For small businesses that don’t have a ton of money to drop on marketing, reaching out to bloggers is a great way to build brand awareness and to drive sales. From product reviews to interviews, bloggers can offer all different types of coverage that will help you connect with your target audience at no cost to you.
But to get that coverage you need to know how best to reach out to bloggers. To help you maximize your exposure in the blogosphere, I’ve come up with some easy-to-follow guidelines for connecting with bloggers.
- Find blogs read by your target audience – What’s the point of getting coverage on a blog if the readers don’t give a rip who you are or what you have to offer? That’s why the first thing you should do is to come up with a list of blogs read by your target audience. Don’t just focus on the biggest blogs in your niche; you’d be surprised how loyal readers of smaller blogs can be.
It’s not enough just to find these blogs either. You need to study them so you can understand what type of content they post, how the readers interact, and what the community likes and dislikes. The better you can understand the blog and its readers, the stronger your pitch will be.
- Join the community – Your pitch to the blogger will have a much better chance of getting noticed if they recognize you. That’s why it’s a good idea to become an active member of the community on the blogs you’re targeting. Spend time commenting on a few posts, and link to the blogs from your own blog.
Now, when you leave comments, make sure your comments actually add something to the conversation. In other words, don’t write self-promotional comments, because they’ll either get deleted or just make you look like an idiot.
- Have a clear pitch – Chances are, you aren’t the only one sending a pitch to the bloggers you’re targeting. They could have dozens of pitches to go through on any given day. That’s why you need to make your pitch as clear and to the point as possible.
In your pitch, you need to make it clear that you know the recipient’s blog; you can do this by tying your pitch into a recent topic they wrote about or just the main subject the blog focuses on.
Lee Odden wrote a post several years ago offering tips for pitching to bloggers. His main points were:
- 1. Be relevant
- 2. Personalize
- 3. Make it easy
- 4. Schwag is good
- 5. Be persistent
Let’s focus on that last point for a bit. The saying “the squeaky wheel gets the grease” certainly applies here. You need to be committed to following up regularly to make sure the blogger always has your story on his or her mind. However, there’s a very thin line between being persistent and being a pain in the @$$. You need to know when no really does mean no. I think the perfect balance is to be politely persistent.
What are some of the most effective ways you’ve reached out to bloggers?
This article is written by Mickie Kennedy, founder of eReleases (http://www.ereleases.com), the online leader in affordable press release distribution. To subscribe to PR Fuel, visit: http://www.ereleases.com/prfuel/subscribe/.