Open any book on do-it-yourself publicity written after 2004 and you'll see blogs mentioned as a key source of publicity right alongside more traditional sources such as TV, radio, newspapers, and magazines. The good news is that getting in touch with popular bloggers is a lot easier than contacting a reporter at a popular newspaper like The New York Times.
So how can an entrepreneur or small business like yourself get mentioned by some of the bloggers with tens of thousands (or hundreds of thousands) of readers?
I've tried waiting for them to discover me on their own...not so effective. Rather, you have to take action.
Here are two steps to follow in order to successfully contact the right bloggers with a compelling reason to mention you. The first step is making such a list and the second is reaching out to them.
Step #1: Choose Bloggers to Contact
Make a quick list of the blogs you visit or comment on and start there. Then add the blogs that cover topics in your industry (this might take a little research, like googling "concrete blogs" to find related sites or maybe an existing list of them). And yes, there are even blogs about concrete. And once you find one good blog, look at their "blog roll" (if they have one) to find other relevant blogs.
Then, think of any blogs that your customers would be following -- where it would make sense for your company or product to be mentioned. Now you have your contact list. You only need 20-30 to start.
If you're also going for search engine optimization benefits, you might take the Page Rank of the different blogs into account. But the main benefit of being mentioned is direct traffic -- people reading about you and then clicking a link to your website.
The next step is to get the contact information of the person with whom you want to get in touch on each blog. Usually, this will be the one blogger who does most of the writing as well as managing everything else. But the larger blogs often have several writers and a team, and you might have to figure out and contact one specific person.
Look on their website's "Contact Us" page and the writers' bio (or "About Me") page to gather their email address and phone numbers. Add this information to your list, which I suggest keeping in a simple spreadsheet.
Step #2: Reach Out With Your Story
Ideally, you can get in touch with the right person prior to pitching them a story idea. The easiest way to do this is to send them a simple email introducing yourself. In your email, you should tell/show them you follow their blog and are a fan. Also, you can and should comment from time to time on their blog. They may see and read your comments or even respond. Any rapport you can build with bloggers in advance of pitching them your idea is helpful.
But when the time comes to pitch your idea, email them something relevant to what their readers want and need.
You can't go wrong with stories or news that would "wow" readers. See what their more popular posts are and find an idea for a similar post that you could be mentioned in. Then email them your idea.
Bloggers often want fresh news to report-when a new startup has kicked off, received funding, launched a new product, or reached some growth milestone.
You can also try calling them on the phone and telling them your idea. Calling will also help you figure out the right person to contact, how to reach them, and also what types of stories they would be most interested in.
Another way to get noticed is when someone they like and trust contacts them about you. Who do you know that knows this blogger? Search the blogger on LinkedIn to see if you have any connections that could introduce or recommend you.
It doesn't take much time to make a list of 20 bloggers and send them all emails. Once you've reached out to all of them, you'll have relationships with them or at least understand how they work more clearly for your next approach.
Try this for yourself and note how many blogs mentioned you, who they were, and how many visitors or links you got to your website as a result. You might find it a much easier strategy than targeting reporters and traditional media journalists.
Suggested Resource: Getting bloggers to mention you is one way to get publicity for your company. There are many other ways too. Learn how to easily get tons of publicity for your business with Growthink's Publicity Playbook.