How To Get a Blogger To Promote Your Product
How do you get a blogger to promote or review your product? Here’s some direct advice from a blogger with 2 decades of experience.
Back in the day, I ran a technology blog. And it literally became a daily occurrence to have companies contacting me asking them to promote or review their product.
With that site, I was interested. I don’t run that site anymore and obviously here at the Blog Marketing Academy I run a very different kind of business.
I very rarely (if ever) respond to anybody now with such requests. Many of them aren’t even personal. To them, I’m just another blogger to promote their thing. Another email address to spam and hope something fruitful happens.
However, I understand the dilemma.
So, how do you get a blogger to promote your product? How do you get them to pay any attention?
As a person who understands both sides of this equation, let me lay out some advice that may be useful to you.
5 Tips To Get A Blogger To Promote Your Product
You could say I have a bit of an “insider view” on this. After all, I’ve been blogging since 1998. I’ve been “pitched” so many times it is all a blur.
While I don’t usually partake in this kind of thing anymore, I used to run a blog where product reviews was a big thing.
So, let me just give you some advice on what works…
#1 – Put Yourself Into The Mindset of the Blogger
Newer bloggers are usually flattered when a company takes enough interest to ask for a review. This is why newer bloggers are usually much easier to get publicity from.
Mid-level bloggers may still respond. They’re big enough for their review to matter, yet still small enough to still check and manage their own email. 🙂
Once you get up to the A-level blogs, you really have to bring your game to get past the email gatekeeper. Often, it is nothing personal. It is just that they get a LOT of email. Not only that, but let’s face it…. bloggers get a LOT of templated impersonal emails from people looking for promotion and reviews.
So, the first thing is to really understand WHO you are emailing.
Does their site show that they even do reviews? Do they promote others’ products or does it look like they mainly keep things in-house?
Understand the mindset here. Have some empathy.
Even though I now run a site where I just don’t do promotions for anything if I don’t personally use it, you wouldn’t believe the number of emails I get every day asking me to promote their crap.
I delete those emails with prejudice. I barely ever even read them. These emails almost always look about the same, so I can see them from a mile away.
YOUR job… is to understand that the bigger the blog, the more noise we get.
So, how do you get noticed? How do you get a blogger to want to shed any light on your product?
#2 – Be Personal And Just Say No To Template Emails
I get emails from companies that look like form emails with my name injected into it.
Or they’ll include full URLs in the email to my blog.
Isn’t that the most generic, useless email ever?! I literally had to look in my Trash folder to find it because that’s where it went.
My first reaction is that they are just peppering the blogosphere with emails looking for bloggers to bite on their bait. No thanks! You need me more than I need you, so don’t waste my time with form email.
So, if you want a blogger to take notice, be personal. No form mails. Actually send a real email to the blogger that is actually personable.
On a related note, build a relationship with the blogger. You might consider emailing the blogger and simply offering something of help.
I’ve also had people get my attention by just standing out like crazy. Being really funny. Referencing personal hobbies of mine (which means they actually are members of my community).
Don’t pitch your product at first. If your very first email is simply a pitch, it is like a blogger’s version of speed-dating. Take the time to just introduce yourself and offer something of assistance.
Flowrite has some nice outreach email examples you can check out.
#3 – Make The Blogger Look Good
A good blogger wants to look good for their audience. They want to be the hero.
So, what can YOU do to make them look good?
For many, this is even more valuable than offering to pay them or give them a commission.
For instance, can you offer them a free copy of your product so they look super cool when they review it?
Can you give them an exclusive discount code that they can offer to their community that only THEY have? That will make them the hero to their community and allow the blogger to deliver real value.
Can you, perhaps, enable that blogger to give away FREE copies of your product to their audience, or even a limited number of them?
Can you use your brand and online presence to send a little traffic live their way? You know, give before you try to get.
The point is…
Offer publicity. I know it is ironic because you’re probably contacting the blogger for publicity yourself. However, is there an opportunity for mutual back scratching? For example, do you link to press coverage? If so, let the blogger know that you’ll link to their review on your site in the press section. That helps the blogger’s credibility and bloggers like that.
#4 – Be Relevant
It goes without saying, but make damn sure that your product is very relevant to the audience of the blog you’re contacting. An irrelevant product pitch is likely going to just be deleted by the blogger without a reply. That’s what I do.
You would be surprised at the number of emails I’ve gotten trying to get me to review stuff like home alarm systems. Hello?! This is the Blog Marketing Academy!
Irrelevant pitches just make it glaringly obvious it is a form email. And into the trash can it goes. Usually, I also report the email as spam, too.
#5 – Really Value Their Opinion
If you go into it obviously wanting nothing but a backlink and/or a positive review of your thing, you are more likely to be ignored. I can’t speak for all bloggers, but I know I’ll ignore the crap out of you.
I know that it is likely (in your line of work) that you look at bloggers are just another potential link source for SEO purposes. A dime a dozen. You’ve scoured tons of blogs and you likely keep them in a database and you’re making the rounds emailing them all.
But, the blogs you actually VALUE don’t like that. At all.
Bloggers want to feel respected. They want to feel legit. So, a few pointers…
- Be open to private feedback and show. you value their opinion.
- Ask them for their help making your product better. In other words, be open to criticism.
- Offer to help them out.
A person would likely not ever run a blog if they didn’t have a pretty high opinion… of their own opinions. 🙂 So, work with that.
Final Thoughts On Getting A Blogger To Promote Your Stuff
Look, I get it.
If you’re on this post, there’s a good chance that you’ve got that end goal in mind of a solid review. Some effective promotion. Or a backlink.
You might have even searched for “how to get a blogger to promote your product” and landed here.
That sole focus on the end game (the promotion) can easily end up having you with tunnel vision on just that end goal. And you’ll end up spamming people, sending form emails, and basically looking lame and ending up in my trash.
Put the numbers aside.
Just trust me on this.
If you really want bloggers to promote our stuff, then realize that you’re dealing with other PEOPLE.
People who have their own traffic and blogging goals… just like you do.
So, be willing to slow down.
Be a real human being.
Reach out to bloggers like the real human beings they are.
Yes, it takes more work.
You’ll have to actually read stuff they write and send real, personal emails. It is definitely more work than setting up a mail merge and letting your email program send out a big blast.
But, your results will be better. 🙂
I have always wanted to get big coverage on my website. However, because I am a small business owner, It does not happen. I started a web design company and now I offer a “Website Builder Software” to help beginners.
I have tried everything to include: Google AdWords — but you know how that is… very expensive!!! I have tried getting cheap traffic from other websites… but It’s not targeted. I wish someone could help a guy out.
I really like what you said in the post. So, with that said, my name is Steve Jocks and I am the business owner of eTul. If you would like me to write any content for you or to write articles…. I would be happy to help…
Keep up the good work…
I hate getting caned emails from companies. Whenever I target a blogger for whatever reason, I always write a personalised email – just for them.
Some of the products out there are so absurdly redundant that it just isn’t worth putting your name to it..
Thanks a lot for posting an answer to my question! My real challenge is to make the message enticing to read. You should exhibit a lot of creativity to make it alluring to a blogger. I can also tell from my experience that I am much more successful in dealing with newer bloggers – just like you said.
Anyways, I have linked to your blog on the media section of our website 😉
Thanks once again!
Andy, you do NOT need to be creative when approaching bloggers for a review. You DO need to be smart enough to do your research on every blogger you’re pitching. Most importantly, read the blog! Bloggers are dropping clues left and right about topics they think are important.
Start by Googling their name and see what comes up. Make note of personal details about them that you can weave into your pitch. If you pitch me for a review and you include my dog’s name in the subject line, or in your pitch, you immediately have my attention. But don’t make the pitch sound disingenuous.
I have always wondered if bloggers liked to get these offers to review products. It’s great exposure if you can get your products onto the “better” blogs, but as you said these blogs are better for a reason and they are very picky about what content they put up.
So… hey.. I was thinking..
I have this idea.. haha..
I’ll twitter you about it and maybe I can help out with a guest blog post..
Then I’ll hit you with the sales pitch.. lol..
Good stuff.. keep it up.
Great post, David.
I know that whenever I get canned messages, whether email or recorded telemarketing or what-have-you, it’s so much easier to just reject it outright because who cares? It’s not like you’d be hurting anyone’s feelings.