Google is the world’s most popular search engine. It receives 228 million searches per day. What if you could convert less than 1% of those searches into relevant and free web traffic for your business? 

You can do this by generating backlinks from websites aside from your own. Specifically, backlinks from high-quality root domains. 

A root domain is a combination of the domain name (the website name) and the top-level domain (.com) that creates a website address.

For example, these pages:



  • us

All have the same root domain: Google prefers sites that have links from several different domains.

In other words, you need backlinks from many websites that aren’t connected to you or each other.  

Here is an example of multiple root domains for the child’s fashion site, The Trendy Toddlers.

This site has 286 backlinks. But if you can earn 300+ backlinks, you’ll outrank this and even major retailers like Target on Google. You could build an 8-figure child’s fashion store just with the organic search traffic.

If you want to hold the #1 spot on Google, you must convince different websites to link back to your site. 

Luckily for you, I’m sharing a case study on how I used cold emailing to pitch guest posts to generate these unique backlinks. 

Even if you’re not an SEO expert, you’ll learn:

  • Why guest posts and sponsored posts are important

  • How to write cold emails that get responses

  • The trick to generating backlinks on a budget

But first, let me introduce myself…

Why I Use Guest and Sponsored Posts to Generate Backlinks

I’m Joe Troyer. I’m Digital Trigger’s CEO and an InvisiblePPC partner. I help agencies scale their business with SEO, PPC, and content marketing. 

I’ve seen how powerful ranking in Google can be. A top-ranking can generate thousands of relevant daily visitors to your website. This means more opportunities to convert leads, customers, or clients.

For example, if you search the phrase, “how to style a toddler’s hair,” you’ll get some top hair-care brands in the results.

The first few listed pages will earn the most visits from people looking for this specific phrase.

But, competing with these established sites on Google can be expensive. You would need multi-million dollar ad budgets. 

Most businesses don’t have that.

That’s why you should add guest or sponsored posts into your marketing strategy. This is when you publish content on another website to link back to your own. 

Trust me, this is one of the most affordable and beneficial backlink strategies out there. It doesn’t cost much, it introduces you to a new audience, and it’s scalable. 

I used a cold outreach tool QuickMail to send cold emails to over a thousand different bloggers to collaborate on guest posts and earn backlinks for my clients.

So far, the results have been amazing!

The Results: 1,405 Prospects, 1034 Opens, and 437 Responses!

My goal was to pitch mommy bloggers for guest post opportunities. However, my most important KPI was my reply rate.

Yes, open rates are important. But, I needed to earn enough responses to start conversations on how we could work together.  

Mommy bloggers are different than the average blogger. We target them because they’re the most versatile group on the web.

They cover topics like food, fashion, lifestyle, and much more. Also, they’ll promote or review almost any product to their small but loyal fan base. 

Once I build a relationship with a mommy blogger, I can work with her in the future for further collaborations with myself or clients.

I used QuickMail to automate cold emails and follow-ups to 1,405 bloggers. The results were insane!

I earned 1,034 opens, and 457 replies. This equates to an open rate of 74% and a click rate of 31% — 10x above the industry average. 

If I convert 50% of these replies into posts, then I earn about 200 root domain backlinks for my client. More than enough root domains to outrank their competitors in Google.  

What’s awesome about these results is that QuickMail made the process easy. 

All I had to do was:

  1. Write short emails and follow-ups

  2. Use A/B testing to find the best subject lines

  3. Exchange money for a guest or sponsored post

Here’s how to create a similar campaign for yourself:

1. Write Short but Sweet Cold Emails (+Sample Email to Bloggers)

You only have a few seconds to capture your prospect’s attention. This is why your emails should only be a few sentences long with a strong CTA. Here’s my initial email in QuickMail:

It’s simple and easy to read. Don’t forget to follow-up! Most people are too busy to reply to your first email. So, you need to keep reminding them until they do. Here are my second and third emails:

If you’re seeking to earn more guest posts too, I developed these free email templates for your agency:

Subject Line: Can we collaborate?

Hi {{Name}},

I wanted to reach out and see what guest posting opportunities you have on your site.

We’re an agency with several clients in the {{niche}} space. We’re always looking for quality bloggers to part with for guest posts or sponsored posts. 

We’d love to talk more about working with you.

Thank you,

{{Your Name}}

The next follow-up email:

Subject Line: Re: Can we collaborate?

Hi {{Name}},

I hope this email finds you well.

I’m following up on the email I sent a few days ago about the advertising options on your site. 

We’re looking for guest or sponsored posts.


{{Your Name}}

The last follow-up email:

Subject Line: sponsored post on your site

Hi {{Name}},

Sorry for the constant follow-ups.

I need to get a sponsored or guest post in my editorial calendar for a client in the next 3 days.

Do you accept any of these posts? 

I appreciate your help, and I hope we can collab. 


{{Your Name}}

2. Always Test Your Subject Lines

To optimize your emails, take advantage of A/B testing. QuickMail will split your campaigns to determine which variation of your email performs the best.

For my split-testing campaigns, open and click rates were obviously important. However, my most important metric was my reply rate.

In the first test, I concluded that the subject line, “Can We Collaborate?” performed better than “advertising options,” because it had a 3% higher response rate. 

Although I didn’t test the second emails, I did test the third. The subject line, “sponsored post on your site,” had 8% more opens and 1% more replies than the line, “Re: previous subject line.”

A/B testing is a powerful tool that lets you create high-performing emails you can repeatedly use ⁠— saving you time from creating campaigns from scratch. 

3. Develop Your Guest or Sponsored Post

Writing guest posts is the most affordable method of earning backlinks. Most bloggers will let you write for their publication for free. 

However, it’s harder to get a positive response to a guest post than a sponsored post. 

For guest posts, bloggers tend to be very picky. They want content that aligns with their website or industry. Here’s an example of a guest post. 

This is why I prefer asking for sponsored posts. Just offering bloggers $20 – $30 in your pitches gets you a better response rate. 

Also, bloggers are less likely to be critical of your ideas and the content you create. Here’s a sponsored post:

Whether you choose a guest or sponsored post, the article still has to be interesting to the reader. 

That’s why the book, Content Marketing For Traffic and Sales by Daniel Daines-Hutt, is such a valuable resource.

This book will help you write content that bloggers and their audience would love. Not only will you improve your client’s SEO, but you would also earn them more leads.

An alternative to guest and sponsor posts is sponsor links. When a blogger offers a price on sponsoring a post, you reply with, “How much would it be to sponsor a link?”

So instead of creating a new article, you pay to replace a link on a relevant and already published blog post. 

This erases the time and effort needed to create new content, and it usually costs much less than a paid post. 

You’re still generating clicks but with less work. 


I just shared how I used QuickMail to earn 437 responses (a 31% conversion rate) from my cold email campaign. 

This effort generated enough guest post opportunities to help my clients rank on Google. 

To recap, here are the main ideas:

  • Google is a great way to generate web visitors to your website, but you must have several root domain backlinks.

  • Earn these links by cold emailing bloggers for guest or sponsored posts. 

  • Use QuickMail to automate your cold emails and follow-ups.

  • Write short emails that capture the bloggers’ attention.

  • Always A/B test your campaigns to enhance your emails.

  • Develop relationships to guest post on sites for free. Or, pay bloggers money in exchange for a sponsored post or link. 

I hope my case study was helpful. How will you use this system to earn backlinks?


Joe Troyer is the founder of Digital Triggers and a partner at InvisiblePPC. He’s helped over 1,000 agency owners scale their businesses. He’s a Forbes contributor and the host of the popular podcast, Show Me The Nuggets.