When it comes to public relations, plenty of us will opt to go after big name traditional news outlets such as newspapers, magazines, TV stations, and syndicated radio programs, without understanding the value of the digital space. Even worse, some companies focus exclusively on digital properties, but shoot for the moon by going after highly competitive outlets such as The New York Times blog, The Huffington Post, or TechCrunch. While coverage on one of these top blogs will yield favorable amounts of attention, it’s a mistake to ignore the long tail of blogging. A well rounded blog outreach campaign should pay a considerable amount of attention towards the long tail, as in blogs that aren’t household names, but still have a niche following.
According to BlogPulse as of February 2011 there are over 156 million public facing blogs on the web. That’s 156 million different opportunities. 99.9% of them are blogs that you and I have never heard of, but are still being read.
When developing a strategy for long tail blog outreach, keep the following criteria in mind:
It may seem assumed that there should be some type of connection between the pitch and the topics that the blog covers, but you’d be surprised after seeing some of the requests for coverage that have landed in my inbox. Only seek out blogs that cover the product, service, or idea that you’re trying to pitch. If you’re releasing a technology product, don’t bother going after food bloggers unless there’s some type of food related spin to your product.
If you’re located in a big metropolitan area, try going after blogs that are local to you. Some blogs such as GeekWire in Seattle or Gothamist in New York devote a large portion of their coverage towards local news and business. Use Google Blog Search to search for blogs by location.
Some bloggers will write about anything, but most have a consistent theme to their blogs. BlogDash is a great tool for narrowing in on exactly what bloggers will and won’t write about. It’s useful in that when signing up for the service, bloggers list their preferences as to exactly what they’re looking for in terms of topic.
Instead of trying to convince high profile blog to cover what your company, next time aim for the long tail. You may be surprised how open other bloggers are when contacted in a professional manner.
Image via Tim Wilson