Pitching Blogs: Tips from a Blogger/Editor

Erika Johnson, editor and blogger of Radiant Republic

Bloggers don’t answer to editors, they don’t have deadlines, and they have different goals than reporters. Some post a couple of times a day, other post a couple times a week, and some post a couple of times a month. We recently spoke with Erika Johnson, blogger and editor of the lifestyle blog Radiant Republic, about her pitching preferences and here is what she had to say:


Q. How many pitches come your way each week?

A. Funny you should ask. Pitches are relatively new to me, as my blog has recently captured a wider audience. I received my first pitch only last month! Since, I’ve had 2-4 per week. I guess it really depends on the week!

Q. What makes a good pitch stand out among the rest?

A.  It’s important for those making the pitch to understand what goes into branding.  My blog is a brand, in a sense, and representative of me.  A good pitch comes from someone who has taken the time to read what I have to say and has developed an understanding of my aesthetic, my brand, and my audience. I blog about fashion and interiors… so pitching a story about lawnmowers probably doesn’t fit into my concept!

Q. Is there a “best of” pitch that stands out to you? What made it effective?

A. Yes; one pitch answered all of the right questions: What makes this idea special?  Why will it matter to my readers?  And where do you see the story going? It was to the point, concise, and well-researched. The perfect pitch!

Q. What about a “worst of” pitch? What made it so bad?

A. The worst pitch I’ve had was one of those emails that was clearly forwarded to a million writers and bloggers.  The subject line actually contained “Fwd!” I knew that a million other blogs would be writing about the same topic the following day.  When reading pitches, I want to make sure the story is a fit for my audience.  If my readers can find the same story on every blog or local pub the following day, what makes it unique?

Q. Are there commonalities found throughout bad pitches?

A. Absolutely.  A generic pitch is a bad one.  It really does pay to do your research!

Q. Is there anything you hate most about pitches?

A. No – I actually love being contacted.  Again, my blog is a bit newer than many of the greats, so ask me in a two years and my answer might change! :)

Q. How do you prefer pitches? Do you accept them via Twitter or any other social media sites?

A. I prefer pitches via:

  1. Phone. (This way, I can ask questions as they come up.  It feels more personal.)
  2. Email
  3. Twitter (@radiantrepublic)

And in that order!  I would absolutely accept a good pitch via Twitter.  A good story is a good story!

Q. Are you currently looking for any specific stories or leads?

A. Yes, but you should never give away a good story. :) I’m always thrilled to be contacted by rising stars in the design world – fashion and interiors alike!  It’s so exciting to expose my audience to someone chasing their dreams.  And there’s nothing as romantic as the entrepreneurial spirit!

Johnson said she is just starting to get PR pitches, so maybe we should follow up with her in a year and see if she still feels the same way?!

Keep an eye out on Cision Blog later this week for Yvette’s follow-up post Pitching Newspapers and Magazines.

 



0 replies
  1. Thea says:

    Looking forward to reading your blog Erica. These are the types of tips that I always try to reinforce with my clients – especially the "best of" pitch. The "worst of" pitches make me cringe!

    Tx!
    Thea http://pescepr.com

    Reply
  2. Yvette Pistorio
    ypistorio says:

    After receiving some feedback from readers, I just wanted to clarify my point that "Bloggers don’t answer to editors, they don’t have deadlines, and they have different goals than reporters." I was referring to independent bloggers like Erika, and to my personal experience as a blogger. Of course all blogs are run differently depending on who is writing them. There is no uniform model for how blogs operate.

    Reply
  3. radiantrepublic says:

    Thank you so much for having me! I'm honored to be featured on a media blog as reputable and influential as Cision. Have a wonderful weekend!
    Erika

    Reply
    • Yvette Pistorio
      ypistorio says:

      My pleasure! Thank you for providing us with your advice! You gave us great tips…I love this one "A good pitch comes from someone who has taken the time to read what I have to say and has developed an understanding of my aesthetic, my brand, and my audience." It's important to understand who you're pitching so you can build a successful relationship with them.

      Reply
  4. Emilie says:

    As a mom/review blogger who receives about 75-100 pitches/press releases a week I can tell you that I've had some horrible pitches. The ones that always stand out for me do three things.

    1. Address me by name and show that they've actually looked at my blog
    2. Are clear in how they would like to partner with me and keep the email a reasonable length.
    3. Don't insult me by making it seem like allowing me to give an item away or sending me a coupon for a $3 product is compensation (That isn't to say it needs to be paid. I just find it patronizing when the pitch acts like I should be thanking them for the opportunity to write about them instead of respecting the amount of time I put into my blog.)

    Do follow up because I often will work with those that take the time to follow up. Only follow up once though. After that it gets annoying. :)

    Reply
  5. thenerdynurse says:

    I agree with the statements of needed to actually research the blog you are pitching to. Because I only answer to myself, I have the ability to be very selective about the brands ans associations I maintain.
    1.Addressing me as "Dear Blogger" shows that you haven't even taken the time to email me individually, much less actually looked at my blog.
    2.Our blogs are typically a labor of love, and we spend far more time investing in them than we can ever hope to yield in return as far as revenue is concerned. If you have a budget for sponsored post, you should make the blogger aware. You will have much more interest and will be able to take your pick of media outlets rather than having to email back and forth and loose precious time.
    3.Blogging is about community and value. Are you pitching me something that my readers will find of value? Tell me why MY readers would find it valuable.
    4. Don't follow-up a million times – I once was very interested in writing about a medical laser, but the PR rep drove me insane! If I say I'm going to write about your topic, give me time, don't harass me asking if I need quotes, want to schedule interviews, need photos, "hows it going" or any other "….where is the link…." emails. I blog on my time. I have to make it when I can, and if I make a commitment to you, I will keep it. If the information is time-sensitive, you need to specify. Give me the respect and trust in my integrity to do so. If you trust me to to promote your brand, you can give me to time to do so.
    6. Click a few links in my blog, see what I'm about. Many bloggers write for more than one blog. Check our about section. You may find that we may find that even though the blog you stumbled upon may appear to be small potatoes, you may find we write for a Big-Guy who could get your brand some real exposure. Mention you've seen our other work. It flatters us, and we are more likely to pitch your idea to our editors in return.
    5. Know that I am thankful that you found my blog and have taken the time to contact me. I appreciate any opportunity to share valuable information with my readers.

    Sincerely,

    The Nerdy Nurse

    Reply

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