This week’s guest blogger is PR pro, mummy blogger and honorary Jammer, Eve Deasy. She gives us the inside scoop on tricks of the blogging trade and how PRs can make the most of valuable working relationships with them!
As well as being a PR lady and honorary Jammer, I am also one of the UK’s many (many!) mummy bloggers. Blogging is something I dipped my toe into after having my first baby last year and, like many new mums, it has provided me with a platform to share my feelings and parenting stories with likeminded souls. I have found it to be a cathartic and rewarding process, and I have enjoyed telling the world about my mummy journey.
I may be a blogging novice, but my foray into this world has opened my eyes to so many things. If, like me, you thought that blogging was just about writing a few posts and uploading them to a WordPress page, you’d be very wrong!
Here’s what I have learned about bloggers and blogging, which may provide an insight into how best to work with this brilliant bunch from a PR and marketing perspective…
1. Bloggers are obsessed with numbers.
For a blogger, numbers are very important indeed. As well as being crucial to provide to PR people and other interested parties, a blogger’s readership figures, bounce rate, unique visitors and social media stats are what make them tick.
On a basic level, bloggers want more and more people to read their blog, and on a more professional level, the better the figures, the more corporate opportunities they will attract.
If your brand can help bloggers to build their existing audience and grow their numbers, they are more likely to be receptive to your ideas. Competitions work well. Don’t just send them stuff to try, if they like your product, send them some to give away to their readers.
2. Bloggers take blogging VERY seriously!
For many bloggers, blogging has gone past the hobby stage. They have made friends in fellow bloggers, they attend and host blog clubs and meet-ups.
They work on their blog every single day and pour out their hearts and minds to their readers. They have cultivated tribes. This is their livelihood.
That is worth remembering.
3. Bloggers are social media specialists
Even as a very occasional baby blogger, I have learned so much about social media and how to drive traffic to my blog from the different platforms. I have learned how to use WordPress (which can be used to build websites), I have taken part in linkys. I have read articles on how to attract blog traffic from Pinterest and Instagram. I have joined in with blogging debates and branded Twitter chats. I have used and mastered apps such as Rafflecopter, Wordswag, Cavna, Social Oomph, PicMonkey and Hootsuite.
The big hitter-bloggers are incredibly knowledgeable about utilising social media and SEO to grow their numbers, increase their followers and engage new audiences. They know what time of day works best for engagement. They know the worth of a well-placed Twitter picture or a funny video. They know how to re-hash their evergreen content for maximum results. Bear this in mind. They can probably teach you a thing or two!
4. Their audiences are VERY engaged
A blogger may have 3,000 Twitter followers, 1,000 Facebook fans and a handful of Instagram users, and to an old-fashioned PR, this might seem small fry compared to the huge readership (and AVE) figures of the nationals and consumer magazines – but, and here’s the big but – blogger audiences are hugely engaged.
Blogging and blog-reading is a two-way thing, and many readers have developed almost personal relationships with their blogging heroes. Bloggers READ their social media comments. They write back. They chat. They exchange advice. They ask for advice. And the readers love it. Don’t underestimate a blog’s audience – they may be small in number but they make up for it in unrivalled loyalty and enthusiasm.
5. Bloggers are trusted
As well as writing amusing anecdotes and how-to guides, bloggers tell their readers about their bad days, about their fears and their worries. They share their actual LIVES with their followers, and because of this, bloggers are TRUSTED. And, as every PR person understands well, gaining trust is hugely important. Bloggers are not faceless strangers to their readers, they are friends. Their opinions matter. And because of this, these opinions are like gold dust.
6. Bloggers know their worth
The world of blogging has been around for some time now, and bloggers that have built up substantial followings know how important they are. They know that brands WANT to work with them, and they are no longer prepared to print your press release word for word on their popular blog for nothing in return.
Although many bloggers, including myself, have written honest reviews for newly-launched companies in exchange for a few freebies, if you want to work with a blogger, do your homework. Don’t adopt a scattergun approach. Read the blogs. Get a feel for the blogger and what’s important to them. Cherry-pick some brand ambassadors that you feel reflect the values of your brand the best, and treat them well.
7. Bloggers are honest
Bloggers know very well that their readers demand unfailing, brutal honesty, and they always deliver! If you do send a product to a blogger, or develop a professional relationship with them, you can be absolutely sure that their opinions and reviews about your gear or service will be refreshingly frank.
This might seem slightly scary to a PR person who is charged with generating positive press coverage, but if your product delivers and a blogger gives you the thumbs up, this is a very good thing.
It is also worth remembering that many bloggers have gone on to write for outlets such as the HuffPost. So keep an eye out for that incredible writer who’s posts make you cry or belly laugh – blogger followings can go from zero to hero overnight with one amazing article.
If you do fancy having a read of some excellent parenting blogs, check out:
Great for blogging and SEO tips
Because it’s hilarious
To see how bloggers and brands can work together
By Eve Deasy