The Internet puts a variety of new and affordable marketing tools at the fingertips of business owners. A myriad of social media sites like Facebook and Twitter and email newsletters join blogging as a powerful way to spread the word about your business through technological channels.
Writing about your business, expressing your opinion and expertise, and sharing helpful information with readers in a professional blog is an effective way to establish yourself as an expert in your field. Once you’ve implemented a strong blogging calendar with regular and informative posts, you’ll begin to become a trusted resource for those seeking to know more about you and what you do. How can you take the blogging you do to the next level? Consider blogger outreach.
What is blogger outreach?
Blogger outreach is a practice employed to help blog content reach a greater audience. This is accomplished by encouraging other bloggers to write about your business - and writing about other businesses on your blog. Think of bloggers as a community of folks writing on topics about which they’re passionate. Your niche as a blogger may well be in your professional area of expertise, be it electrical contracting, landscaping, retail selling, consulting... That’s where you’re an authority - that’s where people heed your advice. Blogger outreach leverages the influence bloggers have with their readers to encourage them to check out interesting, beneficial information from other sources within that like-minded community.
How to establish blogger outreach
You should embrace blogger outreach as a mutually-beneficial relationship. One party has something bloggers want: Timely information and/or an opportunity to better serve their readers. The blogger offers the other party something they want: Exposure for and buzz about their business.
Determine what you have to offer
Perhaps you’re launching a new product or service, opening a new location, offering a discount or want to promote some other exciting bit of business news. This could be an opportune time to contact those in your blogging community with the details. They may well be excited to inform their readers - especially when they feel there’s something in it for them in return. Offer to reciprocate by writing about their business on your blog; offer them a free product or service for their review of it on their blog. Remember blogger outreach works both ways; writing about other businesses will draw their traffic to your blog, completing a beneficial promotional circle.
Locating bloggers to contact
You’ll need to employ some market research and detective work. Use the Internet to search on keywords that describe your business. The people who write about those businesses that come up in your search results are the ones to contact. Determine whether you want to reach out to a number of bloggers or concentrate on a select few more influential ones. While having your content appear on more popular blogs will raise your own rank in Internet searches, it may be considerably more difficult to get noticed by them in the first place. Buzz is buzz, however; raising awareness is the point of blogger outreach, so don’t discount the influence a number of smaller blogs can have to spread the word.
You’re going to get a lot of results on your search so you’ll need to narrow the field to those with the best fit; those who you feel would have the greatest appreciation for what you have to offer. That’s why it’s important to read those blogs in some detail and seek out a connection between their voice and your offering. Those who seem to have a similar audience to yours are your best shots for being well-received.
Contact succinctly and with context
Create a pleasant “pitch letter” to distribute to your blogger outreach candidates. Explain who you are and what you’re offering. Get right to the point - no one wants to read paragraphs of back story before discovering the reason you’re contacting them. They will appreciate your respect for their time, which will help put you in their good graces. There will be opportunity to provide additional information once they express initial interest.
Be personal and pertinent
The key to writing an effective blogger outreach pitch letter is to personalize it to each recipient individually. Explain why you think they may be interested in your offering by referencing a recent post they wrote which illustrates a pertinent connection. This will ensure that they read your request as sincere and genuine, and give it the serious consideration it deserves.
Blog content is a powerful marketing resource that can and should be spread far and wide to build and sustain your business. Think of blogger outreach as a warm hand extended via email. In the same way you would meet and greet other industry influencers in person, blogger outreach is an opportunity to present your business’ intel and offerings to those who can, in turn, use their network to promote it.
Could blogger outreach be an effective means to promote your business’ offerings?