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How to Get a Blogger to Promote Your Product

How to Get a Blogger to Promote Your Product

You have a product or service to promote. You’ve heard great things about “conversational marketing”, “viral marketing”, and the like. On the surface, it seems easy: identify a few big bloggers, schmooze with them a little, and wait for the flood of sales as your chosen bloggers start talking up your product.

It’s a good idea. So good that thousands marketrs and PR folks have been deluging bloggers from the Technorati Top 100 on down with press releases, insulting emails, even bullying tactics to get them to promote their products. So good that Lifehacker’s Gina Trapani posted a list of PR spammers and blocked emails from their domains. So good that the best way to get bad PR from bloggers these days is to try to get good PR from them.

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What went wrong?

One reason this wonderful idea isn’t working the way it was expected to is that while bloggers have something pretty valuable to offer marketers, marketers so far have had little to offer in return. Likewise, while it costs marketers little to reach out to bloggers, it can potentially cost bloggers quite a bit in terms of lost integrity and lost audiences. Offering a blogger your product for free seems nice, but a blogger can quickly lose their readers’ goodwill if they’re perceived as a shill for some company.

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Another reason marketers have had a hard time connecting with bloggers has to do with control. Bloggers are, as a rule, a pretty independent bunch. They often feel used when marketers approach them, out of the blue, and ask them to promote their product or service. And bloggers don’t like being used. Most popular bloggers are strong writers and good marketers; they could easily be working in the media, in advertising, or indeed in public relations or marketing if they wanted to (or were able to) sacrifice their independence.

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But all is not lost…

Reaching out to bloggers is still a good idea, though. Good bloggers have a special kind of rapport with their audiences, and are pretty adept at getting near the top of search engine result pages. Which means that a few kind words about your product on the right kind of blog can have a lot of life — piquing the interest of their regulars and turning up again and again in search results.

The trick is to treat bloggers with respect, both for them as people and for their relationship with their audience. Which means rather than the drive-by pitching that has characterized most efforts to reach bloggers so far, you need to think in terms of building long-term relationships with bloggers.

A few pointers

  • Do your research. Instead of spamming hundreds or thousands of blogs with pitches for your product, identify a handful of bloggers whose audiences will find the most value in your product. Show respect by learning something about the blogger — we make it very easy!
  • Take them seriously. Bloggers fight an uphill battle for legitimacy. You can show a great deal of respect by recognizing both the hard work and the talent that goes into creating a successful blog.
  • Explain yourself. Show that you’ve done your homework by explaining clearly what your product has to offer a blogger’s audience and how you think you can work together.
  • No strings. If you’d like a blogger to have a look at your product, make it absolutely clear that you don’t expect a positive review. Show your respect for the blogger by allowing him or her to make up their own mind about a product and to explain their opinion to their readers in their own way. Asking a blogger to lie for you is the quickest way to a) lose their interest, or worse, b) pan your product mercilessly.
  • Offer gifts, not bribes. This follows from “no strings”, but often marketers want to send t-shirts, pens, or other schwag to bloggers they work with. Nothing wrong with that, but again, make sure you’re not offering goods in return for positive reviews. Offer a gift as a thank you for a blogger’s time and consideration.
  • Do the groundwork. Treat a blog just like any media outlet — provide the blogger with everything she or he needs to properly evaluate your product or service.
  • Follow through. Keep in contact after a blogger has written about your product. Send them a thank you note, a testimonial, figures showing any impact their work might have had on your sales. Link to them from your site. Remember that a lot of blogs are businesses, and a lot of bloggers do related work as their day jobs — knowing their writing helped you increase sales 43% can help them sell ad space, gain new clients for their freelance business, or benefit them in other ways.
  • Ask for private feedback, too. A lot of bloggers will write a selective review of your product geared towards their readerships, while holding a separate personal view of the product. SHow your respect for them as an individual by asking if there’s anything they’d like to say that they chose not to include in their review.
  • Take your lumps graciously. Don’t attack bloggers who pan your product or service; if you’ve done your research and selected appropriate bloggers to pitch to, they’re disinterest in your product is probably a very important piece of information for you! Thank them for their time and move on — don’t, under any condition, “go after” them!

Remember, with rare exceptions, bloggers don’t make a lot of money blogging, and so their audience and their standing in the blogging community are their main rewards. Approaching them with respect for their position and their needs will gain you a lot of respect in return, and you may well find that the blogs you maintain relationships with have become a central part of your marketing strategy — and a set of important relationships in and of themselves.

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Last Updated on January 24, 2021

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

How to Say No When You Know You Say Yes Too Often

Do you say yes so often that you no longer feel that your own needs are being met? Are you wondering how to say no to people?

For years, I was a serial people pleaser[1]. Known as someone who would step up, I would gladly make time, especially when it came to volunteering for certain causes. I proudly carried this role all through grade school, college, even through law school. For years, I thought saying “no” meant I would disappoint a good friend or someone I respected.

But somewhere along the way, I noticed I wasn’t quite living my life. Instead, I seem to have created a schedule that was a strange combination of meeting the expectations of others, what I thought I should be doing, and some of what I actually wanted to do. The result? I had a packed schedule that left me overwhelmed and unfulfilled.

It took a long while, but I learned the art of saying no. Saying no meant I no longer catered fully to everyone else’s needs and could make more room for what I really wanted to do. Instead of cramming too much in, I chose to pursue what really mattered. When that happened, I became a lot happier.

And guess what? I hardly disappointed anyone.

The Importance of Saying No

When you learn the art of saying no, you begin to look at the world differently. Rather than seeing all of the things you could or should be doing (and aren’t doing), you start to look at how to say yes to what’s important.

In other words, you aren’t just reacting to what life throws at you. You seek the opportunities that move you to where you want to be.

Successful people aren’t afraid to say no. Oprah Winfrey, considered one of the most successful women in the world, confessed that it was much later in life when she learned how to say no. Even after she had become internationally famous, she felt she had to say yes to virtually everything.

Being able to say no also helps you manage your time better.

Warren Buffett views “no” as essential to his success. He said:

“The difference between successful people and really successful people is that really successful people say no to almost everything.”

When I made “no” a part of my toolbox, I drove more of my own success, focusing on fewer things and doing them well.

How We Are Pressured to Say Yes

It’s no wonder a lot of us find it hard to say no.

From an early age, we are conditioned to say yes. We said yes probably hundreds of times in order to graduate from high school and then get into college. We said yes to find work, to get a promotion, to find love and then yes again to stay in a relationship. We said yes to find and keep friends.

We say yes because we feel good when we help someone, because it can seem like the right thing to do, because we think that is key to success, and because the request might come from someone who is hard to resist.

And that’s not all. The pressure to say yes doesn’t just come from others. We put a lot of pressure on ourselves.

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At work, we say yes because we compare ourselves to others who seem to be doing more than we are. Outside of work, we say yes because we are feeling bad that we aren’t doing enough to spend time with family or friends.

The message, no matter where we turn, is nearly always, “You really could be doing more.” The result? When people ask us for our time, we are heavily conditioned to say yes.

How Do You Say No Without Feeling Guilty?

Deciding to add the word “no” to your toolbox is no small thing. Perhaps you already say no, but not as much as you would like. Maybe you have an instinct that if you were to learn the art of no that you could finally create more time for things you care about.

But let’s be honest, using the word “no” doesn’t come easily for many people.

3 Rules of Thumbs for Saying No

1. You Need to Get Out of Your Comfort Zone

Let’s face it. It is hard to say no. Setting boundaries around your time, especially you haven’t done it much in the past, will feel awkward. Your comfort zone is “yes,” so it’s time to challenge that and step outside that.

If you need help getting out of your comfort zone, check out this article.

2. You Are the Air Traffic Controller of Your Time

When you want to learn how to say no, remember that you are the only one who understands the demands for your time. Think about it: who else knows about all of the demands in your life? No one.

Only you are at the center of all of these requests. You are the only one that understands what time you really have.

3. Saying No Means Saying Yes to Something That Matters

When we decide not to do something, it means we can say yes to something else that we may care more about. You have a unique opportunity to decide how you spend your precious time.

6 Ways to Start Saying No

Incorporating that little word “no” into your life can be transformational. Turning some things down will mean you can open doors to what really matters. Here are some essential tips to learn the art of no:

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1. Check in With Your Obligation Meter

One of the biggest challenges to saying no is a feeling of obligation. Do you feel you have a responsibility to say yes and worry that saying no will reflect poorly on you?

Ask yourself whether you truly have the duty to say yes. Check your assumptions or beliefs about whether you carry the responsibility to say yes. Turn it around and instead ask what duty you owe to yourself.

2. Resist the Fear of Missing out (FOMO)

Do you have a fear of missing out (FOMO)? FOMO can follow us around in so many ways. At work, we volunteer our time because we fear we won’t move ahead. In our personal lives, we agree to join the crowd because of FOMO, even while we ourselves aren’t enjoying the fun.

Check in with yourself. Are you saying yes because of FOMO or because you really want to say yes? More often than not, running after fear doesn’t make us feel better[2].

3. Check Your Assumptions About What It Means to Say No

Do you dread the reaction you will get if you say no? Often, we say yes because we worry about how others will respond or because of the consequences. We may be afraid to disappoint others or think we will lose their respect. We often forget how much we are disappointing ourselves along the way.

Keep in mind that saying no can be exactly what is needed to send the right message that you have limited time. In the tips below, you will see how to communicate your no in a gentle and loving way.

You might disappoint someone initially, but drawing a boundary can bring you the freedom you need so that you can give freely of yourself when you truly want to. And it will often help others have more respect for you and your boundaries, not less.

4. When the Request Comes in, Sit on It

Sometimes, when we are in the moment, we instinctively agree. The request might make sense at first. Or we typically have said yes to this request in the past.

Give yourself a little time to reflect on whether you really have the time or can do the task properly. You may decide the best option is to say no. There is no harm in giving yourself the time to decide.

5. Communicate Your “No” with Transparency and Kindness

When you are ready to tell someone no, communicate your decision clearly. The message can be open and honest[3] to ensure the recipient that your reasons have to do with your limited time.

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How do you say no? 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

    Resist the temptation not to respond or communicate all. But do not feel obligated to provide a lengthy account about why you are saying no.

    Clear communication with a short explanation is all that is needed. I have found it useful to tell people that I have many demands and need to be careful with how I allocate my time. I will sometimes say I really appreciate that they came to me and for them to check in again if the opportunity arises another time.

    6. Consider How to Use a Modified No

    If you are under pressure to say yes but want to say no, you may want to consider downgrading a “yes” to a “yes but…” as this will give you an opportunity to condition your agreement to what works best for you.

    Sometimes, the condition can be to do the task, but not in the time frame that was originally requested. Or perhaps you can do part of what has been asked.

    Final Thoughts

    Beginning right now, you can change how you respond to requests for your time. When the request comes in, take yourself off autopilot where you might normally say yes.

    Use the request as a way to draw a healthy boundary around your time. Pay particular attention to when you place certain demands on yourself.

    Try it now. Say no to a friend who continues to take advantage of your goodwill. Or, draw the line with a workaholic colleague and tell them you will complete the project, but not by working all weekend. You’ll find yourself much happier.

    More Tips on How to Say No

    Featured photo credit: Chris Ainsworth via unsplash.com

    Reference

    [1] Science of People: 11 Expert Tips to Stop Being a People Pleaser and Start Doing You
    [2] Anxiety and Depression Association of America: Tips to Get Over Your FOMO, or Fear of Missing Out
    [3] Cooks Hill Counseling: 9 Healthy Ways to Say “No”

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