UPDATED: Link Building Gone Wrong: 3 Clever Responses To Bail You Out

Sometimes, your outreach sucks balls. You’re asking people to link your article on career advancements within an article about DIY Gardening Ideas (just an example).

Sometimes, the site you’re outreaching to has nothing to do with your article.
But most times, the site will have an article buried in last year’s archives about helping young employees advance in their career easily.

Clever Response 1

Imagine the following scenario:

You blasted your outreach campaign through an email drip software, and somehow you’ve outreached to a particular site about linking your career guide to an article about gardening.
The owner responded back saying something along the lines of:
Hey Dude,
Unless your “Career Advance” guide can help my tomatoes grow and become melons, I don’t think this is gonna work. 

So what do you do now?


  • Archive email/Tuck it in the rejected folder
  • Find a great post that will be an awesome fit for your article

Let’s imagine you chose the second option. Then you write the following nifty email:

The follow-up email:

Hey John,

Sorry about that!

I had so many tabs open from your site that I just copy-pasted the wrong one! Got carried away by some of your posts tbh 🙂

Here’s the one I actually wanted to have my article linked

What do you think?

What does this email do?

Three things.

  • First, it makes you look as if you didn’t use email drip software in the first place.
  • Second, it shows you’ve been so enthralled by his writing that you made this silly mistake – this ticks his ego and makes him feel good.
  • Third, you will at least get a response back from a website owner that now knows is communicating with a real person.



Your outreach efforts will inevitably lead you to a site that does talk about your topic and keyword, but for a completely different audience.
Normally, the website owner will be confused the first time you reach out to him.
How the fuck will your article about Millenials partying will fit with my article about elderly people and how to take care of their health?
So how do you turn similar misfit outreach around?

  • You take a step back and isolate what your and their article have in common
  • Since you were targeting the same topic, this should be your common thing
  • Then write an email where you’d talk in general as to how both of your articles talk about the same topic and slowly dive into how your specific article on that topic will help the target website’s audience if they link your article in their article.
My face when I read what I wrote above.

The following two examples are from a current outreach that I did. Both show how this approach works and how you can use it for your own outreach.

Clever Response 2a

Initial Email:

  • I was pitching a guide on setting career goals for college students
  • The article that I wanted the guide to go in, was about making it through the holidays sober, and having goals would help you do exactly that
  • So our common thing was goals although the subject was completely off

Website Response:

Hey John,
Thanks for reaching out. We love your article but we’re not sure how it will fit with our article on making through the holidays sober.
If you have an idea, please share it,

My Response:

Hey Jenna,

Great news!

So my idea is to add it at the end with something along the lines of:

You’ve had some goals to get over the holidays sober but now what? Continuing your smart plan goals should be one of your priorities and we have the perfect resource for that. Check it out.

The website agreed to link afterward.

Clever Response 2b

Initial email

  • I was pitching the same guide as in the previous example
  • The article I wanted the guide to go in, was about people that want to lose weight and set up goals to achieve that
  • So again, our common thing was goals but completely different subjects

Website response:

The owner was confused as to how the guide on career goals was going to fit in with their article on weight loss and setting goals to do that but wanted to get my opinion anyway to see if there could be a fit.

My response:

Hey Jenna,

Thanks for getting back to me!

I understand your concern and from what I’ve seen with my readership is that weight loss goals are closely related to career goals. When people decide to start developing smart goals, they inevitably take into account their career and physical wellbeing.

That was my thinking – what do you think?

Their response: 

Hi John,

That will work, I’ll add it today and follow up with you once complete.



Clever Response 3

Sometimes, a website you reached out to will happily link you but they would want you to have a call with them. That would be all good if you’re outreach person is you – but in most outreach efforts, marketers choose to create a persona and do outreach with it.
So, you’re a male and your outreach persona is a female. A website asks you to have call. What do you do?

My response

Sure, I’d be happy to chat Emily,

The thing is, my editor, likes to keep all conversations over email for transcript purposes – sometimes we link someone and in return, we don’t get what was promised to us, and this way we can trace back the culprit 🙂

I’d assume the same happens to you too?

Would that be ok?

Let me know,
Have a similar mishappen that you need help with? 
Shoot me an email at thebbdirector@gmail.com and let’s get you that link.
P.S. The names and wording of the emails are modified for privacy purposes.

If you’re looking for help with your link building campaigns, check our service here. 

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