December 10, 2013
The food blog world is blowing up. According to Alexa (the web information company), there are nearly 21,000 websites categorized as a “food blog.” It’s true that many of these blogs are not all that professional and do not have a huge following, but there is a significant number that do have a lot of readers (many popular blogs have more than 10,000 readers!), and you can bet that these readers are serious food enthusiasts. If public relations is part of your marketing strategy, then it’s time to include blogger relations in the mix. Here are three things you should be sure to provide to food bloggers in a pitch.
1 – Reach out and invite bloggers to participate, but only if your product is relevant.
Do you have an upcoming demo scheduled? Invite local bloggers to see (and taste) what you do, but only invite bloggers whose sites are relevant. For example, don’t invite bloggers who live 100 miles away. Think 25-mile radius. Don’t invite vegetarian bloggers when you make a meat sauce or gluten-free bloggers when you make a pasta full of gluten!
Before sending a pitch, take two minutes to read the about page and a couple posts on the blog to ensure you’re a good fit.
2 – Send emails like a human, not like a corporate robot.
Copying and pasting a corporate-sounding email pitch and sending it to bloggers over and over again will not get you great results. Instead, get human. Write an email like most of us are used to reading. Here’s a general format I follow.
Dear FIRST NAME,
Who I am and why I’m writing. Why I think you and the readers of FOOD BLOG NAME will be interested in my pitch.
The pitch in 50 words or less with a link to more information on the world wide web.
Thank you for your time. Please contact me if you’re interested or if you have questions.
My full name
My full company name
My full contact information
3 – Provide a free sample…or not.
There’s debate about whether or not food media should be given free samples. Some traditional writers will refuse freebies, even be offended by the offer, while others will expect a product or full-value coupons be mailed directly to them.
In your pitch offer to provide coupons/free product, but also say that you respect their choice to review the product on their own accord.
Do you have experience pitching food bloggers? What can you share?
Sara Lancaster is the owner and creative director of The Condiment Marketing Co., a Denver-based online marketing agency. The Condiment Marketing Co. helps specialty food companies spread their brand across the web.