We get approached on the regular by bloggers interested in working on paid opportunities with companies. Considering that’s what we do it’s not really a huge surprise! And, I am more than happy to get these emails and approaches.
I love meeting new bloggers, especially bloggers who really put their heart and soul into what they do. And I am always looking to make new connections.
However, I have noticed that many bloggers don’t really know the best way to present themselves and their talents in these emails.
It’s probably quite confusing to know how to present yourself, there isn’t really much advice out there for this kind of approach.
And, it’s difficult to the get into the mind of a Marketing Manager or a PR person or an SEO manager etc etc.
Bloggers need to get their name out there and pitch to a wide number of different people so, how to know the right approach for the right person?
Well, I’m going to make it super simple for you. Because, you might think that you need to present yourself entirely differently for each group of people, but actually that is not the case and not the most important factor in your outreach email.
The most important factor is how you position yourself in your outreach email.
Do you come across as hard working, passionate & reliable?
Do you come across as someone who just wants to make a quick buck.
To highlight exactly what I’m talking about, this is the type of outreach email you should avoid!
I am (name) and I run (name of blog)
I have (x number of traffic) and high DA of (DA) and I write about (one top level topic). I’m reaching out because I’d love to work with you on any sponsored content opportunities you have coming up.
Look forward to connecting with you!
Unfortunately, the majority of the bloggers who have approached me place themselves into category 2 and send the above kind of outreach email.
So, if you are a blogger reading this and your outreach email does look like this, don't worry you are not alone on this.
Around 95% of the emails I get are like this.
I’m not saying that those bloggers do just want to make a quick buck but that’s what I feel from this kind of approach. In a second I will give you a view of my thoughts as I read the above email to help you understand what a marketing person or PR agent might think whilst reading this email.
But before that, I just want to ask for your support - lets go heart to heart, because I want you to understand why I'm writing this post & why I am so passionate about working with up and coming bloggers.
This is important, because I don't want you to feel as if I am writing this to tell you off, or looking down on you in anyway.
Reasons why I choose to work with up and coming bloggers
Running a blog & gathering a loyal audience is not easy, making a business out of it is even harder. I personally know that, being someone who has failed at it many, many times !! I have a lot of respect for a single individual who has managed to form any kind of community because it takes hard work, dedication and a lot of soul journeying.
I also love writing.
There is something very powerful about written words.
It gives more opportunity for the reader to reflect, unlike video or podcasting which tends to be more passive, words connect in a way that sound can't.
Number one, I just respect and admire what you do.
As a Marketer I've always seen HUGE merit in working with grass roots communities. Small but loyal audiences are very powerful. I've always believed that, and I have always chosen to support those bloggers. Planetd is one example, now one of the most popular travel blogs of all time.
I was the first person to work with them on a campaign, to continue to support them on their travels. What's more, they remembered that, they thanked me for believing in them at that time, that really touched me.
Because really, it was the other way around. I was shocked by their gratitude.
Because, the audience they already had at that time was so much more valuable than they could have imagined. We tend to lean towards bigger is better. But actually, no, that's not true. It's about quality and connection. That's what is lacking online.
Number two, small communities still have this connection and therefore huge value.
So, here is the truth
Everytime you send an outreach email which doesn't fully represent your true passion and goals, your ambition and your tenacity, you undercut yourself and all of the other bloggers out there trying to make it happen as well.
Up until now companies have not seen the true value of what small bloggers offer, but that is starting to change.
It would change a lot more quickly if bloggers communicated in a way which truly represented their value. I can see why you might send an email like the one above, there are so many people to connect with, you just want to monetize your blog and make a bit of money out of something you've worked so hard for.
But, as with all businesses, short term thinking rarely gets very far.
So, if you have ambition to become a full time blogger then please hear these words. Take a moment to reflect on them and look at how you communicate your talents.
Let’s break it down line by line and I will tell you what I am thinking when I read this, hopefully this will give you an idea into the psychology of a Marketing person reading this kind of outreach email.
Hello (name) - no comments, can’t go wrong with this!
I am (name) and I run (name of blog)
My comment - okay, but this doesn’t tell me much. I’m wondering, why do you run this blog, what started it, what is your why?
I have (x number of traffic) and high DA of (DA) and I write about (one top level topic).
My comment - thanks for including your traffic figures that’s helpful but what about your engagement? What about your audience? Who actually reads your blog? Because I’m trying to think of the right opportunities but I have no idea, if I don’t know whether your readers are high net worth professional men with families who like golf & tennis or millennial women in their late 20’s who like yoga, meditation, health + fitness. I also don't know what traffic means. Does it mean pageviews or unique visits? And, the fact you haven't given me any detail here also also makes me think you don't know you audience which means that you are unlikely to have a highly engaged one.
Thanks for telling me your DA it does give me a rough indication of where you blog sits but what about previous campaigns or content you’ve done before? Has it gone well? Are you new to this kind of engagement or are you a blogger who has worked with hundreds of other companies?
Thanks for including your top level topic, yes that helps me to define roughly what niche your blog sits in but what about breaking it down. So you are a beauty blogger, does that mean you like natural products or cheap products or you mostly focus on promoting skin products or maybe make-up. I need to know specifically what you write about so I can tie in the right companies.
I’m reaching out because I’d love to work with you on any sponsored content opportunities you have coming up.
My comment - Maybe I’m wrong but as soon as I read this I just assume all you care about is the money. This just makes me think that you don’t actually care about which products or services you promote to your audience which makes me think that you probably don’t have a particularly high engagement or a loyal following because readers just see straight through that.
I want to know WHO you want to work with and WHO you enjoy promoting so I can find the RIGHT opportunities for your audience.
I feel like honesty is the best policy here. There are a lot of complaints about SEO companies, PR Agents not treating bloggers correctly and currently the relationships are tense.
It would be really, really helpful if bloggers stopped outreaching in the above way.
In a second I’ll give some tips about how you can approach in the right why but first; why is this so important?
The reason a blogger should not approach a Marketing Manager, PR person, SEO manager in this way...
1. The Marketing Manager will come away from reading the outreach email thinking this blogger only cares about making some money now and is not interested in a long term relationship which in the end would be more fruitful for both parties.
2. The Marketing Manager can't send over the right opportunities either, because there is limited information.
3. The Marketing Manager is inclined to think this blogger doesn't know their audience very well, and doesn't have a clear purpose, so assumes the blog is low quality.
Those are the truth bombs.
Let’s move on to some tips about how you can approach companies in the future.
Who do you prefer to work with long term?
The person who emails you and immediately asks for something. Or the person who just reaches out to say hello and establishes a connection?
So, that’s the first thing to tackle.
Remove any mention of paid + sponsored opportunities from your email. If you feel you need to, state that you are open to paid collaborations. But, there is no need to ask "do you have any campaigns for me" right in this instance.
Think of this email as an introduction. You are just reaching out to someone to say hello, get on their radar and make sure they know exactly what it is you write about so if future opportunities come up they can get in touch.
What to include in your outreach email?
Here is a breakdown of items to include in your outreach email:
We are always looking for new bloggers to connect with. So, if you are an up and coming blogger then please get in touch with us via our Enquire form.
Use it as practice for your new type of outreach email if you like, please include the details from the list above!
You can also sign up to our platform; Guest Bloggers Wanted for free and apply for new opportunities there.
I’d love to know if you have experience introducing yourself to other companies. What has worked and not worked for you? Tell us in the comments and let’s grow together!
Written by Cheryl Clarke Chief Happiness Officer & Director Of Ginger Marketing