Pay-per-click ads didn’t work for you. All the magazines you reached out to about your product aren’t returning your calls. You’re stumped at how to create interest and drive traffic to your website.
Have you considered blogger outreach?
Bloggers are today’s journalists. They’re talking about news and brands that matter to their readers. Unless you reach out to them, they won’t know about your products. So get a plan and connect with bloggers in your industry.
Step 1: Find the Blogs
In a sea of millions of blogs, it can be challenging to find the ones the most relevant to your industry. But by doing a simple search on Google, Alltop or a number of other blog directories, you can find the top bloggers in your field.
You’ll need to define what kind of traffic you want for the blogs you work with. It will change from industry to industry (obviously there are many more visitors to popular tech blogs than unicorn blogs), but a good rule of thumb is:
- Blog should have PageRank of 3 or higher
- Blog should have at least 1,000-5,000 unique visitors per month
Setting up standards helps you weed through to the better blogs. Create a spreadsheet that includes the blog URL, blogger’s name and email and even a link to a relevant blog post.
Step 2: Get to Know the Blog
The biggest mistake companies make when it comes to blogger outreach is not reading the blog. Sounds simple enough, right? But people get in a hurry, list several blogs, and when they contact the bloggers, find out they don’t write about products, or publish press releases, et cetera.
Spend some time reading posts on each blog. Read the About page to see if the blogger has a policy about writing about products. They may have a fee to do so, or a process you need to follow. You’re ten times more likely to get mentioned on a blog if you follow protocol and show you’re paying attention.
Step 3: Contact the Blogger
Despite the negative comments on sending a form pitch, I have to admit, I start with a template. But I modify it to cater to the particular blogger I’m reaching out to. The key to the letter is that is addresses why the blogger would want to work with your brand, and it shows you’ve researched their blogs. Here’s an example.
Dear Sarah (NEVER Dear Blogger):
I read your post on iPhone apps for teachers, and was pleased to find some I hadn’t heard of. I thought you might be interested in sharing another app with your readers.
The Apple-A-Day app helps teachers keep up with their lesson plans right from their iPhone, and means they’ll never leave important resources at home.
If I can get you a trial of the app, or more information for your readers, please let me know. We’d love to work with Teachers’ Blog.
(FYI I made up the example below, so don’t go searching iTunes for this app!).
As you can see, the letter is short and to the point. Sometimes I like to include a few bullet points about the product to better catch a blogger’s eye. Don’t put a press release in the body of the email. If you have it published online, link to the release. It’s better for the blogger to come to you for more information than to cut and paste your release.
After the Pitch
If you don’t hear back from the blogger, follow up a week later. Often emails get trapped in Spam Land.
As you find bloggers who are interested in your product, coordinate getting them a product to review, and to give away to their readers. Keep track of when you send items so you can follow up to see if they’ve posted the review.
Also, use your website’s analytics to see what blogs are sending traffic to your site. Help the bloggers out by tweeting and sharing the post on Facebook.