As a blogger, there’s a lot of questions we may have around the topic of PR, SEO or Marketing – or all three. Depending on where you’re taking your blog or how hard you want to work on it, all three are something you would have come across at some point during your time as a blogger. Therefore, it’s only inevitable to have questions – and lots of them.
I asked over on Twitter, in numerous Facebook Groups and also Google+ Communities, if any bloggers out there (of any niche) had any questions they would love to have answered by PR, SEO and Marketing specialists. I was given quite a few – some being fairly popular and others just having the odd request. So, I decided to compile a few of them into this post. I then sent these questions of to Ingenuity Digital who then kindly took the time to answer them for you. So, I hope you find this post somewhat useful!
NOTE: If you have any questions based on the answers Alexa at Ingenuity Digital has provided, please let me know either in the comments below or send an email to: firstname.lastname@example.org and I shall pass these on to the agency!
Answers by Alexa Cobbold, a Digital and Creative Strategist from Ingenuity Digital.
What criteria do you follow when looking for bloggers to collaborate with?
I feel super lucky in my job that I am extremely passionate about. My role mostly focuses around brands I love and working out how we can collaborate with bloggers and social media influencers – whether that’s via blogger stays, events, etc.
I’ve been following some pretty great bloggers/influencers/Instagrammers for some time now, however, when it comes to my job role there are a whole group of metrics I look into when doing blogger research. Working in PR and Outreach is more technical than you may think, and as well as looking at things like social media following, I have to look into aspects such as – Domain Authority (we rarely work with anyone under a DA20), Majestic Trust and Citation Flow, traffic to the site, ranking keywords – amongst other technical bits and pieces.
I would say that criteria is pretty niche dependent and so it varies a lot depending on which client I’m working on. I am lucky enough to work with some really incredible brands and so a lot of the time, the bloggers and social media influencers I work with are people I have admired and followed for quite a while and so it’s amazing to be able to collab with them on projects. Social Media influence is pretty important too, though if I think someone has potential to be really big in the future, or even if I just love their Micro-blogging style and photography, then I will push to work with them if they meet the client’s requirements.
Why do PR still request ‘do follow’ links, despite the cons behind them?
When PR reps present opportunities to bloggers, they should have done their research as to whether the brand is reflective of the influencer’s values, beliefs and style. If this has been done properly, the PR is essentially acting as a facilitator to introduce the influencer to a product or service they genuinely love and would happily recommend to their followers. Providing this is the case, there should be no reason to not endorse the product digitally (by linking) as well as verbally or ‘in-writing’ as it were!
Will ‘no follow’ link opportunities start to become more available over time?
Unfortunately, none of us know (apart from Google themselves) how its algorithms will develop over time. ‘No-follow’ links can act as great traffic drivers and brand citations have been claimed to aid the increase of a brand’s digital visibility. The key point to remember for any brand campaign is that variation and moderation is really important. Any good website will have both types of link. So, opportunities may not necessarily fall neatly into one category or another. It will be individual to the brand and their current needs.
How important are bloggers to the PR industry, in your opinion?
They are a vital piece of the industry. Yes, celebrity endorsements will help to raise the profile of a brand, but it’s equally as important that a brand comes across as relateable to the Average Joe or Jane, and who better to help with this than bloggers. The blogging/social media world is getting more and more powerful – and rightfully so, there are a lot of hard working people at all levels of the industry and it’s great to see it blooming. There is definitely a mutual benefit for both the PR industry and bloggers, it’s all about finding a good balance.
Going back to relatability, I think that for me, the reason bloggers are so important to the PR industry is that they are people just like you and I who shop at the same places we do – like Boots and Topshop, and so you know that although they may receive the occasional freebie, they are more likely to give an honest opinion and share with you a product they love and would actually re-purchase, and actually, the products they are testing are affordable for you too.
If a blogger approached you for an opportunity, what main points should they cover in their email?
I have actually started receiving more and more emails from bloggers requesting opportunities lately – so this is a really relevant point. Obviously aside from remembering that we have worked together previously and emailing me to introduce yourself for the second or third time (this happens way more than you’d think), I think there are a few things these emails should include/cover:
- Your blog stats – average monthly traffic, social following, etc. If you know your domain authority too, this is definitely worth including.
- Examples of who you’ve worked with previously – this helps me match you with the right client – I work across several really great brands and I want to get the best collaborative match for both parties.
- If it’s perhaps a hotel stay, personal shopping experience or an event you’re hoping to attend, whether you’re happy to travel if you’re based a fair distance away.
- Be as to the point as possible – let me know exactly what you’re hoping for out of a collaboration.
Do you work with non-self-hosted blogs?
I absolutely love work with bloggers who use BlogSpot and WordPress.com, as these tend to be the bloggers who haven’t quite had the confidence/are not quite at the stage of migrating from a .blogspot.com to a .co.uk or .com site just yet and so they should not be ruled out. I totally get why people start out using these hosting sites – they’re free and relatively straightforward to use, so it’s a really great way to figure out if blogging is for you without having to invest anything other than your own time.
My colleagues and I have one to watch lists that we share around too. These are often people who have great Instagram game and have started their blogs after they built up a social following – these bloggers often start out on BlogSpot or WordPress but will often change to a self-hosted blog once they’ve built up their blog as its own entity.
Are Media Kits worth investing time in as a blogger?
Yes, absolutely! I often have to research bloggers before I put them forward to brands, and although I have the tools to look into certain metrics, a Media Kit certainly helps with the areas I don’t have access to – and makes my job a whole lot easier. It’s really interesting to see what other collaborations bloggers have done previously and the types of brands they are likely to work with.
Do numbers really matter when it comes to social media?
I would have to say yes, but it’s also important that the followers you have are real and that the posts that are being shared are receiving a good amount of engagement – tools such as Websta (Webstagram) are really useful for looking into how engaging your Instagram posts have been. Even if you’ve not hit the 10K mark in terms of followers, if your followers are all real and not bought or spam profiles, your engagement is high and your content is of the best quality, then numbers can be overlooked a little.
I hope you all found this mini interview with the lovely Alexa useful!