Any blogger will tell you that as soon as they made their first few
posts, the pitches for coverage or product mentions came rolling in.
There's good reason for that — a mention on a few popular blogs provides
plenty of benefits including brand visibility and incoming links.
Here at Website Magazine, we get plenty of pitches —
from story ideas to products, every day businesses
hungry for exposure send us an e-mail or product to
try. Some are very effective, while others are relegated
to the trash bin faster than they arrived. A proper
pitch requires planning and execution.
Know Your Audience
Nothing triggers the “delete” button faster than a
pitch that begins something like, Dear blogger... On
the other hand, using the blogger’s name or the name
of the blog usually keeps them reading. This personalization
of the message not only engages the reader
but shows that you value their time and their blog.
In the same way, do your research and know the
blog’s purpose and audience. It takes just a few minutes
to read a post or two from the blog, and knowing
the subject matter will show in your pitch.
Nothing is more frustrating to a blogger than spending
valuable time reading a pitch that is completely
irrelevant to their audience. This is a common mistake
and often results in a “blacklisting” of the person
making the pitch — future relevant pitches risk never
Bloggers value their time. To be most effective, be upfront
with your pitch. Tell the blogger what you want
and why your product, service or announcement matters
to them and their audience. If you haven’t stated
your purpose withing the first two or three sentences,
chances of exposure drops dramatically. If a blogger is
truly interested in what you have to offer, they will
take the time to learn more, if needed. After all, if you
pique their interest, chances are excellent that their
readers will want to know more too.
Bloggers want readers. And one way to ensure repeat
visitors and new readers is to give something away.
Based on the blog’s audience, offer something of
value. It could be an online coupon, free product, free
trial or free membership.
Also, tailor the offer to the specific blog via a custom
coupon code or similar measure. The blogger
wants to give readers the appearance of authority
and value — by making your offer “exclusive” to the
blog’s readers, they feel validated and the blogger
benefits by becoming a valued resource. Also, people
like to share inside information, giving your
brand and offer a better chance of being shared to a
Provide Resources or Creatives
Researching and writing blog posts is time-consuming.
It can be very frustrating to receive a good pitch,
then have to crawl all over the Web looking for images,
landing pages or other resources. Make sure
your e-mails have everything the blogger needs —
links, images, even verbiage.
If you’re having trouble getting the attention of a particular
blogger (or any blogs at all), don’t be afraid to
ask very direct questions. Find out what type of
pitches the blogger wants.
• What type of products are important to his or her
• How does the blogger prefer to be contacted?
• Are there particular topics of interest that the blogger
would like to cover but lacks the resources to?
• Do they have an editorial calendar? If not, find
out if the blogger writes any regularly-scheduled
posts such as year-end wrap-ups or lists, seasonal
There are tens of thousands
of active blogs out there —
what are the ones you should
contact? Start by simply
searching your topic with
keywords. Use search engines'
custom search options
like blog searches, related
searches and Google’s Wonder
wheel. You will find people
posting on your topics and
related topics. Search for topics
on sites like Digg.com —
find those submissions with
high vote totals to identify influential
blogs. Look on social
networks too, for bloggers
with high numbers of fans,
friends and followers. Also
look for popular blogs on blog
When you find a few blogs to
target, check some statistics.
One quick and easy way is to
use Compete.com to find estimated
traffic levels — some
blogs are very good at SEO,
but might not have a very
By asking questions, you give the blogger the
impression that you want to become a resource for
them, not just a media hound. It is very possible
that you can provide material for the blogger they
might not otherwise come in contact with. Think
like a partner.
About the Author: Mike Phillips is Website Magazine's Senior Editor