I have been a personal blogger for a few years now, almost 10 actually. I have seen a LOT of changes in the blogging world, the platforms, the popularity and the allure to marketers have been but a few. That last one has been the biggest one. For me it was a gradual evolution from blogging for me to being on the brand radar and becoming a ‘review’ type blogger. Nowadays that seems to be it…you start a blog and BAM you are on a list and getting emails from PR agencies and brands.
The 2014 list of Vancouvermom.ca Top Mom Bloggers will notice that the spotlight is on them right away. Not only are they connected to a well-connected site but being on that list has proven that they have a following on and off their social media channels.
Numbers are it…..if you have them….you are important to online marketers. You ARE your Twitter following. What is a more perfect person to invite to your event than someone who can tweet it out to 5,6, 7 thousand and more followers? Far more reach than your average journalist. Hence why bloggers-no matter their niche-get invites to almost every sort of event that you can think of. You will see more ‘mom’ bloggers at a red carpet movie premiere than you will film bloggers or traditional media now.
I have myself enjoyed the opportunities (and stuff) I have received thanks to my modest little site. I have truly grateful for the experiences my blog has allowed myself and my family. It truly has been a boon to us. Hence the growing drive for everyone to have a blog….they all want ‘free stuff.’ But really…it isn’t free. Our time and influence are valuable and it is an ongoing discussion on the myriad blogger forums and sites about our dollar value should be depending on our stats and reach and just how much that brand wants that reach.
However, it is a two way street and I think that point is being a bit lost in the shuffle.
I have spoken about blogger etiquette and manners when it comes working with brands and with each other. Sometimes we tend to believe our own hype a little too much. Or we buy a bit too much into the flattery when being approached by a brand or agency. I think sometimes perspective is lost on just where the blogger fits into the marketing machine. Bloggers and especially the world I am most closely related to, the world of “mommy” bloggers sometimes get a bad rap for being greedy and not living up their ‘importance’ in the world of influence. The gossip flies on the interwebz.
If anyone has heard me speak or read any of my other ‘rants’ about blogging is that in order to maintain its status as useful tool for brands and marketers, a bit of class and professionalism needs to be adhered to.
As a blogger, I have developed some great relationships with various PR professionals and agencies and am truly grateful for the time and effort that they have put into getting to know my blog, my life and my readership. As those relationships have grown they have been bolder about asking for ‘more’ or at least being more specific about their needs for the project. In return I tend to get rewarded with projects that are more than just showing up at something or writing a product review. Their effort provides me much more meaningful content.
But this shouldn’t be a slow dating process. Agencies and brands should be able to ask for what they perceive is fair value for their efforts too. Agencies and marketers tend to keep things fairly simple for brands who are unfamiliar with blogging and online media and just want numbers and stats. But I think a bit of education should be part of the ‘sell’ for why it is worth the extra effort of finding the right bloggers for the right project and the definition of RIGHT should go beyond mere social media channel numbers.B Bloggers also need to learn to say no…no matter how sweet the offer…if it doesn’t truly fit their own brand or niche.
Through my network and great group of bloggers I have met online and real life, I am hoping to create a database of bloggers that are willing to that extra mile for the agencies and brands that are keen on blogger outreach. I also want those agencies and brand that know me or are interested in getting to know me to talk to me about what they want from a campaign BEYOND mere numbers. Let’s drill down the demographics and the TYPE of reach you want when it comes to bloggers.
Think of your dream blogger. What sort of outreach would that blogger do for you or that campaign? What sort of marketing message are you wanting? What sort of voice do you want that blog to have? Does that blogger represent YOU as an agency or more important…does that blogger as a person….a marketer…represent your brand the best way you can imagine? Do you want a blogger who represents the brand or just the experience or ‘free stuff’ they are so thrilled to receive? Are you getting what you bargained for?
I think I can help shape the future relations between agencies and bloggers. If you want to chat more about these ideas, do contact me, I would love to chat about the future of blogger and brand relationships.