Earlier in the week I wrote some advice for those wanting to pitch bloggers by making your pitch a win/win/win one. Not only do you need to get something out of it but so should the readers of the blog and the blogger.
Today I want to flip this over a little and share some advice for bloggers who are on the receiving end of bad pitches from companies or individuals.
In the past – most of the bad email pitches that I received from companies tended to get immediately deleted. A few I’d angrily respond to – pointing out how one sided the pitch was – but in most cases I simply deleted them.
The problem with this is that it ignored quite a few opportunities to actually develop a relationship with the company pitching me. While their pitch was one sided, unrelational, greedy and perhaps even an attempt at manipulation – by not responding or by responding in anger I was effectively closing the door to further communication and opportunity to work together.
My Advice to Bloggers Getting Bad Pitches
Don’t be afraid to push back a little when you’re being pitched in a one sided way.
If you don’t feel like a pitch is a win/win/win pitch don’t just delete the email or reply with a quick ‘not interested’ – see it as an opportunity. It’s an opportunity on two fronts:
- 1. to educate the person or company pitching you. Show them that you take this seriously, that you treat your blog as a business and that bloggers deserve to be respected. I think many times companies just don’t think of us bloggers in this way and see social media as just something to get them free publicity. We need to take some ownership of fixing this and educate them.
I think it’s also a little ironic that as bloggers and social media types we celebrate our ‘relational’ approach yet don’t reach out and help to educate those who don’t yet get it. Sure, when a company should know better I think it’s fair enough for us to push back harder – but many companies are still finding their feet and need a little education on how to do things.
- it’s an opportunity for business and fruitful partnerships. If you don’t respond at all or push back too aggressively you could be ending any chance of the relationship with the company progressing into win/win/win territory. But if you’re clever enough you might just land yourself a sponsor, affiliate partnership or get some other fruitful interaction.
I generally try to reply with an email that:
- attempts to show the ‘pitcher’ that I’d love to work with them
- that sells my blog/community to them (pointing out readership stats, what our readers are like etc)
- that shows I treat my blog like a business and am looking for partnership and win/win/win interactions
- that suggests some ways we could move forward – I usually start out by pointing out some advertising and affiliate opportunities and share a few things we’ve done before that have delivered value to everyone
The reality is that not everyone will respond – some companies are just looking to manipulate the blogosphere and want free traffic/exposure – but you’ll find in time that some companies will respond and that opportunities which benefit everyone will arise.