Robert writes a blog tip on how to ask him for a link in his post – A PR tip, don’t beg for links:
‘Never beg a blogger for links. Say, instead, “here’s something you might find interesting.”’
Here’s a few other tips when you’re emailing other bloggers with links. I’m speaking here both as someone who occasionally lets others know about posts I’ve written but also as someone who gets my fair share of emails:
- Check to see if they’ve already written about it - This is a pretty important one. If you’re letting them know of a breaking story that they have already posted about it’s not a good look – at least scan their front page before shooting them the email.
- Don’t be offended if they don’t reply or use your link - some bloggers (like Robert) get heaps of ‘check out this link’ emails every day. They can’t possibly link to every one or acknowledge everyone with a reply.
- Make sure your link is relevant and useful – Be selective in which posts you promote in this way. Only send relevant stories out to bloggers who have a specific interest in that particular niche.
- Be Selective in which posts you promote - as interesting as YOU might find every post that you write – consider that every post on a blog is not going to have wide appeal. Carefully select the cream of the crop to promote in this way or you might just develop a reputation for being a bit of a spammer. Perhaps there is something in the story of ‘the Boy who cried Wolf’ to be learned…..we could rewrite it as ‘The Blogger who Cried ‘Great Link!’
- Personalize it - In an age when you can notify thousands of people of something with the click of a mouse it’s amazing what using a person’s name can achieve. Show the blogger that you’ve taken the effort to send them and them alone an email by mentioning their blog, name etc and you up your chances of it being read and responded to. If you’re sending notifications to more than one person be especially careful that you don’t send an email out with someone else’s name on it!
- Remember that you might not be the only person giving them the tip – I quite often get the same story from multiple people (I guess when you get a reputation in a niche you are often the first place people will turn to when a relevant story breaks). While I like to credit sources of information – sometimes it is hard when you could link to 10 people or when you found it yourself first.
- Introduce yourself – Consider a brief introduction (and I mean brief – see below). Blogging is about relationship – people like to link to people they know, respect and have relationship with. A quick introduction of who you are and what your blog is can begin to build relationship. Of course if you are sure they know you already – you might want to skip this one – although if they are a big blogger don’t assume they know you because you’ve had contact with them before – it’s easy to forget. You might want to include a signature in your post with your details to help overcome this.
- Keep it brief - Most people are busy and don’t have time to wade through long emails with convoluted explanations or introductions. Attempt to keep it short and to the point.
- Keep it informative – An email that says ‘check out this link’ doesn’t give me any reason to check it out. But if you tell me the topic you might just peak my interest. Again – be brief – but give the main point in a few words of what the story is.
- Give something away – This might not be appropriate to every post you write. But one thing I often do when notifying someone of a post is to offer them free use of the picture that I have on my post. This is particularly relevant for when I’m notifying someone of a post I’ve written on one of my product blogs. Of course the picture has to be yours to give away (or copyright free) but if you help them make their post be as comprehensive as possible without them having to do a whole heap of work you might just get the result you’re after.
- Be Generous with your own links - While I don’t generally consider whether the person chasing a link has linked to me – I suppose in the back of one’s mind must be the memory of a past relationship with the person. If you’ve linked up to them previously you might have made an impression.
- Original content is best – If you’re asking for a link to your own story you’ll have a better chance of a link up if it is original content. If you’re just linking to someone else you’re less likely to get linked to. If it’s a story that you’re linking to make sure you add your own comments or take on the story – make it your own in a sense.
- Learn from your experiences – As you do this more and more you’ll learn a few things. Firstly you’ll learn who responds well to being notified and who doesn’t. Secondly you’ll learn about what types of links people respond to and what types they ignore. Learn from this and let your future practicing of it be impacted by it. If someone never responds or links up – maybe it’s worth not emailing them any more – you might just be annoying them. If they ask you to stop sending them links – respect their request. If you notice that a certain type of link gets lots of links – consider writing more of these and letting people know about them etc.
I’m sure there are other tips that readers here would give. Feel free to add your own tips on how to ask for links from other bloggers in comments below.