I get several hundred pitches a week from well-meaning PR people.
My conversations with other bloggers suggest this is the norm, meaning it is as tough to reach a blogger as it is to reach a mainstream journalist. It may be even more difficult since most of us bloggers work part-time on our blogs, and devote less time to wading through pitches as journalists.
Sadly, nearly all of the pitches I get are just plain spam. The good news is that I pay attention to things people send me, and occasionally write about them.
How do you increase your chances of getting a blogger like me to talk about you or your clients? Here are some ideas:
1. Don’t pitch your product.
This is by far the worst thing to do. I may be interested in how people solve problems with your product or service, but I don’t care about the product itself.
2. Know bloggers can give you coverage in many ways.
Don’t limit your pitch to the person’s blog. Share what you think the person will be interested in, but realize he may reward you in a different way.
In my case, I might tweet about your product. Maybe you have a story worth adding to a book I’m working on, or including in a speech. Don’t limit yourself.
3. Remember that bloggers aren‘t journalists.
We bloggers write about whatever we feel like, and aren’t obligated to tell both sides of a story or cover your news. The best blogs are written by people who are passionate about a topic. Read the blog, discover the passion and send something the blogger will be interested in.
4. Don’t offer guest posts unless the blogger runs them.
In nearly a decade of writing my blog, I’ve never run a post by a guest author. While I’m not prepared to say I never will, offering to write one for me is a sure way to get me to delete your email. Make sure a blog runs guest posts before you pitch one.
5. Know that broadcast pitches are spam.
I love hearing about something interesting before other people do. If you have a great example of marketing success, tell me! But don’t send me something you also sent to hundreds of others.
6. Never open with “dear blogger.”
“Dear Blogger” tells a person you don’t care enough about him to read his blog and learn his or her name. It’s much better to personalize your pitch with an appropriate greeting and some detail about why you selected that blogger.
7. Keep the pitch short.
I won’t read a long email. A few sentences about what you’re pitching and why is great. If I want more information, I’ll ask for it.
8. Never send an email attachment.
Links are OK, but attachments are not.
9. Write a specific subject line.
Write a specific subject line. Something like “Example of newsjacking success” is a great subject line for me.
10. Don‘t pitch via phone.
It’s fine to send a pitch via a direct message on Twitter, or to include a blogger’s Twitter ID in a tweet. The 140-character limit forces you to get to the point. Bloggers I’ve spoken with do not appreciate phone calls.
I’ve had many discussions with bloggers, and most of us do like to get a well-crafted pitch that you target especially to us. We want you to reach out! Do it well, and we may write about you.
A version of this article first appeared on David Meerman Scott’s WebInkNow.com.