BlogDash(board) Helps You do Blogger Outreach the Right Way

I caught up with David Spinks about BlogDash at SxSWi. And yes, I did a pretty poor job with framing this interview on my Flip camera [1:12" on YouTube]. More on The Flip here.

BlogDash is a platform that allows businesses to reach out to bloggers in a more targeted fashion. As David says, just sending a press release to a bunch of bloggers is not going to work.

In addition to the video interview, we also recorded a screen demo. Here are a few of the key features they included in the system that will help you identify, select, and connect with bloggers, and tracking the efforts of your outreach program. You can see it's pretty straight forward.

The best part of it is that the database is updated with new features and content, making your list current without too much manual effort on your part to keep it as such. Having worked on the corporate side, I know how much work goes into keeping databases up to date.

[YouTube 4:37"] David shows the business side of the tool. Right now, many companies are doing or starting to do this, build lists, manually. If you have a spreadsheet with information you started gathering manually, you can upload it in the system, and BlogDash will create profiles and manage them for you.

You can build lists and filter them by location, and by categories, for example, and manage them in the system. You can see on blogger profiles, if someone is open to doing product reviews, and what kinds of pitches they welcome.

You can also see some basic stats for the publications your target bloggers write for, and a list of bloggers who write on a similar subject matter. Bloggers can indicate the topics they write about, and share their personal policy with businesses. They can also list the businesses they've worked with and start building their reputation and track record for other companies to see.

David wrote a popular post here a little while ago about doing blogger outreach from the blogger's eyes. And here are a few tips of things he likes to see as a blogger, summarized. I'm sure many bloggers reading this advice are nodding their heads in agreement.

1. Familiarity. If I recognize the name of the person emailing me, the chances of me even opening the email is exponentially higher. The chances of me writing about them is also a lot higher.

Strategy: Don’t just show up and pitch the blogger. Plan ahead. Commit time to reading, commenting, and interacting with the blogger's community.

2. Relevance. If the content you’re pitching me is very relevant to my audience, not only will I consider writing about it, I’ll probably be happy too! Hell, I spend half of my blogging time just thinking up ideas to write about. If you help me by giving me an idea that’s actually valuable, I’ll thank you! Most pitches I get are way off topic.

Strategy: Even if you don’t have time to interact before making the pitch, at the very least, you have to READ the blog. Know who you’re pitching and who their audience is. And no, you can’t tell this just from looking at the title and NO you can’t BS a blogger into thinking it’s valuable.

3. Convenience. If the blogger is like me, they don’t have much time as it is. They may want to write a post about you but they don’t have time to do the research. Save me time and I’ll be a happy blogger.

Strategy: Provide the necessary information, so the blogger doesn’t have to search for it on your site. If you don’t want to be too upfront and in your face about it, just let the blogger know that you’ll be happy to provide them with more information. Keep in mind, the easier you make it for the blogger, the easier it will be to get coverage.

4. Exclusivity. I may get a lot of pitches. I can smell a bad one from a mile away. One way I can tell right away is if the email is canned, or templated. If you sent the same email to 100 bloggers, they’ll know it. Sure you might get a few responses, but you’ll have wasted a lot of opportunities and possible relationships.

Strategy: Include personalized information. It’s okay to use the same information in a lot of emails, but at the very least, the name, the intro, and any content-specific information needs to be personalized. Instead of saying “your blog”, use the name of the blog. Personalize wherever possible.

5. Advantages. So I’m helping you. Can you send more traffic to my site in return? Can you promote my site on your website or in your newsletter? Perhaps you can offer something of clear value to me?…just remember that whatever you offer me in return for a blog post, will be disclosed in the blog post.

Strategy: This won’t work for all bloggers, but it can’t hurt to offer. Some will decline any sort of “favors”. Others would love it if you promoted them on your site a bit, or did something to drive more traffic to them. If you can offer something of clear value to the blogger in return for their coverage, you’ll be much more successful.

The fragmentation of media makes finding the writers and publishers right for an organization an even more difficult taks. Doing more with less makes having a place to start from in your research valuable,  in some cases critical part of a program.

Conversation Agent's Take:

On the enterprise side, many of the efforts for blogger outreach are manual, and quite cumbersome to keep up to date. Marketers like to track analytics like success rate by traffic referred. This tool allows them to track coverage. It also serves the dual purpose of letting them see much more information about individual bloggers, the type of programs and companies they worked with, and if they're open to pitches. It also allows them to uncover bloggers who may a good fit for writing on similar topics. Which means more focused efforts.

As an agency, I can easily see how it would be hepful to build different outreach lists for different clients and integrate this tool to test programs, reduce waste due to mismatched pitches and increase impact.


Follow BlogDash on Twitter, or contact them on their site.


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0 responses to “BlogDash(board) Helps You do Blogger Outreach the Right Way”

  1. Valeria, the 5-Point Blogger Outreach Tips you and David share in this post are invaluable! I was literally nodding my head in affirmation through each description.
    #1 on Familiarity and #2 Relevance are key. I reflect on our online rapport, and I know our relationship developed over the course of probably a year. Establishing trust doesn’t happen over night. Trust with another person needs to be genuinely nurtured (especially when geographical constraints limit meeting in-person). Hopefully, folks who want to give you future pitches will read this post.
    Lastly, I laughed when you mentioned #4 Exclusivity! I receive pitches for book reviews and the emails with “insert blog name here” still in the email pitch abound.

  2. Yes, David it does! 🙂
    Congratulations and good luck with BlogDash’s launch! From what I see in the video, your executive-style dashboard should help the C-Suite make more informed decisions in media relationship building.

  3. I’m astounded at how little people who pitch me actually care about me as a person. Companies, agencies, all they care about is their link back. It’s a small, not short term world 😉

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