Are you trying to get a blogger to blog about your product or even about you? Here are some ways to reach bloggers more effectively in order to get more virtual ink.
1. Be selective.
Don’t use purchased or borrowed lists of bloggers. Do some quick research yourself and compile a highly targeted list of bloggers you genuinely feel would be interested in what you are marketing. Start with a Google search of relevant keywords, then try a Google Blog Search, Technorati search and an IceRocket search to hone in on the right bloggers.
2. Peruse target blogs.
Before emailing a blogger, read some of their blog posts. Make sure they actually review products before pitching a product. Or make sure they blog about people other than themselves or who they know. Just because a blogger has a big following doesn’t mean they’re willing to go “commercial” and blog for free product or for an advertising fee.
3. Find the right contact.
It can be hard to find an email address for some bloggers, but most who want to be contacted will make it obvious. But make sure that you are emailing the right way. Some blogs have a general email address for pitches. Other blogs have multiple bloggers so you should target the one blogger who you feel would be most interested in what you are pitching.
4. Don’t spam multi-author blogs.
Never email every blogger on a multi-author blog. This can create confusion at the blog, annoy the bloggers and basically make you seem like a no-good spammer. Be discriminating. Target with laser focus.
5. Don’t attach files.
Unless a blogger specifically asks for a file, never attach files to an email pitch, even to bloggers. It is always better form to include a link to additional materials such as images and background information.
6. Give the blogger useful tools.
Most bloggers like receiving content ideas. Many love including images, audio or video in their blog posts. If you have multimedia materials, make them available to bloggers.
7. Freebies are nice, but don’t expect favors.
If you have product to offer to a blogger for free, great, but don’t expect to get a great review just because you are giving them something for free. Most bloggers cannot be bought. Once your product leaves their hands, you no longer have control. If they do say something negative, you can address the situation by leaving an open, honest comment on the post making it clear who you are, thanking them for the post, and directly addressing any issues they had with your product. Don’t whine. Don’t get negative. Live and learn.
8. Offer to guest post.
Some bloggers are open to guest bloggers. If you have useful information that would make a great blog post, offer the content for free to a blogger in exchange for a photo and link back to your site. Make sure your content is not commercial. The marketing benefit comes from the exposure and the link back to you.
Bloggers are often very busy. Whatever you can do to make their blogging easier can only help you in the long run. Look for win-wins. It isn’t all about you. On a blog, it is always all about the blogger.