1. Be relevant
It might sound obvious but make sure that the bloggers you contact are actually relevant for your message. Do your research. If you’re not sure whether something will fit, it’s probably sensible to err on the side of caution and not bother (most bloggers will probably hate emails that start “I know you never write about X, but I’ve got this product…”).
And where do you find relevant bloggers? Google is the best place to start – advanced search features allow you sort to by date, time and location, helping you find the right people who are talking about the things that matter to you.
Also check out blogrolls from the sites you know are relevant – it’s always good to know what the bloggers you’re reaching out to are reading.
Another big recommendation from the team here at FreshNetworks is PeopleBrowsr, which can help you find bloggers by filtering via location, influence & communities to zero in on who is worth reaching out to.
2. Get to know your bloggers and build relationships
Follow your bloggers on Twitter – whether from your brand’s or company’s account or your own – and talk to them. If you’ve got something interesting to say, they’ll listen.
Take every opportunity you can to make connections offline – such as industry events and conferences – or even think about hosting a blogger event of your own.
3. Get your message right
Don’t just send a blogger a press release and hope for the best. Tailor your message and demonstrate that you know why you’re writing to them. Which piece(s) of content on their blog were interesting or prompted you to write to them?
Write to the blogger like they’re a human being but don’t be too over-familiar. Use an open and friendly tone of voice and unless you really think it suits, don’t be too formal . Get to the point!
4. Make it easy for the blogger
You want the blogger to write something for you, so don’t make their life difficult. Attach images that they’d otherwise have to take from your website, give them accurate information, include links and make the information you’re presenting straightforward.
5. To pay or not to pay and other incentives
We’d never pay for blog coverage and we’d never recommend a client to. Firstly, your chances of being re-blogged by others is diminished if they see that a post talking about your brand is sponsored. Secondly, bloggers’ opinions count. Surely it’s better to get coverage because they think your brand or product is cool or your message is interesting rather than having paid for it?
Of course, products for review are a different matter and a nice freebie or two can definitely keep a good blogger relationship thriving!
6. Say thanks/ show you care
Finally, say thank you. And mean it. A quick email, a re-tweet, a link posted on Twitter – simple things to show your gratitude, show-off the coverage to your audience and (hopefully) reward the blogger with some lovely traffic back!