Seller Handbook

Advice and inspiration for successfully running your Etsy shop

How to Win the Hearts of Bloggers

Getting blog love requires quality time and energy, but when done right, it’s a win-win situation for bloggers and bloggees.

By Amy Schroeder Nov 8, 2012
Photo by viviennestrauss

As a journalist who’s covered creative talent for publications ranging from NYLON to Brokelyn.com and Venus Zine toTimeOut for a decade, I can tell you that bloggers are hungry for original story ideas about undiscovered gems.

Writers want to discover The Next Big Things in Everything and The Best Holiday Gift Ideas just as much as you want to be discovered and featured. Though the process of landing blog love requires quality time and energy, when done right, it’s a win-win situation for bloggers and bloggees.

I checked in with two blog editors to lay out these four core steps to getting noticed by online media makers.

1. Focus on Great Photos and Art

A strong first impression is key when it comes to getting noticed by bloggers, so before pitching your story, your visuals need to be in tip-top shape.

“Pictures are everything,” says Going Home to Roost blogger Bonnie Forkner. “Most bloggers hold a high standard for photos, as the pictures on a blog tell a story and help maintain a theme, so yours will need to fit in with the overall aesthetic.”

Jasmin Chua, Editor of eco fashion magazine Ecouterre, recommends investing in crisp, quality photography with no watermarks or logos. “And because bloggers are often racing to meet deadlines that expired yesterday, emailing high-resolution images is a boon for both of you,” Jasmin says.

2. Make Like a Researcher: Study Blogs Before You Pitch

Talk to just about any busy blogger and she’ll usually say that two of the worst things you can do are 1) Write an email that seems like you’ve never read their blog and 2) Send a “fumble” pitch — a story idea that they’ve already covered or has nothing to do with the site.

“I get random press releases that have nothing to do with the environment or fashion — think Jon Gosselin’s latest whereabouts,” Jasmin says. “A lot of good pitches get lost in my desperate attempt to tame my inbox with my itchy ‘delete’ trigger finger.”

Bonnie agrees. “Before approaching a blog, do your research,” she says. “If you’re not already a loyal reader, catch up on a blogger’s latest posts and read their ‘about’ page and any information regarding submissions.” For instance, some bloggers share details and deadlines about the most opportune times to pitch holiday-themed ideas.

Bonnie also recommends referencing a recent post in your pitch that will show that you’ve read their blog and care about their mission.

3. Perfect Your Pitch

First things first: Write a compelling subject line that will capture the blogger’s attention. “Try something like ‘STORY PITCH: Hats handmade from preserved roadkill’ rather than ‘Cool story idea’ or ‘Hats!’” Jasmin says.

Email etiquette tips:

  • Be personable and polite, and address the blogger by name.
  • Email one blogger at a time, and never mass email. Don’t pitch via Facebook or Twitter.
  • Be brief. Aim to share your story, pitch your product, and engage the blogger within one to two paragraphs.
  • Include links to your shop, blog, and/or website.
  • Include two to three low-res images.
  • Proofread and spell-check your message before sending.
  • Send a follow-up email to touch base again if you haven’t heard back after a week.
  • Last but not least, if you are featured on a blog, send a follow-up thank-you email.

Here’s an example of a good email pitch that thehomeground sent to Bonnie:

Hi, Bonnie!

I thought I would let you know about my new jewelry collection launching next Friday, May 4th. I'm so excited about it! It's called the Coastal Collection and is inspired by, well, coastlines. Specifically, the coasts of the northern oceans and of the Great Lakes here in Michigan. I took the soft tones and textures, as well as the more geometric aspects, and put them in this jewelry. The collection is soft and airy, like a perfect morning on the beach. Of course, all of the stones are completely natural and unique, and I've made each piece by hand. The prices range from $30 to $95 each. I know your readers have really liked my jewelry in the past, so I thought they might like to see the new collection, too. :)

Thanks so much for your time, Bonnie! I hope you guys have a relaxed week. :)

xoxo Brittany Campbell

4. Pitch, Revise, Repeat

If you’ve rocked the first three steps and pitched at least 10 blogs — and you’ve still come up fruitless, I recommend reaching out to a fellow Etsy seller who’s received blog coverage and kindly ask her or him to provide feedback on your pitch.

If you’ve missed a blog’s deadline to pitch your products for the winter holiday season, start strategizing your pitches for holidays and seasons ahead, such as Valentine’s Day or springtime.

Lastly, remember that your hard work should pay off. As the old saying goes, “press breeds more press.”

Have you been covered by blogs? If so, we’d love for you to share your experience and advice in comments!

Author

Amy Schroeder

Amy Schroeder started her first business, a women’s arts and DIY magazine called Venus Zine, in her dorm room at age 19 and later sold the company. Her goal is to help creative people develop their dream jobs. Follow her on Twitter @amyschroeder and on Instagram at Instagram.com/TheVenusLady.

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