Blogger Outreach: How To Turn Your Next Rejection into A Content Marketing YES

Are you struggling to get people to promote your book, blog or course online? Perform blogger outreach faster to build relationships with influencers that promote your work.

Wouldn’t it be wonderful if you could turn an initial no from somebody into an even greater yes? I’m not talking about using some smarmy sales pitch, either, but rather by being genuinely valuable to the other person.

All of a sudden you go from being just another person pitching (a blog post, interview, partner request, etc…), to a stand out individual they’re keen to get to know.

Sounds good, right?

Of course it does, and what I’m about to share with you works because it’s how I turned an initial no from Cody into a beautiful YES. But before we get into what this involves, why this is relevant to you, and how you can do it too (step-by-step), let’s first focus on how I came across this revelation to begin with…

How To Perform Blogger Outreach The Right Way

It Began After A Chat with My Friend, Danny Iny:

I’ve followed Danny Iny for several years, and I consider myself lucky enough to call him a friend. He appeared in my book, The Successful Mistake (he was one of the first people I interviewed), and he’s someone I often share new ideas with.

As founder of Mirasee (formerly Firepole Marketing), Danny has a fountain of knowledge I’m always keen to tap into, and he often helps me turn a good idea into a great one.

So when I decided to run a free paperback campaign for The Successful Mistake, I both asked Danny for his feedback and if he would become an affiliate partner.

Unfortunately he said no because he didn’t have room in his promotional calendar, and he said I may come across this issue with other potential partners, too. But then he said something very important, and it sparked a BIG idea.

“Have you thought about writing guest posts for people instead of just asking them to be a partner? You can still link to your offer in the byline and set them up as an affiliate, but this way you’re offering them value first — plus surprising them with their commission a few months down the line.”


This ignited a brainwave within me, because although I’ve been planning on doing more guest posts to end the year, I didn’t think to align it with my free paperback offer. I intended to do what I usually do, and link to my website and a sample chapter of the book.

However, aligning my content marketing with my upcoming campaign created an all important triple win:

  • The Blogger Wins because they not only share new and valuable content with their audience, but gain a commission for each person they refer (without having to commit to promoting the campaign itself)
  • The Audience Wins because they get to read valuable content and grab a free book, but without the usual sales pitch
  • I Win because I get my book into the hands of those who need to read it, as well as benefiting from the usual goodness that content marketing offers.

Win + Win + Win = Damn good times!

Throughout the rest of this post I’m going to deep dive into how I’m doing all of this, what it involves, and how you can do it too. No matter what you’re working on, creating, or releasing in the future, I believe you can use this blogger outreach strategy to not only gain exposure and build your list, but strengthen your ties with partners, peers, and friends alike.

For me this involves a book and a free paperback offer, but for you it could be a new business, product launch, service, app, or anything whatsoever.

I encourage you to read what I write and relate it to YOU, always focussing on:

  • How you can turn an initial no into a yes
  • How you can create that all important Triple Win
  • How you can align the small picture with the BIG one (more on this soon)

To achieve this we’ll break down this post into three main sections:

THE WHAT: overview what I’m actually doing to perform blogger outreach, and how this new approach differs to my old one


THE WHY: cover why this is relevant to you and show you how it differs from everything you’ve been taught before about blogger outreach


THE HOW: create a step-by-step deep dive into how to perform blogger outreach and what outreach tools you can use (lots of email swipe copy awaits)

With this in mind, let’s dive into what I’m actually doing with this blogger outreach campaign, and how my newfound approach differs to everything I’ve done in the past.



I’ve written many guest posts over the last five years, appeared on lots of podcasts, and although I like to think I’ve had a solid content marketing plan throughout, I’ll be the first to admit that I haven’t.

I believe whenever you start a new project you can either focus on the small picture or the BIG one.

In my instance, the small picture surrounds focussing everything I do (guest posts,f podcast interviews, etc…) around The Successful Mistake as a book. Whereas the BIG picture turns focus to the grander premise of mistakes, failure, and how to overcome adversity.

The small picture tunnels your vision, whereas the big one opens you up to opportunity.

For far too long, I had this small picture mentality, and it affected everything I produced. Chances are you too focus on the small picture, and although placing focus on your book, product, idea, or project isn’t necessarily bad, it does close the door on certain opportunities.

I mention this because my previous small picture approach placed everything on to the book and it’s free paperback campaign. I didn’t consider the role content marketing could play alongside it, but once I allowed the BIG picture to take over, I saw far beyond the trees.

However, opening yourself up to the big picture isn’t enough if you don’t tick three important boxes that stand between you and content marketing success:

  1. Strategy (have a plan)
  2. Consistency (stick to this plan and show up again-and-again)
  3. Relevance (stay on topic and keep reaching the right type of audience)

In the past I didn’t tick any of these boxes.

Although I’d occasionally come up with a plan, it would be too narrow and difficult to implement. As such, I wasn’t consistent, and always jumping from one topic to the next (largely because I didn’t have a strategy to begin with).

So with the BIG picture in mind (plus these three important pillars of content marketing), let’s dive into WHAT this campaign involves before we delve into how you can do it, too.


1: Strategy:

When all is said and done, my aim is to get The Successful Mistake into the hands of those who need to read it.

The free paperback campaign is a great way of achieving this as it creates that all important triple win (the partner wins, the audience wins, and I win). Utilising a launch, affiliate partners, and joint ventures makes a lot of sense, but only focussing on this would be letting my small picture mentality take over.

Whereas the BIG picture shows me this idea can be evergreen and evolve over time, incorporate guest posts and podcast interviews (not just to promote, but by being a key cog in the machine), and span into other territories like speaking, live events, social media, and much more.

With this in mind, the foundations of this strategy (what makes everything I’m about to share with you tick) involves:

  1. Highlighting potential partners who can connect me with the right kind of audience
  2. Reaching out to these potential partners and offering them value-value-value (with the Triple Win in mind)
  3. Nurturing these new connections whether they say yes or no
  4. Refusing to take no for an answer — if they do say no, search for a fresh angle to provide value
  5. When the chance comes to connect with their audience, WOW them with epic content
  6. AND funnel everything back to the free book offer to keep things consistent
  7. From here, my audience grows and I get to provide big value on the back of it.

Rinse, repeat, and so on and so on…

Ensuring there’s a strategy is a vital part of the process, because it minimises shiny object syndrome. Honing in on who my ideal audience is, forces me to only reach out to relevant partners. Appreciating there are other ways to collaborate within someone than bringing them on board as a partner gives me reason to keep the conversation going (and nurture these new connections).

Simply… knowing what the point of this whole campaign is about ensures I deliver a consistent message at all times (from the content itself, to the free book offer that comes after).

So strategy is where all this begins, but it means little if I don’t show up time-after-time-after-time. Which is where consistency comes in.


2: Consistency:

Initially, the plan was to make this free book campaign a typical launch (with a start date and and end date).

My small picture mentality forced me into this, but I then began to question why it couldn’t be an evergreen campaign that evolved over time.

This slight change in approach made it possible to turn a no into a yes, because I now offered the possibility of flexibility. This change in approach also switched my gears from looking at content marketing (guest posts, podcasts, etc…) as a way to promote the book, and instead play a fundamental role in the campaign itself.

Why couldn’t I set up a podcaster who interviewed me as an affiliate partner?

Why does an affiliate partner only have to be someone who promotes me to their list in the form of an email?

Just like that the rules changed for me, and it gave me the flexibility and freedom to not only reach out to potential partners, but to play the long-game with them… build a relationship with them… and find a way to turn that no into a yes (even if it took me months to do so).

It also took a lot of pressure off of my shoulders, because I could create a long list of potential partners but not worry about reaching out to them all at once.

I could commit to writing a lot of guest posts, but not have to have them all ready for a specific launch period.

This also meant I had reason to be consistent for the months ahead, remaining in-tune with my strategy at the same time. All that was left to do was to make sure I kept everything relevant.


3: Relevance:

Like I say, my previous small picture mentality forced me into making everything about the book. This is no longer the case, although that isn’t to say remaining relevant at all times isn’t vital.

It is. Everything I produce must remain on-point with the grander outreach strategy, but it doesn’t all have to be about the book. In fact, I don’t have to focus on the book at all.

Instead I can turn focus to overcoming adversity, transforming failure into success, and sharing stories about how people do this. This is great for two reasons:

  1. What I produce is less salesy
  2. I become an authority figure on the grander topic, rather than just a guy with a new book

It also means I can write articles like this one that detail the lessons I personally learn from performing blogger outreach. This is a huge part of what I do, because I’m constantly learning from the mistakes I make, the failures I suffer through, and the new ideas I experiment with to see what works.

BUT the key to all this — no matter what the topic I write about may be —  is to ensure there’s a relevant and consistent call to action (the free book offer).

Because it’s not simply about ensuring you and your content marketing remains on-point, it’s about making sure those you reach out (to your future audience) receive a relevant and consistent product.

I failed miserably at this for years, always creating a new lead magnet or offer because I was worried the previous one wasn’t good enough. I never gave anything a chance though, but as I move forward now, everything leads back to that single free book offer.

Can I iterate and tweak it? Sure.

Can I update it based on feedback and results? Of course.

But it needs to stay relevant and consistent, because when you combine this with a solid strategy you can and will build traction over time.

So as you see, Strategy + Consistency + Relevance comes together to form a beautiful cycle that feeds itself. If one of these important pillars fail, your content marketing success suffers as a result. Whereas if these three aspects sing off the same page at all times, good things happen.

So now you know what this free book campaign is all about, and how content marketing plays a role within it, you’re ready to unearth HOW I’ve brought it all together.

But first, let’s quickly touch upon WHY you should care…



We’re going to deep dive into HOW you can do all of this next, but before we do it’s important to focus on why you should.

You already appreciate the benefits content marketing brings (if not may I suggest you read THIS article from Cody… or THIS one…), but why should you care about this approach?

Why does this differ to other content marketing articles you’ve read about in the past?

It comes back to the BIG picture and a question I often ask: how can I kill two birds with this single stone?

Chances are you’re already reaching out to new clients, trying to create new partnerships, and connect with authority figures in a bid to sell/promote/expose…

Sometimes you get a yes, other times you get a no. This is part of the process and you don’t need me to tell you it.

Chances are you’re also utilizing content marketing to great effect already, so why not kill two birds with one stone (or a third… fourth… fifth) and combine these two entities to turn your no’s into a yes.

We circle back to this at the end of the post, but whilst you work through the next section (HOW), be sure to keep asking yourself how this relates to you, how this can help you, and why this matters to YOU. I assure you, you can kill a few birds with one stone, and doing so makes everything we’re about to cover all the more impacting.

With this in mind, let’s dive into HOW you can do all of this.



Now you know what the plan of action is, and you appreciate why such an approach can help you kill a few birds with a single stone, let’s deep dive into HOW you can actually do this.

Remember, I’m about to share the process I’ve taken for The Successful Mistake Free Paperback Campaign, but you can tweak this so it relates to YOU and what you create.

There are other tools you can use, and other workflows, too.

Use my approach as a stepping stone, and continue to ask yourself: how can I add my own twist to this?

Let’s jump into the big step-by-step, shall we…


Step 1: Create Your Hit List of Potential Partners:

Your first step is to create a spreadsheet of potential partners that will reach out to who help connect you to your ideal audience. Remember, my initial focus for the free paperback campaign was to involve affiliate partners, so my research reflected this (instead of creating a long list of bloggers and podcasters).

I began by creating a simple Google Doc that had the following columns:



To begin with, I scoured through my existing network:

  • Gmail contacts
  • Contactually contacts
  • Facebook friends
  • Linkedin network

… and added any person /  company that I felt could be a good fit for the campaign. At this point I had most of the email addresses and contact details I needed, so simply added their name plus a hyperlink that pointed to their website.



To help ensure I didn’t contact the same person twice, once I emailed someone on the list I added that day’s date as a point of reference.



This column is a biggie because it makes sure you keep everything relevant (and aligned with that all important strategy). I already knew who my target audience for the book was, so I created the following tags so I could make sure every potential partner I reached out to ticked at least one of these boxes:

  • Entrepreneurship
  • Mindset / Success
  • Self Help
  • Leadership
  • Coach / Consultant
  • Creative Types (bloggers, podcasters, writers, etc…)




I placed numerous notes in this final column over time, but most of these referred to whether they had a podcast or blog (or something else that would be relevant further down the line). This becomes important later on, so I encourage you to make any relevant notes at this stage.


I didn’t worry about contacting them at this point, merely focussed on building this hit list.

Once I worked through my existing network, I then researched other potential partners who could be a good fit.

**Because I desired affiliate partners first and foremost, this is where I centred my efforts **


I’d been part of several affiliate launches in the build up to this campaign, as I wanted to see what the best-of-the-best do to knock their launch out of the park., This is where I centred my focus at this stage, so for each previous launch I’d been part of, I researched:

  • The Leaderboard (adding anyone who appeared in the Top 20 to my hit-list)
  • The Partner Facebook Group (a great place to find people who may be interested in promoting)
  • Anyone Part of The Launch (if they were a speaker at a summit, for instance)

There are plenty of other ways to recruits potential partners, and if you’d like to dive deeper into this then I encourage you to this post from Matt McWilliams.

But between my own network and the prior launches I were a part of, I soon compiled a hit-list of 185 relevant names.

This was more than enough to get me started, and because I now had a bigger picture mentality, I appreciated I grow this list over time and not worry too much about launching with a bang.

So I was almost ready to start reaching out to these people, but before I did I made a final note of:

  • Those I already had a relationship with
  • Those I don’t have a relationship with, but share a common friend
  • Those I don’t know and who don’t seem to share a common connection (a pure cold contact)

This whole process did take a little while, but not nearly as long as you might suspect. I spent a few hours each afternoon (for about five days in a row), and soon had everything I needed to start my outreach.

At this point I emailed those potential connectors who I shared common friends with, asking if they could introduce me to said person. A warm introduction always helps, so I wanted to get this ball rolling before I started any other outreach.


Step 2: Send Your Initial Email:

Once I had my hit list of potential partners, it was time to reach out to them and introduce myself and the book.

However, before I could do this I first had to get their email into Contactually (my CRM software of choice, and a true gamechanger). I already had a lot of the emails I needed, but still had plenty of people to find. So to make life easier later, I got organised in Contactually and then prepped my initial emails.



Adding dozens of emails to Contactually isn’t hard, but it can be rather time consuming (and tedious). I won’t go into detail as to how I gathered all these emails because there are lots of great articles that do this already (including THIS one… THIS one… and THIS one).

But this is the overall process I took

  1. First, I checked their contact page to see if they have their email on there (I avoid using a contact form whenever I can because I like to automate my follow up experience — more on this soon).
  2. I would then use the combination of Gmail and Rapportive to track down their details.
  3. Finally, I would literally Google ‘Their Name, Email Address’ and see what cropped up.

This last step is a shot in the dark, but it’s amazing how often an email pops up in an old article of some kind. This isn’t a foolproof process by any means, but out of the 183 people on my hit list, I found addresses for all but 10!

Once I had their address it was a simple case of adding them to Contactually and tagging them.

I’m a tad OCD so I like to stay organised, and to make my life easier further down the line (during the follow-up stage), I created a new Bucket Called ‘SM JV Partners and setup the following Tags:

  • SM Potential Affiliate (Friend) — those I know well
  • SM Potential Affiliate (Cold) — those who I do not know and have zero warm introduction for
  • SM Potential Affiliate (Warm) — those who I don’t know, but share a common friend (or know, but not well)
  • SM Potential Affiliate (Community) — those who I don’t know, but we’re part of a common community / group

Getting organised in this fashion isn’t necessary, but I would advise it as things can get complicated once you start following people up (especially if you’re reaching out to dozens of people in a short window).

The main thing is to get your contacts in Contactually (or CRM of choice) and organise them in a way you’re happy with. Once you achieve this, you’re ready to email everyone and introduce yourself and your campaign.



I learned a lot about how email influencers whilst writing The Successful Mistake, and the most important lesson of all is to keep your initial email brief!

Seriously, the shorter the better.

The whole purpose of your initial email is to be read and to start a conversation. Whether you know the person you’re emailing or not, this is your only objective at this moment in time.

With this in mind, here are the initial emails I sent out; and because I tagged people as one of four things, I had four versions of initial email:

The Friend Email:

Hey [name], how’s the good life treating you?


I’m doing something big with The Successful Mistake in October and wondered if you’d be interested in supporting it?


Can I share the details with you?


If so, and you think it’s a good fit for your audience, I’d love to have you on board. Thoughts?


The Cold Email:

Hey hey [name], how’s the good life treating you?


I saw that you were promoting [recent launch] recently (me too) and thought of you for something I have coming up.


This October I’m doing something big with my latest book, The Successful Mistake. It’s similar to what the likes of Ryan Levesque and Tony Robbins have done recently, but offers a refreshing twist you and your audience will like.


If you’re interested, I’d love to share more info with you. Thoughts?


The Warm Email

Hey [name], I hope you’re having a top day so far.


I’d like to run an idea past you that I believe will provide you and your audience big value.


It involves gifting them a Free Paperback Copy of The Successful Mistake (not unlike what Ryan Levesque and Tony Robbins have done of late), but with a fresh twist I think you’ll like.


If you’re interested, I’d love to share more info with you. Thoughts?


The Community / Group Email:

Hey [name],


We’re both part of the [community name] community, but so far we haven’t met.


Do you have some time in the near future to discuss an exciting project I have coming up?


You see, I’m working on something big for my latest book (The Successful Mistake), and I’d love to get your ideas. Plus if you think it’s a good fit for your audience, perhaps we could collaborate on this.


If you’re interested, I’d love to share more info with you. Thoughts?


As you can see, each of these emails are super short!

I always assume the person on the other end is busy, so the less time they spend on my first email, the better. This also places what happens next into their hands, and if they reply with something like:

“Hey Matthew. Sure thing, intrigued to hear more.”

… which was a common reply, by the way… then they’re likely to read a more detailed follow up.

Now all of this may have you asking: do you send these emails in bulk, or individually?

This is why Contactually is the ideal tool for the job, because with its Scale Mail Feature you can send dozens of the same email at once, but personalise each one. Let me show you how:

I didn’t send all of these initial emails the same day, instead sending 50 each morning until I’d touched base with everyone. I could have done all of them at once, but in a bid to make the follow-up experience less daunting, I decided to spread them out.

Speaking of following up…


Step 3: Follow Up Like a Boss:

Okay, so you’ve sent your initial email and you’ve now introduced yourself. You start getting some instant replies, but not everyone hits that reply button straight away.

This is why following-up your email is arguably the most important step of this whole process.

Sure, you may think the first email you send somebody is the crucial, but the truth is it’s the follow-up where the real magic happens because:

  • Sometimes your first email doesn’t make it past the junk folder.
  • Sometimes they read it and accidentally skim over it.
  • Sometimes they think they’re part of some bulk email (especially if you haven’t connected with them before)
  • Sometimes you just catch them at a hectic time

Few people think twice about sending an email to someone, but many people stress over following up. As such, the simple fact that you follow-up your email a few days later sets you apart from the vast majority of people out there.

And this is good news for you and for me.

When it comes to following people up, there are two parts:

  • The Initial Follow Up
  • The Follow Up Sequence

Both are vital in your blogger outreach success, and it’s here where turning a no into a yes takes place. Let me explain…


The Initial Follow-Up

I used to try and manually follow people up, relying on spreadsheets and my brain to keep on top of everything. Bad idea, and thankfully there are some great tools to keep you on top.

The tool I use is, so whenever I sent one of my initial emails I added the following into the BCC field: [email protected]


This simple action takes a host of pressure off of your shoulders, because one week later it sends a reminder direct  to your inbox saying it’s time to follow up.

However, it only sends this if the person on the other end HAS NOT replied to the initial email. Clever, right?

All of a sudden I have an inbox of reminders, and within 30 minutes I reply to dozens of these by doing the following:

** Quick Tip: Edit your subject line to something like ‘Quick Follow Up’. This not only removes the RE: message from your follow-up email, but also tells the other person that this isn’t the first email you’ve sent them **


So… what should you send in this follow-up email?

Again, the key here is to keep things short, because one again your sole objective is to begin a conversation… to literally get a reply from the other person.

This is the follow up I sent if they hadn’t replied to my initial email:


Hey [name], how’s your day treating you so far?


Just a quick follow up to my last email (added below), as I appreciate you get a lot so may have missed mine.


Would love to share more details with you about my big plans for October. Shall I fire a quick overview across?


Again, keep everything short and sweet at this point, and make the other person’s life as easy as possible.

So, does this work?

You bet it does.

It amazes me how many replies I get to a follow-up email like this one. The thing is it shouldn’t, because you always have to remember the person you’re reaching out to is busy; maybe missed your first email; you caught them at the wrong time; or you landed in their junk folder for one reason or another.

Following up isn’t only a second chance for you, it’s a second chance for them, too.


The Follow Up Sequence

Persistence is the key.

If they don’t reply to your first email, follow up.

If they don’t reply to your follow up, try again.

This is where a tool like Contactually comes into its own, and it’s also here where you start to turn a no into a yes.

So… how do you do this?

It all centres around Contactually Program Feature, by creating a simple funnel designed to persist until you get a reply of some kind.

This is what the program I used looked like:

After 14 Days, Send Follow Up 2:

Headline: Sorry, I forgot to offer you this in my last email…


Hey {{ my_first_name | fallback: “” }}, I hope you’re having a top day so far.


I just realised I emailed you last week about my upcoming Free Paperback campaign, but didn’t offer you a copy of the Successful Mistake (sorry about that).


I imagine you’d like to take a look at the book before sharing it with your audience, so I’d love to send you a copy (all I need is your address).


What do you say… should I send you a copy, {{ my_first_name | fallback: “” }}?


** Alternatively, you can download a digital version of the book here **


After 7 More Days, Send Follow Up 3:

Headline: 5 reasons why you should be part of this, {{ my_first_name | fallback: “” }} . . .


Hey {{ my_first_name | fallback: “” }}, things are hotting up and we’re building quite a community of partners.


I’d love to introduce you to this group of forward-thinking misfits, but I also appreciate you get a lot of offers each day.


So I’ve recorded you a short video that shares 5 reasons why you should be part of this free paperback promotion (you can it watch here), but in case you’re unable to watch a video right now, here are those all important reasons:

  1. You get 50% Commission (lifetime cookie) on all Successful Mistake / Mindset Products (now and in the future)
  1. Rather than placing your audience in an immediate sales funnel after I gift them their free book, they’re instead entered into a high-value nurturing experience designed to build long lasting loyalty & big money tickets (over several weeks)
  2. There is very little commitment from you (you literally send one or two emails)
  3. You’ll meet other partners with similar audiences and desires as yourself (expand your little black book)
  4. You get to gift your audience a free book that’s getting some rave reviews 🙂

I know this promotion isn’t for everyone, and if you’re after an immediate ROI then it probably isn’t a good fit.


BUT… if you value your audience and like the idea of long-term returns from very little effort, you’ll love this.


If you’re interested, I’d love to share more info with you.


What do you say, {{ my_first_name | fallback: “” }}? Can I count you in?


These emails get a little longer and more detailed as they go on, and by the time you send your third and final follow-up, it’s one last hurrah.

Although depending how persistent you want to be, you may like to keep trying (and I won’t lie, keep trying is exactly what I did).

However, if email isn’t working, change your tune.

Set a reminder for a fourth and fifth follow up, but this time touch base with them via Facebook or Twitter (maybe even try picking up the phone).

Be persistent and get creative. These two traits combined often create magic.

But remember, however you follow people up, they’re designed to achieve one thing… A REPLY!

Because once you receive a reply you can turn that no into a yes (or that yes into something so much more).


Step 4: Yes or No… Turn Your Focus To Nurturing:

If someone replies to your initial email (or one of your follow-ups), it tends to have one of three outcomes:

  • A Yes: they want to learn more, so make sure you send them all the details they need
  • A Maybe: they’re intrigued, so make sure you  send them all the details they need
  • A No: they’re too busy or simply not interested (at least, right now)

Regardless of whether they say yes, no, or maybe… the fact they replied to your email is good news.

And if they want to know more but then say no further down the line (maybe because it’s not a good time), this too is good news.


Because you’re now in discussion with them, and are in a position to nurture!

And it’s Nurture that is the keyword here.

For instance, let’s say I reach out to you to become a partner for the free paperback campaign and you say yes. This is great news because I now have you on board, but is you saying yes really the best part?

I’d argue no, because what your yes truly means is that we now have a chance to start a wonderful friendship.

Future launches… collaborations… guest posts… other content marketing goodness… and who knows what else.

But this only happens if you turn your focus to nurturing this new found connection, and ensure it blossoms into a meaningful friendship. This takes time. This takes commitment. This takes generosity, and giving as well as taking.

So whether you get a yes or no at this stage, nurturing needs to be your focus.

And it’s nurturing that makes the next step possible, and it’s also how you turn that no into a yes.


Step 5: How To Turn a No into a Yes:

Would you like to know how I know this process of turning a no into a yes works? Because this very post offers all the proof you need.

I first reached out to Cody some months ago, inviting him to be part of the free paperback campaign, and after hearing nothing but silence, I decided to send him this email:

Hey Cody, hope you’re having a fine start to your week, man.


We’ve never formally met, although I’m a fan of your work and love what you’re doing with Market Doc (loved your Content Promotion Summit, too. Amazing resource!)


Anyways… I have something big coming up in October/November, and looking to align a few guest posts around it. I have an idea I feel could be ideal for your MarketDoc peeps, so wondering if I can send some thoughts your way.


What do you think, man?


Knowing that Cody is all about content marketing, I thought I may stand a chance (at least at getting a reply).

Low and behold, after a few hours he sent me this:

Hey Matthew,


Run some post headlines by me and I’ll let you know if any are a fit for my blog.


I don’t usually accept unsolicited guest posts but I realize you’ve published on Copyblogger before, so I’m open to your idea.


I had an in. I had my reply. I didn’t have the yes I originally wanted (him being a partner for the campaign), but I did have the opportunity to nurture-nurture-nurture, and turn that initial no into a resounding yes.

A few back and forth emails later, this is what he sent me:

Hey Matthew,


I like this idea. Run with it and send me a draft.




So… how did I do this, and how can you do the same?

It begins by stepping out of the box and asking yourself, “How can I serve this person? How can I offer them value? How can I best offer their audience value?”

In Cody’s case, I knew he was an influencer that had a growing blog, and although he doesn’t take many guest posts, he is open to them.

I also know he likes detailed blog posts that dive deep into a topic, which happens to be the type of post I prefer to write.

Plus, he’s a busy guy who’s growing fast, so I knew he would welcome new content (so long as it’s good) as it would make his life easier.

So rather than taking a no (or silence) as rejection, I encourage you to instead see it as an opening to something more.

If someone said no to me at any point of the process, I sent them an email like this:


Hey [name], thanks for getting back to me, and no worries at all.


Do you mind if I ask you why?


Is it a timing issue, or do you just not think it’s a good fit for you and your audience?


This isn’t pushy. This isn’t offering the hard sell. This involves simply asking a question and looking to continue the conversation. And would you like to know what usually happened after I sent an email like this?


They would reply and give me a little more detail.


If they said it wasn’t a good fit for their audience, I’d reply with something like this:

Hey [name], I appreciate this. Thanks for letting me know.


By any chance do you know anyone who might be a good fit for this partnership? I’m offering a referral fee as part of this campaign, so could be an easy way to make a little extra money.


Other than this, what’s your main focus at the moment. Is there anyway I can help / support you?


Whereas if they said it was a timing issue, I’d reply with something like:

Hey [name], I appreciate this. Thanks for letting me know.


And maybe we could look into doing something in the future… is it okay if I touch base with you in a few months to check in on things?


Also… what’s your main focus at the moment. Is there anyway I can help / support you? If you’re free for a quick call at some point, let me know. I’d love to chat with you properly and see how I can help


Or… if I know they have a blog and are open to guest posts, I sent them:

Hey [name], I appreciate this. Thanks for letting me know.


Before I let you go, can I run another idea past you… because I’m currently working on several blog posts and I have one that I believe is ideal for you and your audience.


If you like, I could share the premise and overview with you. Thoughts?


Whereas if they have a podcast, I’d send:

Hey [name], I appreciate this. Thanks for letting me know.


Before I let you go, can I run another idea past you… because I’ve been listening to your show and have a few ideas for topics I believe your audience will love.


If you like, I could share a few of these with you. Thoughts?


Sometimes I had an idea for the aforementioned post/topic, but a lot of the time I didn’t. My whole aim at this point was to keep the conversation going, looking for a way to offer value in a manner that proved to the other person that I’m human, persistent, and have a genuine plan to provide value.

And if they kept saying no, no problem.

I’d keep trying… I’d keep searching for an in!

And if they said no to the partnership… no to the blog post… no to the podcast… to a point where I would finally have to admit defeat, I’d not so do before sending a final email like this one:

Hey [name], no worries at all.

Well, thank you for your time and replying to my emails. Can I ask what your main focus is at the moment? If there’s a way I can help or support, I would love to. So please, let me know if you think I can.


Even at this stage I don’t consider a no to be a no. The fact I’ve had a conversation with them is great, and gives me reason to touch base with them in a few months time… see how they are… ask what they’re working on… offer my support…

Some may call this too keen or far too persistent, but I call it simply part of the hustle. After all. It’s not like I wanted to connect with these people solely to have them be part of my campaign. These are people I admire and respect, and would love to get to know better regardless of the outcome.

Did all of this take a little extra time?

Sure, but not a lot. I had the above emails ready and waiting in a Google Doc, so all I had to do was tweak each email before I sent it.

All I did was spend 30 minutes in my inbox a couple of times each day, and login to Contactually a few times a week.

And in return?

  • A bunch of podcast interviews from people who had originally said no to me (or not even replied).
  • Several guest posts like these, where I now get to share a bunch of lessons I’ve learned and introduce my book to a bunch of new people.
  • A group of people who said they couldn’t be a partner per se, but would be happy to read the book, or leave a review, or share the love via social media.
  • And best of all… an army of folk who I’ve connected with and can now nurture in the coming months and years; befriending them, helping them, providing value to them and their audience.

The truth is, you can turn a no into a yes today, but this isn’t the point.

The real value is appreciating that a no today can lead to a yes at some point in the future. But this only happens if you refuse to take a no as a no, and instead turn your focus to the all important word: nurture.


Step 6: This is What Happens Next:

This process never ends.

There are always more people to connect with (and existing contacts to email and say hello).

Nurture, nurture, and nurture some more… that’s the key.

But what happens if you do turn a no into a yes? What do you do to make the most out of this opportunity?

It all comes back to the Triple Win:

  • They Win because they get to share valuable content with their audience
  • Their Audience Wins because they get said valuable content + a free goodie from you
  • You Win because you expose you and your project to new people, and achieve ‘x’

So, what is ‘x’?

It comes back to the first pillar of content marketing success: Strategy.

You need to have a common goal throughout all of this, so whether you appear on a podcast, write a guest post, take part in a webinar/workshop, or anything else… it all drives towards the same outcome.

Strategy + consistency + Relevance = Good times, remember!

For me, this centres around the free paperback campaign, because this not only places the book into new hands, but also builds my email list.

For you, it could be a lead magnet, Facebook group, your own podcast, or anything else.

Whatever the weather, you have to have something constant that everything leads back to.

The worst thing you can do in my opinion is to keep changing the goalposts and produce something different for each podcast or blog. Why waste the time creating all those guides and lead magnets when you can build ONE epic something and drive everything towards it.

Iterate it and improve it by all means, but don’t keep reinventing the wheel.

Create ONE epic something. That’s it. That is all!

And consider how you can kill a few birds with a single stone?

As I say, the free paperback campaign not only builds my list, but gets a physical version of the book into the hands of those that need it. This leads to more Amazon reviews, more people invested in me and my journey, and more traction for the book overall.

So when you start turning those no’s into yes’, consider how you can provide a triple win:

  • How can you create the most value for the blogger, podcaster, or partner?
  • How can you provide the most value to their audience? What can you create that will blow them away?
  • How can you create something that offers big value to YOU; ideally something that ticks a few boxes at once

This way you not only turn a no into a yes, but produce the most bang for your buck whilst you do.

So with all this in mind…


What You Need To Do Next:

You’ve just made it through a mammoth of a post, and you now know the step-by-step process you need to take to not only perform blogger outreach with an army of potential partners and collaborators, but turn their no’s into a yes (and build friendships on the back of them).

You do this by providing a Triple Win:

  • They Win because they get to share valuable content with their audience
  • Their Audience Wins because they get said valuable content + a free goodie from you
  • You Win because you expose you and your project to new people, and achieve ‘x’


You do this by ticking the 3 pillars of a successful content marketing campaign:

  1. Strategy (have a plan)
  2. Consistency (stick to this plan and show up again-and-again)
  3. Relevance (stay on topic and keep reaching the right type of audience)


You do this by refusing to take no for a no:

  • Be persistent
  • Look for new ways to provide value
  • Nurture… nurture… and nurture some more!

So with all of this in mind, what is the single thing you can do RIGHT NOW to align your current (or next) project alongside your content marketing — not so it becomes a promotional tool, but a key cog in the machine.

I recommend that you create that killer call to action that will bring all your content marketing together.

Maybe it’s a free book (like I’m doing with The Successful Mistake), a guide, a video series, a trial of your product/service, or something else all together. This killer call to action needs to be specific to you and what you offer, and provide MASSIVE value to those you serve.

So ask yourself:

  1. How can I create a Triple Win with this call to action? What can I create that will not only bring me subscribers/customers, but blow the end user away with value. AND what value does this provide to any potential partner I work with (blogger, podcaster, affiliate, etc…)?
  2. How does this killer call to action play into my grander content marketing strategy? Will it help me be consistent with what I offer, and ensure I remain relevant at all times?
  3. Can this killer call to action be re-purposed, used again-and-again, and be part of what I do for a long time in the future?
  4. Is this call to action easily adapted and improved based on the feedback I receive?
  5. Will this call to action introduce my new audience to what I have to offer? Will it mark the beginning of a beautiful friendship, and intrigue them as to what comes next?

You don’t want this killer call to action to be too rigid, as this prevents you from improving over time based on feedback and data. You also don’t want this killer call to action to be time sensitive, as this impacts your consistency and relevancy moving forward.

There is a call to action that is perfect for you (that creates that all important triple win), and once you hone in on what this is, it makes bringing everything else together so much easier. So share your ideas in the comments below.

If you have an existing call to action, share it so we can discuss it. If not, comment about what you could create and what you would like to share with those you serve. Let the discussion begin, my friend. See you in the comments where the real fun can begin 😉

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Matthew Turner is an author & storyteller who works with entrepreneurs, founders & creative thinkers to build thriving businesses that light a fire within them. After interviewing 163 authority figures, Matthew’s unearthed how successful people overcome failure and adversity, ensuring they fulfil their potential and craft epic successes. You can too by grabbing Your Free Paperback Copy of The Successful Mistake Here  


  1. This post not only means for Cody that his readers get high-quality content. It also means that more and more people will contact and follow up Cody with their requests. That means Cody’s devoting more and more time to the process 🙂 not depending on whether helpful and fruitful relationships are born of these contacts or not.

  2. Didn’t find the opportunity to reply to Matthew’s commnet directly, so I reply to the post.
    8 hours to write such a long story – it is not just amazing. It is super impressive speed! Especially considering many sets that made this 8 hours. As the article consists of 44K symbols, it makes 92 symbols per minute with editing+formatting included, or 3 A4 pages per hour. You should have a course learning people how to express their thoughts so fastly and clearly (not to die in editing, connecting the parts etc.)!

  3. What a nice piece Matthew! It’s a long read but very informative. I can’t imagine how long it took you to write this article. Definitely sharing this to friends!

    I wanna know, what do you think of doing some warm up with the bloggers’ social media accounts before actually pitching them?

    1. Thank you so much, Emmerey. It did take rather a long time, but was great to write 🙂

      And YES YES YES, a little warm intro via social media (or any other means, really — email list, podcast…) is a great idea. It’s never too early to reach out to someone who inspires you. Befriend them now, and one day it could lead to a great deal more.

      Reach out. Connect. Nurture 🙂

  4. Hello Matthew,

    Just fantastic articles. Indeed I will bookmark this website for future reference and Hope you will ahead great information shared. Thank you for sharing nice articles.

  5. Great article Matthew! Do you guys think that social media will become more important for outreach in future, as bloggers learn all the tricks of the trade and stop responding to emails?

    1. I think it already is, Nikolay. FB Messenger in particular is becoming many people’s new inbox. The tools are there to start conversations. The key (whatever you do) is in the message, the delivery, and how persistent you are (persistence and resilience really are everything)

    1. Glad you found it helpful, Sammy. I’m sure Matthew will be happy to hear that.

    2. Thank you so much for the kind words, Sammy. Means a lot!

      How are you and your own endeavours? What’s your big focus at the moment

  6. Good one!! This is really very helpful as per turning a rejection into content marketing, content marketing is very much important now a days and is really very helpful for gaining new customers. There are various tools used for the purpose of marketing, advertising, SEO, CRO, web development, check them out at BetaPage.

  7. Keri Vandongen

    Woah Matthew – how long did this take to do and write about?
    I love how entrepreneurs willingly share about their mistakes to help others. I’m sure it wasn’t easy for you to share these.
    I mentioned to Cody that one of my ‘big pictures’ is to find and study online entrepreneurs who are Rocking with blogger outreach & influencer marketing. Hence reading your blog was given a top priority.
    You’re smart to have asked Danny Iny about his experiences and suggestions as he attributes most of his biz success thanks to collaborating well with other entrepreneurs.
    I agree that focusing on a BIG picture versus a small one is far better for guiding your process, and motivating you.
    Having a process, i.e. strategy – consistency – relevancy is a great idea.
    Focusing on sites that share a similar profile audience is key. Many sites have attracted a multi-niche audience.
    Thanks for the reminder!
    Curious about your thoughts, Matthew. Would you recommend nurturing and either facilitating rapport &/or a relationship before following your blogger outreach process?

    1. Hey Keri, thanks for your kind words. Well this post took about 8 hours in total to write, spread over a couple of weeks. As for the book… it took about 4 years 🙂

      As for your question… I think if you are given the opportunity to simply build a relationship with no ask, do so. It’s never too early to start this process, and you can ever reach out to too may people who inspire you. However, this is life, and there are times when you have to ‘ask’ early on in the conversation. I honestly think this is okay so long as you go about it in the right manner.

      But I believe for every minute you spend outreaching, try and reserve 2 to nurturing. This is hard. Staying consistent with this is hard. But if you do this… BOOM, you have it cracked.

      Just remember to add value whenever you can (and this can be as simple as saying hello for the sake of saying hello). You never know what sort of day the other person is having, so a small gesture from you can go a long way. You keep getting small wins like these, they add up.

      Hope you’ve had a great start to your week, Keri. What’s your main focus at the moment?

  8. Focus on having 1 epic strategic call to action that produces a Triple Win is a great takeaway. A call to action that I use because it works and fits your criteria is an email course.

    1. Yeah, I agree with you, Kevin. Email courses work really well.

      Look forward to seeing you around the blog more often.


    2. Thanks Kevin, and I agree with Cody, an email course works well. One of the best things about it is that you can easily adapt it, change it, and improve it over time 🙂

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