Aug 242012

You blog. You may blog successfully. You may have a readership that, in all probability, buys things related to the subjects you blog about.

These three facts will alone mean, whether you like it or not, you may have a red dot trained on your forehead. It’s only a matter of time before marketers invade your inbox like cliché-spouting terrorists with shiny shoes. If they aren’t already, that is.

Over the last few years, as marketers have realised that bloggers have audiences and SEO benefits that even outweigh those of some media outlets, unfortunately poor practise has seeped into what is now defined as “blogger engagement,” or “blogger relations.”

I’m going to tell you how these marketers can be of benefit to you and your blog, how to attract marketers if you’d like to, and then, how to work with them to ensure the relationship is mutually beneficial.

In my experience

I’ve worked in PR for about five years now. I’ve blogged for longer, to varying degrees of success. Having maintained blogs related to video gaming, media, and marketing, and one site I think it’s best I don’t say much more about, I’d say I have a good deal of experience in this area.

A couple of years ago, I built a relatively popular fitness blog, which is where I first saw some of the most incredibly poor pitching I’ve ever seen. I’d be contacted with products and services that were of no relevance, and spoken to like some sort of second-rate journalist, as marketers attempted either to cajole or batter me into writing about their clients.

The worst thing was, I knew many of the agencies that were contacting me, and in some cases, I knew some of the PR or SEO “professionals” from Twitter or offline meet-ups. It was clear they hadn’t made the connection.

Aggressive emails chasing me for not responding soon enough, for declining review products or—in the rare instances pitches did hit the mark—trying to dictate to me what I should and shouldn’t write filled my inbox.

It wasn’t just that most of the products, services or clients weren’t relevant to fitness, it was that there was no desire to build any sort of relationship with me from the majority of marketers—despite the fact my readers could be their customers if and when they did have something that was right. As with many bloggers, I wrote because it was a passion; something I enjoyed

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