In RainToday’s “The Must-Know Dos and Don’ts of Marketing to Bloggers”, the author offers great tips on how to promote your business, blog, advertising, wares, and promotional events to bloggers.
In summary, the tips are:
- Do not send obvious form letters.
- Do not ask for links, unless you are willing to pay for them.
- Do not leave blog comments plugging your services.
- Do not come on too strong.
- Do not put the blogger on your mailing list.
- Start by creating a targeted list of bloggers.
- Know the blogs you are approaching.
- Treat the blogger with the same respect you would a professional journalist.
- Be open to constructive feedback.
- Offer to send product, no strings attached.
I’d like to emphasize a few points.
Be Ready to get “Shoot-From-The-Hip Honesty
Bloggers don’t waste time. They tend to tell you exactly what they think, skipping many of the pleasantries you may have become accustomed to in an old fashioned letter writing school. “Constructive feedback” is a gentle way of saying they will tell you the truth, hard, cold, and based on experience. Expect it.
Don’t Waste The Time of a Blogger
If you want a bloggers attention, don’t waste their time. Do not put a blogger on a mailing list they never asked to be on. Know the blogger and the blog you are approaching. Read their blog and their policies. If they clearly state, like I do, that they will not accept any requests for commercial link exchanges, don’t even ask.
If your subject matter it unrelated to their blogging topic, go elsewhere. If it is, and you expect them to take you seriously, ask first, and send them the product with no expectation of a response or publicity. I’m often asked to review photography products and services, as well as software and hardware. If it isn’t in my hands to rip apart and put back together, don’t waste my time.
If you Want a Blogger’s Attention, Pay Them
This isn’t about posting for money, it is about respect for the time, expertise, and work a blogger does. Honor the time they will give you by offering to pay for their consulting services. Don’t expect their services to come free. Their time is money, too. If they don’t want it, they will tell you, but have the respect to treat them like a professional if you really want their help to promote your services, products, or events.
If you want a top blogger to blog for you, pay them. Guest blogging is becoming more and more popular, which is a great way for newer bloggers to get exposure on other blogs. Many bloggers will guest blog for friends, but if you want a pro who will bring in the traffic and attention you want and need to your blog, don’t invite a blogger to blog for you without compensation.
Great blogging is hard work. Good writing is hard work. Coming up with the idea that matches the content of the blog, makes it look better and makes the blogger look great, is very hard work. It involves research and time. Time away from income producing blogging and other work. Would you do your non-blogging job for free while trying to still keep a roof over your head and food in your children? Then why should an income producing blogger do the same? Give them a reason and make it better than a link.
Respect a Blogger’s Reply
If a busy problogger gives you a response, whether you like it or not, honor it.
Recently, a top blogger and an online news service had a public exchange of words because the blogger wanted to be interviewed by email only. The news folks turned him down. First, this isn’t news and shouldn’t have been made public because it can look bad from both sides of the story. But it’s out there and now people can take turn pointing fingers (including me ;-) ).
Second, and more importantly, if you want to hire a plumber, the plumber is going to tell you that unless you pay him double or triple, the soonest he can fit you into his schedule is next Wednesday. You put out the cash, or put out the towels around your leaking toilet until Wednesday. If a doctor’s office says the next appointment they have is in two months, you wait. Don’t you? There are many experts who tell us we have to wait or work within their rules, and we don’t question them. Sure, we can take our business elsewhere, but we expect the experts to work with us, but we have to also work with them and their rules.
If the news folks wanted the interview that bad, they would have taken any path to get it. One was laid out. They chose not to take it. Too bad. Next!
If you ask a problogger or web consultant a question, be it an interview, review, link, or job, respect their answer, whatever it is. Don’t put them down. Don’t make it public. Treat a professional blogger professionally.
Bloggers are kind and generous folks. You will get more than your money’s worth from them, trust me. But remember, they’re in the business of being big mouths and publishing to a huge audience. Don’t give them a reason to say anything but wonderful things about you.
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Copyright Lorelle VanFossen, member of the 9Rules Network
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