Recently, I received yet another email that reminded me why I need to write a post on how to talk to bloggers. First, let me tell you what NOT to do, heavily influenced by the silly email I received the other day. The subject of the email said ‘For immediate release!’ almost guaranteeing I would do no such thing. Secondly, the email started ‘Hello Media Friends’. If you can’t be bothered to use my name which is beyond easy to find on my blog, then I’m not going to bother much with your email. Next, it turned out the email was on a subject not at all in line with any of the topics I blog about. Then the email asked me to publish the press release attached to the email on my platform. Why I would do such a thing was a mystery to me and possibly to the writer of the email too because they didn’t say or show why I should publish their press release.
Finally (and this is a pet peeve of mine), the email was filled with grammatical mistakes. For example, the email said they ‘would appreciate if it is publish on your platform’. I love the English language and I often make allowances for mistakes (we are all human after all) but bad grammar in an email about a press release that is not relevant to me or my blog is going to ensure the email gets deleted pronto.
Now, on to how to talk to a blogger so you have a better chance of them doing what you want them to do:
- Do your research. Find out the blogs that are relevant to your product, service or announcement.
- Read those blogs. Make a habit of reading them regularly so it’s not when you need them that you start swotting them like you’re preparing for final year exams.
- Find out the name of the owner of the blog you’re interested in or the editor of the section of the blog you’re interested in. It’s usually not hidden. Blog owners usually want to be contacted and will make it easy for you to do that.
- When contacting a blogger, use their name not ‘Dear Blogger’, ‘Dear Media Person’ or some other such nonsense.
- Show the blogger you’re contacting that you know her blog. Mention blog posts she has written that you enjoyed or show in some other way that you’re familiar with her blog.
- Send information that is relevant to her blog or that you think the blogger will like. Also, don’t expect something for nothing. Blogging is a job and people get paid for jobs. Don’t expect a blogger to write about/ for you for free. It’s just wrong!
- Don’t send them ‘free content’ filled with links to your site or your client’s site and expect them to put it up on their site. FYI, if a blogger needs content, usually they will tell you on their blog and will specify what sort of content they’re looking for. You can be sure it won’t be ad-filled ‘articles’ for your company that they want though.
Bloggers are people too. And the simple rule for getting along with people is to treat them the way you would like to be treated. Try that.
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