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How to Follow Up With a Blogger (Without Being Annoying!)

How to Follow Up With a Blogger (Without Being Annoying!)

When it comes to outreach, following up is tricky but often necessary.

You probably work on  tight deadlines, and so do the bloggers and publishers you’re trying to connect with. When everyone in the situation is pressed for time, emails and calls can easily go unanswered.

Having a plan for how to proceed when you need an answer will make your outreach more efficient and can actually improve your results.  But sending a follow up does more than get a response, it also:

  • Maintains and strengthens the relationship
  • Demonstrates a high level of commitment on your part
  • Shows how much you want to work with that blogger

In this post, I’ll explain when you need to follow up on your outreach efforts and the most effective ways to go about it…

When You Should Follow Up

Knowing when you should follow up is a careful balance between coming across as too aggressive and missing a deadline. Below are a few common situations when you’ll need to follow up…

You’ve Sent Your Pitch, But No Response

Let’s say you have one month until the publication date. You’ve pitched to several bloggers, but you haven’t heard back yet.

In this case, emailing every day or so is unnecessary, annoying, and risks putting you on their blocked list. But if you wait too long to follow up, they may forget who you are and what you said in your initial pitch.

Instead, send them a follow up email a week after your initial email. If you’re working on a tighter deadline, adjust this time accordingly. But for anything longer than a month, waiting a week to respond is a good rule of thumb.

They’ve Agreed to Work With You

Once you have built the relationship, pitched a blogger, and they’ve agreed to work with you, there’s a chance you will need to nudge them along at some point in order to meet your deadlines.

When a blogger first agrees to work with you, be clear on the timeline for when you will need your content published. You can then work your follow ups around this end date. Set this expectation up front, and the blogger won’t feel rushed or surprised when they hear from you.

If you’re creating a piece of content in collaboration with the blogger, follow up with updates on where the content is at in production and to solicit their feedback along the way. Keeping this constant line of communication open will help strengthen your relationship.

When They Suggest Changes

You’ve pitched a piece of content to a blogger and they respond with a list of changes that can’t be done or aren’t the best fit for your piece. A response, even if it’s ““thank you for your time and feedback” is better than no response at all.

Let them know you appreciate their feedback and you’ll alert the team who created the content (and then actually alert them, especially if it’s a factual error).

You should also consider making their suggested changes if they will actually make your content better and makes the difference between whether or not this particular blogger will place the content.

When You’ve Been Turned Down

This is a mistake many make: not sending a response after you’re flat out told “no.” 

Don’t ignore someone even if you don’t get the reply you hoped for, as there may still be an opportunity for you to further the relationship and work with them in the future.

There are several reasons they may decline your pitch, but may still be open to a continued relationship:

  • The piece of content doesn’t fit in with their current editorial calendar
  • They’ve already covered the topic in the recent past
  • It’s not a good fit for their audience
  • They don’t publish the type of content you’re pitching them (for example, infographics or guest posts)

If the blogger declines to share your content for any of the above reasons (and they will most likely tell you why), you should still follow up with them from time to time and offer other content for them to share. Sometimes they will even ask you to send them more content in the future, so it’s important to keep in touch!

When You’re Saying Thank You

Your content has been published by a blogger and it’s been a huge success (congratulations!). In your excitement over a successful placement, don’t forget to show your gratitude.

Now it’s time to follow up and say thank you, let them know any efforts you’ve made to promote the piece, and mention you’ll be in touch regarding future opportunities.

5 Ways to Follow Up

Now that you know when you need to follow up, below are some ideas for what to include in your follow up to make it stand out and elicit a response…

1. Stress the Value (Again)

Remind the blogger how your content will benefit them and their readers (you already did that in your pitch, right? ;)). If they don’t see what’s in it for them, they won’t have a reason to share your content.

2. Refresh Their Memory

Refer back to a previous conversation. If the blogger mentioned they would publish your content in a week, remind them of this in your follow up email. This will require keeping notes of your conversation.

3. Make it Personal

Reference one of their recent posts or social media updates that resonated with you. Something like, ““How was your vacation?” or ““I really enjoyed reading  your recent post about your new DIY project!” shows you’re keeping up with them.

4. Use Social Media

You don’t always have to use email when following up. Instead, reach out through social media. For example, sending a tweet that you’ve sent them an email is a less intrusive way to get their attention. This can also possibly spur them to read your email right away.

5. Ask for Feedback

Whether you’re following up after your initial pitch or after a piece of content has been published, collecting a blogger’s feedback will help you better understand what they want in future collaborations. Simply note how valuable their feedback is to you and how your outreach is a collaborative effort. Being asked for their opinion may ultimately prompt them to hit “reply.”

Conclusion

Many people resist following up out of fear they’ll be seen as a nuisance, but sending a follow up email can be what differentiates you from others. By using some of the ideas above, you can show you’re committed and persistent without being a pest.

Following up doesn’t end when a blogger agrees to share your content. Follow through is just as important as following up. Once they place your content, continue the relationship with them by sharing their content on social media with meaningful feedback  and commenting on their posts. This will also keep you in the forefront of their mind and help strengthen your relationship

What are other effective ways of following up for blogger outreach?

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Comments

  1. Andrew says:

    Do you see a correlation between the quality of the content and the response rate? I would speculate that bloggers would be more willing to respond and publish pieces that are dynamic and flat-out well written.

    • Christina Jones says:

      Hi Andrew,

      Yes, the quality of the content will certainly offer a higher response rate. Bloggers are looking for unique, unexpected content that hasn’t been shared before. It’s important, specifically with prominent sites, to provide value so that they will want to share your content.

      Thanks for commenting!

  2. Ivin says:

    I really like this blog (not spamming). Hello Christina. I’m going to do a lot of approaching and follow up in the next couple months, so this is going to be very helpful.

    I personally hate it when you send emails and they don’t get answered. But agree with you that a follow up email once a week isn’t too bad. Problem is, a deposit from a corporate client needs to come through in the next two days, and if I don’t follow up we might miss the fiance departments payment. What to do!

  3. datadiary says:

    nice blog
    I really like this blog