How To: Ask A Blogger For A Review

Ian Lurie

A review from an ‘a-list’ blogger, or even a ‘z-list’ blogger, can bring you customers, prompt discussion around your product and, at a minimum, create a nice, authoritative link.
That causes a lot of folks to ‘write’ (I use the term advisedly) wonderful notes like this one:

Dear blogger,
Love your blog! If you have a chance, please come look at my blog. I think we have a lot of the same thoghts and would appreciate a link. Thanks!
Name removed

While we may share a lot of ‘thoghts’, this person’s e-mail will only make it out of my spam folder if I’m looking for examples for a blog post.

How to get a blogger’s attention

If you want a blogger to write about your site, your product, your service or whatever else, you need to do four things:

  • Show me you’re a real person, not a bot someone programmed to spam every person who’s ever written a post with the word ‘web’ in it.
  • Show me that you know me.
  • Show me you’re someone I’d like to talk to.
  • Prove that my review would help my readership.

A great e-mail

Here’s an e-mail that would get my attention:

Dear Ian,
Just read your post on monitoring social media. Thanks – I’ve sent it around to some other people at my company.
We’re working on a social media monitoring tool of our own. If your readers liked your post, they might be interested in checking out our product. Here’s a link to a test version: [link here].
Feel free to try it out. You can write a review any time you like – all I ask is that you let me know when you do.
John Doe
Big Corp

Aaah. Like a breath of fresh air. This person connected right away:

  • They showed that they’ve at least read my blog once. Even if they read it just to get my attention, at least they put in that much time.
  • They flattered me a little. Hey, face it, flattery works. Not silly flattery like “YOU ROCK DUDE!”; something aimed at a specific post.
  • There’s a clear connection between their product and my readership.
  • And he even gave me a link and permission to review the product.

Plus, he can spell – major bonus.

It’s about connecting

If you want me to take the time to look at your site, learn your product, and write about you, show me that you’ve taken the time, too.
You could even (gasp) try the phone…

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  1. Was this post inspired by a recent SEOmoz blog post?? 😉
    Great ideas and highly relevant to what I just read over on the moz.

  2. Good stuff, sounds the same as when I was doing a lot of link building myself. People would email me every week asking for a link, even though their “related site that my visitors would love” was on something completely unrelated.
    I just don’t get the mindset of the people who do this. I don’t know why more people don’t try and build some kind of relationship before asking for stuff (Oh, yes I do, it’s because they’re lazy :)).
    Next time I get annoying spams like the ones you mentioned I’ll send them to this post.

  3. It is amazing how lazy the approach you mention is, as it is really quite easy to first build up some basic connection before posting away with links left right and centre.

  4. I just bookmarked this post! We’ll be launching our first book trailer next week, and I need to reach out to publishing/ book bloggers to see if they’ll write about/review our trailer. Thanks for the refresher on communicating with bloggers.
    Jenni Bowring

  5. Nice approach. This really just requires a little more effort than a spammy email blast but the end results should be much better.

  6. Well said, Ian. I just found your blog thanks to Rand’s “SEOmoz’s Biennial Ranking Factors 2009 Released,” and I’m glad I did. It looks like you’ve got some great tips here. I get emails like the first one you mentioned all the time, and it rarely (ok, never) goes very far. If people want to derive some benefit from social media, they need to first learn to be social. Keep doing what you do!

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