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How to Talk to Bloggers

How to Talk to Bloggers
March 8, 2013

We at The Abbi Agency recently had the opportunity to sit down with local mommy blogger Jessica Torres, who blogs both at My Time as Mom and One Martini at a Time. The dichotomy of her blog topics reflect the perfect yin-yang balance required for parenting.

Beyond a blogger, Jessica is a go-to blogging expert. In today’s world, knowing how to effectively pitch bloggers can make or break a campaign. While some of the techniques used to pitch traditional media can garner a little traction in the blogosphere, understanding how to navigate this realm will elevate your PR plans to a winning strategy for your clients. Here are a few tips Jessica shared:

  1. Bloggers don’t work for free.  Typically, bloggers seek a minimum of $50 to do a product review. The bigger the blog, the bigger the pay threshold. Compensation can come in the form of product, but remember to make it worth the person’s attention. If you’re trying to gain momentum for an unknown brand, consider sweetening the deal by partnering with a better known, complementary brand and sending both products. The more you pony up the more likely the blogger will voraciously share content via social media channels.
  2. Do your due diligence. Put on your spy hat and snoop around the blogger site. Visit the “about” page, review contact information and PR protocol. Read through some of the posts and comments. Check out the bloggers social media and consider the engagement level. This may seem like common knowledge, but in the busy PR world I know we often think we can cut corners. Your clients will suffer if you do, and your time will be wasted.
  3. Vet bloggers before you commit. Ask bloggers for statistics and analytics on their blog. Run them through Alexa.com and ensure they’re worth your time and effort. There are many amazing bloggers out there, but there are just as many who only want free products and will take anything just to have it. That will not yield a quality review or placement.
  4. Give bloggers a post deadline. Running a three month campaign? Remember you may know this, but the bloggers are not mind readers. They cannot guess your deadline. If you want to shine for your client and gather an abundance of posts and/or reviews in a timely manner, politely share the due date with the blogger.  If she or he cannot meet that, then you may need to move on.
  5. Bloggers want to generate original content. Plug-and-play content can disrupt a blogger’s page ranking, so mix it up. Have a list of ten tips? Share a few with different bloggers, mix and match—anything to spark a unique post. This not only demonstrates to the blogger that you respect and understand their process, but also raises the chance they will write a good post for your client.
  6. Toolkit. Pictures, infographs, SHORT videos, oh my! Be prepared to share.
  7. Don’t try to pay for SEO. Jessica informed us that if you send a blogger product, this counts as compensation. Once you’ve done that, your client will no longer receive direct SEO benefits from the blog post because the offer of the blog will have to make the link to your client’s site on their blog a “no-follow” link. More about what “no-follow” means here: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nofollow

What blogger relations tips do you have to share?

Comments

  1. Chris says:

    Great run down Amanda! For #7, Keep in mind that while rel=nofollow links don’t pass pagerank (for google), and may not serve you quite as well in the short term as a link that does. Nofollow links are part of any good BackLink portfolio and offer a TON of indirect SEO benefits, like visitors and the potential to gain other “followed” links from people who may not have otherwise discovered your page.

  2. Chris says:

    Not to mention the correlation between higher quality nofollowed links (think Wikipedia) and destination page ranking :)

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