A Creative Way to Reach Out To Bloggers

Some small businesses would love to get the attention of bloggers in their niche, but don’t know how. After all, getting your business mentioned in a blog that covers your vertical or is influential in your market, can raise your business’s visibility.

The problem is, it’s your business and dozens, even hundreds of others vying for attention. Popular bloggers get bombarded with companies trying to get a piece of their mind share. If yours is one of those companies, how do you stand out so you can start to build a relationship with bloggers, as experts recommend, in a way that will make a lasting impression?

One enterprising entrepreneur has figured out a way to break the ice and get a conversation started — using word clouds in the shape of the blogger’s logo. His approach is so creative, we actually picked it as one of the 99 examples in my upcoming book, Visual Marketing.

In case you don’t know what a “word cloud” is, it’s nothing more than a visual representation of data. You’ve probably seen one common type of word cloud on a website somewhere: a “tag cloud.” A tag cloud is very simple — it just lists the tags (keywords) used on a site. The more often the tag is used, the bigger the word appears in the tag cloud. Here’s our tag cloud over at BizSugar:

Tag cloudNot visually interesting, is it? But a word cloud need not simply be a list of words. The words can be arranged in an interesting shape.

That’s where David de Souza comes in. He runs a popular tax-refund site called TaxFix in the U.K. and another site that’s a self-employment forum. He is very familiar with the blogs in his niches. Getting the bloggers’ attention was the challenge. So he came up with the idea of taking commonly used words on the blogger’s blog, and turning them into a word cloud — but with a twist. He uses a free online tool called Tagxedo to create the word cloud in the shape of the blogger’s logo.

To illustrate, he created a word cloud of Small Business Trends using our logo:

Logo word cloudHere’s a closeup just of the “ball” in the Small Business Trends logo. Due to our logo’s shape, the ball is where the tag cloud is represented:

tag cloud logo 2Bloggers and site owners who receive an email with their logo as a word cloud will be intrigued. It’s obvious the sender spent some time on their blog. The sender stands out.

The point of this article is:  take that extra step.  Find a creative way — make it your own “signature” way — to break through the noise when doing blogger outreach.   Once you’ve broken the ice, you can start building a relationship with the blogger.  But first, you must get the blogger’s attention.


Anita Campbell Anita Campbell is the Founder, CEO and Publisher of Small Business Trends and has been following trends in small businesses since 2003. She is the owner of BizSugar, a social media site for small businesses.

14 Reactions
  1. Great example Anita and agree about taking the extra step. Another thought is to remember bloggers are human beings and therefore understanding their emotions and what is important to them as we do with customers can identify ways to get attention and build the relationship.

    • Susan, great points about trying to understand what is important to bloggers. All too often as a blogger you get stuff thrown at you via email that’s all about someone else. It’s refreshing when someone is even remotely interested in you. – Anita

  2. This is a fascinating idea. You are spot on that sometimes in order to be the one person who sticks out in a sea of voices to grab attention you just have to possess a very creative edge. This is a very keen concept!

  3. Creativity will always get attention. Love the idea. You could also consider running PPC ads against the names of popular bloggers with a custom landing page.

    • Thanks for the PPC idea, Robert! That’s a creative one I hadn’t thought about. 🙂

      – Anita

  4. I love this post Anita. Its like Lumpy Mail — you’ll get more attention if you’ve spent time to think about what people will appreciate, what will get them to open something, to consider you. It is clear that these guys at Taqxedo are onto something! Very cool.

  5. Martin Lindeskog

    It is a neat service, but I didn’t manage to get the tag cloud. I tried on my Twitter handle, Lyceum, in Chrome and Safari browser, but nothing happened. I have to try again…

    It could be interesting to test Tagxedo on a client’s website and then show it to them and ask if the tag cloud is representing their core values.

  6. This is a very interesting idea, Anita, but I wonder if it isn’t a short-term gimmick. Granted, it’s a great way to get a foot in the door, but I believe that bloggers–like anyone in the media–is most intrigued by interesting content. What’s most important is having something interesting to share with the blogger. I think that will most effectively cut through the clutter, and to greater effect than a gimmick, because you’re showing the blogger not only that you’ve read their blog but that you’re thinking about their audience. I would encourage marketers to stop thinking about what they want to say and think about what their target medium’s audience wants to hear, and fashion their pitches to them accordingly.

    • Hi Art, I get what you’re saying. The only thing is that after a while, when you get 50 to 100 emails a day from people offering opinions or interesting articles of their own, it’s hard for any of those emails to stand out. People at highly-trafficked blogs easily get that number of emails daily. And many are worthy — don’t get me wrong. But you can barely read them all, let alone pick any out to address individually.

      I suppose the logo-shaped word cloud is of more interest to the blog owner than to anyone else. So it may be a case where others say “meh.” But because it’s about the blogger’s own blog, he or she thinks it’s interesting. 🙂

      – Anita