20 Tips for Pitching Bloggers
Marketers, PR people, artists, even other bloggers want what they are doing to be written about on blogs.
This doesn’t always play well with the fact that bloggers are an independent bunch and love to come up with posts entirely on their own. But, that’s not to say they aren’t influenced by what is happening around them.
Bloggers are always consciously and unconsciously seeking ideas to write on that will generate conversation, be compelling to subscribers and bring new readers.
So to get virtual ink on a blog for something, you do need to be somewhat visible. But, a press release or a standard media pitch probably won’t get you very far. Bloggers appreciate creativity in an approach, and to get their ear you certainly will have to do something original.
Fair warning before I go into this – not all bloggers even want to be pitched by anyone (including other bloggers). You definitely will want to do your research here and build relationships before engaging bloggers to increase your chances that they’ll be receptive to you.
Building on what I’ve already written about internet marketing and public relations, I thought I’d offer 20 tips on pitching bloggers:
1) Offer a freebie
Bloggers love the freebie, especially if it is something that fits within their niche (or is something you can tie to their niche). They love trying new things, especially before the general public.
2) Offer exclusivity
Just like national media outlets all want the exclusive on something, so do bloggers. If you can offer a blogger an exclusive on something before you’ve already put it over the wire or shared it with the rest of the world, they may be more receptive.
3) Offer traffic, links or other desired intangibles
Can you draw a blogger a good amount of traffic and or links? I’ve written previously on 10 things all bloggers want. If you can offer some of these in your pitch, you increase the chances of success.
4) Draw them to you
Instead of sending an external pitch, consider creating something that entices bloggers to come to you for the information.
5) Create mystery and suspense
If you’re going to pitch someone, don’t give them the whole thing in the beginning. Peak their interest and open up a dialog. Your first communication cannot be your last for this to work. But, you will create a deeper relationship this way.
6) Subscribe to their blog
If you’re going to try to pitch a blogger you should be subscribed to their blog for at least a few weeks, if not a few months to understand what they write on and what motivates them.
7) Comment on their blog
Not only should you be subscribed to their blog, you should be an active commenter. I can tell you for sure, a blogger will read an email from one of their loyal readers long before someone random.
8) Write the pitch in the same tone and language as the blog you’re targeting
If you are subscribed to a blog and know the content intimately, try to write your pitch in a similar fashion to one of the posts. It shows you’re paying attention, and shows you have done your homework. The blogger will appreciate it, and even find it flattering you went to all that hard work.
9) Offer to host a competition with prizes for their readers
Instead of mailing a blogger a freebie, offer them something they can give out as a prize to their readers. Here’s an example.
10) Be honest, transparent and authentic
Bloggers appreciate this kind of communication immensely, and will be receptive far quicker than something they sense is deceptive or underhanded.
11) Don’t expect coverage, be humble, use no pressure approach
Just because you have a big name product or client, don’t think you’re automatically going to get coverage in the blogosphere on something. In fact, the big name stuff is many times passed over for the smaller, more obscure. Go in with a humble attitude and a no pressure approach.
12) Respond quickly
If a blogger does reply to you, you’ll want to reply quickly while they are still hot on the idea. You’ll want to give someone interested all the information they seek ASAP while they’re still thinking about it.
13) Don’t pitch at all
Instead of pitching bloggers, consider just doing all the typical things you would do to promote a new product through the traditional avenues. If your product was designed to have the marketing built in, it will find its way into the blogosphere organically.
14) Create something to link to
Put all the information of your idea or product, attractively (use images, video, flash, something that grabs peoples attention) into a URL you have created specifically for what you’re trying to promote. Bloggers may be more apt to link to you than write about you, and it’s easier for them to do.
15) Put your content into social media
If you know what you have is compelling, consider putting it into social media sites instead of trying to pitch bloggers. If it catches on in this space, you’ll end up in the blogosphere anyway.
16) Get coverage in traditional media
Content flows from traditional media to blogs and vice versa. Just using normal PR tactics to get reporters to cover your news may be enough to eventually get blogosphere coverage.
17) Use the wire services to your advantage
Wire services like PRWeb are an inexpensive and effective way of reaching large numbers through RSS quickly and easily, including bloggers.
18) Put your content into a “top 10 list”
Bloggers and social media types love top 10 lists (or top 100 lists, if you have that much information).
19) Throw in some quirky facts
Many times, blogs are above all else, fun. Make your content a little less dry and a little more lighthearted and playful with quirky facts.
20) Get creative, give them a story
Bloggers appreciate creativity and outside the box thinking. Take your time and come up with something that tells a story and draws them in.
One final warning - anything you say to a blogger, even through a private communication, may end up public on a blog for all to see. Keep this in mind before you send out a single communication. If you’re not comfortable with the world seeing it, you probably shouldn’t send it. Do your research, know that you’re talking to the right person with the right message, always be respectful, and take your time.
Also, if you’re a marketer or PR pro, you should create a blog if you don’t already have one. It is vital to your success in this space.