Everyone, from PR firms to individuals with a product to sell, pitches bloggers these days. Getting coverage or exposure for your business by way of a number of highly read blogs should be a foundational element of your PR approach.
Sadly, it would much easier to write a post on what not to do, but I like to stay on the positive side here.
Whether your goal is to land a guest post, get a review of your product or just advance an idea you’ve got to put in the work to personalize your pitch and build relationships by demonstrating you’re a resource and not a pest.
Make non-spammy comments
One of the best ways to get on the radar of a blogger is to join their community by making relevant comments. Don’t drop in just to add a comment about your business or point to your recent blog post about some unrelated idea. Add to the conversation like someone who actually cares about the conversation and you’ll start to build a relationship based on trust.
Find regular features
Take some time to dig around in the archives of a blog and you’re likely to find some regular features just like you might in a magazine. Then, when it comes time to pitch your idea, you can suggest that it would be a good fit for a certain feature. This will always give your pitch more relevance and offer proof that you know a bit about the blog and that yours is not simply a bulk pitch.
I’ve run a Saturday post for several years now where I feature three services or apps that I call my weekly favs. Smart marketers have picked up on that and often pitch their product for a feature in that post. It’s a little thing, but it suggests a lot.
Look beyond the blog
If you buy that this is a relationship building game, then why not employ a few tools outside the blog to help. Build a Twitter list of your targeted bloggers and pay attention to what they tweet and what the retweet. Look at what they favorite on Twitter for some real meaty clues about what they like,
By monitoring what they do beyond their blog and in social networks you can often find angles that won’t be apparent on a simple media list.
Connect with guests and get referred
Many blogs run guest posts these days and one of the best ways to get your content on the list of potential guest posters is to study and connect with those that are already posting. In fact, you might go as far as to target these folks as suggested above and reach out to a few and ask for introductions.
A guest post on a highly read blog may be one of the most effective marketing tools you can employ so don’t just blast guest post requests, build a case for your post by becoming a part of the community and creating a network within.
Ask for an interview
Many bloggers, even well known bloggers, still work on building their awareness and will jump at almost any opportunity to spread the word about things they are working on. Many bloggers have business interests beyond their blog that need exposure. Many bloggers are also authors and have books to sell.
Consider interviewing some of your targeted bloggers for your own blog or podcast or connect them with other journalist or even customers of yours that might have a reason to want to interview them. An interview might consist of a twenty minute phone conversation or it might just be one well thought out question that you send via email, either way, this a great approach for building both content and relationships.
It warrants repeating, if a mention or link or review in your favorite blog is a worthwhile objective for your business, then put in the work required to get it done right.