Once a blog is a few weeks old, the emails from PRs usually start coming. These range from people begging for free work which is annoying and embarrassing for all concerned, to the “we have a budget of $5” (this token gesture is actually more insulting than just begging for free work), all the way through to the genuine PR people who make a reasonable offer and are lovely to deal with.
Some of them emails I get are obviously genuine PR people who have done their homework, know what they want and expect to pay a fair price. I love these PR people. They are a pleasure to work with.
And then there’s those at the other end of the scale. The chancers who just want to stumble across someone naïve enough to work for free who then get pissy when you tell them you don’t work for free.
This post is mostly aimed at those in the middle of the scale. The ones you leave you wondering how they even starting working in PR. Maybe they’re always rude, maybe they just don’t know any better.
I’m going to work on the assumption they just don’t know any better, and that’s where this post comes in.
Here are seven things to do if you want to work with bloggers:
Get Our Names Right
Most blogger’s have their names on their blog. Opening a collaboration request email with “Hi Blogger” isn’t going to win you any prizes. Personally, I’ll still read the rest, and if you get the rest right, I’ll over look it, but I know a lot of bloggers say they instantly delete the email if it starts that way as it’s likely a form email.
Mention A Relevant Post or Don’t Mention A Post at All
I don’t mind if you don’t mention a post. I will still assume that if you’re good at your job, you’ve looked at my blog. If you do mention a relevant post, great.
Just don’t be one of those that mentions the first post they see whether it’s relevant or not.
I once got asked to do a sponsored post about a finance app. The post that the PR claimed made them see we’d be a good fit was a book review (and no, it wasn’t a business book, it was YA fiction).
Be Realistic with Fees
I’m not going to list all the reasons we deserve a fair fee – if you work in PR you already know the power of personalised advertising to a targeted audience. We know this as well, and as such, we expect to be treated with respect and offered a fair price, not just for the work we put into the post, but also for the access to our audience who we have worked hard to build up.
As a rule, if you wouldn’t work for free or for an insultingly low fee, why would you expect us to?
I appreciate that you want the best deal for your client, but surely it’s part of your job to explain to clients that if they want exposure on blogs they’ll have to pay for it. It’s up to you to manage your client’s expectations.
Be Clear on Your Expectations
Tell the blogger exactly what your requirements are before they post the post. It’s no good coming back three days after the post has gone live saying you wanted XYZ including if you didn’t tell them that prior to the agreement being made.
Most bloggers are reasonable people who will do their best to deliver what you ask for, or explain why they can’t if it’s not something they offer, if this conversation takes place before the post is completed.
Be Honest About What You Want
If you don’t really care what the blogger writes about in their post, and only want the backlink, say so. You might find they have a round up post or something similar which they can slot you into a bit cheaper than if they have to write a full post from scratch.
Don’t Pretend to Be a Blogger Looking for A Guest Post Opportunity
This one annoys me more than any of the others on the list. Don’t try to convince us you’re a blogger who just wants
some extra readers for their blogs or to get their name out there a bit.
Chances are you will be caught out immediately. Even if you aren’t, when you send the blogger your “guest post” and it’s full of links to sales sites, chances are, those links will be removed anyway.
Also, don’t hire bloggers or freelance writers to write these posts and sneak links in. You’re paying for the post anyway – why not just pay the person who is actually advertising you? Again, sales links are likely to be removed from these posts or the post not published at all.
As a side note to bloggers, if you are offered money to get backlinks on other people’s sites, either make sure the fee is high enough that you can be honest and pay the bloggers whose sites you use, or just say no. Bloggers talk and you really don’t want that sort of reputation in the blogosphere.
Don’t Be Rude When Bloggers Tell You They Don’t Work for Free
This one should go without saying, but so many polite PRs turn rude when bloggers say no to working for free or pennies.
This includes such as:
- Your blog isn’t worth that much
- Badgering us to change our mind
- Other bloggers do it
There is now a fair chance that when you work with a client with a realistic budget, bloggers will remember you as rude and may be less inclined to offer you a discount or even work with you at all.
Some People Will Say Writing A Post Like This Will Mean PRs Won’t Want to Work with Me
Well you know what? If it stops the PRs who do these things from wanting to work with me, then great.
The good PRs who I enjoy working with and would love to hear from will be nodding their heads in agreement.
After all, the bad ones can mean that newer bloggers begin to think they’re all like that and they’re really not.
Is there anything you would add to this list? Let me know in the comments 🙂