Blogger Outreach Lessons Learned From Recent Pitches I’ve Received

If It's Not Relevant, It's in the Trash

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Over the last year or so, I’ve received a number of pitches around my blog. Surprising to me, really. I guess I still think of this blog as a place where I merely share my thoughts on the digital marketing world around us. Seems odd to me that anyone would want to “target” me.

As I’ve gathered these pitches, I’ve noted the good ones–and those that could use some work.


Today, I wanted to call out the latter. Not as a way to point fingers, mock and ridicule. But instead, as a way for us all to learn. And hone our craft.

So, I’m going to share a few pitches I’ve received, with names/companies blocked, and my thoughts around a few ways these folks could have tweaked their approach just a bit to make for a better chance at success:

Pitch #1

Hi Arik,

As your blog was named as one of PRWeek’s “required reading,” we believe that your readers will be interested in knowing about the upcoming (CONFERENCE) in (MONTH HERE).

Taking place on (DATE HERE) in (CITY HERE), the conference features the individuals, organizations and case studies leading the charge in the new age of digital and interactive media, through a mixture of keynote addresses, speaker panels and practical workshops. Some of our speakers include: (IMPRESSIVE LIST OF SPEAKERS HERE)

We hope that you can help us by spreading the word about the conference to your readers as this will be an event that shouldn’t be missed. For more information and to register, please visit (WEB ADDRESS HERE). Please let me know if this will be a possibility.

Lesson: Make sure you address the “what’s in it for me” issue. Re-read this pitch. What’s in it for me? Sounds selfish, but this is how bloggers (and people) think. In this case, why would I want to share this information with my readers? What’s my payoff? If it were me, I would have included a formal invitation to the event. Ask me to “cover” the event as an exclusive guest of the organization. Better yet, give me a free pass to give away to my readers. If that’s too much to spend, even give us electronic access to the speakers or event organizers before the event–give me an opportunity to share content my readers won’t be able to get anyplace else. But, asking me to help you “spread the word”? Please.

Pitch #2

Hey what’s up? I was searching on Google and found your site,  and I really like recent “6 Facebook changes and what they mean for your brand”.

I will keep this short and sweet!  Two of my friends are launching a product on teaching how to make money via advertising on cell phones.

Check it out here (WEB URL HERE)

You may have heard that mobile advertising is the next big thing since there are a ton more people with cell phones then computers.

Anyway since I really enjoyed your site, I thought I would pass along their cool new product and its live now.  You can make up to $200 per sale!

Can you tell I am excited?

If you have a subscriber list you could mail to about this cool opportunity or if you’re like you can just put up one of their banners and let them do all the work as you collect sales!

The Sign Up is here (WEB URL HERE)

Either way I keep up the amazing work and I wish you the best of luck with everything!

Lesson: If it’s not relevant, it’s in the trash can. How fast do you think I deleted this message? If your answer was anything other than 5 seconds, you’d be wrong. The pitch started strong by mentioning a specific post–points for that. But, the pitch went completely downhill from there. Yes, they pointed to a specific post I wrote, but what does what I write about have to do with cell phone advertising? I actually rarely write about the topic of mobile advertising. If it was me, I would have offered up a few ideas on posts I could write about topics around mobile advertising as it relates to digital marketing and/or PR–then give me an exclusive “sneak peek” at the product. Now that pitch I would have been interested in.

Have you received pitches from companies or PR firms lately? What have you found to resonate with you, as a blogger, and what hasn’t? Let’s share to learn.

Originally published at ArikHanson.com

Blogger Outreach Lessons Learned From Recent Pitches I’ve Received
About Arik Hanson
Arik Hanson, is the principal of ACH Communications, a digital communications consultancy focused on fostering meaningful online interactions, driving digital relevance and building measurable growth through social channels. Arik's blog, Communications Conversations (www.arikhanson.com), has received numerous industry accolades including being named “Required Reading” by PRWeek and one of “The Top 25 Blogs to Follow” by PRWeb. He’s also a regular contributor to the PR Breakfast Club, Ragan.com, PR Daily and MinnPost. WebProNews Writer
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    I’ve too got pitches from irrevelant link exchanges or websites still under construction. The positive outcome are guest writers or someone buying text link ads on my home page. It seems if you get on the first page of Google, you’ll get a lot of offers.

    I may do a few link exchanges (on my partners page) in the future but you don’t want run a link farm.

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    I think the most common mistake people make when reaching out to a blogger is the same mistake most job seekers make with their cover letter- it’s just a fill-in-the blank form. Substitute the blogger’s name, mention a recent post and call it “customized.” If you really want to get a blogger’s attention, the pitch has to be specific to them.

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    Bigger the link farm it is better to harvest.

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