By Desiree Morris, Blogger of the Month for April
When I started to get my feet wet reviewing products for my blog, I thought it was absolutely necessary to write a drawn-out “pitch” e-mail (known as a pitch letter) to different contacts. Those long pitch letters are a common misconception in the blogosphere. They aren’t necessary in getting a company to say yes to you. I promise!
I’ve learned a lot as a blogger since beginning my career in 2012. But the learning doesn’t stop there. I’m still learning every day. For this week’s installment as Kansas Women Bloggers’ Blogger of the Month, I’m sharing a few tips and tricks I’ve learned to properly approach a company in order to request a product to review or give away on my website.
I can’t guarantee my tips will automatically get you a yes. In the end it depends on the company’s budget and if the company wants to work with you. You’ll get rejected. Everyone does. Companies are in the business of making money, after all. Having a personalized pitch letter will help you get a yes. Why? Because there are companies out there looking for bloggers like you.
Only pitch for items you’re interested in – not because they work with bloggers.
This is very important. Just because a company works with bloggers doesn’t mean you automatically reach out to them. Think of your audience. Think of your brand. Will this product be beneficial to you or your family? Will your readers be able to relate to the review? When I began pitching companies, I contacted anyone and everyone who worked with bloggers. While it was exciting to receive items in the mail, I slowly realized not everything I received exactly fit my lifestyle or fit my blog. Reach out to companies YOU love. Not only will you have an easier time writing a personal pitch, you’ll also be able to write a better review of the product.
Include Your Mailing Address in Your Signature
While I don’t recommend revealing your mailing address to everyone you e-mail, including your mailing address in your e-mail signature to companies you contact is very beneficial. There have been times when I’ve contacted a company and I never heard anything from them. Nada. A couple weeks later, their product was on my doorstep. PR reps are insanely busy. Being able to access your information easily is key. Here’s a tip: I use two different signatures. One signature includes my website and social media links. The other signature includes my website, my social media links, and my mailing address.
KISS – Keep It Simple & Straightforward
Companies responding to your pitches are more than likely skimming through. They are super busy. It’s vital to keep your pitch letter simple. Be honest and be yourself while keeping it professional. Writing a long pitch letter will more than likely be ignored, or you may get a response requesting information they couldn’t find in your wall of text.
Spell Check Your Pitch & Spell Check Your Blog
Before hitting “send” make sure everything is grammatically correct, not only in your pitch letter, but on your blog. Let’s say a company is interested in working with you based on your pitch letter. The next thing they’ll do is check out your blog. If your blog is full of errors, that company will refuse to work with you. Why? Because companies want reviews that are free of grammatical errors. I happen to like Ginger. It’s a grammar and spell-check software. I use it while writing all the time. And guess what — it’s free to install! A free version is available that allows a certain amount of corrections a week. I love this program. However, if you need help there are premium services available.
No matter how big or how small your blog is, don’t be afraid to pitch a company. You’ll be surprised at who will say yes.
Desiree Morris is a stay-at-home mom + stepmom, blogger, and tornado survivor. She writes about a little bit of everything as The Miracle Momma.