I know you want them to tweet your post!
Influencers, a-listers, celebrities – doesn’t matter how you call them, what matters is they can make you famous with a single tweet.
“I know what to do! I will write a killer-post and just email them asking to tweet it. Or maybe mention them in my own tweet and I’ll get noticed”
– No! They get hundreds (if not thousands) of such emails daily, what’s the chance to stand out?
“Fine, I can pay for it!”
I got that tweet for free! And I’m going to show you how you can do it too.
Can’t work on your post any longer? Good! Just a few more hours.
It all starts with your content. If it sucks, most of the bloggers won’t even accept any money to tweet it.
Jonathan Morrow (Associate Editor of Copyblogger) noticed that the number of hours he spends on his post is almost precisely equal to the number of hundreds of tweets this post gets afterwards.
Unfortunately most of the bloggers, in a quest for “daily updates”, tend to publish very short posts which they consider to be “good”. However there’s no such thing as “good” content – it’s either outstanding or mediocre – nothing in between.
Rule #1: Put lots of time and effort in your content, make it irresistible to tweet.
You can easily kill the world’s greatest post with a poor headline.
Your post may really be a masterpiece, yet it’s hidden behind your headline.
- Which part of the post is being tweeted?
- Which part of the post gets posted to Facebook and LinkedIn as people share it?
- Which part of the post is being displayed in RSS reader?
I’m sure you know the answer. Now think of the daily amount of tweets people see, the number of Facebook and Linkedin updates and the number of posts in RSS reader. Will your headline break through this clutter?
And besides, as you send an email request to an “influencer” you’ll only include the headline and the link. So is your headline good enough to make him want to click that link and read the post?
Rule #2: Your headline should make even the busiest person forget about everything and check your post right away.
Are you trying to sell boxing gloves to a ballet dancer?
It’s called relevance. If you’ve decided to ask someone for a tweet, make sure your content is relevant to them. What’s even more important – make sure it’s relevant to their followers.
If your topic is something they frequently blog and tweet about – go ahead and email them, otherwise don’t even bother.
Alternatively there are cases when different topics overlap, allowing you to pitch your post to someone from other niche, but that doesn’t work so well.
Rule #3: Make sure your post is relevant to their followers.
Don’t ask! Help THEM or give them a reason to help YOU.
I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again: popular bloggers get tons of emails each day where random people beg them for a tweet, a link, a guestpost, a feedback, whatever… How is your request different from the rest and why should they help you anyway?
Actually it is YOU who has to help them!
“Influencers” have tens of thousands of followers always hungry for fresh relevant content. That’s why they always appreciate if someone sends a few outstanding posts their way.
Pay attention to the word “outstanding”: this is something you create when following the rules # 1,2,3.
But if you can give them “a reason” to tweet your content – that’s even better!
In an outstanding book by Robert Cialdini called “Influence” (aff link) there was an amusing experiment, where a girl asked to cut in line to use a copy machine:
“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine?” – this basic request made 60% of people say OK.
“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I’m in a rush?” – 94% of people said OK to that, which clearly illustrates the power of “giving someone a reason”.
And now prepare to be amazed…
“Excuse me, I have five pages. May I use the Xerox machine because I have to make some copies?” – how stupid is that? And yet 93% of people said OK.
It seems like no matter what the reason is, but as long as there “IS” a reason – you get a much better chance of getting your post tweeted.
(Just don’t go nonsense with this tip, and even if you do – don’t tell anyone Tim Soulo taught you this.)
Rule #4: Try to help them or give them a reason why they should help you.
Be creative, as if you were explaining your girlfriend why you forgot about her birthday.
It’s really hard to give any advice on “how to be creative”, so I’ll put it my way:
“Ask them for a tweet the way they’ve never been asked before.”
I don’t care if you will take a picture of yourself naked holding “Plz RT” sign and attach it to your email, or maybe send them a video where you juggle four iPhones while pitching your idea – anything might work. Just don’t be like the rest.
Rule #5: Make sure your tweet request will stand out, put all your creativity in it.
Make friends with the big guys.
Honestly, I wasn’t overwhelmingly original with all my tips and this one is not an exception.
“Relationships is the key to success” – if you can make friends with a-list bloggers, you’re just one step away from becoming one yourself.
Blogging paradise is when a tweet from Darren Rowse is just a matter of a short message on Skype.
Another thing that worked well for me all the way from the start is Triberr. With this service you don’t even have to build relationships with popular bloggers to have them tweet your stuff. Just make sure you’re cool enough to get into the tribe where they’re at.
Rule #6: Build relationships with power bloggers and leverage the power of Triberr.
This is how I got $500 worth of tweets and reached 900k people for free.
Here’s my story…
It was “All Hallows’ Eve” and I opened Twitter to see what’s going on. The next moment a cool phrase popped up in my head – “Trick or Tweet”! And that’s exactly what I’ve decided to do!
I had a cool post for the occasion: “Freddy Krueger’s Guide To Blog Redesign” – and I’ve decided to sent a few emails to pro bloggers with “Trick or Tweet” in the subject line.
The email was real short and to the point:
Hey mister XXX,
I’ve got a nice post to tweet on Halloween! :)
Freddy Krueger’s Guide To Blog Redesign
I would really appreciate if you could tweet it at @XXX_twitter :)
Trick or TWEET! :)
I pitched this idea to my friends on Skype and they said it was cute and might work out, so I went to BuySellAds to pick my victims.
Honestly most of the bloggers ignored my email, but a few people did tweet my post:
That’s the tweet I was talking about. I think this is one of the most expensive tweets on BSA, and I managed to get it for FREE! Other than that, Darius (Founder and CEO of Colourlovers) emailed me back asking if I was able to write them a guest post.
$75 + $15 – 48,958 + 6,988 followers
Here are some more tweets I got that day:
- Tweet by @Inspirationf – $27 – 80,837 followers
- Retweet from @olegnax – $50 – 23,113 followers
- Tweet by @buzzblogger – $?? – 12,220 followers
- Tweet by @kikolani – $?? – 24,907 ( tweeted other post from BloggerJET)
That’s it! The total cost of all those tweets is somewhere around $500 and the sum of followers is close to 900k – all for free!
Don’t get me wrong, this post is not about “cold calling” and by no means I encourage you to spam the hell out of pro bloggers.
My take is that you have to work hard, be creative and see the opportunity when it pops.
“Free tweets” is not the only thing you may get if applying the rules above. I think this way you can get lots of stuff for free.
You’ll pay with your time, effort and creativity :)