Are Blogs the Red-Headed Stepchild of Publicity?

Are Blogs the Red-Headed Stepchild of Publicity?

As much influence as new media has on our society, it still kinda baffles me that blogs are sometimes treated as the bottom feeders of media.

I often field questions from entrepreneurs that are completely awestruck at the possibility that their product can adorn the pages of a glossy magazine. Or, I see the stars swirl around in their eyes that, maybe … just maybe …. one day …. they could share their sage wisdom with Meredith VIERA and the Today Show audience.

But when I talk about using blogs to publicize their business, they look at me like I've just handed them a poop on a stick.

"What's wrong?" I say.

Oh, I've had a bunch of blogs cover my business, but I got no sales. Bloggers are just looking for free stuff anyway. Plus I can not afford to send them samples or waste my time writing guest posts. Enough with these little guys, I'm ready for the big leagues.

Sure, this can be a sound argument depending on an individual and their unique business situation. I do not believe there is a one-sized fits all public approach for every business.

But, personally, I have great success guest posting for other business blogs and I can attribute tens of thousands of dollars in revenue to this strategy. And this blog is all about sharing what can work, and allows you to make the decision to use or not to use. Sharing is caring.

As I said, online publicity is a very specific strategy and, like anything else, can work well if implemented properly.

A friend of mine (an author) just chalked up a huge publicity campaign for her book where her motto was "no outlet is too small." She wrote guest posts, participated in interviews, and sent review copies of her book to anyone and everyone that was interested.

This turned into "six degrees of separation" publicity – her coverage on hundreds of blogs led to an contemporary Today show appearance and write ups in several major magazines. These editors and producers either found her through a blog that they personally enjoyed, or heard of her from someone that read about her in their favorite blog.

Sure it took time. Sure it meant she had to foot the bill to send review copies to these folks. But These blog placements helped her become extremely well connected, and while her direct-pitching efforts to the 'big guys' were provoking fruitless, these media people respected the opinion of bloggers enough to book her based on their recommendation.

The point – you never know WHO is reading WHAT and WHO is influencing WHOM.

And if you want to play a bigger game, it can be a smart strategy.

If you're up for it, read on.

HOW TO FIND BLOGS

There are tons of ways to find blogs that will cover you. You've probably heard a bajillion people say to check Alexa rankings or use specific blog search engines. These are all great ways, no doubt. But, as always, we rock things a little different over here in my joint.

1. Look at the websites for major magazines that appeal to your target customer. Lots of them have blogs (which should be an obvious target for you) But many of these sites also list their favorite blogs. For example: Martha Stewart has a "Blogs I Like" section on her site. Shoot, if it's good enough for Martha, it's probably good enough for you.

2. Set up Google Alerts for people or brands that are either your competitors or that reach a complimentary audience. Find out who is covering them. Maybe they will want to cover you too.

3. With blogs, size does not always matter. If a blog has thousands and thousands of readers, that does not mean it'll be a slam dunk for you. Look at the comments section of the blog to see if people are actually providing feedback.

4. Find blogs in a specific niche. For example, I do publicity consulting for a number of industries. But I've written guest posts for blogs that reach specific verticals – like medical, pets, bridal, and crafting communities. Even though these blogs do not have a 'big' reach in numbers, the niche audience and content matched so well that I earned plenty of new fans.

HOW TO PITCH TO BLOGS

1. If you're a product-based business, always make sure they actually feature products on the blog before you pitch something. If they do, check their About section, their Contact section, and / or look for a Review Policy section. Most blogs that accept product reviews or features list the information on how to pitch to them somewhere on the site.

2. If you're pitching a guest post (where you would write a post for their blog with a link back to your website), make sure they accept guest posts. Many blogs that accept guest posts will have a "Contributors" tab or a "Guest Post" tab or button with more details. Or just comb through old entries and see if you can find any.

3. Read the blog before you pitch. You do not have to read every single post, but read enough to know the subject matter, tone, and format of the posts.

4. Show the blogger you care! Comment on their blog. Share your favorite posts on Twitter and Facebook.

5. Take as much care writing a pitch for a blogger as you do for a national magazine, TV show, or other outlet. Many bloggers do not respond because they get blur pitches that treat them like the sewer rat of media. Not cool.



Source by Melissa Cassera

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