Notes & Quotes from Affiliate Summit West

Tips from top bloggers on how to get them to write about you

This week I was in Las Vegas for Affiliate Summit West, just to simply learn a few tricks about affiliate marketing, in addition to the new rules and laws that surround promoting a product that someone is sponsoring or has asked you to blog about. This sort of thing wasn’t entirely regulated in the past, but the rules set out by the FTC a little over a year ago state that you need to be completely transparent and mark any kind of affiliate link as an affiliate link and a sponsored product or review as such.

Next to this, what I thought was interesting was how devoted some companies are to getting a blogger to write about them and develop interpersonal relationships. Here are a few take-aways about that:

Find your supporters.

If you’re looking for someone to write about you or link to you, then find the people who already support you. These people have written about you in the past or possibly gave you a retweet. Eric Schecter, Social Media Manager for Carnival Cruise Lines recommended using sites like Alltop, Technorati and Google Blog Search to find other bloggers in your niche that you can partner with.

He also noted that you should put together a robust list of these bloggers before getting in contact with them that would have columns such as:

  • Blog URL
  • Email address
  • Twitter handle
  • Google PageRank
  • Average comments on blog
  • Average # of Retweets

Convince them to write about you.

When you know who you want to blog about you, consider that possibly only 10%, despite your best efforts, will end up writing about you. Even the smallest and most niche bloggers will refuse sponsored content or any kind of back door deal. Greg Rollett, CMO of Cognitiv Marketing noted in a session that if he wanted 100 bloggers to write about him, then he’d need to find 1,000 bloggers to pitch. Which brings us to the next part.

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Don’t be generic.

Not a single successful marketer at this conference would tell you that sending a press release to a blogger had done them any good. Eric Schecter from Carnival Cruise Lines actually said, “it’s the worst thing you can do”.

John Chow from the very popular gets care packages sent to him on a regular basis. He mentioned that his favorites are ones targeted to his daughter, like teddy bears with a logo printed on the shirt.

These are of course, just ways to establish the relationship and say “you’re on my radar”. Chris Brogan, President of Human Business Works called this “SWAGreach” instead of “outreach” and noted that “everyone likes getting mail” but it’s the creativity that counts.

Stay on their radar.

The best way to stay on a blogger’s radar is to start interacting with them. This means commenting on their blogs, writing on their Facebook walls and retweeting their articles.

Many of the marketers at the conference recommended keeping track of your efforts so that you don’t overwhelm your “targets” or make them “run” in the other direction whenever you send them an email.

Don’t be the drunk guy at the bar trying to pick up a woman, be the roommate she comes home to laugh about it with.

Give them content.

Greg Rollett noted in his efforts to promote OnCallNurse, they reached out to bloggers by offering to write blog posts and make custom videos for their blog. This sort of thing hops the fence of asking them to do work for you and instead just leaves the barrier or whether they want to promote you at all.

The overall theme in this realm is that it takes work to build blogger relationships. The ones you currently have probably started at a conference or networking event. This is just the new era of digital networking.

    Shawn C.

    I agree on not being generic – nothing tells me I am merely a number to a company looking to get news out more than sending me a press release and not even personalizing the email they send it in.


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