The Five Stages of Blogger Outreach: Stage Two – Ambivalence

Hello, lovers.

Last time we were together, we discussed the first stage of the Blogger Outreach process in relation to a “100% accurate” article about the Five Stages of Dating. In the post, I outlined the stages of attraction as the five entities: Initial Chemistry, Visual Appeal, Common Interests, The Right Fit, and Reciprocation.

As of right now, we’re attracted to bloggers based on certain criteria; we’ve put our best foot forward and have done our homework in order to try and catch their eye. We’ve instilled a positive feeling in them about us, and we’re feeling pretty good.

So now is obviously the time for it to get weird.

Prepare to have your hopes and dreams potentially shattered, because now is the time for the second stage: ambivalence.

Doubts

Just because you’ve attracted a blogger based on your initial attempts doesn’t mean that you’re home free. Not even close. This is usually the time when they’re curious as to what you want out of the deal. Sure, you may have been up front with them about your goal – a link placement, a product or brand mention, publishing rights to a piece of exclusive content, etc.  – but as with any romantic pursuit, your approach is obviously influenced by telling the other party what you think they want to hear.

And sure, this works on a lot of people; most “industry folk” don’t usually shy away from a good ego stroke. But the majority of them want you to stroke their brain, and not just their pretty face. Let ‘em know that you want them for more than their looks.

Crossroads

Now tell me whatcha gonna do…when there ain’t nowhere to run…

Every relationship gets to this point. This is the point where both parties weigh out the pros and cons of moving forward in their endeavor together. Is this person worth keeping in my life? Is this person adding to my well-being?

The same goes for Blogger Outreach. Even if a blog author or publisher has reciprocated your initial interest, they could just as easily just stop talking to you altogether if they’re not getting the right vibe from you.

So I’ll tell you what you’re gonna do when judgment comes for you: don’t give them a reason to write you off in the first place.

Man, I miss my Uncle Charles, y’all.

Decisions

Once a blogger meets you at the Crossroads (are you sick of this reference yet?), they have to decide to keep you in their life, or to move forward without you. Obviously you’re shooting for the former.

This is really a crucial time in this relationship. You have to let them know that you’re there, but you don’t want to push or annoy them into dismissing you.

At this point, you already have their attention. They’ve exhibited a mutual interest in you. You’ve contacted them back with the specifics of your relationship request; i.e. you’ve metaphorically asked them out for dinner or drinks, and they haven’t responded yet. What now?

My general rule of thumb is to wait four to seven days to send a follow-up email: A charming and breezy follow-up email. Don’t be that annoying, needy person. Seriously. Don’t.

The time you wait between contacts can be based on the following factors:

  • The size of the request. The larger the request, the more time you should allow them to think about it. Keep in mind, however, that you want to be breezy, but not forgettable – don’t let too much time pass before making your presence known again.
  • The blogger’s schedule. If you know that this is a high-profile blogger, you have to understand that returning outreach pitches is probably a less significant item on the ol’ to-do list. Generally, anything after two weeks tends to be a dead end.
  • Your client’s deadline. You’re not going to wait two weeks to send follow-up emails to non-responsive blog authors if your client needs a piece of content published within two weeks.

Desires

No matter what the mind says about a potential partner, if there’s no desire, no passion – the relationship will not last long.

Even if a blog author has agreed to “go out” with you, without the right mixture of elements it could potentially end as a one-post stand; or worse, you could end up being used without even the satisfaction of a shout-out in an author byline; or worse-est, they could completely take credit for your hard work and never speak to you again.

Make sure your passion aligns with theirs before either of you get Nancy Sinatra’d. I just made that up. Is this one of those cases of trying to make fetch happen? Whatever.

Red Flags

Whatever your particular blogger relationship status may be, none of these factors of ambivalence should deter you from your Outreach efforts. No relationship worth having is completely void of weird times.

These types of challenges are going to make the third stage that much sweeter. Join me next time and we’ll all take a really important next step together: commitment.

I may even let you wear my Letterman jacket.

Go to stage 3 of Blogger outreach: Committment.