I get asked all the time how best to approach other blogs and websites to get them to feature your newest video, blog post, or podcast episode.
There’s no one size fits all answer to that question, but there are definitely some strategies that can increase the chances other sites will share your stuff with their audiences. Here’s an overview of some things you’ll want to keep in mind and some tactics you can try…
You Have To Make Something Good
This should go without saying, but I’m going to say it anyway because it’s really the most important thing. If you don’t create something good in the first place, it doesn’t matter how many strategies you use because nobody is going to share something that’s not good with their audience.
Making something good is a prerequisite – it’s not optional.
Now, assuming you’ve created something good, let’s move on to how you can approach websites to get them to share your stuff…
Go After The Right Audience
The first thing you need to do is identify the right targets. Think about what your content is about and which audiences are most likely to enjoy it, then find sites that cater to those audiences.
For example, if your video is about being a parent, then find popular parenting blogs. Or if your podcast is about life in Chicago, then reach out to local blogs about Chicago.
If you do a funny show about life in Chicago, don’t bother pitching it to a national comedy blog because the majority of their audience isn’t going to care about what’s happening in Chicago.
The more the audience of the websites you target matches the topic of your content, the more likely they will be to share your stuff.
Understand What’s Actually Best For You
It’s easy to get confused about what your actual goal is when you approach a website to share your newest creation. Most people tend to focus on that single piece of content and getting it featured on other sites – but that’s short term thinking.
You’re always better served thinking about the long term. In this case, that means what you really want is to develop a relationship with other sites that can last beyond just the single posting of that single piece of content.
There’s lots of different ways to build relationships and I’ll go into some of them later in this article, but for now just recognize that what ultimately will benefit you most is a relationship with these sites and not just a one-off favor.
Become A Part Of Their Community
Rather than just Googling some sites and blind-emailing them to ask that they share your stuff, you’ll be better served to become a part of their communities first.
Comment on their posts, share their articles on social media, interact with them on Twitter or Facebook – all BEFORE you ever actually pitch them your own content.
Doing this will get them familiar with you and who you are so that when you eventually reach out to them, they will already recognize you as a fan and active member of their community. They’ll be predisposed to think better of you and more likely to help you out.
The other benefit of this is that you wind up learning more about the sites you hope to pitch, you’ll understand their community, what kind of content they share and how best to position what you’ve created to fit their interests.
Offer To Help THEM Instead Of Asking Them To Help YOU
This may seem counterintuitive, but it works – and it’s also helpful for people who are uncomfortable promoting themselves.
Instead of emailing the people who run a website and asking them to share your new content, offer to create some content for them for free. You can let them know you’re a fan of their site and that you’d be willing to write some guest posts or make some videos for them if they’re interested.
Every website struggles to churn out content on a constant basis and many of them will be open to having somebody else contribute content for them (again, as long as it’s good).
And remember, what you’re really after is exposure to their audience – it shouldn’t matter whether the video you make lives on your YouTube channel or theirs, or whether the post you write lives on your website or theirs. As long as you get credit for it and a link where people can learn more about who you are, it’s valuable.
The other thing this does is start to form a relationship for you with the site which goes back to the initial goal of thinking bigger than just exposure for a single piece of content you created.
Offer To Give THEM Attention Instead Of Asking For Attention
Here’s another trick that almost always works. Instead of asking them to write about you and share your content, ask the people that run the website if you can interview them and tell your audience about them and their site.
No matter how small your own audience may be, just about anybody will be flattered that you want to interview them and will likely say yes.
Remember – they want attention for their creations every bit as much as you want attention for yours.
When they agree to be interviewed, this does a couple things. It starts a relationship for you with them that can potentially make them more likely to feature your content on their site down the road. And when you post the interview with them on your website or YouTube channel, they will most likely share a link to it with their audience.
So basically, you’ve managed to get them to drive their audience into your world without even having to ask them to.
The other great thing about this strategy is that you can easily scale it. For example, if you want a bunch of punk music blogs to tell their audiences about you then you could set up a series of Punk Music Blogger interviews and reach out to all those blogs to interview them.
It gives you an easy excuse to reach out and build relationships with all of them, with each then likely linking to your interview with them.
Ask Like A Real Person
Whether you choose to try any of the above strategies or just want to simply reach out and ask a site to share a single thing you’ve created, make sure that you ask like a regular person and not try to be overly formal.
Just email the person that runs the site, tell them you’re a fan of their site (which you should be since you hopefully have been reading it for a while before you reach out), explain who you are, and send them the content you think they (and, more importantly, their audience) will like.
Don’t try to make yourself sound like some kind of comedy superstar, don’t pretend to be a publicist, don’t act like your video is going viral when it isn’t, just be a regular person.
Or at least as close to a regular person as you’re capable of being.
And if they actually post it? Don’t forget to say thanks and share the link on all your social channels.
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