Middle School Marketing Recap: Getting Blog Coverage
Anjali McKenzie, Former UX Researcher
During this month's MSM meeting we discussed the current state of blog coverage for products and services and how to shape stories to fit tech bloggers’ appetites. As blogs have transformed into more of a mainstream news source, it has become harder to gain the attention of the tech bloggers whom you wish to cover your product or service. We came up with answers to common questions you might ask when figuring out how to sell your product or service to bloggers
1. How should I initially reach out to one of the "big" blogs?
Tech Blogs like TechCrunch and Mashable, and get several article “leads” on a daily basis. In order to stand out, it’s important to engage them in a personable way. Tell them a good story that they can latch onto and will want to write about. Provide them with visually appealing content, like videos, demos, or screenshots. Do the legwork for them by giving them the industry overview, competitive analysis, and raw numbers. Point them to other credible sources to back up your story.
2. Should I write the blog article myself and pass it off to the blogger?
This isn’t a bad idea. These days, many bloggers are receptive to the idea of leading paragraphs to help them get started. Start with two or three paragraphs how you would write the blog post. Most often they will take what you’ve written and put their own spin and opinions on it.
3. Is it better to target a big tech blog like TechCrunch or several smaller blogs?
Both big and small blogs have their pros and cons. But in the end, which blog you target depends on what you are trying to accomplish. If you want to increase visits and create general buzz, then it’s probably better to target a TechCrunch-like blog. Getting coverage on this type of blog will also serve as a credible source, giving you trustworthiness and legitimacy when you are pitching to other news sources online and offline. ?
If you are trying to increase sales, you might get better results by targeting 10 smaller, niche blogs that attract highly relevant readers who are more likely to purchase your product. Of course, if you have the time and the resources to go after both, do it!
4. I have a small startup that hasn't gained much traction, how do I get covered?
It might be a little tougher for you to break through all the noise and gain blogger attention, but it is certainly doable. Similar to the first question, you need to write a good story. Find a compelling focus point such as a user case that proved to be extremely successful (e.g. this person used our service and increase X by 100%), or a critical point that you hit (e.g. we hit 10k users) and what you plan to do next (e.g. launch public beta). Or simply focus on how your product or service will change the way people do business in a certain industry, backing this up with stats like “XX dollars are being poured into this industry”, or “trends show that this industry will grow XX amount in 5 years.” Stats will prove that you have a big idea and the data to back it up.
Remember that when it comes to reaching out to bloggers it’s not about who you know, it’s about what you know. If you have any additional tips on how to get blog coverage, please share with a comment.