Chances are, you know someone who blogs. Just in my little social circle alone, I have friends that blog about their family and their kids, friends that blog about current events and hobbies, and friends that blog as a way to promote their businesses. In this huge world of 6.9 billion people, blogging has given previously unknown people a voice. Just ask The Pioneer Woman, Ree Drummond.
At the end of 2011, there were 181 million blogs in existence in the world according to NM Incite, a Nielsen/McKinsey company. CNET reports that two new blogs are created every second, meaning that number has grown exponentially in the last eight months. That doesn’t necessarily mean every single one of those blogs has something interesting to say. Out of that vast number, about a quarter update their blogs regularly and have a dedicated following. Those who have taken the time to carve out their niche in the blogosphere are often perceived to be a leading authority on whatever topic they choose to write on. In short, their readers listen to and value what they have to say.
Case in point, Thermador — a kitchen appliances manufacturer — teamed up with the author of one of my favorite cooking blogs. I have been following her blog, Steamy Kitchen, long enough to know that she doesn’t typically promote a product unless she has actually used it and genuinely thinks it’s worth purchasing. Her Thermador post intrigued me enough to do a search on the company. Perhaps one of her readers is contemplating building a house or remodeling a kitchen. That one post could influence a buying decision.
So how do you get a blogger to tell your story? Why, with a good old-fashioned pitch, of course. But pitching to a blogger is different than pitching a story to traditional media. It’s their blog and they don’t want to be told what to write about.
Below are a few guidelines to keep in mind when approaching a blogger:
Try to keep in mind that most bloggers don’t blog for a living — many have full-time jobs, busy schedules and maintain their blogs on their own time. If their site attracts a large audience, they may only have five minutes to wade through emails from fans and other pitches just like yours. Taking the extra time to establish a rapport in the beginning may just be the extra push you need to get your pitch noticed and establish a long and mutually beneficial relationship.