Ninja Outreach has a handful of different products and services you can use to get guest posts. I’ll primarily talk about their self-service tool here, but first I have to mention the premium offerings.
Ninja Outreach offers several different premium services to help you with, well, outreach. If you’re looking to reach out to various blogs around the web, there are certainly worse possible options. What do they offer?
- Hire a Ninja: This is essentially hiring curated freelancers to handle a lot of your marketing work for you. You choose a plan, which determines what level of expertise your consultant will have; simple businesses that need some outreach and blog management don’t need something expensive and complex, while larger brands might. You meet a Ninja through a web meeting, likely Skype, and discuss your business needs. Once the contract is sealed, the Ninja gets to work managing your marketing for you.
- Expert Roundup: One of the major types of blog posts, the expert roundup is a post where you contact a large list of experts, authorities, and influencers with a simple question. When a bunch of them have sent you answers, you compile them into a compelling post for your blog. It’s a great way to get a lot of traffic, links, and networking. With this service, Ninja Outreach does it for you.
- Guest Posting: This is, as you might expect, a full outsourced guest posting service. You meet with a consultant from Ninja Outreach, and work with them for the whole guest post process. They help you prospect for links, they help you craft pitch emails, and they handle communication with editors to ensure you don’t accidentally shoot yourself in the foot.
- Content Writing: What would a marketing service be without a content writing wing? Ninja Outreach maintains their own staff of writers or exclusive freelancers who can create content for you. They can write guest posts, but also blog posts for your site, case studies, white papers, press releases, product reviews, landing pages, and other custom jobs. Most of the Ninja Outreach services are aimed at prospecting and building connections; this one gives you the meat of the posts as well.
- Business Consulting: This is everything you might expect from a broad-spectrum consultant. You talk with experts from Ninja Outreach about your business, and they give you advice on everything from building authority and influencer marketing to brand trust and growth hacking.
All of these are premium services, but they aren’t what most people use Ninja Outreach to do.
The core offering of Ninja Outreach is actually just their software. It’s what you primarily pay for when you buy an account – all of the services above require contacting their sales team – and it’s what you see when you log into their website.
Ninja Outreach Plans and Pricing
Ninja Outreach has a 14-day free trial for their plans, which have the usual trend of scaling up both features and limitations as you pay more.
The cheapest plan is the Blogger plan. It gets you one user, 1,000 contacts, unlimited emails and searches of their database, and access to their Chrome extension. “Contacts” in this case means the number of saved sites with contact information, more on that later. This plan is $69 per month, which is pretty nice.
One step up is the Small Agency plan, aimed at small businesses. In addition to the features above, it bumps up the limits to two users and 5,000 contacts. It also adds in automated email broadcasting and followups. It’s $99 per month.
Above that is quite a jump in price and numbers. For $249 per month, you get four users and 25,000 contacts. Then there’s the obligatory enterprise level plan for $599 per month, which has ten users and 100,000 contacts. That’s practically enough to store every possible contact for your niche, but it’s useful if you’re trying to use the service for your clients rather than yourself.
As you might expect, they have the usual range of service guarantees; a cheaper price for each package if you pay annually, no contract so you can cancel whenever you like, a 30-day money back guarantee, and no bill until your trial period is up.
Using Ninja Outreach
In order to actually make use of Ninja Outreach, the web app, you need to register an account. You can make use of the 14-day trial if you want, it’s not limited in any way. For our purposes, the cheapest plan is fine, though if you want to make heavy use of the app you might consider upgrading to the Small Agency plan. That’s entirely up to you based on your needs.
Once you have an account, you need to log into the site. You’ll be taken to the app dashboard, which has a list of options across the top: content prospecting, social prospecting, list management, your prospects, manage templates, and outreach mode. For now, click on content prospecting.
You’ll be brought to a page that shows an infobox on the left, and a large search area on the right. In the search box up top, plug in your usual guest post operators. If you don’t know what I mean by that, go read this post. You want to have a keyword for your intended niche and a search operator that helps you narrow down the results to more relevant options. Make sure the “live search” box is checked. Hit the search button and a list of results will appear.
Each result gives you a bunch of information that will help you determine if that particular site is a good potential outreach option. You see the name of the site, the author, the URL, a description, and some metrics like their Twitter followers, tags added by Ninja Outreach themselves, and their location. Additionally, you will see a reading of social shares, the DA and PA from Moz, MozRank if applicable, number of backlinks, Alexa ranking, estimated traffic, and so on. It looks a lot like a BuzzSumo readout for a site, if you’ve ever used that app.
If you like what you see – if the site reading looks like a site that would accept your posts, or that is worth pitching to see – you can click the save button beneath the site icon. This pops up a box that lets you choose a list or create a new list to add the prospect to.
For list management, I recommend creating lists to divide up your potential outreach efforts. For example, you could make three lists; one for the sites you’re virtually guaranteed to get on, one for sites you’d like to get on but might not accept you, and one for the long shots and hail mary’s. However you choose to subdivide your contacts is fine, though, as long as it works for you.
You can perform as many searches as you like and save as many contacts as your plan allows. For someone just starting out, maxing out even the base 1,000 contacts is a bit excessive. I recommend keeping your list smaller until you’re sure of your success with the app.
One advanced technique you can use is using your competitor’s brand name as a keyword, and choosing whether to filter or pursue the results. In some cases, the sites will be owned by competitors and will not be suitable outreach targets. In other cases, they’re third party sites that, since they accepted your competitor, might accept you as well.
Ninja Outreach keeps their database relatively up to date with some additional tags and filters that can help you sort through sites you wouldn’t otherwise find. Plug in a keyword, uncheck live search, choose a reasonable maximum number of results, and click the Filter tab. This expands a bunch of options for you. You can ignore all of the numerical metrics; it’s inconsistent whether or not that data is available. Instead, look to the green boxes to the right. The “all featured pages” drop-down has sub-items you can choose, like product reviews, interviews, and sponsored posts. These are category tags added by Ninja Outreach to various sites, so if you’re looking for a specific kind of category, you can check there.
Another possibility is looking for social outreach opportunities. Ninja Outreach only searches Twitter and Instagram, and they don’t have filtering options for this kind of search. Plug in a keyword, look for viable options, and add them to a list.
Mail Templates and Outreach
Once you have a list of potential contacts, it’s time to figure out what to send them. Up at the top once again, click on the “manage templates” button. This takes you to the list of templates Ninja Outreach provides, and allows you to create more. The baseline that Ninja Outreach provides is fine, but they don’t stand out, and you can certainly refine them.
If you want to create a new template, you can do so by clicking the create new template button. You can name the template, make sure it’s compliant with anti-spam laws, and craft the specific message. You can make a subject line and a body, and there’s a reading of dynamic fields off to the side. Any piece of information Ninja Outreach has harvested can be used as a dynamic field, from page URL to Domain Authority. I don’t recommend using more than the basic contact information, site name, and possibly the items on the “features” list.
Be careful with email templates like this! One of the keys to success with email outreach is personalization, and you can’t personalize a template email enough using basic dynamic fields.
The benefit of using the Ninja Outreach template generator is that you can then send wide-spectrum messages to an entire list of your choosing all at once. This is why the anti-spam compliance is important; you don’t want to be blacklisted.
I recommend keeping your lists relatively small here. It can be easy to overwhelm yourself with too much work to do all at once if you send an outreach email to 1,000 people and 800 of them respond positively. That’s a lot of contacts to manage in a day, and a lot of guest posts to write. You’ll want to outsource the rest of the process too. Always make sure, if you’re pitching a lot of people at once, that you have the ability to back up your claims.
Once you have a template you like, or if you’re willing to use a default template, click on the Outreach Mode button at the top. This brings you to a page for scheduling outreach. Here you can click “schedule autosending” to set up an automatic pitch campaign.
You have three fields to choose here. First, select your contact list. Next, choose which type of pitch you want to send, and choose a template. This adds more options to the area below. You can tell it to start sending immediately, or you can schedule dates and times for the campaign to start, how long you want it to last, and which days you want to send. For example, it can be a good idea to spread a larger campaign out over a week or two, and you might want to disable weekends since a lot of people take the weekend off.
It’s worth noting here that Ninja Outreach has a limitation of around 200 emails per day, spread out over 10 hours. This is, again, an anti-spam measure. You can choose to decrease the number of emails per day, but you can’t increase it beyond 200.
If you want, you can set up an email follow-up here. Ninja Outreach allows up to two follow-up messages, with a set number of days between the initial pitch, the first follow-up, and the second follow-up. You can choose another template here, so set one up if you want to do this.
Before you proceed, click the “check prospects” button. This will search through your contact list and compare it to your templates. If you use any dynamic fields that are missing information for some of the contacts, you will have to fix the issue so you aren’t sending any “Dear [contact name]” messages.
When anyone responds to your messages, the responses will show up in that notifications box to the left. From there, you can take a manual hand to contacts, pursuing the leads and pitching specific guest posts as necessary. Good luck!