Episode 28: In this episode, we’ll be talking about how to pitch. We’ll discuss topics like writing your pitch, finding the correct person to send them to, and what to do once you’ve sent them.
How To Pitch Sponsored Posts – Sandbox To Success Ep 28
If you’re a blogger you want to get paid (presumably) or get product. That’s the number one reason I hear when people say they want to start a blog. They want to get free stuff (which, if you’ve been listening to the blog you know that things are never free… you work for it), but they want to know how to get the product in the first place.
Either the company cold emails you or connects with you through a network to offer you product and/or money… or you contact them. You tell them about your awesome blog and tell them you’d like to work with them for “X” amount or let them know what you’d like to exchange. But how do you do that?
How do you reach approach an company you have no contact with before and ask them for something? It’s a delicate balance. You don’t want to be too aggressive, but you don’t want to be passive either. If you’re blogging, you have a voice and value that company would love to tap into. Your platform (social media, email subscribers, readers, etc.) is of value to the company. If you search the web for influencer marketing, it is huge right now. Particularly for mom blogs that are in our area. We’re real people, real moms, real minds and we can show other people how they can find value in a product as well.
Figuring out a Pitch
By now you should have a good understanding of what your blog is about. Determine what fits in well with your niche. Don’t choose products that don’t fit in well with your audience, or give value to the advertisers. Next, decide what you would like to receive. Product, product + money, editorial, etc. In your pitch just ask for the one thing. You don’t want to give too many options if you don’t already have a relationship with the company. When cold pitching, we want you to be as clear and concise as possible.
Find the Right Contact
Who in the company are you looking? Looking at big corporations can be tricky because they usually outsource this work to PR companies. To find the right contact, search the companies name in a search engine with the words “press release.” At the very bottom of the press release you will likely find a contact name, phone number, and email. That’s the person you want to reach out as the first line of defense. If the company is interested in working with you and that isn’t the right contact, they’ll put you in touch with the person you need to talk to. This at least puts you in the correct general park. You don’t want to go to the website and use those contacts since it’s very rare you’ll find the press contact there. Only send 2 or 3 pitches for the same types of products, since you don’t want to be flooded with them if everyone says yes. The only expectation is if you have a super niched site where it would benefit you to review them all.
Sending Out Pitches
Once you find who to contact, what do you do in your email? Mohammed from Lil Helper Cloth Diapers wrote an excellent post for us on what he likes to see when he’s pitched. You can read the post here. What it comes down to is, if you’re pitching him, he has no idea who you are. He really wants to customize. Figure out the company, what makes them different, and what their values are. If you’d like to pitch Lil Helper Cloth Diapers you might say something like:
As a cloth diapering mother of 3, I’ve used (or heard of) Lil Helper Diapers. I really think the fact that you give away diapers to cloth diaper charities is a great mission…. “
Etc. You also want to include what you can do for them. This is the part where you attach your media kit (we talked about these a few weeks back). They’ll want to see their return on investment is, whether it’s a product or monetary compensation. They’ll want to see your reach. I know you’re thinking either “Oh my goodness, my numbers suck,” or “Reach isn’t everything… I might not have as many followers but I do awesome things, and that doesn’t make me less.” That’s true to some extent, however, if you only have around 100 pageviews for month right now and those 100 readers aren’t that engaged your site might not be a very good ROI right now for the company.
If you have small numbers, but you have something else that sets you apart from other bloggers write that. For us, I always include that we advertise your content throughout the year. This sets us apart. We focus on making evergreen content so you’re constantly showing up in our social media, which drives 60% of our traffic. That’s part of the selling for us. Maybe you’re the owner of a cloth diaper community of 5,000 members or give regular workshops that you’d like to talk about them in. Talk about what ever you have to offer, that makes you different from others.
What To Do Once You’ve Sent It
Now, you must wait. You might get a yes, you might get a no and you’ll likely get nothing. Make an Excel spreadsheet (or Google Drive, or whatever you want). Put in the contact name, email address, what you sent and when you sent it. Now you’re building your own database. Three months from now you might look back and say, “I pitched these 20 people and they never responded. My traffic has gotten better, I have more sponsored content to show as examples…etc.” You can pitch them again and you’ll already have their info handy. Now don’t start emailing these people daily, weekly or even on a monthly basis. Look at quarterly. Budgets are usually set in February or March and spent mostly around the Christmas holiday. Just because they don’t have the budget for something in January, doesn’t mean they won’t be interested in April.
That’s all on the podcast today on how to pitch. I hope it was really helpful! I do want to mention that we have a new sponsor on the Sandbox to Success website. It’s called SubmitOwl.com. Submit Owl is a search engine optimization service. You may $24.95 and can submit your website to a tons of different search engine directories to make sure you are able to be found on all the website directories (some that you’ve never even heard of). One time cost, and they’ll submit it everywhere for you so that you don’t have to do the work!
In our next episode we’ll be talking about affiliate marketing. Until next time, thanks for listening to the Sandbox to Success podcast, with your host: Katrina M. Thom. If you like what you just heard, leave us a message at iTunes or Stitcher. We would also love to hear what you have to say. Use the hashtag #totspodcast to connect with us on Twitter. Don’t forget to check out the show notes, which can be found at www.totsbusiness.com. Join us next time for another edition of the Sandbox to Success podcast. Have an AWESOME day!