Thursday, March 22, 2007

Spam or Not Spam? How to Pitch to Bloggers

In a pair of posts, Chris Baggott talks about pitches he gets from PR types looking for him to write about their clients on his blog. (If you're a blogger, you probably have gotten these too.)

In the first there's a bad, bad pitch in which a PR type says, "Go read this blog post!" Chris didn't know her, and there's nothing to tell him why he should care about this particular blog post. Feh.

In the second is a better (but not fabulous) one. It comes from the blog writer (better), mentions that he reads Chris's blog (hope it's true), and simply says, I think you might like my blog, and would be happy to exchange links with you.

That last part does bug me. I don't think you should "exchange" links on a blogroll. You should list blogs you find useful. Maybe they'll link back, and maybe they won't. They might like your blog but have a different set of guidelines for what they blogroll, and you don't fit.

Maybe I just believe in karma too much, but I think you put your material out there, you link to people who you think are doing good things, and then you see what happens. The "exchange" idea bugs me. If this guy thinks Chris's blog is good, he should just put the link there.

What do you think? How do you pick things for your blogroll? What kinds of pitches catch your attention, and what kinds turn you off? (If you send them - what do you find works from you.)

A final note. Our blogroll is really out of date. There are people we should add. Maureen and I have even talked about this, but it hasn't gotten past the "Yeah, we need get on that..." stage. (I suspect we're not the only ones with that issue...)


Maureen Rogers said...

John - You're right.We need to update our blogroll.

I'll comment instead on how I set up my blogroll for my personal blog, Pink Slip.

I only list blogs that I both read regularly AND comment on. Some link back, some don't.

Since my posts on Pink Slip are at least tangentially business-related, the blog roll is mostly (but not fully) business-related.

One thing I worry about. I do link to and comment on one blog that has a definite political slant to it - and some of the commenters are really extreme. I'm thinking of putting a blog-roll disclaimer: I do not necessarily endorse the opinions of commenters on these blogs....

Mary Schmidt said...

John (and Maureen)

I personally don't like the exchange request. It's usually a canned technique and I'm leery of such. We can't be too snarky about such though - many of these are probably by new bloggers who have read the "tips" that are so prevalent (many of which are at best outdated.)

I update my blogroll very infrequently. I see it as a value to my readers - I've vetted these as being interesting and worth a look (even when I don't agree with them). My goal is quality not quantity. As much as I appreciate other bloggers listing hundreds - and I've found some good ones that way - it's just too time consuming for me as a reader to click through many of them. If I, an avid blogger, feels this way, many of my readers are really not going to want to invest the time.

In fact, I actually need to delete a few that have been languishing.

Joyhn Whiteside said...

I think small blogrolls are more useful, in general. Now and then I come across a blog with a blogroll of 300 blogs, and it's just not helpful; I look to it for suggestions of more interesting reading. (My approach as a user may not be typical, of course.)