Today’s guest post comes from an expert in marketing relationships!
Andy Donaldson is a fashion and retail digital marketing specialist and the director of Hit Search, an agency specialising in SEO, PPC, CRO, social media and content marketing.
If you’re a marketer, you’ll understand that blogger outreach is a tough nut to crack. Out of the 100 emails you send (and depending on what it is you’re selling or promoting) chances are you’re going to get less than a quarter responding to you positively – that is of course if you do it the wrong way.
There is a huge amount of resource online regarding how best to get a response from a blogger, but based on my experience I’ve put together the top 5 tips for better blogger response that really work for me and my team at Hit Search.
- Do your research first
Probably the most important thing you could ever do before approaching a blogger is your research. I don’t just mean researching the metrics of the site and how much benefit it will have for your SEO purposes, I mean researching what the blog is all about and making sure what you’re promoting fits in with their aesthetic. Bloggers build their reputation on providing their readers with useful content, whether review or news and they will not be afraid to just ignore you or say “no”. If your targeted blogger promotes guitars, don’t approach them asking if they want to talk about maternity wear – they’ll just block you and you’ll miss an opportunity further down the line.
- Don’t ever send blanket emails out.
Bloggers will receive hundreds of emails a day asking for guest posts, so make sure yours stands out. Use their name and talk about the finer points of their site to show that you’ve taken the time to understand their site and their demographic. Once this is done, create a personal email. This really helps with engagement – no one wants spam.
- Follow up
If you don’t receive a response in the first 48 hours, wait a week and then send another email. Don’t send the same one, create another asking them if they have received your email. I’ve found even asking them if they want you to “go away” helps with engagement. For example:
“Hi there Steve, how are you today?
I emailed you last week to enquire about a guest blog opportunity and I was curious as to whether you have received it. I realise you must get loads of emails a day, so apologies if you’ve already read it!
We’d really like to collaborate with you as we love your site (insert sentence about specific blog and why it’s great here). Would you perhaps be interested in a content collaboration at all?
Alternatively if this is something you’re really not interested in, just tell me to go away!
Have a great day, “
- Don’t send the attachment straight away
I’ve found that withholding the document or attachment and waiting for a response usually helps. It’s all about the pitch so make sure you’re offering something good and then encourage the blogger to get back in touch with you. Aside from the fact an attachment may set off a spam filter, it encourages a communication between the two of you. Don’t just thrust something at the blogger and expect them to read it. Be polite and ask if they’re interested first – you’ll be surprised how much this works.
- Keep the conversation going
Once a blogger has responded to you and you’ve secured placement of content, don’t just turn your back on them, never to speak again after the deed is done. Once you’ve formed a relationship, keep it going. You may want to place content again at some other time, so make sure you keep in contact by asking them if there is anything they’d like you to write for their site a few months/weeks later. Bloggers are friends with other bloggers, so chances are if you make an impression they’ll recommend you to their colleagues – which of course makes your job easier!
Of course there are a myriad of other tips and tricks that really help with blogger engagement, but overall myself and my team have really found that these tend to help opening a line of communication. If you agree or disagree with any of these points I’d love to hear your feedback.