Imagine what your business would be like if you had 100,000 new users in a year. Sounds impossible, right?
BufferApp’s co-founder Leo Widrich struggled to get the PR he wanted for his startup. So instead of hiring an expensive PR firm, he made the news himself by guest posting on 150 blogs. By doing so, he took Buffer on the fast-track to success.
And Leo was able to pull it all off with 100,000 new users in just 9 months.
When I heard this, I was hooked. Getting that amount of traffic alone is astounding. But I knew to effectively write at this scale, I needed the right tools and system in place to produce that much quality work.
First I’ll share with you the success of other legendary bloggers who have done this and then share with you my top 10 tools to acquire new readers of your blog like…Jason Voorhees.
Image source: Jason Voorhees
Learning From The Best in Blogging
In the past 6 months, I’ve been the marketing strategist for a web hosting startup. When I was looking for effective marketing strategies, I came across How I Write 8 Blog Posts a Week While Running 2 Companies article on the Web, which really resonated with me.
While Neil Patel runs Crazy Egg and Hello Bar, in his “spare time” he writes 8 articles a week on Quicksprout, NeilPatel.com, Forbes, Entrepreneur, TheNextWeb, and many other notable sites. These aren’t a bunch of mediocre, copy-and-paste jobs either.
I find it is always beneficial to first learn from the best, then use my creativity to fit the strategy to my personality and ability.
So when I began researching on other sites what Neill Patel did, I stumbled upon The Ultimate Guide to Guest Blogging by Kristi Hines. Kristi herself has written content as a freelance writer which has generated over 300,000 social shares. Awesome, another great writer to learn from.
In her guide, she describes the work of other prolific bloggers like Gregory Ciotti, Danny Iny, Leo Widrich, Neil Patel, and Marcus Sheridan. I learned How Guest Posting Propelled Buffer From 0 to 100,000 Customers and how Danny Iny became the Freddy Krueger of blogging.
I was sold. Perhaps if I succeeded, I could become the Jason Voorhees of blogging. Never hurts to dream :). But in order to do that, I needed the right systems and tools in place to write fast and efficiently.
As I began looking for how I could do this, I came across Kevan Lee’s article on Buffer, “39 Blogging Tools to Help You Work Faster, Write Better, and Land More Readers.” Perfect.
I took Lee’s list of tools and modified the list to suit my purpose of influencer outreach with guest post blogging.
Top 10 Tools to Guest Blog Like Jason Voorhees
Psst! If you read carefully, you’ll find a couple other great tools to help you grow your blog hidden in a couple of the sections.
#1 Start with Google Documents and Spreadsheets
Nothing super special here, but you need a place to begin planning your outreach strategy. I use the spreadsheet to list all blogs I’ve read, who to contact, their email, and topics to write on. The Google documents will be used to write out proposed article outlines and of course, to write the article itself.
Cool mini hack: If you save your documents starting with brackets (e.g. “[To Capala] 10 Tools to Blog Like Jason Voorhees”), you can easily find the article when you type the title in the URL.
#2 To organize your articles, use Trello
After setting up the spreadsheet, I began to create an editorial board. This will allow you to quickly organize your work so you can see the article process.
On my Trello board, I created the following lists: To Do, Blog Ideas, Outline, Email Pitch, Headline Creation Station, Grammarly, Hemmingway, Formatting/Pics, Publish, Promote, and Thank the Author. As an article moves through the list, I know exactly what needs to be done to move it to the next stage.
#3 & #4 Find articles guaranteed to succeed with Buzzsumo and Quicksprout
Take a look at your list of blogs you plan on pitching. Which sites have the type of content you want to write about?
Gather each of those and put them into Buzzsumo and Quicksprout’s search box. Look at the most viral hits to generate ideas for your post. The idea for this post initially came from 39 Blogging Tools to Help You Work Faster, Write Better, and Land More Readers, which has over 11,500 shares.
At this point, I write out the title, brief intro, outline of the article, and the conclusion into a word document. I then modify the outlines and give the influencer the option between 3 possible posts.
Here is the exact template I used to have this opportunity to write on SearchDecoder.com. Below is the outreach email. It’s that simple.
#5 Spin up some killer titles with the Portent Title Maker
Writing powerful headlines can be tough. Jon Morrow was required to write 100 headlines a day for Copyblogger. Since then, he’s helped thousands of bloggers get quality through his enticing headlines at Boost Blog Traffic. I’d highly recommend his free eBook “52 Headline Hacks.”
A tool I use when I get stuck (or lazy) is Portent’s Content Idea Generator. The grammar of the headline may not be perfect, but it should get your creative juices flowing.
Now that you’ve got a plethora of headlines to choose from, how do you know which will be the best?
Wouldn’t it be convenient if there was a way to grade your headlines? Yup, there’s a tool for that.
Insert your titles into the EMV Headline Analyzer to reveal the power of your headline. I used the highest grade headline in my email pitch and saved the others as alternatives for the influencer to choose from.
Of course, no tool is perfect. Keep in mind that these tools are to help aid your writing process. Even if you were to create a title given a score of 100% doesn’t mean it will resonate with your audience. So how do you decide on the final title to use?
By using the Kingsumo Headline plugin, you don’t need to decide. This tool will automatically rotate your headlines in A/B testing fashion to show the perfect headline. That’s magic worth $109,500 right there.
#7 Discover the influencer’s email with ContentMarketer.io
Sujan Patel has become a master at influencer outreach. But spending the time finding the hundreds of emails took way too long. So Patel teamed up with Colin Mathews to create Content Markter to scan a website to uncover every email.
Now it’s time to get ready and write the email.
#8 Crystal Knows everything about the influencer
Now that you’ve prospected your outreach contacts and found their emails, it’s important that you write in a way that the influencer responds well to. Knowing how best to do this is tough because we are all quite different.
A recently released product, Crystal Knows gives you the exact insights you need to do this. It gives everything from personality profiles and on-the-spot suggestions as to what does and does not work.
Now it comes time to write out your post.
And frankly, that’s the best thing for you to do: just write.
#9 When you need the power of an editing team, use Grammarly
For the longest time, I thought they were just another funny Facebook meme group. Turns out Grammarly is a free tool that uses more than 250 advanced grammar rules to proofread your writing.
Not only have I seen Grammarly catch errors that Microsoft Word or a web browser misses, it also proofreads just about any place you type on your computer.
Now that you are done editing…
#10 Write simply with Hemmingway
Did you know that if you reduce the readability level of your writing from 9th to 6th-grade, you will increase your readership by 43-60%?
In order to know where an article stacks up, you can run it through Hemmingway. Not only will it let you know what reading level your article is at, it will give you pointers how to write simply and effectively.
Now you’ve got your article written and fully edited. It’s finally time to hit publish and start promoting your blog.
Over to you: What tools do you like to use when you write a blog?
I appreciate your leaving me a comment below to share your feedback. Please also be sure to share this article with another writer you know who would benefit from saving time. If you like, get a free copy of my new guide, “100 Tips to Live a More Productive Life: Creating Margin for the Things that Matter Most.”