If you're trying to pitch yourself to bloggers you may have found dead silence at the end of your email exchange. Why? Well, let's face it. The top bloggers in any market probably get a ton of email. Most of it fairly useless. I know this for a fact because I get pitched all the time for reviews, interviews, all sorts of things. Ninety-percent of the emails are useless form letters, ninety-nine percent of the pitches are from people who don't even read my blog.
In a world where bloggers are quickly replacing media, it's amazing to me that pro-media pitchers don't get that regardless of the person you're pitching, the same rules still apply. Let's do a quick run through in case you're unsure.
1) Customize, customize, customize: I delete every email that starts off with "Dear Sir or Madam." First off, I hate the term "madam" and second, my picture is posted right on my site. If you can't tell from my photograph what sex I am, we have bigger problems than a generalized pitch.
2) Personalize: ok, I know this is repetitive but let me clarify: personalize the pitch. Talk about their blog, a recent posting, how long you've been reading. Now don't gush on and on like you would bragging about Junior's first baby steps but showing that you know who the blogger is and what they blog about is important. We love it when you read our stuff and when you tell us what we talk about, we love that even more.
3) KISS: Keep it simple. Very simple, short and sweet. Don't meander on through pages and pages of your pitch. If I have to scroll through an email to find the point of your message I probably won't read it. State your goals right up front, in the first paragraph. Don't bury your reason for targeting them somewhere in paragraph four. Chances are the email will hit the trash bin before the reader hits paragraph four.
4) Don't be a stalker: if you haven't gotten a response from the blogger there's probably a reason. They are either too busy, haven't gotten to it, filed it away for later or aren't interested. Yes, you're allowed to follow up, but only once. Any more follow ups and you become a pest. No one likes a pest.
5) WIIFM: don't forget the "what's in it for me" factor. What's in it for the blogger? Hint: bloggers love scoop and exclusivity so if you have something no one else does, by all means tell them. If there's another reason for sharing this with them then by all means tell them.
6) Figure out what you want: See #5, keep it simple but also don't just email a blogger with a 'whatever you're willing to do' type of message. Ask for what you want, if it works for the blogger, and if your pitch is good, it's likely you'll get it.
7) Don't send attachments unless you're asked to. I don't think this needs any further clarification, but keep in mind: unless someone says "Yes, please send me more info" don't load their inbox with attachments. Not only is it rude, but I've found that attachments often end up in my spam filter where they stay till the spam filter is emptied, often without even seeing the email or associated documentation.
8) Mention your blog: bloggers love other bloggers. Let them know you have a blog, include a link to it, possibly even to a recent post they might be interested in.
9) Add a link: bloggers love incoming links. If you're pitching particular bloggers, you should have a link to their blog on your site. No exceptions.
10) Ask good questions: if you're pitching a blogger for an interview but they don't do interviews, you've just wasted a valuable communication. Don't assume that because you contact them about an interview, "I know you don't do interviews," that they will make an exception for you.
Remember that much like pitching the media, it's all about relationships. The more you can cultivate relationships with bloggers, the better your online campaign will be. Also, consider that future campaigns will also be affected by relationships you build now. Media may come and go but bloggers tend to own their market and stay put, having a solid contact is always a good place to start. Regardless of the campaign.
Penny C. Sansevieri, CEO and founder of Author Marketing Experts, Inc., is a best-selling author and internationally recognized book marketing and media relations expert. Her company is one of the leaders in the publishing industry and has developed some of the most cutting-edge book marketing campaigns. She is the author of five books, including Book to Bestseller which has been called the "road map to publishing success". To learn more about her books or her promotional services, you can visit her web site at http://www.amarketingexpert.com/. To subscribe to her free ezine, send a blank email to: firstname.lastname@example.org