Tuesday, June 30, 2009

Pitching to Bloggers: Hey I Did That!

Lately, I'm seeing a lot about how to pitch to bloggers. I find it interesting because I've actually had good luck with this. So, I thought, it's really not that hard, why not share what worked for me.

1. Be Super-Targeted in Your Pitch
First off, I don't pitch everything to bloggers. I look for stories that are a good fit for the medium (these may not come up often), and I only pitch stories that fit with a certain blog's niche. Which brings me to #2.

2. Research the Blogs
Every industry has blogs, good ones and bad ones. I found library blogs by asking librarians. Radical, I know! I found someone in leadership who reads a lot of blogs, comments on those blogs, and even personally knows some of the bloggers. She helps select the right blogs for a certain story. Then I go and actually read the blogs I'm pitching. I read the "about the blog" section and the "about the author" sections, too.

3. Get an Introduction and Start Building a Relationship
I was lucky that I knew someone who knew the bloggers and was actually connected to the first story I was pitching. She e-introduced me and set up the story I was sending. Then I send a personalize hey-this-is-why-you-care bit and then included the press release.

Side note: yes I send bloggers a press release, and yes they actually run it. It works because I still send a personalized pitch. The release is added to the bottom of the message, with a "If you'd like a little more background, here's our official press release" note. I'm mostly pitching to info tech blogs and they do semi-regularly run a release and cite it as such (which I knew because I'd researched them)

I follow up and thank them when they run the story and ask if they'd like to hear about similar stories in the future. I've always gotten an enthusiastic "yes, please." Bloggers often have quotas, so just like traditional media they need story ideas.

In my limited blog-pitching experience (about 3 stories, so far), I've had about 150% success rate. That's because not only has every blogger I pitched, picked up the story, it'll also cascades into other blogs I hadn't even contacted. Got to love that.

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