A couple of weeks ago, I received a guest post pitch from a young lady at a large, well-known digital marketing agency. She was requesting a guest post for her client.
Sadly, her pitch was like most that end up in the trashcan – she didn’t address me personally, the grammar was shaky and she didn’t follow my guest post guidelines. Not to mention, she didn’t even suggest a blog post topic or offer why she thought her client would be a good fit for my blog.
Admittedly, this woman is young in her career and it might be that her agency doesn’t realize she is approaching blogger outreach in this way. Either way, the pitch was incredibly disappointing and it made me feel bad for her client.
And, it’s just one more example of PR and marketing professionals approaching blogger outreach the wrong way.
6 Steps to Successful Blogger Outreach
Blogger outreach can be an incredibly effective way to get your product or service in front of a new audience. But, you have to approach it the right way. Blasting out mass emails or sending template pitches just isn’t going to cut it.
Is it a lot more work to go about blogger outreach this way? Yes. But, it will also be far more fruitful.
Whether you want to conduct blogger outreach yourself or you’re hiring a PR or marketing firm to help you, it’s important to understand what a successful outreach campaign looks like.
1. Start with goals.
You’re probably sick of hearing me say this, but you must always start your campaign with goals.
What do you hope this blogger outreach campaign will do for you? Do you want to build awareness for your company? Drive website traffic? Grow your email list? Increase free trials of your service?
Defining your goals will drive how your approach the rest of your outreach campaign and the type of content you pitch – whether it be a guest post, a review, interview, sponsored content, etc.
2. Identify your target audience.
Most people think that blogger outreach begins with building a list, but the work really starts before that.
You need to identify whom you are trying to reach with your campaign. Is it influencers in your niche? Or, maybe you want to go after adjacent industries where your audience hangs out.
For example, if you are a financial planner who primarily serves doctors and lawyers, you might not want to only focus on other financial planning blogs but also blogs in the medial and legal industries that would cater to your audience.
3. Find the right blogs.
Now that you know what kind of blogs you are looking for, there are a number of tools you can use to create your list based on your needs and budget.
There are tons of paid options on the market too – such as Inkybee, BlogDash and GroupHigh – which often offer tracking as part of their software. Here’s a good overview of some of these blogger outreach tools.
4. Research the blogs and narrow down your list.
This is where most blogger outreach programs fall down. Instead of researching the best blogs and contacts, a database with hundreds of blogs is created and pitched en masse. Don’t do this.
Instead, you should narrow down your list to determine which blogs would be the best fit for your campaign. That way, you can take the time to build relationships with the right people and blogs.
Some of this is based on the content, but it also makes sense to look at other factors too – blog traffic, social media shares, blog comments, etc. If a blog doesn’t get much traffic or traction, it probably isn’t worth your time to send a pitch that way.
5. Connect with bloggers.
Once you’ve built your targeted list, you should take the time to actually read the blogs you want to pitch. It sounds silly that I have to mention that, but so many people skip this step. Reading the blogs on your list will help you determine the topic, type and tone of the pitch you submit.
Also, if you want to get noticed by bloggers you MUST take the time to connect with them. This means follow them on social networks, share their content and leave comments on their blog. If you do this, it will substantially increase the likelihood that your guest post or pitch request will get published.
6. Create a targeted pitch.
The key to a successful blogger outreach program is to send a unique pitch that is well suited for each blog.
If you’ve been doing your research and connecting with the bloggers on your list, you should already have a good idea about what the blogger writes about and the type of content that would be a good fit for their blog.
And, because the blogger will likely have noticed you in the comment section or on social channels, he or she will be much more likely to open that email and actually respond to you.
Have you been on the receiving end of a bad blogger outreach program?
What blogger outreach tips would you add to the list?
Image credit: Taro Yamomoto