'Linkbaiting' is a tried and tested link building tactic and if you can pull it off, chances are that you'll see a massive influx of high-quality links to your website, often giving you a huge spike in visitors and even increasing your ranking position for your chosen key terms. The problem is, a lot of people create a great linkable asset (linkbait) but fail because they don't have a good outreach plan. Some people don't have any outreach plan at all. Outreach is a hugely important part of the process and if you want to have any success at all with your linkable asset, you're going to need to really think this through. Below, we're going to be running through a basic outreach strategy that should work as a good starting point for most pieces of linkbait. Start Before You Create Your Linkbait It might seem like you're doing things backwards here but it actually pays to begin your outreach process before you've even started creating your linkable asset. There are a couple of reasons for this. First of all, you'll have the opportunity to check if there is actually an audience that is likely to be interested in your linkbait. If you struggle to find sites that you feel would respond positively should you contact them about your linkbait, then chances are that your idea isn't that great and you should go back to the drawing board. You can also use this initial stage to test the waters. Choose a few websites that you think would be interested in linking to your finished linkbait (four or five sites is plenty) and send them an email. In the email, ask them what they think of the idea and ask if they'd be interested in sharing it with their audience once you've created it. Don't mention links, use words like 'share' and 'audience'. If the majority of bloggers respond positively, then you know your idea has potential. The Prospecting Process The prospecting process is pretty straightforward. It's basically just the process of finding sites that would be likely to link to your linkbait and also, sites that you actually want a link from. There are a number of tools you can use to find websites that might want to link to your asset including Open Site Explorer, FollowerWonk (great for finding influencers in your industry) and many more. The best thing you can do is to find websites that have reported and linked to similar content before. If they've linked out to something similar (not too similar though), chances are that they'll link to you. You want to identify as many websites as possible here (so long as they're high quality and relevant) then save them into a spreadsheet. It also helps to note down the names of the site owners, contact details and domain authority (or PR). Plant The Initial Seed Once you've completed the prospecting process, you now need to divide your prospects into two piles. Some of the prospects will be higher quality than others and therefore, a link from those particular sites would be more valuable to you. For example, a link from a site like the BBC would be more valuable than a link from a random blog. You want to remove the extremely authoritative websites from your list and create a different list for them. This will be your seed list. Any sites that have a particularly high number of visitors (e.g. Mashable, Business Insider etc) should be used to seed your content. You should probably pick around 5 - 10 of these sites and outreach to these first. You'll use these to effectively seed your content. If this stage is done well, you'll probably be able to get more than just the one link with minimal effort. You can also offer initial exclusivity to these sites which will increase your chances of getting coverage. Follow Up With The Remaining Sites Once you've got your linkbait 'seeded' on one (or perhaps a couple of) high quality website(s), you can then outreach to the rest of your prospects. Depending on the quality of your remaining prospects (you might want to divide your list into a couple of piles again), it might be worth sending a basic template (customised with their name and personal details) to the lower quality sites as they are less important. For any other sites, send them a personalised email asking to share your content. Again, try not to use the word 'link' but rather something along the lines of 'it would be great if you could share it with your audience'. Conclusion Linkbait outreach can be a time-consuming and difficult process, so effective process management is paramount. Yes, everyone has a slightly different process when it comes to outreach but as stated, the process above provides a good starting point. Feel free to customise it as you feel necessary.