I get several hundred pitches a week from well-meaning PR people.
Conversations with other bloggers suggest this is the norm, so now it is as tough to reach a blogger as it is to reach a mainstream journalist. It may be even more difficult since most of us work part-time on our blogs and we devote less time to wading though pitches as journalists.
Sadly, nearly all of the pitches I get are just plain spam.
But the good news is that I do pay attention to things that people send me. I occasionally write about them. So how do you increase your chances of getting a blogger like me to talk about you or your clients? Here are some ideas:
Don't pitch your product.
This is by far the worst thing to do. I may be interested in how people solve problems by using your product or service. But I don’t care about the product itself.
Keep in mind most bloggers have other ways to talk you up.
Don't limit your pitch to only the person's blog. Share what you think the person will be interested in, but realize you may be rewarded in a different way. In my case, I might tweet it. Or maybe it is a story is worth adding to a book I'm working on or as a riff in a speech. Don't limit yourself.
Remember, we're not journalists.
Bloggers write about whatever we feel like and we aren't obligated to "tell both sides of a story" or "cover your news." The best blogs are written by people who are passionate about a topic. Read the blog, discover the passion, and send something that the blogger will be interested in.
Don't offer guest posts unless the blogger runs them.
In nearly a decade of writing my blog, I've never run a post by a guest author. While I'm not prepared to say I never will, offering to write one for me is a sure way to have your email deleted. Make sure a blog runs guest posts before you pitch that as an idea.
Broadcast pitches are spam.
I love hearing about something interesting before others. If you've got a great example of marketing success, tell me! But don’t send me something that you also send to hundreds of others.
Never open with "Dear Blogger".
Dear Blogger tells people that you don't care enough about them to read their blog and learn their name. It's much better if you personalize your pitch with an appropriate greeting and some detail about why they were selected.
Make it short.
I won't read a long email. A few sentences about what you're pitching and why is great. If I want more information, I'll ask for it.
Never send an email attachment.
Links are okay but attachments are not.
Take care with the subject line.
Make your subject line specific. Something like "Example of newsjacking success" is a great subject line for me.
Twitter is good. Telephone is not.
It's fine to send a pitch via Twitter Direct Message or to include a blogger's Twitter ID in a tweet. The 140-character limit forces you to get to the point. But bloggers I've spoken with do not appreciate phone calls.
I've had many discussions with bloggers in recent years and most of us do like to get a well-crafted pitch targeted especially to us. We want you to reach out! Do it well, and we may write about you.