Tuesday, 15 January 2019

Pitching as a blogger - why is it so frowned upon?

We've all read those articles where a fresh-out-of-uni graduate is finding it difficult to find work so puts themselves out there. They stand on the roadside with handmade signs, they knock on doors, hand out their CVs to everyone in the street and eventually, somebody gives them a chance and they end up with a job. These stories are usually covered in a heartwarming manner by the press and the job-seeker is applauded for being pro-active. So why are bloggers not given the same treatment?


Pitching as a blogger - why is it so frowned upon?

I used to pitch all of the time 

As a new blogger / blogger trying hard to make the switch to full-time blogging and self-employment as a viable career option to fit around my kids, I used to pitch ALL of the time. I'd spend my days at work and looking after my kids and my evenings writing, growing my Social Media accounts and pitching to local businesses who I thought were a good fit to my audience. In those days, I'd generally pitch to a local attraction and restaurants and the deal would be they'd provide complimentary entry/a meal in return for a write-up and advertising on my blog and across Social Media. Most of the local businesses I approached in those early years were lush, recognised the benefit of working with bloggers and I still have a great relationship with them today. I think if I didn't spend so much time pitching in the early days, I'd definitely not be where I am or have the great relationships I have with many PRs.

Bloggers are often given a hard time when they pitch

Yet sometimes (not always), bloggers are given a bad press when they dare to send a pitch. It's not unusual to be ignored by PRs after spending hours on a proposal and we all know those stories where businesses will publically humiliate a blogger for daring to send a business proposal. I've been on the tail-end of a few frosty PRs too and have been told everything from I'm not good enough to they can't work with me as I'm not in it for the long term (despite collaborating with this particular brand 6+ times in the past over the years). If you're going to pitch as a blogger, you definitely need tough skin. 

What I never understand is that local magazines which often have a lesser reach and engagement rate than many bloggers are never given this treatment. Can you imagine a hotel publically shaming The Chronicle if they asked for media rate in return for coverage? Because I can't.  It just wouldn't be a big deal at all so why is it this way for us?

Not every collaboration is going to work for a brand or business and that's fine, I get that. Marketing budgets are tight and need to be carefully accounted for. If working with a blogger is not for you, it takes 5 seconds to send a pre-written canned response to politely decline and you can then move on with your life. There is no need to publically shame bloggers for being pro-active.

There is no such thing as blog school - we're all learning 

There's no such thing as blog school. Most of us are self-taught and learning as we go. Blogging is a relatively new career option and all of the bloggers I know well put time and effort into pitching. We're not experts but we learn and try our best.

I hardly ever cold-pitch now and feel nervous about doing it 

After a few bad experiences with pitching and despite successfully pitching many times in the past, a few frosty responses from PRs and the way some brands/restaurants talk about bloggers pitching in a detrimental way on Social Media has really put me off which is a shame really as my blog is how I earn my living and my business and it's sad that I no longer have the confidence to be pro-active in finding work. 99% of the advertorial work you see on my blog and Social Media is through deals which I've been approached for by a brand rather than vice versa.

Warm pitching is the best option for me

I am happy to warm pitch though. This is when a brand may put a shout-out on Social Media saying that they're looking to work with a specific type of blogger or it may be sending an idea to a brand that I've already worked with before or a brand emailing and asking for ideas on how we can work together on a campaign. This doesn't feel like I am putting myself out there to be shot down as much and I am usually quite successful with this kind of pitch.

Do whatever you feel comfortable with but don't be a blagger 

I think the key is to do whatever you feel comfortable with. Do your research on the brand you're pitching to, try and pitch a couple of unique angles, know your audience and that they're aligned with upcoming campaigns/the brand's message and target audience and most importantly, know your worth and don't let a 'not this time' or being ignored put you off. Personally, I would only ever pitch brands who are a fantastic match to my blog and readers and who I can offer value too. Nobody wants to be branded a blagger! 

I am honestly sick of all the negative stories I read online about bloggers pitching. It's almost as if traditional media has something to worry about ;-) I would LOVE to see more support for blogging as a career option and for freelancers to be applauded for making an effort and actively looking for work rather than being continuously shot down. Influencer marketing definitely does work, I know this through the many messages I receive from readers thanking me for sharing something which they've then gone on to book or buy. I work hard and achieve great results for the brands I work with. Around $10 billion was spent on influencer marketing last year and this is set to continue to grow.

I think it's about time bloggers were treated with the respect we deserve and nobody should ever feel scared or worried about pitching for work. What do you think?


What do you think about pitching for work as a blogger? 



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