Writing my earlier post about Firebrand, I had to think of a recent example where some company approached me requesting coverage on my other blog. I won’t mention who it came from, but it’s a good example of how you can do better.
Much has been written already about blogger outreach and how this should be done. Posts like ‘How do you influence the influencers‘, ‘7 ways to successfully pitch bloggers‘, ‘Blog seeding, approaching the people behind the blog‘ etc… my personal favorite being this little quiz from the Bad Pitch blog. Ogilvy even created a Blogger Outreach Code of Ethics, of which I still don’t know exactly what to think. It sounds too much like: “look how good we understand all this” and then again, it’s good they’re open about their own approach.
Anyway, let’s come back to this request I received earlier. My other blog is basically one fun (it is for me at least) quest to find good ways (using the internet) to get myself a classic 1965 Ford Mustang one day. A couple of weeks ago, I receive this email from a new car website asking me to review the site and that they are willing to pay me for my time and effort to do so. They can also write me a custom review if I want. So what went wrong here?
- The mail was personalized and yet it wasn’t. The sender did use my name, but there wasn’t really a link with the quest I’m writing about on that blog and the offer… other than that it’s both about cars.
- The offer to write the review themselves for me to post, didn’t sound to good to me either
But the most important thing that I missed was imagination. It’s something that you won’t read in the posts I mentioned earlier, neither is it something specific to blogger outreach, but it remains very important. On ‘I blog Mustang‘ I can’t be clearer what it is I’m after so how difficult can it be to offer something that is actually related to that matter? They are approaching me in person anyway so it seems it’s important to them (the offer to post the review was $500 by the way) so why not use a little bit of imagination in that approach. And no, I’m not talking about shipping me a real car but there are plenty opportunities here… and heck, I would have written about if for free.
Use your imagination if you want to stand out. It really makes a difference you know.