Hello again; Recently, I’ve been blessed with a lot of amazing opportunities. I was asked to write a guest post for Adrienne Smith, I wrote an article for Red Wine Magazine, and I was a guest on the Real Talk with Lee radio show. I am working on an interview for Gill Andrews of True Stories with Gill, and I have several more online radio show interviews scheduled.
Now, some of these breaks came from continuing to be active in building relationships through blog commenting. But some of these opportunities came from actively seeking to be a guest on blogs, podcasts, and radio shows. Today, I’m going to share the methods I have used and the results that came from each. I hope that I can help you to create more chances to introduce yourself, share your message, promote your business, raise funds for a non profit, etc.
Now, I should mention that until recently I didn’t openly solicit any of the many guest posts or podcast appearances I have received. I was able to come to the attention of other bloggers through blog commenting. I would read their posts, leave quality memorable comments, share their content, and eventually contact them directly by email. Or sometimes they would write to me. The point is I got to know them by supporting and helping with their site. And then they would decide all on their own to reach out to me.
I learned this strategy from Adrienne Smith, the blog commenting super star, and it has obviously worked for me. I believe in it with all my heart. And it will always be part of my marketing efforts. It is one of the most effective uses of my time in my opinion.
But last month I read a post by Ann Smarty on Boost Blog Traffic entitled How to Get Interviewed by Popular Blogs (Even If You’re Not a Big Shot In it She says that any of us can become one of the experts that the top bloggers, authors, podcasters, and radio and tv show hosts turn to when they need a source for their next article, blog post, . or show guest. And with the hundreds or thousands of people out there who need experts its just a matter of putting yourself where these people can find you. And she included several sites where you can go to meet these authors and show hosts. I’m going to share my experiences with the sites she recommended along with a couple that I found on my own.
HARO and MyBlogU
I signed up to MyBlogU about a month ago. I had some trouble signing up, so Ann created my account. I went there and tried to use it but found it lacking in accessibility. I ignored it for about a month, but then I decided to give it one more try.
When I returned, I found that they still had some issues; but I was impressed with the progress they had made. They still have too many links that don’t have individual description tags, but i was able to work around this. And I believe other blind and visually impaired people would be able to manage their site now too.
I answered some requests for brain storming ideas and collaborations. I also answered some questions from people working on articles and blog posts. And finally I responded to some requests for interview subjects.
I actually received positive responses from three of these submissions. One was for the interview with Gill mentioned above. He specializes in long interviews where he asks questions other bloggers either don’t think of or shy away from asking.
I was also one of the people used as a resource in a post on Don Sturgill’s site titled Email Marketing Basics. What he did was ask several people the same set of questions and then share their answers in a post about building and properly using email lists. In addition to having my answers included and a link in his post; he also mentioned the fact that I am a blind blogger and that other bloggers should take inspiration from me.
The other one is for a video podcast called the Social Web Cafe hosted by Deborah Anderson. I don’t know when it will air, but I am scheduled to record it with her via a google hangout on air.
HARO Help a Reporter Out
Next, I moved on to HARO. Again, I had trouble signing up. Part of this was the usual difficulty of a site owner not designing for use with a screen reader. And part of it was a misunderstanding about the site. Like all the sites I will recommend it is free. But they have to sign up forms one for there three different paid option and a second one for the free sign up. Even after the people at technical support told me about this, I still couldn’t set up an account. I asked them if they would do it for me, and they agreed.
Okay, after you sign up you will start receiving email newsletters three times a day. They will have announcements about people looking for sources for newspaper and magazine articles, book projects, and even radio and tv shows. Each will have an email address. However, you can’t just reply to that email. You have to copy the email address to the submit pitch form on their website. And then the HARO system will forward your pitch email to the author, reporter, or show producer.
I have only been using this one for about a week. I have submitted half a dozen pitch emails. So far I have not received any replies. And I have noticed that many of the offers are for opportunities that require you to have a degree of some kind or other official credentials. Also, many of them are only looking for contributors that live in their city or general area. It has potential, but I feel MyBlogU has much more at least for me personally. Of course the fact that I have gotten results from MyBlogU could be coloring my opinion.
Blog Talk Radio and Webmaster Radio
My first radio appearance was with the Brian the Hammer Jackson Show on Blog talk. There are a lot of good shows on there. And they do have a search feature to find shows in your niche. I found that the number of results was kind of overwhelming for me to sort through. I thought there was a better way to find available shows. There is, and I will come back to this later.
As for Webmaster Radio I found the site confusing. And the audio that plays when you visit the site is set way too loud. It also appears that you have to be much more well known than i am in order to be featured on it. I could be wrong, but I choose to use sites that are easy to use. I can’t always do that, but in this case there are other better options.
Radio Guest List and Media Guest Connect
Now, I want to talk to you about two more sites for connecting with radio and tv show producers. One is Radio Guest List, and the other is Media Guest Connect. They both offer premium versions of their services, but you can get plenty of good use out of their free options.
Media Guest Connect
I’m going to start with Media Guest Connect. This site has profiles created by show producers and by people like me wanting to be their guests. You can upload a profile with your photo and an audio file for free. With the paid accounts you can add video files and even more audio ones.
I haven’t had any contacts from this site, but then I haven’t sent any pitch letters yet either. I wanted to see if anyone there would find me through my profile first. I have now started reaching out to some of the show producers on this site and am hoping for the best.
It does seem to have quite a few listings. The search results aren’t as well divided as I would like. But at least it is a site that I can use easily with my screen reader.
Radio Guest List
Well, now I want to tell you about Radio Guest List. It is another free service. After you sign up for it, you will receive a daily email with all the new requests for radio and tv show guests. The listings will include the name of the show, what its about, what type of expert guest they are looking for, where their show is broadcast, the audience size and demographics; and most importantly the producer’s contact information. Some of these shows will ask for or require a donation, but you can find this out before deciding whether or not to pitch to a given show.
This one has been very successful for me. It is how i received the slot on Lee’s show Real Talk with Lee. Its also how I got booked on Twanna Young’s Show. That one was scheduled for Nov 18th but has been postponed due to her having surgery.
Its also where I found out about the Rob and Slim Show that I will be doing the 28th of January. And I just found out that i will be a guest on Tell It Like It Is hosted by Stuart Vener. I hear he has over two million listeners in the U S alone.
Radio Guest List is the one I look forward to the most out of the resources mentioned in this post.
Writing pitch letters
Now, I wouldn’t want to close without saying something about writing the pitch letters. And while others will talk to you about the right way to create a successful Pitch email, I want to remind you that the most important part of a pitch letter or email is sending it. You won’t be perfect or even close when you get started. You also won’t get booked if you never get around to actually asking someone for a spot on their show.
And yes I realize I have an advantage in this area. One, I have spent a lot of my life making cold calls and writing unsolicited emails. I have had a lot of rejections and I don’t let it discourage me. I have also succeeded in getting booked on radio shows, so I am confident I can do it again. But trust me you can do this. And every time you do it you will get better at it.
But to help you out here is what I include in my pitch emails. I start by saying hello using their name. Then I share a bit of my story so they know who I am and why I think that I would be a good fit for their blog, podcast, newspaper, magazine, or radio or tv show. Then I encourage them to visit my websites and my as seen online page.
Most people say only include one link, but I have two businesses that are part of my story; so it only makes sense for me to add more than one url. And for anyone who has forgotten the as seen online page is where they can visit other sites where I have been featured. Some have even referred to it as a poor mans digital press kit. And I close by asking them to contact me to discuss it further.
I am not a rock star. Yes, I am a successful business owner blogger and podcaster. But most of these people don’t know who I am until I tell them.
You can do the same. There is something that you are an expert about. There is a subject that you know about and that other people are just waiting to learn it from you. You also have your own story to tell. And if you want some help with your pitch letter, feel free to email me for suggestions.
I’m sharing this post because I want you to have the same opportunities that I have enjoyed. There are many opportunities that will come your way through building relationships online. Blog commenting is a powerful way to meet other site owners, get to know them, and receive chances to be featured on their blogs or podcasts. But once you start to get these chances to be featured, some of you are going to want even more of them.
That is what has happened to me. I’ve gone from not believing I had a story, to not understanding how powerful my story is, to having to be forced to tell my story to now actively seeking out and pursuing new places to share my story about how a positive attitude and consistent baby steps of improvement can allow you to accomplish your dreams and achieve your goals.
Sharing is caring
This is the part where I ask you to leave comments and share with your friends. And yes I would love it if you would tell people about me and the post. But I would love it even more if you would visit the people and websites mentioned in this post. The best way for me to receive future opportunities is to prove I can generate traffic to the ones I have already received. In addition to wanting to work with people with good stories, most site owners want people who can help put buts in the seats or in the case of the internet faces in front of screens. Perhaps you will decide to pitch yourself to one of them.
Well, that’s it for this week. I do love hearing from my readers, so feel free to send me a message via the contact page. Whether you have a question, want to enquire about coaching, or just want to get to know me better; I am here for you. I want to be your friend. Thanks for reading my post. Take care out there, Max
If you have enjoyed this post or my website and feel like supporting me on my journey; then you are welcome to make a small donation. As a blind person I do have expenses that sighted people don’t have. And I also understand that it can make someone feel better to help someone that they believe in.