More often than not brands and SEO agencies have a blogger outreach strategy that leaves much to be desired. The difficulty of the whole process has been greatly underrated, and as bloggers are now a vital part of most successful SEO strategies it is important to make sure you have an effective outreach approach. Here at Make It Rain we have compiled a list of some of the most common and biggest mistakes made when carrying out blogger outreach and how to avoid them.
READ the blog
One of the biggest errors a brand can make is not having done adequate research prior to contacting a blogger. You have to do more than scan the search engine results page. Before making contact, you should know as much as possible about their blog, its content, the kind of audience it attracts and the author. Check if they have mentioned that they are “PR friendly” and happy to work with brands and what you are asking them to do is relevant to their blog. You are likely to have better success with bloggers who are a better contextual fit than sending blanket emails to every blogger you find. Do some research. This may seem obvious but it’s a mistake made by countless brands.
One of the most important reasons for doing your research is that the more you know about the blog and blogger, the easier it is to write a tailored proposal. Bloggers receive hundreds of emails a week and you have to stand out from the crowd. DO NOT send emails that are addressed to groups (Hi all), or generic emails that look ‘copy and pasted’, as they are likely to be deleted. Instead show that you have read their blog and explain why you think your brand or product would sit well with their audience. Most blogs will have their preferred method of contact. It normally is through email. However, they do not always make this available. You can look to other social platform that they are on and contact them that way (Facebook, Twitter, etc.). This emphasizes the importance of following bloggers on alternative social channels. End your message with a clear call to action. It is important that you are concise and clear, making it easy for the blogger. Do not write an essay, it is unlikely they will read an email that is too long.
Follow their rules
Bloggers do not have to submit to traditional media rules. Brands now have to adapt to the wishes of bloggers. They have to earn the right to have their content published on a blog. It is very important then, to follow their rules. Bloggers wont necessarily do what you want them to do. Accept this. If you send them a product to review they may only write one sentence or even a negative review about the product. This is one of the risks of blogger outreach. To achieve the best results you must play by their rules. A happy blogger will often lead to a better write up, so keep them sweet.
Do not let the relationship die
Once you have achieved what you wanted from the blogger it is very easy to forget about them, and let that be the end of the interaction. But blogger outreach is never a one-off tactic. It is important to maintain relationship with the blogger. You may be able to work with them on another project. Ask the brand to promote the content published by bloggers through their own social media channels and keep an eye on comments and social sharing (always great for SEO) the project throws up. This builds a two-way relationship with the blogger.
As previously mentioned, bloggers are the ones who wear the trousers in this relationship. Do not even contemplate trying to make them do something they don’t want to do. If they are unhappy they have the potential to cause untold damage to a brand due to their faithful followers and fellow bloggers. Respect them. Do not send them content you know will not work for them. Show them that you have read and understood the vision behind their blog. Do not take it personally if they reject your proposal. They are just looking out for what is best for their blog. It is important to be upfront and honest. The success of blogger outreach is down to building effective relationships with the bloggers and to do this there has to be a connection as well as a certain level of empathy, appreciation, and respect.