15 Sep 2014

How To (Better) Reach Out To Bloggers

Reaching out to bloggers successfully is easy if you have a well-known name in the industry. What if you are quite new?

Building connections with niche bloggers goes a long way when it comes to getting coverage and positive PR.

Here are five blogger outreach tips I learned to do the hard way.

Make a List Of Dream Bloggers


Create a dream list: This is a list of about five to ten sites per wave of people I would love to write for, or have write for me. It includes their real name, URL, any other sites they are affiliated with, and contact information such as email and social media profiles.

When I am looking to reach out to new bloggers, I focus on this one list until I have contacted them all. Sometimes it takes months to come to fruition, but the results are much better than when I was wildly sending out pitches like they were going out of style.

tipPro tip: Use Social Networking to Effectively Build Media & PR Contacts (Tools and Tips)

Media connections at LinkedIn

Acquaint Yourself With Their Work


It’s a widespread and embarrassing habit: to just glance over sites before contacting them. Often, you wouldn’t know that they had no interest in my topic. Or you wouldn’t realize your tone was completely off in how you approached them.

Spend at least a week or two going through old posts, checking out how they have changed over time, and researching their work. That includes guest posts on other sites. The last thing you want is to suggest a topic they wrote for someone else, as it looks like you are trying to steal their idea and pass it off (lazily) as your own.

tipPro tip: BuzzSumo is awesome for researching any author. Just use [Author:Full Name] search operator to quickly scroll through most popular articles by that author:

BuzzSumo

Connect With Them Socially


When I first started out, social media was not the massive thing it is now. At least not as a marketing tool, and especially not as an open platform like you see on Twitter. So that wasn’t really an option for me, and I was much poorer for the lack of tools available to me.

Now, I always add the people I am looking to reach out to on Twitter the moment they go on my Dream List. From there, I start to regularly interact with them, being genuine and friendly, and building a relationship. After a few weeks, I am a familiar face, and I have hopefully provided something valuable to them.

Personalize Your Pitch


By now, you should have a good basis of familiarity with your Dream List. So you should have no trouble crafting a personalized, well written pitch that includes all the right details. Those should include:

  • Their first name.
  • Some small detail showing you know their work well.
  • The tone of your pitch, and the tone of the topic, matching with their other content.

Keep things short and sweet, no more than a couple of very short paragraphs, at most. It has to be easy for them to skim, or they won’t bother reading it. But make it as personalized as possible.

tipPro tip:

Use the following tips to quicker find important personal details behind an email: 3 Tools to See Who’s Behind Each Email

Rapportive

Go Back Again and Again… For More Than Posts


Once you have a pitch accepted or post published, don’t stop the communication. You don’t want them to think you went to all that trouble for a single post. Instead, continue to speak to them on social media, and occasionally check in.

Keep track of everyone you reach out to, and try putting them on a rotating schedule.

tipPro tip: Utilize social media lists and circles to better keep track of bloggers you have successfully collaborated with.

Any tips for better blogger outreach? We would love to hear them, so let us know in the comments!