Many Bloggers do them-Holiday Gift Guides. They may seem daunting and overwhelming or perhaps you feel your Blog is not ‘big enough’ yet. I’m here to tell you that it is not all about numbers and with proper planning and organization, it really is not as daunting as you think in some aspects. I recently wrote ‘How to plan & Maintain a Holiday Gift Guide’ (http://bit.ly/1pMa4HK) on my own Blog and it is there I talk about how to contact brands and maintain communication and present their products during the guide. In this post, I want to elaborate on what you need to do BEFORE you start pitching brands.
Step One: Clean up that Home page!
We all hear in business that first impressions are everything. Even when I worked in the medical field for years, I would stress this with co-workers that when a patient walked in that door the first 15 seconds can make up their minds about how comfortable and professional we are as a clinic. The same goes for online business pages or Blogs. You have a few seconds to impress or overwhelm a brand when they visit your Blog to see the benefits you can bring them. If you are covered in ads-you are telling the brand you Blog for profit and not content. If you have no labels or heading tabs, the brand will feel that your readers cannot locate topics and their post will just get lost in time. If you have no contact info that is easy to find-well, they can’t contact you! If your header is out of proportion or they cannot draw a conclusion of the niche of your Blog from it, they will not form a connection right away.
Take a moment and be a brand! Google your Blog and visit it as a ‘brand’ and answer these questions:
- Is the Header proportioned right and do my color schemes flow throughout the entire page?
- Can a Brand identify that I am ABC Blog and I write about ABC topics just from my header alone?
- If I sell makeup, can the readers find a ‘makeup or beauty’ tab up top to see these posts?
- I want to contact this Blogger. Where is the contact info?
- I want to learn about him/her. Where I can I learn more in an about me section?
- Where can I read her previous reviews so I see her photos and post structure?
- Is the sidebar clean and organized. I like organized Bloggers.
These are a few questions you can ask yourself as you stare at your site. Clean, organized and eye-catching will leave that brand favoring your site and if you can connect with them in those first few seconds, you can sell content! Before you even start pitching, make sure they are landing on a site that will work for them.
Step Two: Clean up your Media Kit & About Me Page
When is the last time you worked on your media kit? Do you have stats on their that have surely risen by know? Do you offer new content? Linking to your media kit in a pitch is a great thing to do-I do it all the time. Weekly I go in and update my stats and make sure you add a blurb above the stats that reads ‘Updated On..” so you assure them you are current. How about the About Me page of yours? Are your kids in high school and it reads they are 8 and 10! I have literally been pitched before by a brand who read my about me and recognized I have a 6 year old and they want to send me a product great for me to try with him. If he was now 13, that would be an embarrassing reply! Clean it up. It does not have to be too wordy and let the brand know who you are as a human! You are more than welcome to see how mine is structured (http://www.parentinghealthy.com/2014/04/prmedia-kit.html and http://www.parentinghealthy.com/2014/04/erinn-sluka-family.html) Notice I state my children’s birth years and not ages. I don’t have to update this except for maybe fresh photos very often.
Step 3: Keep the pitch letter simple & stand out
Are you thinking “OK, Erinn, that is pretty vague?” Let me explain. Your pitch letter should be short and sweet. I am OK sharing a sample of what I write:
“I am Erinn Sluka, the name behind http://www.parentinghealthy.com/ and I also am a Contributor for TOTS Family and TOTS Business. I want to thank your for representing such quality kids headphones that pair so well with all the electronics they use at home and in the car. With summer traveling coming and a Mom of boys myself, I would love to feature and share your products with my readers. I am reaching out to introduce my Blog to you and see if you might be interested in myself promoting your brand in a sponsored post for a health-related article relative to your new service. I focus on providing articles, reviews and giveaways for my readers that help us to raise healthy, active & happy families.
I would love to help you with any of your marketing needs for product reviews that you may have. I offer well-organized posts that are shared within many communities and social media. I have over 4,000 UV a month and my page views are over 48,000 a month. I send weekly newsletter highlighting my reviews and any giveaways and would love the opportunity to work with you now or in the future.
Thank you for your time and please contact me if you have questions or would like to discuss any of your needs. All info is below in my media kit! Also, you will find information for children’s products in my media kit regarding our new segment: Reviews by Anthony.
I do not give prices, I am not too wordy and I can proudly say I get more yes then No’s on pitches when I decide to send them. Just stand out a bit when you do a Holiday Gift Guide. This letter would not work for a Holiday gift guide because it says nothing about my plan for a guide. I also have an entire separate Holiday Guide Media Kit. How do I stand out-I have a topic! This year I have pitched I am doing my ‘2014 Happy, Healthy Holiday Gift Guide…” and I pitch products and brands relative to health and wellness.
With over 20 million female Bloggers on the web, first impressions are much more important to many brands then numbers. If you can connect with them, tell a story and provide large high-quality original photos, You can start to get those YES responses you want!