I’m sure you’ve read all of the “How to Boost Blog Traffic” lists until your head exploded. One of the most cited tips is to share an expert roundup post. An expert round up post, is where one blogger reaches out to other niche specific bloggers and asks them their opinion. In return, a link to the niche specific blogger’s site is included in the expert round up post.
How does an expert round up post bring traffic? The niche specific blogger will likely share your post with their audience. Say you ask 10 people and they have 6,000 followers collectively across all their social media. You’ve just tapped into 60,000 people you wouldn’t ordinarily reach alone.
If you amplify that and pitch an influencer in your niche with say, a quazillion followers – well, you can do that math right? But how do you pitch an influencer in your niche in such a way that will get a yes?
That’s what we’re talking about today. Why? Because I pitched content creators for an expert round up post on The SITS Girls today and received a “yes” from a total of 10 women – and some of them are heavy hitters. Who do you ask? Here are the 10, with my own fun titles attached to them (as you can see, Iove alliteration):
Peg Fitzpatrick Social Media Marketing Master (has over 1,000,000 followers)
Amy Lynn Andrews Queen of the Useletter
Pauline Cabrera Blogging + Social Media tips Power Playah
Andrea Beltrami Branding Behemoth
Charissa Moore Copywriting Cool Cat
Charity Craig Maven of Marriage + Entrepreneurial Empress
Jessica Rea Mistress of Marketing + Design
Jen Kominsky Virtual Assistant Vixen + Super Mom
Rhonda Ortiz Web Design Diva
Jenna Guizar Sage of Women’s Ministry
If I do the math right, that’s a reach of 127K on Twitter alone, approximately. Just Twitter. I’ll let you check their other profiles, squeal (like I did) and then come back to finish this post! Here’s what I did:
Step 1: Make a dream list
I had a total of 15 people I reached out to. These people were a mix of men and women and included influencers in the social media and blogging tips space. I had one question to go on as I brainstormed. Who would I want to read secret blogging tips from? At first, I thought I would ask friends I’d made since I started blogging, and there are a few from the list that fit that description. But that’s safe, right? We’re all about getting out of our comfort zones.
Then a small voice chimed in “Cristina, go big or go home!”. That’s when my brainstorming went ballistic and I started dropping names on paper.
The key here is to choose people that you have actively been engaging with. You wouldn’t ask a stranger for $20 right? Same applies. All of the people I chose were people I engaged with.
What does solid engagement look like?
- Share their content on social media
- Comment on their blog
- Listen to their podcast and rate in iTunes
- Participate in their Facebook Group
- +1 them on Google
- Subscribe to their emails
- <3 their Instagram post
- Purchase a product from them
- Join a Twitter chat they host
Get the picture? This won’t work if you just did one of these engagement suggestions the day before you send the pitch. This is what I worked on and cultivated over time. This is why it was almost easy for me to reach out to them. Come from a place of humility – always.
And don’t worry about what your pitch will look like at this point, just draft up a dream team list – even if it includes Taylor Swift.
Step 2: Under each name write three things that you admire about them
I’m all about the visuals. To keep the excitement (and the ball rolling, because I can get easily distracted), I wanted to list out why I admired the people I was pitching to warm up to the actual pitch stage.
Know your why
As with everything, always start with knowing your why. Why exactly did you add Jane to your list? Is she your friend? Do you secretly check out her blog because you love its design? Do you still refer to her e-book, have you shared a link to a post you love with all of your friends? Whatever the reasons write them down.
This will help you personalize each email you send, saving you time as you craft the emails and personalize them. If you have to go back or research on the internet the name of their specific offer, the one tweet they shared where you LOL’ed your latte all over your shirt, what have you. Write it all out next to their names.
Step 3: Set a timeline
People are busy. Don’t reach out to influencers with a few days notice. That’s not cool. You know they have editorial calendars, blog posts to write, conferences to speak at and Twitter chats to moderate. Be a good steward of their time and give them at least three weeks.
Here’s how a pitch timeline could look
- July 3rd send your email
- July 24th receive all of your responses and start editing
- July 31st post is published
Within the three week time frame there’s a week built in for you to edit your post and to receive late responses – it happens because it’s called life!
Step 4: Craft an email
This is where the work comes in. I have the great privilege of working in corporate for many years and loving the written word.
If this scares you, go back to Step 2, see those three things you wrote under each name? Another reason for that is, it makes them human to you. You can write to another person if you’ve humanized them, right? Think about it, they’ve attracted you out of a sea of social media for a reason. You connect. Start there.
Step 5: Make it personable, detailed and sincere
Use their first name, the name of their ebook, offering, Facebook Group, you name it. Share how you appreciate their particular brand and why. (Do I have to say that it shouldn’t look like this:
Dear Jane, I just love your particular brand because it’s so great. You are awesome. I love your tweets.
Be specific here. For example, I shared with Peg that she is my virtual mentor and I was honest when I shared that I was a little scared about writing to ask her for something, but I was pushing send quickly because I only had 2.3 milliseconds of courage left.
If you’re real, and you share what’s on your heart – I promise, that cannot be denied. Or maybe it can, it happens – but you’ll always feel good about letting the real you shine through.
End your email with a thank you. You want to impress upon them how much you appreciate their time and especially their content. You know how long it takes to create a blog post, these are your peeps, influencer or not. Let them know from one content creator to another that you LOVE their work. And mean it.
Step 6: Include everything you need
This is similar to the sandwich method I shared. You started your email with why you approached them, now you need to go in for the big ask. Be sure to remember all of the relevant details. You don’t want to come off as unprofessional, receive a yes, and then say “Oh yeah, can you get it to me by next week, and I need a profile pic too.”
Don’t forget to include the following in your pitch:
- Deadline you want to receive the quote back
- Request for a profile pic
- Request for which link you should include in their quote
- Request for what title they would like to go by (it’s not obvious for everyone, and you want to get it right)
Step 7: Send, and wait
What? You think there are tips for this? Drink lots of lattes and eat lots of scones. Mmmm scones.
Step 8: Reply to all pitch responses in a timely fashion
Always start off with a sincere thank you. Even if you get a no! In fact, if you get a no, high five yourself. Why? Because you actually reached out. So many people don’t even muster up the courage to start a blog and publish a post.
You reached out to people you admire, you asked them to help you, pat yourself on the back (and grab another scone).
Step 9: Keep it real
I didn’t choose all “super rock star” influencers for the post. I included my closest blogging friends to add to the conversation. Why? Because they’ve influenced me. They have been with me through all of the doubt, all of the changes, the rebranding and the random Facebook messages in the middle of the night with another hare-brained idea.
They’re in the same boat as I am and you are. I know we have similar audiences of bloggers and creators who are always looking to improve themselves and the content they create, so why wouldn’t I ask them? Ask your blogging friends too. Pay it forward.
Know your audience
Don’t send the email you crafted to your niche influencer to your blog friends, you can be MUCH more relaxed and informal. In the cases of Jenna, Rhonda, Charity and Jen, I just asked them over Google chat, Facebook messenger and text. Ok, so I forwarded a few of the yesses I received from the rock star influencers saying “She.actually.responded. Now you have to send me something. Pleeeeeeeze!!!”. That’s really how it went.
Now what are you waiting for? Check out my results on The SITS Girls, What Is The Best Blogging Advice You’ve Ever Received?
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