Posted on June 26, 2012 by appinions

11 Tips for Artfully Pitching Influential Bloggers

A bad outreach strategy usually starts with a bad pitch, which is typically the result of “going in cold.” If you haven’t done the homework to get to know the blogger’s background or put the time in to build the relationship first, then you’re placing yourself at an immediate disadvantage before you even start your blogger outreach strategy.

While I am adamantly on the side of building a relationship with bloggers before you pitch, I recognize that it’s not practical to assume everyone will (or can) commit to that approach.

So, I’ve prepared a few tips to help you make the pitch in a respectful, artful manner so that you don’t shoot yourself in foot before you can get it in the door.

Here are 11 tips to help your pitch get noticed by influential bloggers:

  1. Research the blogger before you reach out. Study the about page, their content and their social feeds to gain insight on their interests and their audience to make the blogger is a fit before pitch. And, by all means, address the blogger by name. “Dear Blogger” just won’t cut it.
  2. Keep your initial communication short and sweet. If this is a first contact, ask if it’s okay to follow up with more depth if they’re interested. In other words, lead with an introduction and follow with the full pitch once you have a green light.
  3. Don’t pitch multiple bloggers the same idea at once, especially not via mass emails.
  4. Don’t purchase and pitch a cold email list or PR database. It’s likely that a lot of this information is outdated, and you’ll end up looking like an uninformed fool (See #1).
  5. Don’t send canned, impersonal emails. Pitch your best foot forward, every time. This means refining your message to to provide compelling talking points that are most relevant to each particular blogger.
  6. Lead with mentioning one of the blogger’s recent blog posts and share your take on the topic. It’s a great way to show that you’re listening and not just pitching.
  7. First impressions are absolutely everything. Be respectful, but confident – not pushy, arrogant or self deprecating.
  8. Give them a story, not a product brochure or sales slick. This shouldn’t be a problem if you do #5.
  9. Be crystal clear on how your product/solution provides tangible, direct benefits to the blogger’s community. They’ll be combing your message for this information, so make their job a little easier by focusing on the benefits of covering your story. In other words, make it painfully obvious in your message – “what’s in it for them.”
  10. Include data and testimonials in your pitch to support and add depth to #9.
  11. Track your outreach and record qualitative data (notes on what worked/what didn’t) to continually learn and refine the approach. In other words, you shouldn’t be sending the same pitch twice.

The art of pitching an influential blogger isn’t rocket science. In fact, most of it could be attributed to how much work you put in on the front end.

If you’re approaching an influential blogger who you don’t have an existing relationship with, in the very least focus on being informed before you pitch.

For more insights on the art of pitching and blogger outreach, here are a few articles you can bookmark for later:

Influencer Marketing 101: Getting Bloggers (and Reporters) to Pay Attention
Pitch Trainwrecks: How Not to Pitch Bloggers and Media
How to Pitch a Story Like a Pro and Get Results Every Time

What are your secrets to successful blogger outreach? Please share your tips for artfully pitching influential bloggers in the comments below.

Image credit: Harold Hollingsworth