Blogger outreach has become a central part of many effective PR campaigns. Like it or not, blogs are a huge piece of today’s media backdrop, and if you want to get more media coverage and spread your message, you need to pitch to bloggers.
You could pitch to bloggers for a number of reasons, including:
- Asking them to review your product
- Trying to land interview opportunities
- Searching for guest blogging opportunities
- Seeking general media coverage of your story
Of course, there are right ways to pitch bloggers and wrong ways to pitch bloggers. Today, I want to talk about some of the mistakes you need to avoid when reaching out to bloggers.
Mistake #1: Not personalizing your pitch
Bloggers can’t stand impersonal, form letter pitches that you’re obviously sending to a slew of other bloggers. It’s borderline PR spam, and it almost never works.
You need to personalize your pitch to the blogger. Mention the blogger by name (get the name right!), and explain how your pitch relates to his blog and his readers. Clearly lay out the benefits the blogger will experience if he accepts your pitch.
Mistake #2: Making irrelevant pitches
Never pitch a blogger until you’ve taken time to confirm the story is relevant to his blog. In other words, you wouldn’t want to pitch a story about gardening tools to a blogger who writes about bicycles. That’s an extreme example, sure, but you would be amazed at how many irrelevant pitches I (and other bloggers) get every single week.
It’s not that hard to do a little research to make sure your pitch is well targeted and a good fit for the blog. And doing your homework now can go a long way to keeping you from looking like a PR spammer later.
Mistake #3: Being demanding or disrespectful
Bloggers don’t owe you anything. They don’t have to grant your request if they don’t want to. You might think you’re doing them the biggest favor in the world by offering an exclusive or an interesting story, but they won’t always see it that way.
You should never be bossy or too presumptuous in your pitch. Be polite, and respect the blogger’s time and opinion.
Mistake #4: Having a long pitch
Get to the point. Bloggers receive pitches on a daily basis, and they just don’t have time to read through hundreds or even thousands of words in your pitch. Keep your pitch as short and clear as possible. Just explain the basics and the benefits of covering your story, and leave it at that.
If you must include a press release, do so at the end of the email, after your signature. This way, it doesn’t bog down your pitch and overwhelm the recipient.
Mistake #5: Lying about reading the blog
Don’t try to pretend you read their blog unless you really do. Otherwise, you’ll inevitably end up looking foolish as you make mistake or get mixed up. If you really do read the blog, make reference to an article or accomplishment of the blog. If you haven’t read the blog, you may be able to say something along the lines of “I’m aware that you’re a leading blog in the bla bla bla niche.”
What are some other blog pitching mistakes you try to avoid?