Author Topic: How do I get featured on blogs?  (Read 3559 times)

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Offline fievels

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How do I get featured on blogs?
« on: August 28, 2017, 08:03:48 am »
I have a product I believe in, but we need crowdfunding to manufacture the product.  So.  I started researching the internet presence of successful kickstarters.  Generally, they have a facebook page and a ton of blogs writing about them.  I would say they averaged 50 small blogs across different langauges and 5 big name blogs.  Sometimes all 50 in one day!  All with eerily similar content.  Only the $2,000,000+ campaign was advertising with google ad words.

My plan is... I will get 50 small blogs to write about me in several languages.  Having Mechanical Turk translate.  And then the big names might be convinced to do the same. 

So, I gather contact information of 100 blogs that have written about these successful kickstarters. After that, they started repeating themselves a lot from one kickstarter to the next.  I started sending out carefully written individual e-mails to each one, briefly explaining our product.  And,..  ..::crickets::..

Google tells me that blogs have been flooded with PR companies promoting products, and that I should be commenting on these the posts of authors and flattering them.  I've started doing this.. but a lot of blogs have 10 authors or more.  And, it takes time to read posts and come up with thoughtful responses.  How are companies doing this for 50 companies in one day?  They must be paying to be featured.    :-//     .. Or, they are cooler than we are.

Anyone have ideas of how a small startup of EE nerds with no social skills and little resources can grab media attention? 
 

Offline nidlaX

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Re: How do I get featured on blogs?
« Reply #1 on: August 28, 2017, 08:42:26 am »
Are you talking about your screw terminal adapters? There's only so much attention one can attract to such a niche product.
 

Offline Kean

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Re: How do I get featured on blogs?
« Reply #2 on: August 28, 2017, 10:10:46 am »
I think the OP may be referring to this: http://www.makervise.com/
If so, I don't know why not to include that in the question.  The kind of product is key to providing a useful answer.

Anyway, without seeing the products/blogs being referenced it is hard to be sure, but most likely they are paid advertorials bought through a PR company.  As soon as you launch (or even before if you have pre-launch announcements) you will almost certainly be contacted by some of these companies.  Getting featured on random blogs won't help you - you need to target your audience.

I suggest doing a lot of reading before working with any of these crowdfunding promoters
Maybe start here https://www.kickstarter.com/blog/before-you-work-with-a-marketing-service-consider-this
 
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Offline Ian.M

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Re: How do I get featured on blogs?
« Reply #3 on: August 28, 2017, 10:42:15 am »
Are you talking about your screw terminal adapters? There's only so much attention one can attract to such a niche product.
+1.  An under $0.10 part that any tech would already have handy makes an effective substitute for the product you described in https://www.eevblog.com/forum/crowd-funded-projects/anyone-else-have-this-problem/
 

Offline fievels

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Re: How do I get featured on blogs?
« Reply #4 on: August 28, 2017, 01:29:15 pm »
Kean got it!  I'm not sure how... pretty clever though.   Yeah, you can find my current project at www.makervise.com.  It's a rather amazing little general purpose hobby vise. I didn't include it, because I didn't want to be seen as advertising when I had a legit question.  But yeah, you guys are right.. it is relevant to the question.

So, what i'm hearing is that if I want to get on blogs.  I need to go through a PR company. And, to be very specific with these people who my audience is.   .. and, maybe don't use the PR companies that spam you once the kickstarter launches. 

Do I need to go through PR companies to get to product reviewers too?  ..or, are they more interested in free products?






 

Offline fievels

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Re: How do I get featured on blogs?
« Reply #5 on: August 28, 2017, 01:53:34 pm »
Are you talking about your screw terminal adapters? There's only so much attention one can attract to such a niche product.

We did get this product to fund.  Mainly from the generosity of friends and family  :-\.  The Maker's Vise is much more useful to the general public than Probe2Bolt was.   But, we only needed $400 to make Probe2Bolt happen, and we need $14,000 to do a manufacturing run of The Maker's Vise.  So.. we need this thing in front of some serious eye-balls.

Some other information I left out that you guys might be looking for:
-  I'm less than 3 weeks from launch.
-  I've been able to muster about 40 followers on hackaday.io by getting featured on their blog.  hackaday is an amazing community for makers
-  Our launch is coinciding with the Portland Maker Faire.. where people will actually get to try out our product.

 

Offline stmdude

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Re: How do I get featured on blogs?
« Reply #6 on: August 28, 2017, 03:53:56 pm »
I'm far from an expert on the subject, but from listening to our marketing people at work, getting publicity on (non high-profile) blogs isn't terribly difficult.

Basically, the blogs wants ad-revenue. To get that, they need traffic. To get traffic, they need content.
Now, if you were to send them a pre-written article, it's pretty much as close to a free lunch as they can expect, meaning they'll probably publish your article with some minor corrections.

English should be enough, and they can translate it themselves (still takes a lot less time than researching themselves),
But, you want to send it out to _a lot_ of blogs. Hey, email is cheap. :)

As for reviews, contact them directly, asking if they'd like a review-sample in exchange for a review.
 
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Offline nidlaX

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Re: How do I get featured on blogs?
« Reply #7 on: August 28, 2017, 04:17:07 pm »
By the way, I like the Maker's Vise concept. You should put a full post on the forum once your prototype is ready! :)
 
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Offline BBBbbb

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Re: How do I get featured on blogs?
« Reply #8 on: August 28, 2017, 04:48:01 pm »
For starters I'd send a sample to guys like Dave, many would happily show it in their mailbag videos. In the YT blog section here you can find more guys like Dave (e.g. VoltLog) to review it.
Don't know how accessible Hackaday is, but getting featured there is a big help. Just try contacting them.

A friend of mine was outsourced for a firmware job for (yet another) BT speaker for kickstarter 2yrs ago. They failed in their first try, but in a second campaign they hired a company specializing in kickstarter promotions to get the project through. Just goes to show how serious that business has become and how hard it would be for a true small startup to make it now.

 
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Offline plazma

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Re: How do I get featured on blogs?
« Reply #9 on: August 28, 2017, 08:09:55 pm »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: How do I get featured on blogs?
« Reply #10 on: August 28, 2017, 08:30:07 pm »
My plan is... I will get 50 small blogs to write about me in several languages.  Having Mechanical Turk translate.  And then the big names might be convinced to do the same. 

So, I gather contact information of 100 blogs that have written about these successful kickstarters. After that, they started repeating themselves a lot from one kickstarter to the next.  I started sending out carefully written individual e-mails to each one, briefly explaining our product.  And,..  ..::crickets::..

Google tells me that blogs have been flooded with PR companies promoting products, and that I should be commenting on these the posts of authors and flattering them.  I've started doing this.. but a lot of blogs have 10 authors or more.  And, it takes time to read posts and come up with thoughtful responses.  How are companies doing this for 50 companies in one day?  They must be paying to be featured.    :-//     .. Or, they are cooler than we are.

Anyone have ideas of how a small startup of EE nerds with no social skills and little resources can grab media attention?

What is your product?, it matters a LOT, actually for what you want to do, it's all that matters.
Unless it has absolute mass market appeal then you can forget any mainstream blog.
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: How do I get featured on blogs?
« Reply #11 on: August 28, 2017, 08:35:19 pm »
Kean got it!  I'm not sure how... pretty clever though.   Yeah, you can find my current project at www.makervise.com.  It's a rather amazing little general purpose hobby vise. I didn't include it, because I didn't want to be seen as advertising when I had a legit question.  But yeah, you guys are right.. it is relevant to the question.

So, what i'm hearing is that if I want to get on blogs.  I need to go through a PR company. And, to be very specific with these people who my audience is.   .. and, maybe don't use the PR companies that spam you once the kickstarter launches. 
Do I need to go through PR companies to get to product reviewers too?  ..or, are they more interested in free products?

DO NOT spend one cent on PR companies, every cent will be completely wasted.
Sorry to tell you, but you have very little chance of getting this niche product mentioned on any blog, at least any with an audience that would care.
You will have to rely on word of mouth, maybe some video blogger who have mailbag segments (I'm not the only one now), and various forum (this is not he only one).
Welcome to the hard reality of niche product marketing, and in a market now flooded with such crowd funders.
 
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Offline ChristopherN

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Re: How do I get featured on blogs?
« Reply #12 on: August 29, 2017, 12:57:01 am »
Most guides you read suggest to build a community first, and I guess that is the way to go. Maybe along some advertisement on Twitter, Facebook and Google (depends on your target audience and what you want to do, build audience / reach or sell).

The product advertising needs to make sense and needs to be very clear. I don't know who you want to sell to by looking at your homepage, and I don't know what the intended use of the vise is. The first page shows a vise holding a PCB - thats a terrible idea. You don't want any (side) clamping force on PCBs, you show what will happen in the rendering - parts will fly off once the PCB flexes enough ;)

I would want something that can be adjusted easily over long travel distances and can be mounted to a ball head for PCB work. For mechanical modifications the PCB needs to be supported anyway.

The features page shows mechanical work, I guess it's ok for that. However, there is no information about how to attach the vise to any surface. Can I screw it down to my bench? Will it bend if I screw to hard?

I don't know what price point you are aiming at, but a similar precision vise from Röhm can be bought for about 300€ (with interchangeable jars). It's accurate down to 0.005mm and intended for precision machining work. A low cost version will be more like 100€.

Hope that helps ;)
 
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Offline fievels

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Re: How do I get featured on blogs?
« Reply #13 on: August 29, 2017, 01:25:16 am »
How does the makervise differ from a milling vise?
[/URL]
http://m.ebay.com/itm/2-x-3-Precision-Hardened-Milling-Grinding-Machining-Vise-Mounting-Slots-New-/292012804233[/URL]

Hi Plazma!  This "toolmaker" style is kind of an old design.  We wanted to make this general type of vise.  The aesthetics are the same.. but that's really where the similarity ends.

The "toolmaker" vise:
1.  This vise is made from steel.
2.  It's made from a casting and then ground to precision.
3.  On the toolmaker that we have.. in-order to slide the head back and forth, you need to a) pull out the pin  b) move the head c) look inside the vise to put the pin back in.  I wish we bought the version you linked because it looks a little more convenient. But, still though, it doesn't look all that easy to use..
4.  You secure it down by means of magnetic table.
5.  It's basically an industrial tool for machine shops.

The Maker's Vise:
1.  This vise is made from solid anodized aluminum and engineering grade plastics. 
2.  We are not casting.  But, I believe we're still planning on doing some precision grinding.
3.  Our sliding mechanism is the proprietary part.  The Maker's Vise is designed to be opened and closed repeatedly throughout the day.  Most vises assume the user is working monotonously on the same part over and over.  Our vise does not.
4.  Bolt ours to down to your workstation.  ...or, we plan on designing an attachment to clamp it down as well.
5.  The Maker's Vise is a hobby vise.  It's for multi-material makers who participate in a large scope of projects. 

There are more less interesting differences.. like they are using a dove-tail slider.. We are filleting the edges rather than chamfering... but yeah, I think we're a whole new beast. 


« Last Edit: August 29, 2017, 01:35:42 am by fievels »
 

Offline Kean

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Re: How do I get featured on blogs?
« Reply #14 on: August 29, 2017, 02:36:42 am »
Kean got it!  I'm not sure how... pretty clever though.
I think it took 4 clicks  ;D
1. start from Prob2Bolt campaign (still in my browser history)
2. click through to your website (under contact, so maybe 5 clicks)
3. then click through to your twitter stream which mentions makervise prototypes
4. then click through to the makervise website... which actually mentions an upcoming Kicstarter!

As mentioned, begin to build a community.  You don't need to be in stealth mode up until the day you launch the campaign, and it has been shown that if you do well in the first few days of a campaign you're almost certain to fund.  Yes, someone may see what you're planning and copy you - but that's life.  People can be pretty stingy and price sensitive (you're better off without those customers), but they can also be quite enthusiastic to the point of becoming fanatics  >:D

A low cost toolmakers style-vice that is easier to use, and without the high precision or rigidity, may indeed have a market - but you will be competing with the cheap imports from India, etc, so it will be all about your target price and building that community.
 
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Offline fievels

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Re: How do I get featured on blogs?
« Reply #15 on: August 29, 2017, 01:57:14 pm »

DO NOT spend one cent on PR companies, every cent will be completely wasted.
Sorry to tell you, but you have very little chance of getting this niche product mentioned on any blog, at least any with an audience that would care.
You will have to rely on word of mouth, maybe some video blogger who have mailbag segments (I'm not the only one now), and various forum (this is not he only one).
Welcome to the hard reality of niche product marketing, and in a market now flooded with such crowd funders.

Shout out to the Admin.  Thanks for the warning about PR companies. 

I think it's a good thing that the market is saturated with crowd-funding.  I don't remember crowd-funding ever being an option when I was younger.  So, i'm glad that it is becoming normalized. 


The product advertising needs to make sense and needs to be very clear. I don't know who you want to sell to by looking at your homepage, and I don't know what the intended use of the vise is. The first page shows a vise holding a PCB - thats a terrible idea. You don't want any (side) clamping force on PCBs, you show what will happen in the rendering - parts will fly off once the PCB flexes enough ;)

I would want something that can be adjusted easily over long travel distances and can be mounted to a ball head for PCB work. For mechanical modifications the PCB needs to be supported anyway.

The features page shows mechanical work, I guess it's ok for that. However, there is no information about how to attach the vise to any surface. Can I screw it down to my bench? Will it bend if I screw to hard?

I don't know what price point you are aiming at, but a similar precision vise from Röhm can be bought for about 300€ (with interchangeable jars). It's accurate down to 0.005mm and intended for precision machining work. A low cost version will be more like 100€.

Hope that helps ;)

Yes!  This helps a lot actually, thank you.  Crafting a clear message is something that I struggle with.  I was just starting to get comfortable with the homepage, and I know it's not good enough.  I'll try to rework it sometime in the next couple weeks.  And, I see what you're saying about our title picture. ..we should probably rethink that one too.   I would like to replace it with a picture of our final prototype.  Once we have it looking nice.

We'll include the nuts-bolts to fasten your Maker's Vise to your workbench.  Alternatively, we're planning on providing a plate attachment to clamp to.  I'll be sure to make that visible on the features page.

I don't know what i'm allowed to disclose about cost.   But, maybe I can hint that it's going to be a lot closer to the 100€ estimate than the 300€.

Kean got it!  I'm not sure how... pretty clever though.
I did notice you posted on our first thread too.  Thanks for the continued conversation.  You're awesome!
 
« Last Edit: August 29, 2017, 02:21:20 pm by fievels »
 

Offline newbadboy

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Re: How do I get featured on blogs?
« Reply #16 on: September 04, 2017, 11:02:57 pm »
I also did a small campaign on KS and it failed, tried it once more on IGG and it failed even bigger. I even payed like 100usd for a PR "company" which did alot spamming on bullshit blogs and facebook pages where nobody looks.

So these PR companys are just scamming your money. I had a collegue doing a separate campaign. He also used a PR company and was also scammed. They didn't even update info on their posts only reposted the same info over and over again.

I then did a total redesign and tried a much better Crowdfunding site called Crowdsupply, i beleive they have much better audience for this kind of gadget then the major sites. Thay will also help you with alot, and can even promote your product.

I did not choose the promotion option with Crowdsupply but my campaign went around 160% funding.

Regarding blogs. I have no idea. I did not have much success with that. I mailed alot of blogger, sites etc. And got it posted on a few but it was enough. Also Dave had one of my KS units in mailbag and showed it.

If i'll do a new campaign i will start with PR much earlier to start the "avalanche". It's really hard to get the buzz going when a campaign is like 30 days if it's not a really great product.



Best of luck!!
« Last Edit: September 04, 2017, 11:06:54 pm by newbadboy »
 
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Offline 8bitgasm

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Re: How do I get featured on blogs?
« Reply #17 on: February 02, 2018, 08:35:35 am »
I know I'm resurrecting this from the dead, but nobody stopped to congratulate OP.  They went from stressing about PR on August 28th, to starting their Kickstarter a few weeks later on September 18, and exceeded their target by over 25% in that month to raise $20,000.  I read this and the other thread on his Makers Vise and it was met with relatively high levels of shrugs and general comments that it was too niche, links to similar cheaper products on eBay, including a comment from Dave that he likely was not going to be able to find a blog.

I don't know what secret sauce was added in those three weeks, but this goes to show you really never know if you'll be successful unless you try.
« Last Edit: February 02, 2018, 10:27:34 am by 8bitgasm »
 

Offline EEVblog

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Re: How do I get featured on blogs?
« Reply #18 on: February 02, 2018, 08:46:08 am »
I read this and the other thread on his Makers Vise and it was met with relatively high levels of shrugs and general comments that it was too niche, links to similar cheaper products on eBay, including a comment from Dave that he likely was not going to succeed in his kickstarter.

Where did I ever say such a thing?
But the brutal reality is that most Kickstarters fail
https://www.kickstarter.com/help/stats
64% of them fail, or almost 265,000 campaigns in total

But yes, congrats on getting funding, it's always worth trying.
 

Offline 8bitgasm

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Re: How do I get featured on blogs?
« Reply #19 on: February 02, 2018, 10:28:41 am »

Where did I ever say such a thing?


You're right, it was out of context off memory (my bad), I've edited the comment.  It was regarding not finding a blog!
 

Offline Alex Eisenhut

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Re: How do I get featured on blogs?
« Reply #20 on: February 22, 2018, 03:00:20 pm »
I'm perfectly happy with this

https://www.ebay.ca/itm/Handy-3-1-8-Articulating-Swivel-Vise-Pipe-Clamp-on-Clamping-Base-D3557-New/371070818646?ssPageName=STRK%3AMEBIDX%3AIT&_trksid=p2057872.m2749.l2649

What's the purpose of an imitation machinist's vise that's made of softer material, and how do you plan on using your vise if you don't have a table with slots in it?
 


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