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The Dale Carnegie Approach to Blogger Outreach

The Dale Carnegie Approach to Blogger Outreach

There’s nothing like curling up with a good self-improvement book to give you a swift kick in the pants. I remember reading my very first one  (which shall rename nameless). Needless to say, I couldn’t seem to keep in good condition, as it was thrown across the room more times than I’d like to admit.

However, despite my unwillingness to come to terms with reality, these books have been an invaluable asset to my relationships with people. I would not have been able to connect and develop quality relationships with people without first knowing which areas I needed to improve upon.

One of the best authors of self-improvement literature is Dale Carnegie. In his classic book, How to Win Friends and Influence People, Carnegie discusses how to be an effective communicator and leader. He shows us how to improve in both our personal lives and in professional settings. If you can master the skills he outlines in How to Win Friends,  you will be a master connector and networker.

So, how can the principles in this book help you develop a strong blogger network and create the perfect blogger outreach pitch? Let’s dig a little deeper into 12 key points outlined in the book…

1. Become genuinely interested in other people.

Before drafting your outreach pitch, you should first think like a blogger. Think of what would appeal to you as a blogger. Think of what would make you want to work with you. Then, read their blog, and become familiar with it. Read their about page, find out why they even started the blog, and what they want to accomplish with it.

Spend time reading and commenting on their blog before pitching to them. They will know that you have been interacting with their blog when you email them.

Do not pitch something to them that does not relate to their blog. Do a quick search of their blog to see if they have done something similar to what you are pitching to them. If you’re pitching a review of an app, check if they have written a review of an app before.

2. Remember that a person’s name is to that person the sweetest and most important sound in any language.

Personalize your pitch every time. Never start your email with ““dear blogger.” Address them by first name if you want your email to get read. If you met them in person, would you greet them with, “Hi, blogger?”

3. Begin in a friendly way.

Inject emotion in your email—don’t sound like a robot. Use lighthearted adjectives like great, awesome, fun, and interesting to describe their blog or a specific blog post. Emoticons always give positive reinforcement : )

4. Begin with praise and honest appreciation.

Compliment something specific about their blog in your pitch, such as the blog design or a post that really resonated with you. Just telling them ““nice blog” won’t work. Stroke their ego a bit. Let them know you noticed that new feature they just added and tell them how much you enjoy it.

5. Start with questions to which the other person will answer yes.

In sales, closing a prospect becomes much easier if you can get them to agree with you in the very beginning of the conversation. The same applies with your blogger outreach pitch. Can you think of questions that will have them nodding their head while reading your email? Do you think you would be more successful with this approach, as opposed to asking open-ended questions?

6. Talk in terms of the other person’s interest.

Find common ground and include it in your pitch. Do you both like the same sports team? Do you follow New York Fashion Week each season? Let them know you identify with them on a personal level. However, be careful that you are honest and sincere with this connection.

Reference a recent post on their blog that relates to your pitch. Connect this to your campaign so they are more likely to want to work with you.

7. Make the other person feel important—and do it sincerely.

Let the blogger know you are only reaching out to high quality bloggers, or a specific number of bloggers. Give them exclusivity.

Show them appreciation by thanking them once they have accepted your pitch and followed through with working with you. Reciprocate the love through social media by tweeting their posts, commenting on their blog, and sending them occasional emails to see how they are doing.

Another cool way to give them exposure is to add them to a relevant Twitter list you have created. Since your followers can see your lists, this is a great way to expose them to more followers and referrals. It will also potentially connect them with other bloggers in their niche.

8. Let the other person feel the idea is his or hers.

This goes hand-in-hand with making the blogger feel important and like they are the first to know. Also, if you are working on a campaign, reach out to them and let them know you need help with fleshing out a really big campaign and need their expertise. Ask them what they would like to see or read in their niche. You will already have your foot in their door before you even pitch an idea to them.

9. Appeal to the nobler motives.

Include a heart-warming touch to your pitch that will resonate with them. If a charity or cause is involved in your campaign, include that. Let them know how their involvement will help another person or group of people. Bloggers love to give more than they receive. They are giving their time and expertise every time they publish a post.

10. Dramatize your ideas.

Show the blogger why it is worth their while to work with you.  Give the blogger a beneficial reason why they should accept your pitch, and they may even refer their blogger friends to you for future engagements.

At the same time, do not include too much fluff in your email. Let the blogger know exactly why you are contacting them. Stick to the point.

11. Ask questions instead of giving direct orders.

When pitching your campaign to the blogger, ask them if they would be interested in covering it. Also, let them know you are running the campaign for a certain period of time and ask them if they would be able to meet that deadline. Don’t tell them they must respond by a certain time or else.

This also applies to following up. Ask them if they were still interested in working with you. Also, don’t demand they give you a positive review – expect an honest review.

12. Make the other person happy about doing what you suggest.

Offer the blogger an incentive for working with you. Give them something to look forward to for covering your campaign. Sweeten the deal with something you know they would like and can’t wait to tell their friends and readers about!

What are some techniques you have found success with your blogger outreach pitches?

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  1. Awesome post Christina! Starting a blog has been one of the best things I have ever done. So like you, I also shared some guide tips for our young professionals out there who want to start blogging with the help of Alison Silbert’s great new book called Boost Your Revenues by Turning People Away: How to sell more to your ideal client online. I haven’t read Dale Carnegie’s classic book, How to Win Friends and Influence People. So excited to read it!

    • Christina Jones says:

      Thank you for sharing, Anna! I agree, blogging can teach you so many things about yourself, your professional goals, and life in general. Yes, I would definitely recommend reading How to Win Friends… it’s great read, and extremely helpful in developing quality relationships!

  2. What’s just as important as the blogger outreach is maintaining the relationship. You don’t want to reach out to bloggers and “court” them, only to disappear once they publish one of your posts. Instead, keep in touch and contribute more than once.

    • Christina Jones says:

      Hi Nick, I totally agree. It is important to not only initiate the relationship, but to develop and nurture the relationship. Thanks for sharing!

  3. Kristel says:

    Consistency is the key in courtship – and blogger outreach! Awesome choice of words!!! Thanks for this!

    • Christina Jones says:

      Hi Kristel, agreed! Developing those relationships makes it so much easier! Thanks for sharing : )

  4. Awesome post! I’ve been reading Carnegie for some time. But never did it cross my mind to actually implement his methods this way. Thanks for the ideas Christina. Love your blog. :)

  5. Steve says:

    Potter would have said “Expulso!”, but its just me. So I’ll just say the stuff you post do explode into a volley of colorful fireworks. Splendid design, and even better content Christina. Carnegie IS a winner, and working his teachings into public relations is quite an impressive idea. Keep it up, my friend. :)

  6. Great tips! I love how you’ve taken these steps and related them to blogging! Terrific ideas, building these online blogging relationships can be a challenge.

  7. Kudos says:

    Some good tips for sure. I think the biggest challenge, though, is when you try to do blogger outreach as a third party on behalf of a client. I mean, the client knows their industry, their competition, their target market. You can try to learn these things, but the onus is now on you as an outsider to build, maintain and (let’s be honest) exploit those relationships.

    Still, I think if more people took this sort of genuine approach there’d be a whole lot less rejection out there. Great post.

  8. Hmerologia says:

    Great list! I really enjoy the way you take the great wisdom of Dale Carnegie and rearrange some of his great messages in our blog world!
    Furthermore I realize that sometime ever thoughts from great people, like Dale Carnegie, can applied on areas of life or business totally different.

  9. You make a good point. As a marketer we want targeted and relevant traffic. When blogging I think that it is important to not only initiate the relationship, but to develop and nurture the relationship

  10. Christina,

    It’s already been mentioned in these comments, but I think it’s worth saying again: the way you used the Dale Carnegie classic to relate to a current trend is brilliant. The lovely people at Dale Carnegie Training recognized the book’s usefulness to today’s leaders too and recently came out with an updated book: “How To Win Friends and Influence People In the Digital Age”. It’s too bad that Carnegie passed away before he could see how many aspiring leaders would be influenced by his ideas through the internet! (At that time the microwave oven was the newest invention!)

    Thanks for the helpful tips!

  11. Jay says:

    This was a really nice article, with great points regarding developing relationships with Bloggers you are courting. Just to throw our hat in the ring here, http://Business2Blogger.com helps make that initial Blogger contact ridiculously easy. No more Googling or cold-emailing.

    Best wishes,


  12. Joe Ward says:

    Hi Christina, I just wanted to drop in and say that I love HTWFAIP! I’m very happy to see that you’ve showcased Carnegie in a modern Social Media context. All of my social outreach is to people who I am truly interested in, and this approach was burned into me after reading Carnegie so many years ago. Sometimes I realize my writing and approach is getting skewed by exposing myself to aggressive sales and marketing strategies, and I purposefully re-read HTWFAIP to try to reset myself – sort of a cleansing process. As a mutual fan, thank you very much for giving me another reset today. =)

  13. Link Park says:

    It is not easy to not only initiate the relationship when blogging . All of my social outreach is to people who I am truly interested in, and this approach was burned into me after reading Carnegie so many years ago. Sometimes I realize my writing and approach is getting skewed by exposing myself to aggressive sales and marketing strategies. Thanks.