How to work with local bloggers

We often get press releases sent to us by organizations and businesses wanting to reach Howard County readers.  It’s awesome and helpful to reach out and include the local bloggers as part of your communications strategies. Here are some tips that may help you reach bloggers:

First and foremost, HoCoBlogs is designed to help you get your information (your blog posts) in front of an audience of local readers. The key point here is that we list blogs and we don’t publish press releases. Nor do we forward your announcements to other bloggers who might cover your news. That said, we’re all about helping you work with local bloggers.

Second, if you have a blog, please submit your blog to right away. Then every time you publish a new post, it’ll be listed on our site where the many visitors to can see it. It’s free to be listed and takes about five minutes to submit your blog;

Third, we hope you’re using Twitter and tweeting out your news also. If you are, we highly encourage you to use these locally focused hashtags. Some of the more widely used and prominent hashtags include #HoCoMd, #HoCoEvents, #HoCoArts, #HoCoVolunteers, #HoCoBiz, #HoCoFood, #ColumbiaMd and so on;

Fourth, if you don’t have a blog and don’t foresee one in your near future, we recommend that you use our HoCo Events calendar to post your event, news or announcement. For free events it’s free to post; for paid events, there is a nominal fee to list your events. After posting, you’ll then have a URL which can be widely shared online through social sites and email;

Fifth, we recommend that you get to know the local bloggers now rather than turn to them only when you need something. Come to the blogger parties, read and comment on their blogs, do them a kindness and tweet or share their posts on your Facebook page and, in general, get on their radar. Many bloggers, in our experience, would be honored to be considered a worthy and respectable writer on a niche area of concern. Do them and yourself a favor by demonstrating that feeling before you have need of their help;

Sixth, be selective. Assuming that any local blogger for whom you can find an email address is interested in your news by virtue of the fact that you/your biz/your org and the blogger both are located in Howard County is probably not a good approach. Read their blogs and bios to know who is interested in which local concerns, micro communities and larger passions; and,

Seventh, make it easy for them. Do your work first so that they don’t have to work so hard to help you. Read this post about what a blogger-friendly press release should include. Help bloggers by providing them with links, background info, rich media, videos and more.

Just.Please.Don’t.Tell.A.Blogger.What.To.Write. Ever. And never, ever ask for the right to review their post before they publish it. If you’ve followed the steps above and have a congenial, respectful relationship with them, they may do just that; but it’s never your prerogative to ask. That is unless you want to pay them for a promotional post … and that’s between the two of you.

Thanks for your understanding!