Do you think bloggers are pathetic? Come on now, honest opinion?
It’s amazing what you can hear on a bus. Just before the big Christmas rush, I decided to drop my car at the local Park and Ride, and head into town on the bus to avoid the parking nightmare.
I settled myself down, got comfortable and whipped out my IPhone to do a little tweeting. I was sitting behind a couple of women who are probably in their late 20s to early 30’s.
While I was studiously
considering what to answer a tweeter staring out the window making plans, I became aware of the conversation in front of me, and dutifully stared intensely at my phone screen to make people think I was not actually listening in to the gossip in front of me.
Bobbed haired blonde was of the opinion that people who Facebook and blog obviously have nothing better to do. Short haired brunette agreed that we were desperate saddos fit for the scrapheap and no life.
I considered sending out tweets about the illicit conversation, then I realised that there was no need to. I don’t have to prove what I do in my blogging life.
I am by no means blogger royalty, but I sat and mused on the potential, and why so many from PR Companies and Brands seek us out.
It’s simple really:
1 – We already have the audience.
Companies often struggle with the time and ability to keep up regular blogging, tweeting and status updates. Bloggers have the audience already, and even more attractively, we know how to engage our audience when we need to.
A campaign with 10 reasonably successful bloggers of 3000 followers each reaches a potential of 30,000 (relevant) readers at the first stage in the niche target market that is aimed for. Some of those followers will be doubled up, but many will be unique.
Imagine if some of those passed it on to their followers as potential second stage readers. I think you can see where I am going with this. The potential could be huge further down the line.
2 – We have spent the time to build up trust in our audience – we have the recommendation factor.
We have built up our reputations online over time. Our audiences stay with us as they want to see more of what we do. They trust that what we do is real, is accurate and does not mislead.
Reputable bloggers build up a rapport with each other and stick to ethical guidelines to state where products for reviews have been given and paid for. Those reviews will also include honest negatives where they exist, but without detrimentally affecting the reputation of the Company that provided them.
3 – Our time is worth something.
How much is finding a potentially focussed audience worth to a Company that needs the coverage? It is certainly far cheaper than many traditional marketing methods, and it usually brings added future coverage and links into the Company.
How much is that trust worth to a Company? I can tell you through experience, it counts for a LOT. Brands and PR Companies that approach us are becoming more blogger aware and will not demand the impossible from us in return for a pittance.
There are a few Marketing and PR Companies that look upon bloggers as the scum of the earth and think we should be grateful that they are throwing some information our way. That approach can sometimes be steered towards a positive relationship, but is often as a result of PR misguidance.
Bloggers are very much publishers of their own little magazines with good readership. Clients would pay to enter a niche magazine, and it is only fair that they pay bloggers for the same advertising requirements.
The payment can be cash, goods, invitations, sponsorship, or just for products to use in a competition. Commonly payment can include any one or a combination of ways of giving the blogger something that they can give to their readers.
The PR and Marketing reps wouldn’t work for their Clients for nothing, so it is only fair that they realise the established blogger does not have to work for zero reward either. It is a learning curve for both as this advertising stratosphere is relatively new, but you can be sure that it is growing fast.
4 – We’re relevant.
In my personal blog, I am happy whether I have PR offers on the table or not. I publish content that I want to publish. That is what we do. If a PR or Branded product fits in with what I write about, then I will accept it. If it does not, then I will turn it down. My personal blog is a family / special needs / anything I want it to be blog – which is suitable for any age to read. I would never accept any offers that went down, for example, the adult industry route.
I also find myself invited to events up and down the Country, but mainly in Central and Southern England. I keep willing those Brands to bring their vision to Aberdeen, but alas, it is yet to happen.
The North East of Scotland has yet to embed itself widely within the mushrooming blogosphere and take advantage of the potential it has.
Brands, Marketers and PR’s have also begun to sponsor bloggers to attend conferences. These are widely taken up every year and are very popular. A package is agreed with the blogger beforehand with what will be provided in exchange for the price of travel, accommodation and event entrance costs.
I publish my own content. That is what a personal blog is about. Shrewd Internet Marketers have picked up on the potential and are acting on it.
I receive heavy numbers of guest post requests from businesses who simply want their name or link published on my private blog for free. Those requests are not going to be approved unless it is something that I wholly support and wish to publicise. Those Marketers, Businesses and PR’s need to spend more time and learn how to engage with bloggers.
Just ask us – we don’t bite – honestly.
I am heading down the engagement route again. Without it, very little positive interaction happens on the Internet.
Some newer bloggers may find the content emails that pretend to be good articles for our blogs attractive, but they are often simply undercover advertising requests that few established bloggers will entertain. If people want to get free advertising for our audience demographic, they should jolly well go and spend the time to build it for themselves, or compensate the blogger for being introduced to their audience.
I do suspect that if bloggers need to use advertorial for padding and give it away for free, then they should seriously consider changing their blogging niche. It must be very frustrating to sit and not be able to think of anything to blog about.
There are now many blogs being set up by those who are trying to “cash in” on the PR bonanza (as they see it) for products and payment for the written word. Take note though, that it is highly unlikely that any blog in its first 6 – 12 months is going to see much in the way of PR and Brand interest unless they are in a very small niche or use community content. The blog and the blogger have to prove themselves first.
It is rare that a blogger is asked for statistics and readership figures as the work is mostly given on proven evidence of engagement and interaction by the blogger, with evidence of appropriate content that aligns with the Brand wishing to be supported.
A golf brand is not going to find a large audience in the parent bloggers circle, but finding the group of bloggers who follow the major tournaments every year may have the potential to reach and convert a previously untapped market.
If you have got to the bottom of this post, then well done for persevering. Are you beginning to see why persistent bloggers with good audiences are valuable to companies that sell goods in the blogger niche areas?
Perhaps bobbed haired blonde and short-haired brunette are happy living in their little bubble where they think that we bloggers simply waste our lives away talking about fripperies. We bloggers KNOW that there is a bigger picture in life, and in cyberland we are happily finding our own way, while making valuable new friends and contacts.
We also make a massive difference to charities and minority groups.
If bloggers are seen as saddos, then as my private blog alter ego over on the Scottish Mum blog, I am proud to be a saddo.
Where do you fit in?