Social Marketing and Pitching Other Blogs

Social marketing by pitching other bloggers

A number of people have contacted me lately about how to get noticed by other bloggers and even how to find major bloggers of influence. Social marketing basics seem pretty easy to me with than 70 million blogs and 120,000 more added every day. That’s allot of freakin blogs. That’s also allot of freakin blogs that don’t have a contact page!

Email is cool but nothing beats getting a call from a bigtime marketer, that is social networking at it’s most basic. I end up having to put a contact message in a comment form and hope they pay attention to their comments in email. Worse yet, too many links and ASKIMET will mark you as spam. Worse yet for YOU, I just move on. So get a contact page up with your real email and phone number. You can obfuscate your address like this: chris [at] keywebdata.com. Don’t be shy, we want to talk to you.

Finding Blogs

Simply enter a term into Google, followed by “blogs” and you’ll see some of the more prominent blogs out there. Also look for “Related Blogs:” at the top of Blogsearch, with links to top rated blogs for the term searched like my email delivery blog.

Remember that Google Blogsearch ranks blogs differently than Websearch. Although I believe that Google uses elements of the Blogsearch ranking tools in Websearch, but that is an article to come.

Google Blog Search is my favorite because it usually will display blog posts in order of the date posted, the most recent first.

Technorati will display blogs with an authority rank in the results, a 1 being top dog and this particular blog is an 18 but you will see plenty way higher.

Bloglines and Blog Search will also bring you some good results.

Don’t forget that trackbacks are one of the best ways to get noticed and build traffic from other blogs.

How to Judge a blog

This article was inspired by Pitching the Right Blogs the Right by MikePhillips on the Website Magazine blog. Below is a reprint of the the bulk of his article.

Frequency: How often does the blogger update? There are tens of millions of “dead” blogs online. A blog that’s not updated frequently is a good one to waste your time with.

Comments: Are blog posts commented on frequently? This gives you a good idea about the community surrounding the blog. Lots of comments mean lots of readers – active readers who pay attention to this particular blogger.

RSS feeds: How many individuals are signed up to the blog’s RSS feed? If the blog displays an RSS counter on the site, this is a good indication of its reach.

Blogrolls: Most bloggers have a blogroll, or a list of links to other blogs they find relevant to their own. Explore these and you’ll find a treasure trove of other blogs that may be interested in you.

The Pitch

Now that you’ve decided what blogs you want to pitch, make sure you do it right. Whether you’re looking for a product review, a link or simply a mention of your company, nothing irritates bloggers more than a lousy pitch that’s irrelevant, poorly written and a waste of their time.

Personalization: Before you pitch to any blogger, familiarize yourself with their blog and their style. Don’t send them a stock email addressed plainly. Find out who they are and personalize your request. Introduce yourself then tell them a little about yourself and your company and why you see a fit. But keep it brief.

Timeliness: It’s important to be timely with your pitch. Use a feed readers like Google Reader or Bloglines to sign up to the blogs you’re interested in. Keep up-to-date on their posts to make sure you are pitching the blogger at an appropriate time. If they wrote about something related to your company or industry (or a competitor), contact them as soon as possible while the topic is still fresh.

Show your Authority: Explain gently to the blogger that by writing about you or linking to your website they are doing a service to their readers. What makes you an authority and why should their readers know about you? How long have you been in the industry, what other bloggers have mentioned you, what kind of awards have you won and how many customers do you serve in their industry? If you share a common bond in with someone in their blogroll, make sure to tell them.

Add Value: Detail why blogging about you will benefit their readers. Consider a special offer. This will give a sense of exclusivity to the blogger and the blog’s readers, while sending traffic your way. Offer to link to the blog from your own site, or if you see a real value to your readers, link to the blog before the pitch then tell them about it. This shows that you have a true interest and it will make the decision easier for the blogger to link back to you. Guest blogging has become popular. If you’re an expert in the field, offer to write an occasional guest post exclusive to their blog. Bloggers are busy and writing quality posts every day can be challenging. Most bloggers will welcome the help, as long as it’s not just a sales pitch about your company.

Establish a Relationship: Once you’ve made contact and a blogger decides to give you some attention, be sure to keep the relationship going. A one-and-done approach will leave the blogger feeling used. Continue to add value and alert the blogger to new developments with your company and within the industry. All bloggers relish good comments on their posts. Leave comments without pitching your company – they will know who you are.

Bloggers can make a big impact on your business. Their readers trust them and will follow their advice. It’s important to not violate this trust while equally important to take advantage of it. And the best way to accomplish this is to add true value to the community.

Most bloggers receive more pitches than they know what to do with. That’s why it is essential to take some time and really show your worth. “Dear Sir” is an immediate turn-off, as are ultimatums. If you need to establish an open dialogue before getting anything in return, most of the time it’s worth the effort. On the other side, some bloggers have large, impenetrable egos. If you find yourself getting a flat out “no” or your pitch is ignored, it’s best to move on to another source. Once you’ve built some major authority with other bloggers in the industry, you can then go back to the ego-driven and turn the tables with a hard sell.

The Bottom Line

Getting other blogs to link to yours should be your number one social marketing strategy. By following MikePhillips’ guidelines you should do much better than flat out self promotional emails.

Add a contact page to your blog and get that phone number up on your page and you should see an increase in your blogging and social marketing efforts.

2 Comments

  1. Posted June 5, 2008 at 6:16 pm | Permalink

    Good tips. I’ll consider this strategy — as a new blogger this is helpful information! I’m still building traffic (and interaction!) and trying to find a good contact form for the blogger platform.

  2. Posted June 5, 2008 at 7:22 pm | Permalink

    SBA, make sure you use a secure form that can’t be plundered by spammers. Also use one that accepts captcha so you don’t get spammed yourself by automated scripts. Thanks for the good words.