I was first introduced to the concept of professional bloggers when a sock company asked me to review its products for my running blog.
Considering I had only been blogging for a few months, I was surprised when a marketing specialist left a comment on my site’s About page, asking if I’d be interested in free socks in exchange for a review. At that point I had a handful of subscribers, and I wasn’t an experienced or fast runner.
However, I did blog on a regular basis. I passionately wrote at length about my likes and dislikes for running shoes, compression socks, moisture-wicking singlets and spandex shorts. I’m sure I came across as obsessed to anyone who isn’t interested in those things – and that’s what the company wanted.
Earlier this year I wrote about the importance of having brand ambassadors, advocates for your products and services. Bloggers fall in that category.
Spicy Spirit manages the social media campaign of a dessert manufacturer in the Bay Area. When we took on the account, the owner asked us to reach out to other bloggers in exchange for a review. Since then we have managed to have bloggers write insightful reviews on our clients’ desserts.
Combined with a more active social media presence, our client now has a larger presence online. Most important, consumers are more aware of his products – and, if curious, can find favorable reviews of his desserts on the Internet.
It may seem strange to reach out to a blogger, considering you have never met and perhaps don’t even know what the writer looks like. Here are some guidelines I’ve followed when approaching bloggers on behalf of my client:
1. State your objective in your subject line. Popular bloggers receive more emails than they can read. If they mistake you for another reader, they may overlook yours. But if they rely on their blog as a source of income, they will open yours when they see you’re writing for a review.
2. Read a few of the blogger’s recent posts so you can mention something specific about his or her life in your letter. While reaching out to bloggers I’ve congratulated one on her new baby and another on running a marathon. This shows you are invested in them as a spokespeople for your brand.
3. Check the blogger’s website to see what he or she requires in exchange for a review. Most of the bloggers I’ve approached have been perfectly happy with doing a review in exchange for free products. Then there are bloggers who have asked for as much as $750 for a post. Which is understandable – there are writers who have thousands of subscribers following their blogs and social media channels. They’re popular because they write well and frequently. Blogging is a part- to full-time job.
4. But if paying for a review is out of your budget right now, you are better off focusing on less-known bloggers. Posts written by these smaller players still benefit your company. Backlinks to your website will help your Internet search engine ranking, and people new to your products and services will still read reviews regardless of who has written them.
Reaching out to bloggers may seem time-consuming, but it is a worthwhile investment for any business owner. To learn more about connecting with influential people in your target demographic, contact us today.