As soon as your blog becomes relatively popular inside its niche you’ll certainly start receiving press releases from all kinds of companies. Some will just email you the release, while others will actually ask if you can write a review about their product or simply mention it on one of your posts.
Most of the time these companies are looking for free publicity, so it becomes very annoying to receive their messages. I remember that I used to delete all these emails, without even opening them.
Then one day I figured I was missing a big opportunity there. These emails represented a direct communication channel between me and the marketing person of an online company looking for exposure. The company already reads my blog, too, which would make things a lot easier.
From that point on I started replying to all press releases and review requests with the following message:
Hi John Doe,
Your product/service is very interesting, and I am sure my readers would love to know about it. Currently I have one 125×125 sponsor spot available on the blog. It receives over 300,000 monthly impressions, and the cost is $300 monthly.
I believe this partnership could work for both of us, so let me know if you want to discuss it further.
Obviously not all the companies replied with a sign of interest, but some did. On some cases I sold the advertising spot right there, and on other occasions the person said they would contact me in the future when they started spending money on advertising. Overall it was certainly worth my time.
I don’t sell sponsored reviews on my blog, but if you do this strategy will work even better, because a review is exactly what the company is looking for. You could reply to the press release with something like that:
Hi John Doe,
Your product/service is very interesting, and I am sure my readers would love to know about it. If you are interested I could write a sponsored review about it. It will include a description of your product, one screenshot and one link to the page you prefer. The cost is $200.
If you are interested I’ll give you the details on how to proceed.
I am pretty sure you would get a high response rate under this scenario, especially if the price is right for the size of your blog.
The next time you get a press release or a plug request you should know what to do!