How to Ask Bloggers and Influencers for Links and Shares | Pen and Parent
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How to ask bloggers for links and shares

How to Ask Bloggers and Influencers for Links and Shares

By Melissa Uhles

Are you a blogger or influencer flooded with email requests? Are you a company looking for shares or links from influencers? If you answered yes, this post is for you!

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I’ve been managing Pen and Parent’s email for the past two years The good news is that our traffic has grown slowly over time due in part to Amber’s Pinterest savvy. With that growth, we’ve seen an uptick in email requests. Many of them suck up time I could be using to write.

Here is an excerpt from a recent email I received: 

I think our article would make a good additional resource for your readers. Would you be interested in mentioning the article in the context above since it helps as a supporting point for the main topic of the article? Here’s a link to it for your reference.

Now, what would be my incentive for sharing or adding a link to an old post we wrote that he referenced? Nothing. No incentive. 

Do you notice what’s missing from his email? He has asked me to do something for him out of the goodness of my heart that will lead our readers to click on a link that will inform them of his business.

It’s not like he’s a neighbor asking for a cup of sugar that I could hit up a month from now to borrow an egg.

Let’s pause here for a moment and think about friendship and good neighbors. A good friendship involves mutual give and take over the years, right? 

For example, this summer I drove to my friend’s house to water her plants while she was on vacation for a week and she paid me even though she didn’t have to. A month later I needed a babysitter so my husband and I could have an anniversary date. And she watched my kiddo all day. I gave her a gift card and a dessert from the restaurant to say thank you. This is what you call reciprocity. 

The best thing you could do as a business looking for links and shares is to offer something in return for the favor you are asking.

Pitching the idea that you’ve written a post our readers would love isn’t gonna cut it for me or most other bloggers that value their audience. 

Here is an excerpt from another recent email I received: 

If you think these printables would be a great resource for families, I'd welcome you to share on Pen & Parent. I'd also be happy to write a custom intro or share the images to help with an upcoming post!

First off we create our own printables for our audience that help us grow our email list. Secondly, the emailer sent a link that led me to an insurance website. That’s not in alignment with our niche and has nothing to do with printables for kids she has created. Lastly, she has not offered to write a guest post but just an intro.

When I replied letting her know she could submit a guest post pitch, she pitched something that was exactly like an article we’d already written.

Most people who email clearly have no idea who Pen and Parent serves even though we spell out our mission on our home page.

Here is another recent email I got:

My colleague recently created a pretty comprehensive piece on "Keys For Effective Management". There are lots of info about Courses For Different types of Management like HR Management, Project Management etc… and also for Business, Skills and so on. Our infographic was designed to cut through the noise a bit. If you want to check this out, reply back to us. We are very much happy to provide you.

Why would this person expect us to share something on HR management? Also, there are some major typos here. 

Don’t get me started on the pitch I got from the company that sells urns! Come on people! Spend five minutes looking at the site you plan to pitch. We help people write while they manage parenting, we don’t write about end of life planning.

As a public service I have provided a list of do’s and don’ts for those who pitch via email. And for those bloggers like us who get these emails, you are welcome to use these guidelines when responding to your own emails.

Here is a list of DON'TS when asking for links:

Don’t send a request from a company that doesn’t align with the influencer’s niche.

Don’t send something riddled with typos.

Don’t ask for something and offer nothing in return.

Don’t follow up one hundred times. No response means no interest. 

Here is a list of DO’s when asking for links and shares:

Offer something in return, like a well-crafted guest post in an influencer’s niche. Here is a link to Pen and Parent's Guest Post Guidelines.

Offer to share the influencer's content by providing a link somewhere on your company’s website. And let us know how much traffic you have.

Join the community. At Pen and Parent, we have a Facebook group and email list and prefer to get guest posts from our followers.

Offer a free product or products for review or for a giveaway to the influencer’s audience.

Pay for a sponsored post! If you want links or shares from someone with decent traffic, you may just need to pay for it. You don’t have to write the content, the blogger will write it and put the links in. This ensures that the tone matches what her audience has come to expect. Here is the link to contact us at Pen and Parent about sponsored posts.

Tell us in the comments about your experiences getting pitched for links. How have you handled it?

P.S. If you are a writer/blogger like us and need some extra motivation, there is still time to join our Writing Challenge: Write 3K in 3 Days!

P.P.S. If you are sending these emails and need help with your writing skills, check out our new book Write Compelling Content.

Melissa Uhles

Writer

Melissa Uhles is a freelance writer, author, and blogger. She specializes in finance, food, health, parenting, and real estate. She enjoys helping fellow writers and parents from her writing nook in Portland, Oregon.

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