How to build relationships before you build backlinks.

Did you know that having a relationship with someone makes them more likely to say yes to your backlink request? And do you want to learn how to build these relationships? If so, then read on.

workplace relationships

The anatomy of warm contact.

It's plain simple. You are likely to say yes to someone if you know them already. Whatever their request may be. They may ask you for a favor. Or money. Or even backlinks.

But if you know the requester, they have greater chances of getting you to say yes. More than someone who you didn't know at all.

Think about this for a second. Do you often do things for people you know, that you wouldn't do otherwise for someone else?

giving relationships

Therefore, you must build some kind of a relationship with influencers before you suggest them to complement their content with yours.

How to build relationships with influencers?

Let's face it, you will not become their home friend. But you can get to know them. And more importantly, get them to know you.

The key is to give. Give before you ask for anything. But by giving, I mean giving something that they need for real. Not something you want them to get.

Remember, you don't want to start with your product straight off. Never ask for anything in the first communication. Just do or give something valuable to them.

What is there to give?

A lot more than it appears on first sight!

giving choice

You first want to get to know your target niche-influencer. What do they write most about? Where are they publishing? How often? What are their social networks of choice? What do they post there? How many followers? What are their interests? What is their contact information?

If you do your due diligence about every question above, you will learn a lot about your target influencer. And by doing so, you'll learn what they like. What do they dislike. Where do they hang out. And most importantly, you'll get ideas on how to engage with them. In a real relationship kind of way, without your content or product involved.

If you want to get some suggestions and ideas on how to do that, you can look further below.

For starters, you can check all the blogs where they publish and subscribe to the RSS feeds. When they publish something new, ask them questions. Suggest alternative opinions. Just engage in discussion via comments.

Did you read their previous articles? Then look for typos. Broken links. Things that don't work or are incorrect. When you find them, email them about the issue and suggest a fix.

Are they on social networks? Follow or friend them. See their historical posts. Monitor new posts. Engage, engage, engage. Comments, questions, and suggestions do wonders.

See the groups they belong to and their interests. Try to engage with them via groups. When you know their genuine interests, it's easy to spark their interests.

Are there any interests you have with them in common? Engage with them on that. Maybe football clubs? Basketball clubs? Favourite places?


There are so many ways, you just need to be creative. And if you do your homework properly while investigating their background, being creative becomes natural.

But of course, researching the background for each influencer can be time-consuming. It's easy to act on data if you have data.

Now, if you're looking to save time while collecting such data, I'll show you a simple way in the following exercise.

Exercise: Compiling background data influencers.

You probably already did all the prerequisites for this exercise as part of the previous one, but if you did not, then please open your FREE Postbag account here. Following that, build your outreach list of the type Influencers as described here. When the list is done building, you need to open it and come to the screen as shown below.

Outreach list example for the term mortgage advice.

As you are traversing your outreach list, you will notice something in particular. Namely, in the Influencers, Blog/Web, and News sections, you will find a small fire icon in the far-right column.

For influencers, it will be next to every person. For people found under the Blog/Web and News sections, it will be only next to somebody for whom we were able to collect enough data.

In any case, when you click on that fire icon, you will be presented with a Warmup Dashboard for that individual.

Warmup Dashboard example overview.

The first thing you will see on the Warmup Dashboard is the person's email and all the social network profiles we were able to collect.

Following that, you will see a list of all the publications they made relevant to your search phrase. This will be wrapped up under the section called "Content matching".

It immediately tells you what this person has been writing that is tightly related to your search term. And more importantly, what this person has not written. Maybe an opportunity for you to create content to complement theirs?

The name of the next section in the Warmup Dashboard is called "Topics of Interest''. It is a word cloud that indicates topics of interest for this person. It's inferred from previous work they published. The bigger the word, the bigger the interest.

Interests can tell you a lot about them. Think about the question you have to answer - What do they like?

And the next section is called "Publication Overview". It will have all the articles we found they published, grouped by domain name. While this can give you a good overview of the places where they usually publish content, it can contain any type of content - related or not.

Could you use this as an opportunity to engage with them and build a relationship without having to mention your product? Remember, you can always do that later after the relationship is built.

To wrap it up, today you learned the importance of human relationships. In particular, how they can improve your chances of getting a favorable backlink response.

Now, did you already build some relationships and are ready to ask for natural complementary backlinks? Do you want to learn how to write an effective copy to ask for it?

And finally, before I send you the last piece in the series, here's food for thought: How would you use the power of copywriting to improve your chances of getting a backlink?

About the author
Karl has been working for 15+ years on the intersection of big data search technologies, artificial intelligence, and search engine optimization. He has gained international experience by working in 4 countries so far. As a husband and a father-of-3, if there's any time left, he likes to spend it on sports and hiking.

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