The rise and credibility of bloggers in the past few years has really changed the way consumers get information. While getting traditional press in magazines is still great, a nicely placed mention on the right blog can be a tremendous boost for your business. Some of these bloggers have a serious following and readers who listen to them and take action on their recommendations.
Here are some tips to help you get in front of bloggers.
1. Do your research
Find out what blogs your current customers are reading. Do a quick survey with Survey Monkey and ask them if you have to. This will save you a lot of time with your research on which blogs to pitch.
2. Decide who to pitch
Based on your research, pick 5 – 10 blogs you want to pitch. Make a good list of them and a note about why you want to pitch them. I suggest doing it in batches like this because you need to be able to follow up so small chunks at a time works best.
3. Know the audience of the blog
Once you pick 5 – 10 blogs, go read the blogs! Check out the posts and be sure you feel your customers are interested in the topics and that their readers would be interested in your product.
4. Put yourself in the blogger’s place
Bloggers get lots of pitches so try to put yourself in their heads for a minute. They’re probably thinking…
“Please tell me why my readers will care and make it short and sweet”
Knowing this will help you get your pitch geared for this blogger’s specific readers.
5. Make the pitch
By this I really mean make contact with the blogger. I actually I suggest you try not to “pitch” and focus more on sharing information you think is relevant and timely for the blog. My recommendation is to send a simple email, starting with Dear ____________ (first name of the blogger – spelled correctly), Once you’ve read their blog, you have an idea of what might interest them, so you want to gear it specifically for them. Don’t waste people’s time with mass pitch emails.
Some bloggers want press releases, some like a quick email, and some like a quick Twitter pitch. Since you don’t always know their preference, I vote a quick email and start interaction (not pitching) with them on Twitter. The key here is to share something newsworthy so they’re interested in sharing it with their readers (remember #4).
6. Follow Up
You won’t hear back from every blogger. Be prepared for this and don’t get in a funk about it. It’s up to you to keep sending friendly emails and I’d use a different angle on occasion. As in, “I saw last week you wrote about this… perhaps my __________ product would make a good story about ______________ (something you think makes sense for that blog). It’s OK to give story ideas and I know some designers are worried about offending the blogger with this but I think it makes their job easier. Stay positive and keep following up!
P.S. When you send images, be sure they’re low-res web images that are easy for the blogger to open up. If a photo takes more than 2 – 3 seconds to open you risk them clicking off and not even seeing the image. Offer to send them hi-res pictures as needed.
What have you tried? What’s worked for you and what hasn’t? Leave a comment here and join the discussion!