A Bulletproof Link Letter
Several years ago, we were doing some link-building efforts for a major media website that had
just launched an innovative product.The product was interesting enough that we thought some of
the industry thinkers with blogs might want to take a look, and maybe even write a review.So, like
Little Red Riding Hood skipping into the forest,we sent out a bunch of our usual perky, polite link
Hoo boy, were we in for a surprise! Bloggers can be a little bit like sleepy dogs that wake up snap-
ping their teeth.We received some less-than-polite responses:What were we doing pestering
them? Who the heck would want this product? Why the heck did we send this e-mail?
Worse, at least one blog actually published the text of our e-mail, with our full name and e-mail
address! That could have been more than a little embarrassing.
Luckily—or was it actually foresight on our part?—our letters were carefully written to avoid
embarrassment to ourselves or our client.We were eminently polite and professional.We described
the benefits of the product without resorting to heavy selling.And we took some time to review the
blogs for relevance before sending out our e-mails. Our punishment took the form of exposure, and
Nowadays, there are blogs on every subject,from lost socks to lost souls,and surely there are some
in your industry.At some point in your link-building campaign, you’ll probably want to approach
one. Keep these guidelines in mind when you do:
Get to know the blog first.Read it for a while before you approach its owner.
Remember, it’s less about selling your site to the blogger and more about convincing them
that your site would be interesting to the blog’s readers.
If you really want a blogger to review your product,you’ll have better success if you send
them a freebie.Likewise, if your product is on a page that requires a login, consider offering
login information for the blogger’s sole use (but don’t send out login information in your first
And, finally, imagine your e-mail posted on the blog for the whole world to see.Would this be
embarrassing in any way to you or your organization? If so,you need a rewrite.
To make your life a little easier, we’ve written a sample link request letter for
your use. Download it from our companion website at
Open a new document and write your own general link request letter including your site’s must-
have information. Save it in your SEO Idea Bank.
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