If you are trying to turn your blog into an income-generator, you are probably doing lots of product reviews and giveaways to get people to your site – in the hopes they’ll like your content and stick around for a while. In general, real income from a blog actually comes from advertising space that you sell to PR firms or directly to companies – whether it be with image ads in your side bar or links within posts. The reason they pay for their ad to be on your blog/site is because you have a large and engaged following that they would like to reach. But how do you get those PR firms to pick your site over all the thousands of other sites?
Here are some tips.
Don’t Make Them Hunt For You
While you may want to maintain your privacy by not putting an email address on your blog/site – you are actually hurting your chances of PR contact. If a PR rep has to search your site for a means to contact you then they might just click away. While Contact forms are great, they do have limitations – no images, length restrictions, don’t allow links, etc. So you really need to have your email address easily accessible on your site. It’s a good idea to create a separate email address for your blog business – that way you aren’t putting your personal address out there.
Really Use Social Media
Don’t just grow your social media fan-base, but actually use the outlets. PR firms don’t just look at your reach (number of followers) but also what you post in the various venues. They want to see your interaction and engagement. Do people respond to what you are posting, and more importantly are you posting things that they can respond to? You also want to make sure that your blog/site related social media outlets are not consumed by your personal life – this needs to be separate unless it directly relates to your blog.
You have heard this many, many times, but it still holds true. PR firms want to see that you post regularly – not three times one week, nothing for the next two weeks, two things on one day and nothing for a month. This is too sporadic to keep your readers engaged, which means your followers are not seeking you out to see what you have to say. And that’s what PR firms want to see. One of the easiest ways to ensure you are consistent, even when your life gets busy, is to have weekly themed posts. Maybe you post a parenting tip every Monday or you post a shopping tip on Wednesdays, whatever is applicable to your audience.
Have Some Integrity
While I am not questioning anyone’s personal character, you might want to consider what conflicting posts might lead people to believe about you. For example, while it’s not a big deal to talk about two different clothing companies (because very few people in this world only wear one brand of clothing), you might not want to support two different brands of soda – that are in direct competition with each other (like Pepsi and Coke). This leads people to the conclusion that you will say anything if you are paid or given something for free, and the makes your word less valuable.
Handle Things With Social Grace
While every review you post doesn’t have to be totally positive, you should never ever completely demoralize a company without good cause. There are ways to say that you didn’t care for a product or some aspect of a product without being nasty. PR firms will usually seek out and read at least one of your previous reviews to see your style, so be thoughtful, truthful and real.
While you might not see yourself as a “business contact” you are contacting a business and thus should act accordingly. Use proper greetings, always do a spell and grammar check, and be courteous. Remember that when you are contacting a company in hopes of them sending you a product, or providing some sort of sponsorship, you are asking them to let YOU represent their company. Make sure the image you put forth is one that they would want to be associated with.
SIDE NOTE: While you might establish a working relationship with a company or PR firm, it’s important to maintain your professional demeanor at all times, the rep is not your friend and, in general, doesn’t have time to read through your life story to get to the point.