5 simple steps to starting a blogger relations program

 
 
Percent of companies who blog
Over 60% of companies have a blog. According to survey research, here are the business benefits they see (sources: comScore, eMarketer, HubSpot):

  • 95% report higher search rank
  • 75% of us read at least one blog a day
  • 70% say blogs influence what we buy
  • 55% of companies with blogs drive more visitor to their website
  • 45% track additional revenue to their website
  • 43% of companies now use blogs for marketing purposes
  • 36% of companies say a blog improve perceptions

Blogs work because they are a dynamic source of content. They are the ideal vehicle for use of a brand’s primary keywords; they increase the number of pages on search engines where you are “indexed.” When you use links in text to other websites, they raise your “authority” and search rank.
They send a signal to the search engines that says: Hey, there’s something going on here! Most important, they are a relationship builder bar none to connect with people who share your interests, values and are willing to help you out.
But don’t think, if you build it, they will come because this rarely is the case. You need a little help. If you reach out and thank others who share your interests, they’ll likely respond in kind, refer others and your audience will build much faster.
A blogger relations program  is not hard to create. Here’s how to do it in 5 simple steps and why every blog should start one.

  1. IDENTIFY OTHERS BLOGGERS WHO SHARE YOUR VALUES: Go to a blog search engine like Technorati, Alltop or Topsy, for Tweets that feature blogs. Twitter is actually defined as a micro-blogging site.  In the search query box, type in keyword(s) for your area of interest. Technorati can be searched by either blog or post and offers something called a Technorati Authority Ranking. This is the number of other sites who have linked with a particular blog in the last six months. Here’s how it works, let’s say you own a bike store, type in “biking” and you’d be astounded by the number of biking blogs and relationships you could be building through blogger relationships.
  2. UNDERSTAND THEIR AUDIENCE: Go to Alexa. Type in the url of the blog you are interested. You’ll  get the rank (global and US), keywords, demographics and even see the sites (by name) that link to the the blog in question.
  3. LOOK AT THEIR BLOG OR WEBSITE TRAFFIC: Go to Compete (who we also endorse on the side bar as a marketing affiliate). Type in the url again. You’ll get a graph of website traffic for the last year and whether it is increasing or decreasing.
  4. EXAMINE THEIR SOCIAL OUTREACH AND FOLLOWINGS: After you compile a dozen to two dozen bloggers, spend some time with their blogs and get to know the bloggers. Also, get to know them through their social networks that they list on their blog (Facebook, Twitter, YouTube, LinkedIn, Pinterest and Google+). Start to look at the quantitative numbers with the qualitative assessment of your values and goals.
  5. CONNECT, ENGAGE AND BE GENUINE: Write a comment to those who you are interested in building relationships. If it’s genuine, it most likely with get a response. You’ve also just established a link as well as a relationship.

One of our clients, Circle Foods in San Diego makes TortillaLand fresh, uncooked tortillas, TortillaLand is a business built on blogger relationships. In looking at the social media landscape, it was discovered that cooking bloggers were writing about the brand, featuring recipes and even taking pictures with their smartphones. Blogger relationships were pursued and the outreach generated awareness, advocacy and trial. Blogs became a primary platform for building the business.
A friend of mine, Susan Borst, was intrigued with the idea of blogger relationship efforts. When I described how to go about it, she said: “You should write a blogpost about it.” Susan is very good at leading you to an idea.
I never advise a business to get into blogging without first identifying their blogger relations. Do you think blogs should have blogger relations efforts?
 

9 Comments

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