Whether gained via blog or traditional media, publicity aids your business with exposure, third-party validation, more search visiblity and other benefits.
While the benefits of blog and press coverage are similar, however, the best practices for generating it are different.
Many tips for pitching (like being relevant and brief) apply to both bloggers and journalists, but to assume bloggers and traditional media types are exactly the same is to miss publicity opportunities.
Here are eight ways to effectively earn coverage from a blogger:
1. Tell how it benefits their metrics
Though you want to reap the benefits of publicity, a pitch to a blogger should focus how entering into a partnership with you benefits them. Bloggers want to build traffic, influence, trackbacks and comments. Tell them how your pitch will improve those numbers.
2. Understand scheduling
Few people are full-time bloggers, but it’s a journalist’s job to cover every newsworthy event. Bloggers have the option to pass on anything they wish, especially if they’re tied up with their day job or home life. Attempt to accommodate bloggers as much as possible.
3. Link to them
Sending a link from your blog to another blog is like a virtual invitation. It shows that you value the content they produce so much that you will send traffic to them. Make it a practice to link your blog to a blog that you plan to pitch well in advance of sending the pitch.
4. Pitch again
Journalists avoid writing similar product reviews and features, but bloggers, especially ones working in video, tend to be more open to it. Don’t expect them to say yes every time. The pitch must show how it will inspire the blogger’s audience to share the content.
5. Let them find you
Create an online news release and let bloggers come to you. The best bloggers have Google alerts and perform searches within their niche constantly. Using an online news release to tell your story will attract attention.
6. Appeal to their expertise
Reporters, especially in this day and age of cutbacks and layoffs, tend to have knowledge of several different areas but an expertise in none. Bloggers, on the other hand, are experts in the niche they cover. Treat bloggers like experts and pitch them opportunities that appeal to their expertise.
7. Offer free stuff
Per company guidelines, journalists typically are not allowed to take a gift from the people who pitch them. Bloggers often have no such restraints. Send them something that fits within their niche, especially if it’s something they can use before the general public. You can also offer them a gift that their readers can compete for.
8. Provide a picture
Though it’s a good idea to include a picture and suggest ideas for art in a pitch, most newspapers prefer to dispatch their own photographer to get the images that accompany a story. Make the blogger’s life easy. When sending a pitch, include a high-quality image that they can use on their post.
Bonus: Let them ‘pitch’ you
Thousands of bloggers rely on HARO publicity alerts - now included in the Vocus Marketing Suite – to find valuable sources for their stories. Sign up for a HARO account and use the tips above to respond to requests and gain free publicity!
Image: Guru Sno Studios (Creative Commons)