The larger your site grows, the more inundated you will get with requests to highlight a product, company, or service. It makes sense given your sphere of influence has grown. And as your sphere of influence grows, so does your revenue.
But not everything has to be about making more money online. I write mostly because I enjoy writing and interacting with people. If I didn’t, there’s no way I would have gotten through the first several years earning minimal income. There’s also no way I’d keep going after six years on Financial Samurai if money was the main object because I’ve turned down multiple seven figure offers already.
Selling an income producing asset when rates are this low is a suboptimal financial move. Once you sell, you’ll scratch and claw to try and replicate your business success to no avail. Besides, valuations for online media properties are skyrocketing with the bull market. We’re talking 10X or greater annual revenue multiples now compared to 5X or lower before 2012.
Enough about the joys of blogging. If you’re a publicist or marketer, I’d like to provide some tips on how you can get influential bloggers to write about your product! This post is a way to help you, and also help us bloggers who get inundated with uninspiring requests every day.
CONVINCING A BLOGGER TO WRITE ABOUT YOU
I’m assuming most marketers want to spend the least amount of money possible to get the highest exposure possible. If not, then just throw a bunch of money at a blogger who writes relevant content related to your product and you’re set! But if you’d like to get free exposure, the following tips will increase you chances.
1) Personalize the message. Sending a generic “Hi” is going to take your e-mail straight to the TRASH! You must at the very least address the blogger by his or her name. When I worked in finance, I would send 100 personalized e-mails to clients about a company, conference, or new public offering. There were definitely times I was tempted to just BCC everyone and send a blast e-mail, but I knew that would be way less effective. Instead, I put in the extra two to three hours writing individual e-mails, and the response rates skyrocketed. Please put in the time to personalize your messages at the very least.
2) Highlight at least one specific article you read and truly enjoy. Tell the blogger why you liked the article, and any other information that can help make the article better. Offer to put the blogger in contact with XYZ resource who can help buttress the article. Blogging is a passion project. We write because we love to write and connect. As a result, we really appreciate people who recognize our work. It’s only if you’re trying to approach a conglomerate blog with multiple writers and not one unified style/voice where you can be colder.
3) Offer to help first, then ask second. Helping can be as simple as social sharing a blogger’s post, providing a quote for any future topics, or offering a free trial access. No blogger is going to do anything for a random stranger who hasn’t bothered to build a relationship first. Don’t go to a blogger and say, “If you do that, I’ll do this.” Instead, just do something nice for them already and then make an ask.
4) Spend at least a week commenting on various posts. Commenting on posts is open to all. If you can’t spend a week commenting, then at least comment on three posts with some real opinion and insights from you. A blogger sees all comments across all posts, no matter how old they are. Bloggers like comments. You can even leave your company’s URL in the URL box for back link. Commenting with insight shows you are reading our writing. It shows you care to interact.
5) Read a blogger’s about page. Good bloggers will highlight a lot of goodies in their About page for you to jive off. Find something we have in common and make that connection. The About page is a cheat sheet to get to know us better. In my About page I offer up a long version and a condensed bullet point version. Take one of those bullet points and make a connection already.
6) Offer to take a blogger out for a nice meal. It doesn’t matter how rich a blogger is, nobody can resist a good free meal. If you are working for a company, what’s a $200 business expense dinner over some steak and wine, when sponsored posts cost anywhere from $500 – $2,000 a pop? It’s all about building a real relationship that creates organic highlights of your product in the future. Brain picking costs money.
7) Crappy guest posts won’t work. Bloggers are inundated with crappy guest posts that have a link back to the company. We really hate nothing more than badly written work for SEO purposes. Write something unique, insightful, and value-added to the blogger’s community basis. If the work is great, we’ll publish. If it’s obvious you’re submitting a pre-written post that is getting blasted out to every other blogger, forget it.
8) Offer to sponsor a giveaway. Bloggers are always looking to provide as great of a user experience as possible to our readers. If a company can sponsor a cool giveaway (gift cards, trips, products, advice, etc), then that’s a win for all parties.
IT’S ALL ABOUT BUILDING A RELATIONSHIP
As a publicist or online marketer, just put yourselves in our shoes. We are inundated every single day by requests from strangers who make no attempt to connect first. At the end of the day, bloggers will help people who they like. If you’re willing to put in the time and effort to get to know the blogger on a personal level, then you’ll be able to get bloggers to write about you that much easier.
It’s the lazy marketers who will be spinning their wheels forever. If sending out generic blasts e-mails about a client’s new product is what PR is all about, sign me up! It’s certainly one of the lucrative jobs bloggers could do quite naturally.
START A PROFITABLE BLOG TODAY
It’s been seven years since I started Financial Samurai and I’m actually earning a good multiple six figure income stream online now. The top 1% of all posts on Financial Samurai generates 31% of all traffic, which makes much of my online earnings highly passive.
I never thought I’d be able to quit my job in 2012 just three years after starting Financial Samurai. But by starting one financial crisis day in 2009, Financial Samurai actually makes more than my entire passive income total that took 15 years to build. If you enjoy writing, creating, connecting with people online, and enjoying more freedom in your life, see how you can set up a WordPress blog in 15 minutes with Bluehost. Hosting costs less than $5 a month.
The actions you take today help create your future. You never know where the journey will take you!