The business of blogging is still pretty new and now more than ever there’s room for opportunity. Bloggers are becoming TV hosts, regular guests on shows, and quoted in magazines. We have agents. We are are the new experts on the block because we are passionate about our subject of choice and we’re real people. But how do we real people go about landing these amazing press opportunities? From the pitch to the follow through and extra steps you might not have thought of, here are my best tips for
1. Introduce yourself. One or two sentences should do the job. For example, “I’m Jessie, the skinny-budget fashion blogger behind TrendHungry.com and have some budget-friendly segment ideas for your audience.”
2. Name your pitch. The perfect pitch needs to be brief, but get the point across. Start with a segment name and give a sentence of explanation.
3. Give an example. Include some specifics, whether it’s products or trends to give a better picture of your pitch. In my example I mention the celebrities that have brands.
EX. Celebrity-Designed Lines: Celebs like Jessica Simpson, Lauren Conrad, Mary Kate & Ashley Olsen, the Kardashians, and Sofia Vergara have clothing lines, and they're affordable! Now you can snag celebrity style for less.
4. Have backup. I often include three pitches in one email and have a few others incase a producer is looking for something else.
5. End on a positive note and be thankful. “Thanks for your consideration. Look forward to hearing from you.”
Get plugged in. You gotta put yourself out there and make it happen.
1. Start Small – If you’ve yet to have any press, start small. The more you do, the more you’ll be taken seriously for bigger opportunities. Try other blogs that have a close online ranking to you. Email them with a sincere message. Let then know you keep up on what they’re doing. Maybe they’re looking for contributors. I always give my contributors bylines and links back to their blogs.
2. Get On The List – HARO (Help a Reporter) is where many national media outlets turn for product and sources. Maybe they’re in need of an eco-fashion expert. Or maybe Glamour magazine needs jewelry-organization tips. Head to their site and get on the their email blast. It’s helped me not only find products for when I do get TV bookings, but it’s got me quoted in articles. It’s free and well worth your time. Submitting yourself could land your name and your blog’s name a plug.
3. Tweet Your Pitch – Email boxes fill up fast. Facebook is a pain to use on your phone (reporters don’t just sit at the computer, they’re on the go), but Twitter, it’s a reporter’s social media of choice. Follow local reporters, anchors, and producers. Tweet to
How to pitch: Tweets need to be tight (hello, only 140 characters to say who you are and your idea). Try something like this “Hi! I'm the budget-fashion blogger of TrendHungry.com and have celeb styles 4 under $100 4 your viewers :)”
If they don’t hit you back, give them a shout-out for follow Friday. Then try again next week. I’ve used this to get myself on two different networks.
4. Cold Email – Remember, you are special too. You don’t need an agent or a PR rep to get buzz. This business requires you to hustle. Google to find a producer’s email address. This method got me my first national TV segment. Just make sure the email doesn’t sound generic.
Why Not Try…
1. Film your own segment for your blog. It will show you in a new light and can be a handy sample when submitting yourself for a television opportunity.
2. Tweeting at the consumer reporter in your area. Many newscasts do segments where they show what product works the best. If you’re a beauty blogger, pitch something like the idea of at-home manicure kits. You can help track down the products and weigh in on which works best.
3. Get Out. Go to a store opening or a local fashion show. Going to an event with business cards may land you a new friend at a media outlet and a card with your blog on it shows you’re legit.
4. Set up coffee dates. You don’t have to have a mutual contact to create a new one. Try Twitter, LinkedIn, Facebook, or if you find their email, ask a local writer, reporter, or radio host for a quick coffee and get to know each other.
5. Befriend your competition. I recently modeled for a TV segment to help a girl that basically does what I do. I learned how a national segment works before the pressure was on me, met a PR person that’s actually led to an opportunity, and maybe one day the girl who did the segment will think of me if she hears of an opportunity calling for multiple fashion experts.
6. Work for trade. Promote a local event on your blog in exchange for clothes. They’ll be thankful and may think of you to host an upcoming event.
7. Enter Competitions. Retailers want to work with bloggers. Bloggers are now stars of big ad campaigns and there’s no reason it can’t one day be you. Remi & Emmy is one brand that has regular contests and uses bloggers as the face of the brand.
8. Pay It Forward – I’ve gotten many opportunities from the help of other bloggers. Whether they added me to their blogroll, told me about many of the tips I listed, or gave me blog design advice, those people and the ones I remember when I hear about upcoming projects and opportunities. Pennychic.com added me to her blogroll and helped me with my tagline. I got her in contact with the Nicole Miller blog and she got to be a guest editor!
9. Keep it up. Once you create the relationships, keep them up. Schedule a video chat every few months, shout them out of Twitter every so often, or invite them to a fashion event.
Blogging can be a job and it’s hard if you’re working another job too. Stay humble. Pay it forward. Get yourself some mentors. And remember that the people you’re pitching to are low on time too. Keep pitches short and make it easy for them. This could lead to a whole new career or a new-found passion.
By Jessie Holeva of Trend Hungry
[Image credit: Jessie Holeva]