Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Before you send that press release...


Oh my, I hope you won't think I'm trying to be all high and mighty with what I'm going to say..

My blog is not the biggest, mostest read, oftenest quoted, or what have you. But I do get a fair few.. unsolicited emails, let's just call them that. Press releases and requests to be featured here. Usually, I just delete those email straight away.

If an email starts with 'Dear Blogger', 'Dear Craft and Sewing Blogger', 'Hi there' and variations thereof tells me that you are not out to make a connection, you just want to spread your message as widely as possible. And although I get that, I have a tiny business too, well, that just won't work. Not with me. Maybe you'll get lucky with someone else of the, I must assume, tens of other bloggers you have sent it to. But most likely, they will delete it too.

The reason I won't open your email, and have even less desire to blog about you, is because you didn't recognise me as a person. I am not a faceless corporation where it's ok to not know who to address the email to. It's just me here. My name is even part of the blog name. Every post is signed 'love, Carina' and my name is in the sidebar, right above the email you used.

Maybe it seems silly to get hung up on a name, but a lot of blogs are written by a single person, not by a whole bunch of people. I, and many more, will never feature something just because we get a press release. On the contrary, it feels very impersonal, and we don't like that. Especially if our blogs are of a personal nature.

Mine is a personal blog. I may write about lots of different things, along with the main topic of crafting, but it is still my personal blog. It is not a design or shopping or whatever blog. From time to time I'll write about a product I like, or because I have a personal connection with the people behind it. Not because I got an impersonal press release about it.

Most bloggers do it because we love our topic, because we are passionate about something. Very rarely do we get paid for the time we put into our blogs. This is especially true for most crafty blogs. Because we post from a place of passion, we have readers who are interested in what we do and what we post about. We have a lot of things in common. But if I start to just randomly posting about things neither I nor my readers are that interested in, they'll probably stop reading pretty fast.

So how can you actually get my, and other bloggers', attention?

Try to make a connection with a blogger, or a few bloggers. I think that will get you better results than just emailing people in what seems a very random fashion.  Press releases are probably better used for large media, if at all, but if you want a blogger's attention, it takes a bit more work. Make an effort to get to know the blogger. Read their about page. Maybe connect with them on Twitter. Read the blog you'd like to get featured on, get a feel for the tone and content of the blog.

Make sure your wares fit with the blog you're contacting. For example, sending me an email about something about baby clothes would probably be a poor fit. I don't have any children, and although quite a few of my readers do have children, it's not something I blog about. Being familiar with the blog and blogger is important. 

If you think your wares or service are a good fit for the blog in question, please tell the blogger why. Connect the dots for us! If the blog looks like it is popular, the blogger probably gets lots of emails just like yours. If you make that extra effort to connect with the blogger, your email may just be the one he or she doesn't deletes straight away. Wouldn't that be great?

And even if she doesn't blog about you this time, she might just remember you next time (but seriously, don't spam us!) and remember how pleased she was that you did make that extra effort and then she does pass on your wares or service to her readers.

I won't promise that I will feature you, even if you do address me by name, it's not something I do a lot. But if you remember that there is an actual person on the receiving end of your email, the chances are a lot better.

Thank you. :-)


1 comment:

Ellie said...

Very true - totally agree with your post. I think we have a very friendly community of sewing enthusiasts online and good to try to keep things personal. My big problem is spam - my junk mail box is always overflowing but I have to make my business email public. Love reading your blog Helen x