Let Bloggers Create Publicity for You

Here’s a terrific strategy to add to your public relations toolbox.

Promise yourself that you’ll add bloggers to the list of people who you will contact for publicity.

I know, I know. Some of you don’t care about bloggers or what they write. You care about ront-page coverage in your local daily newspaper. Or an appearance on a big show like “Good Morning America.”

That media coverage is great if you can get it. But not everybody who will want to know about your book, product, service, cause or issue reads newspapers, and circulation within the entire newspaper industry continues to erode year after year. As for that TV talk show, even if you get your 15 minutes of fame on “Oprah,” the publicity is here today and gone tomorrow.

Bloggers, on the other hand, are in a position to rapidly spread the word about you. And what they say will remain online for months and even years, waiting to be found by people who are searching for information on a topic that’s related to your book.

Why blogs are so powerful for publicity

Here are the reasons why pitching to influential bloggers can bring you far more publicity than traditional media:

* Bloggers usually write about niche topics. So if you’re sponsoring an event for, say, women accountants, you can pitch it to bloggers who blog about accounting and those who blog about women in the workplace. Targeting your message like a laser saves you a lot of time.

* Unlike websites, blogs are updated frequently. For that reason, the search engines love blogs and often give them a high position in the list of items you see when you search on a particular topic. This is called the organic search list.

* Four out of 10 journalists say they read blogs when looking for story ideas or researching their articles. In fact, many journalists are starting their own blogs.

* Bloggers, unlike journalists, frequently link to each other’s postings. So if one influential blogger writes about your product, other bloggers might link to it, thus creating viral publicity and hitting audiences you never knew existed.

Where to start your blog research

When you’re ready to publicize your book, you can start researching bloggers by using Technorati, a search engine for blogs. Just type a topic into the search box, hit Enter, and Technorati will return to you a list of blogs that include information about that topic.

Or, you can simply use a search engine like Google and search for “garden blogs” or “accounting blogs” or whatever the topic happens to be.

Once you’ve found a blog that looks like a good candidate for your pitch, spend some time reading it so you get a good feel for the kinds of content the blogger writes about. Pay particular attention to whether the blogger refers to people who have emailed them to let them know about something. That’s a good indication the blogger is open to receiving a pitch.

One of the very best ways to get a blogger’s attention before you pitch is to post a comment about a topic they discuss at their blog. I’ll sometimes post two or three comments within a week or two at a particular blog before pitching that blogger with my idea. Why? Because I want the blogger to recognize me when I pitch.

I have my own blog, and I pay close attention to everyone who posts comments there. It shows me they’re willing to become involved in the conversation, not just contact me when they want something.

What not to say to bloggers

It’s best not to pitch information about your product or service as part of a comment or it will look too self-promotional. It’s better to email the blogger, catch their attention and hope they write about the event.

Don’t say things like “It would be nice if you mentioned this in your blog” or “Perhaps you might want to blog about this.” Just tell them about whatever you want them to know, and let them decide if they want to include it as a blog item.

Now, you’re ready to start contacting bloggers. Just remember that the more narrowly you focus, the better the results. Pitch only bloggers whose audiences would be interested in your event.

It’s time to start creating some great viral publicity.

Joan Stewart publishes the free ezine “The Publicity Hound’s Tips of the Week,” which gives you valuable tips on how to generate thousands of dollars in free publicity. Subscribe at http://www.PublicityHound.com