the trick.
Using LinkedIn is also a great way to figure out who your point of contact should be.
Figure out who the owner is, get their name, get their personal email (firstname.lastname@example.org, not email@example.com) and send them a nice personalized note.
If it’s a fishing website, don’t say, “I love your fishing articles.”
That’s not personalized – you could send that ‘personalized’ note to literally anyone with a fishing website.
Instead, say, “I love the tip you gave about how you can catch more catfish. I used that trick and had x result…” and you want to even name the trick.
I just used a generic example, but be very specific and send them a personalized note and it’s going to make them like you a lot more.
You have to understand that they don’t care about you.
They don’t care about your posts.
They only care about themselves.
If you can compliment them, boost their ego and make them feel important, they will be much more likely to respond to you.
3. Send The Pitch
Next thing you’re going to do is offer value, but I’m not talking about money.
When I say offer value, I mean offer them help in some way, shape or form.
This can be really anything – any tip or trick you have for them will do, as long as it helps them.
Since I work with websites, I normally will find a problem with their website and I’ll let them know about it.
Then I offer to send over some tips to help them fix it and they normally say, “Hell yeah, I want you to help me fix my problem. What is it? How can you help me?”
They’re eager to reply because I’m offering to help them, not the other way around. There’s a lot in it for them, and not much in it for me.
Next, I’ll help them fix a problem with their site like I said, but I don’t actually fix anything. Honestly. I’m not their web developer.
All I do is I send them a quick two or three minute YouTube video or screen recording with Loom, and I explain some concept to them that’s very basic and just send them some resources.
The point isn’t to actually fix their website, the point is to get them to LIKE you!
If they like you, it’s pretty much game over.
And that brings us to step four:
4. Build a Relationship
Think about it this way:
Anyone who owns a website that’s worth getting a link from is going to have a lot of people sending them emails asking for links.
That means they’re going to get 20 emails a day, at least, all of which are people asking them “Hey, notice you have a page in your blog about this topic, would really appreciate a backlink, you mind linking to me?”
They get that all the time and they hate it. It’s boring. There’s nothing in it for them.
No one ever takes the time to give a damn about them.
But if you actually take some time to give a damn about them, they’re going to give a damn back. Pardon my French, but that’s how it is.
5. Secure The Link
At this point, you’ve sent an email with a unique, genuine compliment, you’ve helped them out, and gotten them to like you. Now you can say:
“Hey, by the way, if this helped you out, I’d really appreciate a link from you because it’d really helped me out. Could you just slip a link in there for me? I’d really appreciate it.”
99% of the time people are going to say yes, especially because you did them a favor. They’re going to feel like they’re in your debt and they have to repay you for the favor you did them.
In the book Influence (awesome book to read if you’re interested in sales), he talks about this concept in detail.
Basically, if you do someone a favor – especially an unprompted favor – the recipient will feel like they’re in your debt and must return the favor.
If you want, you can even offer the link in exchange for advice in the initial email, as long as you’re offering them something good.
Most people will happily insert a backlink if you help them speed up their website. After all, it takes them a minute to do, and they’re getting a lot of value in return.
I use this exact process to secure insanely powerful links for my clients week after week, month after month, at scale.
Hopefully you can implement this strategy to improve your own link outreach campaigns!