I am starting to receive several requests per week now from companies to promote and talk about their products, many of these are not products or services that I feel are a good fit for this blog, or I blatantly don’t feel comfortable endorsing so I have no interest in taking the offer.  One thing that does however grab my attention is when an advertiser provides you with a good pitch and puts all of the information you need in their initial email inviting you to take a look at their product and potentially write about it.

Companies looking to hire bloggers should follow some or all of these rules to increase your chances of attracting the blogger’s interest.  This applies to writing articles about products and services for free, or if you are hiring bloggers to write some buzz for your product and/or services.

  • Tip 1 – Know your target audience

Find blogs that are related to your product/service.  Use Google Blogsearch, Twitter, or even Digg to find bloggers who write about your “keywords” and use that as a basis to target those bloggers for advertising.  Make sure you target audience appropriate or the blogger will have much less incentive to write about your product if it doesn’t match his blog “niche”.

  • Tip 2 – Courteous Introduction

Never open up a request email or a contact form with “dear blogger, or blog owner” always take the time to visit the bloggers site, and know who the blogger is by visiting their about me page.  Take the time to notice a few articles and cite them in your email.  Sayings something like “I like how you promoted or talked about this “product” on your site, and am curious if you would be willing to look at our product and review in the same manner”.  Something along these lines will show the blogger you have actually read something on his site and increase your likely hood of getting noticed in a favorable way.

  • Tip 3 – Information at your Fingertips

I always prefer someone give me as much information as possible in their initial contact, the less digging I have to do the better.  As bloggers our time is precious, and if you have to spend 15 minutes finding out information about what the product/service is before you even decide if you want to blog about it, then we consider this  a waste of time.  Make sure when you are contacting a blogger you put information about your product inside the initial communication and easily accessible.  Include links to images, reviews, specs and your website and FAQ if you have one.  The more time you save the blogger, the more this shows you consider his or her time valuable and are willing to put the extra effort to provide the information up front.

  • Tip 4 – Follow Up

If you have not heard back from a blogger within 3 days of sending your initial request, it is appropriate to send one follow up inquiry.  Include some information from the original request and ask if the blogger has had a chance to review your request.  If you do not hear back from the blogger after the 2nd inquiry, assume the blogger has no interest in promoting the product and move on.  Do not send multiple requests over and over to the blogger about the same product or service.  I do think that a blogger should respond to every request even if he chooses not to accept, it is simple courtesy to let an advertiser know that you have received their request even if you won’t be writing about the product.  But some bloggers may just ignore the request, maybe because they don’t know how to reject, or don’t want to come off the wrong way.  (I have seen this before.)

  • Tip 5 – Promotion Assistance and Feedback

If the blogger accepts the offer to write about your product or service, take the time to read the article or review and if you have a social media account promote the article on twitter, facebook, or any other social networking service.  By showcasing the article about your product/service you are showing the blogger that you are endorsing his/her review of the product and helping raise attention to it.  This helps establish a relationship with the blogger and goes a long way to show the blogger that you enjoyed the article.  Big companies of course where hundreds of bloggers blog about their services/products are far less likely to be able to do something like this due to the sheer number they would have to track and follow.  This can also look like an endorsement in some cases, but in most cases a company should at least leave a comment on the blog or a follow up with the blogger with feedback about the article.  Feedback can be positive or negative, if you had something you didn’t like in the article don’ t hesitate to let the blogger know.  If the blogger just has an opinion or review that doesn’t favor your product and the blogger doesn’t state clearly why, take the time to ask the blogger a question or two.  If it is something misprinted, or poorly written you can ask the blogger to rewrite or change wording around if they did the request at your behalf (especially if you paid for the review or promotion).

  • In Summary

If you are an advertiser looking to find bloggers to write about your product or service (for free or compensation) then it is  a good idea to make sure you show the blogger that you have taken an interest in their site, done some keyword and category matching to make sure your product/service is a good fit and provide all the information the blogger needs to talk about your product or service.  These tips can help to improve your initial communication with the blogger and help establish a relationship with the blogger.  I myself have established relationships with some business, where I truly enjoy their products and write about them on a fairly regular basis.  Many I may not have found out about if they hadn’t contacted me in the first place.

But don’t let me be the only one to say how to approach bloggers, lets hear from some of my fellow bloggers out there.  What other tips do you have for advertisers who may be looking to request or hire you to write about their products or services?  Share with me some of the peeves and feedback you have for advertisers.

-Dragon Blogger

Justin Germino
Working in the IT Industry for over 17 years starting with OS, Networking and then moving into web based technologies including authentication and online security. Dragon Blogger has unique insights and opinions to how the internet and web technology works. An Avid movie fan, video game fan and fan of trying anything and everything new.
Justin Germino

@dragonblogger

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