Secrets of Striking Media Gold with Blogs

By: Penny Sansevieri

If you're in the midst of your media campaign don't overlook pitching bloggers, especially those who are opinion makers in your industry. Why? Because in the last twelve months bloggers have gone from on-line journals and opinion pieces to newsworthy opinion drivers and in many cases, the single most reliable place to get an accurate assessment of a news item, product, or service. One of the main reasons blogs have taken this turn is because the public is increasingly distrustful of mainstream media and media outlets. Why? Because these are often viewed as being somewhat biased and beholden to sponsors, organizations and in some cases, even the government. Blogs and bloggers are beholden to no one because they are a free, unfunded source for media. Consequently the public is turning their attention more and more to these bloggers, and media relations professionals are using bloggers to help them further their efforts by spreading the word about a topic related to a book/author. We've seen this in our company as it relates to our Virtual Author Tours, one of the main reasons these tours are successful (read: sell books) is because whenever possible we push bloggers who are opinion makers in their industry. So if you're convinced that bloggers need to be a part of your media campaign, what's next? Well, first you need to find the right bloggers for your story and you need to remember that above all else be honest and disclose everything. If the blogger finds out on their own that there are parts of this story you didn't mention, they'll address them and this might cast a bad light on you. Bacon's Media Group recently published a report on pitching bloggers; here are a few things they address (as well as a few ideas of our own) when going after a blog:

Know the blog. Don't just pitch randomly, know the blog and blogger you're going after. This means reading past blogs - all of them Don't worry about exclusives. Bloggers love community and aren't hungry for the exclusive like the traditional media. Follow the links. Most of the more popular blogs have links to other similar blogs; follow those links and check out those blogs because they might be worth a pitch as well. Create your own blog. It's that community thing; bloggers want to see you've got an active blog as well and are a joiner. Personalize. As with any pitch you want to personalize, don't send out a standard, generic pitch. Even truer than in traditional media, bloggers hate generic. Understand the 'blog food chain.' Not unlike traditional media, the bigger the blogger the tougher it is to break in so be patient and when you're targeting bloggers make sure you have a blend of first and second tier bloggers so you don't get discouraged.

Become a source. Once you've tapped into a blog, become a source for that blogger, even if it means turning a story over to someone more qualified. Try to stay on a blogger's radar screen with relevant tips, insights and news to keep the blogger updated on their (your) industry and help them make their own blog cutting edge. Monitor the 'blog-osphere.' Keep an eye on other blogs by tapping into blog monitoring services like Technorati and Blogdex. This will allow you to not only follow bloggers (who may not have RSS feeds - for the full scoop on RSS sent away for our free article on Really (really) Simple Syndication but also help you determine how many times your name and book has been featured in one of the blogs you've pitched (bloggers may not always tell you). The mainstream media reads blogs. If you still aspire to attract traditional media air time, know this: the media reads blogs and will often consider people "experts" who are featured on a number of blogs. Also some bloggers might be attached to media outlets, which allows them to expand on stories featured in the mainstream media and offer daily updates on particular topics. Finding news-driven blogs. While you're searching for topic-related blogs don't overlook news-driven blogs. These are blogs that vary in topic but are driven by daily news items. If you have a story that ties into a hot news topic these blogs might be the best place for you to go. (We've listed a few of them at the end of this article). Saturate the market. Get your topic/story/book out there, since bloggers don't need exclusivity you can go crazy with your pitches. But remember, the more saturated your category (for example, money, relationships, diet, and health), the tougher it might be to get to those crucial bloggers' attention. We addressed doing a mix of first and second tier bloggers, but you might also want to consider doing second (or third) tier bloggers exclusively so you can build your reputation within the on-line market and use that as a springboard to up-tier to more prominent blogs and catch the rising stars.

Separate the good from the bad. When it comes to blogs nearly everyone has one now so how you can find those first, second and third tier blogs while staying away from the "mom and pop" type blogs that can't really further your message? Well, first you'll want to start with a Boolean search on Google (search string: "your topic" AND blog) and begin reviewing the various blogs that pop up. You'll want to look for frequency in blogging (daily, weekly, etc.), tone, relevancy of material and topics/content addressed. A good way to determine this is in the posting. If the postings are all "banter" about recipes, family vacations and other personal anecdotes sprinkled in with relevant on-point material you might want to stay away from these. Why? Because good bloggers stay on-point, which also helps drive traffic to these sites. Bloggers who are just hobbyists and not opinion drivers, will differ in their postings and because of this, probably won't attract the level of traffic other blogs get.

To give your new blog campaign a kick start, I'll a few of the major news blogs here. If any of these blogs seem relevant to your campaign, add them to your list of blog media and start following their entries:

BloggermanBuzzmachineInstapundit

Top Searches on
Blogging
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 
 • 

» More on Blogging
 



Share this article :
Click to see more related articles