blogger-outreach-2016

Nowadays, the mantra when it comes to contacting bloggers for guest blogging opportunities is to be as creative as possible and sound extremely interested in your contact’s area of expertise when in reality, you have little to no idea what that field entails. I mean, how would you ever catch the eye of who you’re contacting with a boring and straightforward subject line? Why would anyone want to respond to an email that doesn’t solely focus on them and how they benefit from knowing you?

While the creative approach has its uses and virtues, it’s important to remember that you are a professional contacting another professional who isn’t always down to joke around or play games. Time is money after all, and the more time you take to get to your point, the more time you waste for both parties.

It’s true that most bloggers can receive hundreds of emails a day. This being the case, your email could easily be overlooked. This thought can panic most marketers and leave them spending more time trying to figure out how to be clever than actually reaching out to anyone.

The following five tips will help you craft a pitch that will get you the response you’re hoping for without sounding silly or spending hours trying to figure out how to be original.

1. Know your target

Researching the person you’re contacting is the first and most important step of reaching out to a blogger. It is vital that you take the time to look around the blog for any information on what kind of person you are trying to reach. Scour the “about me” section of their site, get a feel for the tone and writing style of their blog, and even go as far as to search for their name over several social media platforms. Doing this can help you decide whether or not they would appreciate a witty one-liner or if they prefer a more to-the-point method.

This research also lets you know if a relationship with the blogger would even be a good fit for the company you represent. The moment a blogger realizes that you’re pitching for a company that is in no way relevant to what they cover, you can bet your email is headed straight to the trash.

On a website where there are multiple bloggers, find the one that is most relevant to your client and contact them directly, rather than sending your message through a contact form or to an email for general inquiries. For example, I have always found better success when I’ve emailed assistant editors with my questions instead of the editor-in-chief of the site.

2. Prioritize the relationship

The biggest thing I’ve come to understand as a digital marketer is the value in a mutually beneficial relationship that you can maintain and continue to contact whenever the opportunity arises. When you keep the focus of your conversations on what the blogger is interested in and how the company you work with is related to their field (and not how badly you need them to link to you) you can create a relationship that leaves you open to future opportunities.

At the same time, it’s important to be very clear about what you’re hoping to get from contacting them or what you have to offer. You don’t want to leave your contact wondering what the point of you email was.

3. Quality over quantity

Many digital marketers find themselves in a frenzy to send out as many emails as possible in a set amount of time, thinking that they are being efficient when in reality, it’s one huge waste of time. This goes hand in hand with research. Usually, after taking time to research a blogger, you can pretty easily decide if their blog is even worth the time and effort it takes to reach out.

In my experience, researching bloggers thoroughly before contacting them saves time and disappointment and usually guarantees a response from the select few bloggers that I reach out to. This approach of sending a few thoughtful emails at a time (instead of massive amounts of impersonal, canned emails) almost always ends with content placement, a guest blogging opportunity, or simply a new relationship.

4. Read and re-read your email before you send it

Who wants to build a relationship with and accept content from someone who is too lazy to spell (or grammar) check an email? I have learned this tip the hard way after sending an email to a blogger who fired back, correcting my spelling mistake. Save yourself the embarrassment and take the extra two minutes to double- and triple-check your spelling and grammar, before you press send.

5. Be personal, not fake

I’ve found that one of the best ways to establish a solid relationship with a blogger from the get-go is to dig deep and get personal. Find a personal connection to what the blogger is passionate about.

It can be easy to make up a story or connection for the sake of sounding interesting or knowledgeable. This is a dangerous path to go down since 1) you run the risk of sounding extremely fake and insincere, and 2) you’d be lying. No great relationship, personal or professional, ever starts with dishonesty, and lying about something now could make the future relationship with your contact complicated.

If you find yourself without any personal anecdotes or in-depth knowledge, ask the blogger a question about the industry they write about. This way, you show that you are familiar with what they write and genuinely interested in learning more.

Now what?

Now that you have some new tips in your arsenal, start researching that long list of bloggers and craft the perfect email to make them want to talk to you. Just remember that you are reaching out to a real person who knows their industry, so show them that you respect their time and attention by treating them like a professional.

Ally Hannemann
Ally is an SEO Specialist at Big Leap and a Public Relations student at BYU. Outside of the office, Ally can be found watching the Bachelorette, honing her watercolor skills, or playing Bananagrams with her husband.