Your Copy Sucks: How to Pitch a Blogger

(CC) flickr // websuccessdiva
(CC) flickr // websuccessdiva

Do you want to know an inside secret on how to pitch a blogger?

Oh man. Lean in close. No, closer. That’s it. Almost.

You have to talk to them like they’re a human being.

I know, it’s crazy. It doesn’t have much to do with the length of your pitch or the “Hi” instead of “Hello” in your salutation. It doesn’t have anything to do with how many bullet points you have and what Cool Blogger Slang you employ. You just have to talk to them like they’re an actual person, which, gasps all around, they are. (Another crazy fact: journalists are also people. Maybe you should give this a shot with them too?)

Just one rule: talk like a person, treat them like a person. Here’s how to do that.

You can read about a million different best practices or top 10 tips or top 20 tips on how to pitch bloggers, and they’re all correct. But I’m a simple person; I think this one rule is enough.

Here are some examples of opening copy I have had to rewrite for bloggers, with key words changed to protect the altogether innocent.

I wanted to bring your attention to a touching book called A Very Touching Memoir by An Author. With incredible wit, Author shares her humorous memories of touching stuff happening in an unlikely setting.

I changed that to this:

Hello John, I was looking at this blog post of yours [link] and that makes me think this new book would be your sort of thing. It’s called A Very Touching Memoir by An Author. Here’s some background on it, but if you’d like to learn more, here’s a link.

If there is no basis for thinking that John wouldn’t enjoy a this book, then I wouldn’t write to him, which is at the top of those top 10 lists. It’s just common sense: make your pitch more formal if the topic is academic, make your pitch longer if the topic is very involved and scientific, etc. Pretty much Business Writing 101.

My point is, you can’t act like a blogger is some strange, otherworldly creature. You just use the same set of rules you would use when speaking to a normal person, in normal conversation. If you’ve made it this far in your social life, you’re probably good to go. Maybe I’m going to sound like a whiny young whippersnapper for saying this, but all we need to do is retrain ourselves to speak like people and not like PR jargon machines.

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