If you want to reach out to bloggers with a story idea or information from your nonprofit, association or small business, what are the best ways to reach out?
As a blogger, I get pitched regularly by people offering me content for my blog. Most pitches are awful – off-topic, poorly written and unfamiliar with my audience. I write about public relations, social media, writing, and work-life balance. With a few key tips these prospective bloggers could avoid rejection and score a guest post.
Tip #1: Know what content you are trying to place. Generic info about your organization does not work for this group. Who you reach out to and how, will depend on what you have to offer. Are you distributing information about an upcoming contest or program, offering an article with advice, suggesting a story that you might write, or an infographic with key points?
Tip #2: Do your research. Make a list of the types of topics bloggers are writing about that relate to you. Is it bloggers who cover activities in your community? People who write on a particular topic or with a passion for an issue? Blogs affiliated with a friendly organization or publication? Research the blogs out there. Read them.
If you subscribe to a media database like Cision, you can look up a list of bloggers by topic. If you use a database, do a good job at reviewing and weeding down the list. Researching a list of bloggers can be time-consuming.
One way to be efficient, is to make a list of top 10, 25, or 50 blogs to reach out to. Drawing some parameters can help make the project more doable if your workload is busy.
Tip #3: Draft your pitch. Bloggers are busy, so keep it short and include copy when you can with your pitch.
No matter what you are sending – you need an introductory paragraph that introduces the topic, why it is relevant to their readers, and (briefly) why you are the right person/group to offer this information. Say whether you are willing to write a blog post or whether you would like to provide information to them to use as background material (make clear what you have).
Sweeten the deal by offering with your pitch to link to the post or share it on social media (if you have a lot of followers, mention your stats).
Story proposal for a post you would write (one-paragraph pitch): If you are proposing a story that you might write (but have not written yet), outline your key points in a paragraph, explain why their readers will enjoy this information, why you should write it, and why. Mention any timing (e.g. a special day or month coming up, how your work might fit within a schedule that they appear to be publishing on).
Story proposal for a post that they would write (one-paragraph pitch): If you are proposing a story that you are hoping they will write, outline some ideas (be creative) and outline any assets you can provide (statistics, interviewees, reports, images, graphics). Explain why the topic is relevant to their readers.
Reprintable article: If you are offering a pre-written reprintable article with tips or advice, include the copy in the body of your email (not as an attachment). Write a pitch paragraph at the top of the email to introduce yourself and the topic. Do not let your article go over 500 or 600 words. Offer photos or graphics if you have them and offer downloadable links with them. Some top blogs may not take reprintable articles but many bloggers appreciate this information.
Infographic pitch: Write a one-paragraph pitch about the infographic topic. Include a downloadable link for the graphic.
Tip #4: Craft a great subject line. this is probably the most important part of your pitch package. Write a good subject line that gets to the point. Be clear about what you are offering.
Tip #5: Proofread your pitch before hitting send. Look over your pitch and collateral materials. Check any links with graphics or images to make sure they are working.
Talk to Us: Have you pitched bloggers? What has worked for you? Post a comment to let us know your thoughts!
Ami Neiberger-Miller is a public relations strategist and writer. She is the founder of Steppingstone LLC, an independent PR practice near Washington, D.C. that provides public relations counsel, social media engagement, writing services, and creative design for publications and websites (contact to discuss your project, review our portfolio, sign up for our e-newsletter). She blogs about media relations, social media, public relations, and work-family balance. Follow her on Twitter @AmazingPRMaven.