We get a lot of requests for co-promotions here at ProBlogger, and at Digital Photography School as well.No matter what niche you’re in, if your blog has a reasonably engaged audience, you’re probably the target for others who want to promote their new products. On the flip side, you may well target other bloggers when you want to promote your own blog products.
But negotiating coverage can be tough—and making sure the product’s promotion reaches the host blog’s audience in a meaningful way can be even tougher.
Today I want to show you how to do just that, using a great example from Pat Flynn of Smart Passive Income.
Now, let me say up front that I have no idea how this interview came about, although Pat does say at the beginning of the podcast that he a Leslie have been friends for some time.
I do know that a lot of bloggers who’d love coverage like this for their products wonder how it’s done—even if they’re not personal friends with any A-list bloggers. So let’s pull this post apart a bit and see how you could replicate this kind of coverage for your next product launch—or to make the most of someone else’s launch on your own blog.
The post introduces a podcast—Pat posts regular podcasts on his blog—which contains an interview with Leslie, who tells the story of how he came to enjoy online success.
The post points out what’s covered in the podcast, and links to the services mentioned. It also links to the podcast, then mentions a special offer that Leslie’s making exclusively to Pat’s readers for his product.
What’s so good about this post?
Sounds simple, right? We all see posts like this all the time online. What’s so good about them?
- The post provides valuable information independently of the promotion: The podcast is free. Anyone can listen to it—you can do it right there on Pat’s blog if you don’t want to download it. So any of Pat’s followers can access the valuable information Leslie has to share, without spending any money.
- The information in the post isn’t focused on the product offer: Throughout the interview, Leslie tells a rich, deep story that’s packed with advice and tips. He gives it all away. Sometimes you’ll come across posts whose authors constantly refer to their new product or promotion, and some references aren’t always bad—often they’re necessary. But to make the product the focus of the post (or in this case, interview) can turn off more readers than it entices.
- The offer comes at the end of the post: Pat makes mention of the special discount separately, at the end of his post. Leslie gets to it at the end of the interview. It’s clear, and obvious, which draws it to readers’ attention, and simultaneously lets them know that if they’re not keen, they can skip it.
- The offer is provided independently of the host blog: While I have nothing against affiliate links (as you’ll know if you read ProBlogger or DPS regularly), promoting an offer in which you have no personal stake can be a great way to add credibility to the product, and communicate to your readers how much you’re focused on them.
From the guest’s point of view—Leslie, who has a product to promote—this super-credible approach to his story is great. He gets excellent coverage, which builds his profile regardless of whether people actually take up his offer or not. He also gets to make a great offer to a massive audience he might have trouble reaching otherwise. And he boosts his reputation as a guru without risking being seen as too salesy.
Pat, meanwhile, gets excellent content for his readers, and an exclusive deep discount on a product they’re likely to be interested in. This reinforces his position as a guru, too—again, without seeming salesy.
The message for host bloggers
If someone contacts you about a promotion they want you to mention on your blog, look at the potential value it can give your readers—and not just through the promotion itself.
See what gems you can get the blogger to “give away” in an interview, rich guest post, or infographic. Think about free value for your readers, not pushing a product.
The message for product promoters
Don’t see the opportunity as one for selling—see it as a chance to build authority with a new audience. What can you tell them that the host blogger can’t? That’s what you should share.
Focus on what’s unique about you, translate that into advice and help, and readers will automatically be motivated to click through to your blog, and take up your offer.
How to do it
This post presents great, unique information in a format that’s familiar and interesting to the host blog’s audience. While not all blog hosts will want to run hour-long interviews with product promoters, the path to the best opportunities is to match the key elements of the product that’s being promoted with the key needs of the host blog’s audience.
For the product promoter
For the product promoter, this means taking your product offer, and focusing on the aspect of it that’s central to your brand.
For Leslie, it’s about his journey to become a blogger—what it’s taken for him to build a popular blog from scratch. That’s what he wants to focus on in his coverage on the host blog. So he might come up with a few different ideas for exposure (through a post, a recorded interview, a series—the sky’s the limit when you’re proposing to help another blogger by providing content!) and pick one or two that seem to suit his brand and the host blog’s audience best.
Now as I say, I have no idea how this interview came about, but let’s suppose Leslie initiated it. He might approach Pat about the coverage, explain what he has to share, how it’ll help Pat’s audience, and mention the offer he’s willing to give Pat’s listeners if Pat’s open to that.
For the host blogger
For the host blogger, the challenge is to match that central element of the product promoter’s brand with the needs of the audience. So Pat would need to make sure that Leslie’s focus could be framed in an appropriate and really compelling way for his readers and listeners.
Of course, since Pat’s podcasts often include interviews, he may have approached Leslie about the interview himself, having spotted the solid fit between Leslie’s site and his own. He might have been the one who came up with the ideas for the interview coverage, including topics and questions, and approached Leslie with them. We bloggers are always looking for great content, after all! An hour is a lot of time to take out of a busy blogger’s week, so Pat may also have offered the opportunity for Leslie to promote his product as part of the interview.
Finding the right fit
As you can see, getting great coverage of a person and/or their product on a blog is a matter of fit.
The two brands need to align on some level, and the two bloggers need to work to make that alignment work in the best way possible for the host blog’s readers.
If you can do this as a product promoter, you’ll find it much easier to get really deep promotion on others’ blogs.
And if you can do this as a host blogger, you won’t have much trouble coming up with posts that really provide massive value to your readers, and position you as your niche’s go-to guy or girl.
Have you promoted someone else’s product through a post on your blog? Or had your product promoted through another blog? Tell us how it came about—and why it worked—in the comments.