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Should you get to know a blogger?

Blogging is good for business

Through engaging content, it can help your company reach new audiences and gain new customers. 
Here we discuss the influential benefits of blogging – and how you can find the perfect blogger for you.
 

Is it time you got to know a blogger?

Blogging can be an incredibly powerful way to tap into an engaged target audience, to influence conversations and to convert new customers. It’s not just the domain of big brands either – smaller businesses can reap the benefits of blogging too. Blogger outreach is about working closely with a carefully selected collection of bloggers. Together, you can create engaging content about your company, services, or products, specifically for your target demographic. There are millions of blogs sites out there, covering a multitude of topics and industries – so whatever your sector, blogging is a strategy worth considering. We asked the experts for their tips on becoming a blogger’s new friend.

What’s in it for your business?

In 2013, blogs were the third most influential digital resource (31%) for online shoppers wanting to make a purchase. Shoppers also used retail and brand sites (56% and 34% respectively) before making a transaction .

The benefits of blogger outreach can extend beyond assisting the customer journey to boost sales. According to Jennifer Howze, co-founder of Britmums, the UK’s largest parent blogging network, one of the core advantages of working with bloggers is that they offer access to a loyal – and often large – fan base of followers, all fascinated in a particular topic.

‘For the most part, businesses work with bloggers because they’re the social influencers’ says Jennifer. ‘They’re a really great way to get an authentic conversation happening online about what you make or the service you offer.

‘Take mum bloggers, for example. These are the online mums that other mothers are listening to, and whose opinions they value. By tapping into those key influencers, you’re suddenly getting the ear of everyone who is listening to them.’

Find your perfect match

The first, and perhaps most important, step in blogger outreach is research. ‘You want to find bloggers who share your values and also attract the people you want to reach’ advises Jennifer. There are various ways you can do this. From sites like Quantcast and We Follow (which feature measurement data and social rankings), through to popular social channels, you’ll soon find your perfect match.  

You’ve found a selection of blogs that seem right for your business, but what’s next? ‘Read them!’ says Jennifer. ‘It doesn’t have to mean hours spent pouring over them, but get familiar with them and make sure that you’ve found a good fit.’

Quality over quantity

Before selecting a blogger to work with, bear in mind it doesn’t always make sense to go for the biggest hitters. It’s often better to approach a smaller, more niche blog that fits the bill perfectly. ‘Also, remember that the big bloggers are approached a lot’, says Jennifer. ‘By going after someone smaller, you have more chance of avoiding being up against big brands who are also vying for the blogger’s attention.’

Make it personal

When it comes to grabbing a blogger’s interest, make sure you take a personal approach. ‘Don’t just ping them an email; get to know their blog,’ says Claire McDonald, a blogger from Crumbs Food. ‘It’s very obvious who sends you a round-robin email and who has spent time getting to know your blog.’ Start a conversation – tell them what you like about their work, and how a partnership could benefit the both of you. 

Mutual benefits

Whether it’s sending them a free product to review, or an invitation to an exclusive event, be clear about what you’re able to offer the blogger and what you expect in return. Perhaps it’s a blog post with a link to your product, some tweets, or possibly even a YouTube video.

‘It’s about finding imaginative ways in which you can work together – and being prepared to offer something to the blogger, or their audience, that’s useful and relevant’ says Claire.