In a Digital PR Executive’s role, we often have to work with bloggers. Word-of-mouth recommendations are shown to be the most trusted form of advertising, and this is where blogs come in.
Many people don’t quite understand the value of blogs, however they are known to be a more reliable source of information than most magazines on the shelves, so it’s our job to make the most of them.
What is a blog?
A blog is a website (or webpage) where the owner shares their interests and experiences. Most often, they’re personal to the owner, focusing on particular interests, whether that’s fitness, beauty, art or fashion – there’s no limit. A blog is as individual as its owner. We also always recommend that companies host a blog on their site, as it allows potential clients and customers to get a feel for their personality and expertise. A brand which appears more human than robotic has much more of an appeal to consumers.
What makes a good blog?
There’s a variety of ways for us to measure how successful a blog is, to determine whether it is worthwhile for our client to work with them. Initially, we look at the Domain Authority (DA) score, which is worked out by moz.com. This gives us an indication of their social following and engagement.
Blogs can range from a DA of 1, right up to 40+. Blogs which don’t have their own domain (.blogspot.com or .wordpress.com) have standard DA scores of 72 or 100, but this doesn’t mean that they’re discounted! There are tonnes of blogs which have huge followings and massive successes, but don’t own their domain name Sprinkle of Glitter are great examples of this, both of whom have massively successful blogs.
In our eyes, a good blog has a high social media following, plenty of engagement in the form of comments and shares, a good amount of high-quality pictures and most importantly, a great personality which comes across in the quality of their writing. We also look to see if the bloggers have worked with brands before, and whether it was a favourable review, or if not, how they dealt with the negative experience.
Who runs a blog?
Anyone and everyone can own a blog, there is no stereotype when it comes to this. The reasons people have for starting up a blog differ. Some blogs are started with the sole purpose of receiving freebies, others are a result of a passion for writing or photography.
This is why, when we approach a blog, it’s really important for us to tailor our approach differently. We want to create a connection with bloggers, so it’s important that we read through their most recent posts, which helps us explain why we’re getting in touch.
Not only do we need to create a connection with the blogger, we also need to understand how much time and effort it takes to run a successful blog. Here at Bring Digital, we’ve taken on the challenge of running our own blogs, to further understand how we can work with bloggers, and what it really means to be approached by PRs who are asking for branded blog posts. We’ve got two fitness blogs, two lifestyle blogs, one wedding/dog blog, and one video blog (aka vlog). Some of us are more experienced than others, and we all try to post at least once a week. We attend blogging events, Twitter chats and accept relevant requests from PRs. Working with PRs from other companies can help us to identify new approaches and best practice – as well as giving us great examples of what NOT to do when contacting bloggers!
Working on our own blogs has really helped us to understand the blogging industry on a much deeper level, and also given us the chance to go that extra mile when it comes to building relationships with other bloggers.
At the end of the day, bloggers and journalists alike are humans, something which is often forgotten by certain PRs who have a terrible reputation for sending robotic emails and making nuisance calls, which is why it is important to really try and get to know the person you are contacting. Or as well as you can through a computer screen!