How do you pitch to influential bloggers?
With the advent of social media, how important are bloggers to us? It is estimated that only the top 5,000 bloggers are greatly influential, which represents around 0.03% of all bloggers. Therefore the odds are against you knowing any who are influential.
If you become aware of a blogger writing on a particular relevant topic, what makes them important to you? A blogger need to write about interesting topics in a way that motivates readers to return regularly. Here are some characteristics identified by BL Ochman as comprising an influential blog:
- Written by a person with high credibility in their field
- Tightly written and grammatical
- Written for the readers, not just to impress people
- Acknowledges that the blogger doesn’t have all the answers
- Asks readers for their opinions
- Engages in conversations about those opinions
- Reflects the personality and style of the writer
- Has a high level of original content
- Links to other interesting blogs and websites
- Preferably is fun to read
If you think a blogger may be influential, you can check to see if their writings are picked up by monitors such as Technorati and commented about by other bloggers.
What can you do to initiate a constructive relationship with an influential blogger?
When you have identified a blogger you believe is important to you, don’t hesitate to open up a dialogue with him or her if you have something valid to comment upon. In many ways your approach should be the same as you would use with a journalist in traditional media.
Do your homework first
But firstly do your homework. Read any of their current and previous posts on the topic you’re pitching. Check the general categories they usually display in the sidebar on their blog page. Address them by first name. Don’t send unsolicited email attachments or long winded pitches. In fact it is better not to pitch, or seem to pitch, but inform them as in a conversation. Restrict your first approach to a couple of paragraphs to test their response. Try to give them first go at the story angle.
If you are responding to criticism that doesn’t appear to have been picked up much by others, don’t respond, because responses will only fan the flames. If their comments are negative and are picked up by others, keep your cool. Respond with facts without being aggressive. Provide links to third party supportive comments and to other websites that support your case. Ensure your website has material that provides an effective response to the criticism without actually acknowledging that criticism has been made.