Justin Theng
Multi-award winning marketer, Justin Theng, is the owner of ALSOF Publishing. His background stems from leadership roles in some of the world’s most celebrated agencies.
10 16 2017

If you want to understand how to use blogger outreach, the best example out there is New York Times bestselling author Tim Ferriss, who conducted a massive blogger outreach campaign before launching “The 4-Hour Workweek.” In fact, he spent his entire book launch budget by attending tech conferences, getting to know bloggers at some of the big-name blogs with the type of audience the book hoped to reach.

But it didn’t stop there. Ferriss attempted to form genuine relationships with these bloggers, building trust and authenticity. He understood that these bloggers were the online gatekeepers of his audience, so he became a relationship-building machine. He focused single-mindedly on creating the type of interesting, captivating and thought-worthy content that he thought these people would like and value. Over time, people began to look to Tim as a leader – they believed in his concept and they wanted to learn more about lifestyle design ideas.

“There becomes a point where they just can’t ignore you.” - Tim Ferriss

All of those genuine, one-to-one relationships paid off: these bloggers enthusiastically supported his book launch. And then something very interesting happened – the number of traditional media outlets that covered Tim’s book took off. What started as an experiment in blogger outreach took off into mainstream media coverage – big media sites simply couldn’t ignore such a phenomenon. “There becomes a point where they just can’t ignore you,” Tim says.

The time-intensive process of courting and winning over bloggers can work, then. But you need to spend time really thinking about the audience you are trying to reach. There are plenty of cautionary tales out there of authors or companies that invested time and resources in blogger outreach, only to see a very limited number of referrals. Blogger outreach is not always a guaranteed path to millions of dollars, even when you get heavy-hitting blogs to get on board.

So how do you replicate Tim’s path to mega success?

You need to practice a soft-sell strategy with bloggers that focuses more on relationships and trust. And you need to support these bloggers with exclusives that help them reach their audience – think exclusive video clips or excerpts that can be shared online.

And you need to be able to personalize your pitch to online bloggers. Think of the verticals you are attempting to target, and then develop the content for these verticals. If you are trying to reach food enthusiasts, you don’t want to be giving them the same content that you are giving mom bloggers or tech bloggers.

To turn this from theory into practice, think of how you will get attention from bloggers. One way to do this is to use the subject line of the email, using it to reference something very particular about his or her blog, and then use something like “content suggestion for [blog title]” as the pitch. This will get the blogger’s attention because it will make him or her curious. And it also shows that you are not a spammer.

In summary, guest blogging and blogger outreach can be effective, but make sure you track your results carefully and adjust your strategy if it’s not delivering the results you want.

ACTION EXERCISE:

It’s time for you to get coverage by bloggers. Make a list of ten bloggers, approach them, and get coverage!

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