Whether you’re building credible backlinks to your site or trying to get a press release out, reputable blogs are often a great place to start. However, reaching out to bloggers and getting noticed can be a difficult task, especially when the typical blog receives a number of requests a day. Most of them tend to be indifferent to emails regarding these kinds of propositions because of a number of things and never even open them.
So how do you get in touch with great bloggers and get them to recognize the benefit in working with you? How do you catch their attention and get them eager to work with you? Here are a few tips to boost the effectiveness of your blogger outreach and make sure your proposal gets noticed.
Flatter Them on Twitter
Flattery isn’t anything new on proposal emails, but the thing is, they rarely get opened anyway. And when they do, the compliment often sounds strained and unnatural. Bloggers aren’t ignorant and will typically recognize them for what they are: thinly veiled attempts to get on their good side. So ultimately, your seemingly well-intentioned but half-baked compliment ends up having the opposite effect of what you want. You’re much better off doing this kind of thing on Twitter. Rob Millard on Moz.com explains why:
Twitter is a much more natural place for this sort of activity – people are always bigging each other up. They RT, #FF, list people, post each other’s blog content, interact, ask questions, and share. It’s totally natural and can be much more subtle, so don’t forget to use all of these tools to get yourself noticed by your link targets. For example, a month of gentle, regular retweeting and interaction could be the perfect way to build up to a link request email.
Throw Your Cookie Cutter Email Templates out the Window
If you’re managing a relatively large blogger outreach campaign, the tendency is to rely on an email template. This saves a lot of time, but bloggers know a cookie cutter email when they see one and likely won’t respond to one if it isn’t tailored to them and their blog. GroupHigh.com says:
Response rates are so much better when time is spent catering a pitch to each blogger-referencing a post of theirs and talking about why the two of you would work well together. Along these lines, don’t write an individualized intro and then paste in “the meat” of your pitch from Word. Though it may look fine in your email screen, often the email will come across on their end as looking messy. The fonts may be different sizes and spacing can be off. If you must copy and paste a section of an outreach email in each pitch, use notepad or something of the like.
Be Creative with the Subject Line
Along the lines of personalizing the email is tweaking the subject line so that it becomes intriguing to the specific blogger you are sending it out to. The subject line is your best opportunity to make a good first impression and bloggers tend to determine whether an email is worth reading or not by it. MaximizeSocialBusiness.com says:
Subject lines to ditch: hi, a smiley face, let’s talk, I’ve got an opportunity. A subject line that’s to the point, states your purpose, is friendly all while losing any gimmicky qualities is best.
However, try not to go overboard with it as it may come off as too sensationalist or spammy.
Ditch the Life Story and Get to the Point
If you’re reaching out to a particular blogger for the first time, there may be an urge to tell them more about you and your company to help build credibility. However, this sort of thing does turn off bloggers who don’t really want to be bothered by that kind of information when they didn’t ask for it anyway. According to JanetFouts.com:
It’s better to write a custom email with some quotable information and links to a video, images or PDF they can use for the story and distribute to their readership. Make it short and to the point and then tell them you’re happy to give them more info and your contact phone, email, twitter or whatever works best for you both.
Send Swag as Appropriate and With No Strings Attached
Everyone likes free stuff and bloggers aren’t new to being on the receiving end of it. It’s a great way to get their attention, and if they really like what you have to offer, they’ll write about it without you having to imply that a review would be appreciated or anything else to that effect. MaximizeSocialBusiness.com says:
From an e-gift card to a fashion item, sending bloggers something free is one of the best ways to get the attention from a blogger you want to establish a relationship with for your brand. Not to mention that a no-strings-attached free gift elicits a sincere product review or mention if they like it.
Just make sure you have something of value to offer. If you send them anything crappy, the best you’ll get is nothing, while the worst is that they go on a rant that goes viral and damages your brand and the product or service you offer.
Read Their Blog
This should be obvious, but many internet marketers make the mistake of not reading the blog before they make their pitch. JanetFouts.com says:
Read the blog and see if it is a good fit. When you reach out, do so in the language of the blogger not press release sound bites. Find out how they want to be contacted. If the blogger is the first point of contact great, but if they have an agent or virtual admin show some respect for their process.
It can be easy to offend a blogger with an email that makes it obvious that you haven’t actually read their blog, especially when you pitch a project about something they don’t cover. MaximizeSocialBusiness.com emphasizes that:
By doing your research, you can also eliminate reaching out to bloggers who are a bad fit and you can get a feel for their personality and gauge what your introductory email should entail.