If you have actually tried it, you may have found that bloggers are a fickle bunch, and will either ignore your request, promise to write about you and not do it, or send a cranky reply. Or you may have had success, and gotten some nice incoming traffic to your site because you did it well.
As someone who has blogged for four years, I get a couple dozen pitches a week. I love learning about cool things that will serve my readers. But there are a few Dos and Don’ts that will give you more of a chance of getting covered:
- Don’t blanket.
Perhaps the worst introduction to an email is “Dear Blogger.” This shows that you lifted a bunch of URLs from a blog directory and didn’t even bother to find out the author’s name. I am also weary of an obviously standard press release format with a subject heading in capital letters.
- Don’t go directly for the kill.
A lot of business owners decide to skip annoying banter and get straight to the point in their first email saying something like “I notice you write about technology products, would you link to mine?” A blogger who cares about her audience is going to want to be very sure that the companies she refers are trustworthy and reputable. Building up this trust takes time.
- Don’t follow up twelve times
Bloggers with high traffic get a whole lot of email. So it is very possible that they may be interested in writing about your company, but get overwhelmed and forget. So a follow up or two is totally fine. Any more than that will get awkward at best and annoying at worst. Your time might be better spent trying to find a supportive advocate, rather than chasing down an unresponsive one.
- Do use your natural personality and humor.
Write in a very open and friendly way. Bloggers care who you are and what you are passionate about personally and professionally. One of the first things they will do is go to your company’s “About” page. If you have no picture, vague language like “we aim to deliver exceptional customer service” (who doesn’t?) they might not feel comfortable writing about you.
- Do demonstrate knowledge of their subject matter and readership.
It is great to say things like “I notice that in the last two months, you have written three posts on cash flow management. Your readers might find our perspective interesting, as we have created a really simple cash flow management system here…”
- Do show pride in what you do.
If you have raised a company from infancy, you must feel really proud of the work you do and are committed to its success. This passion is really infectious. I get jazzed when I meet an entrepreneur that is truly excited about what he is doing. This makes me more apt to write about the company, if it is a fit for my readers.