When you first start in marketing, you are naive and think great journalistic writing and what users want always comes first, now i’m here to shatter your innocence. Sorry about that.
You have to give most bloggers something before they will even talk to you about making publishing content about you.
The days of websites being run for fun, or simply to provide knowledge to the community as a whole are largely gone. The web has become what it was always going to be… a massive publishing house, and publishing houses are setup for one thing only; to make money.
“But wait there are still lots of great blogs out there who publish great content based on passion and knowledge”
Indeed there are, but they are few and far between, and they have very little traffic. There are a few rare exceptions like the great ‘Coding Horror‘ by web legend Jeff Atwood, founder of Stack Overflow et al. But Even Jeff used his popular blog as a platform for revenue growth, albeit in a way I personally find positive and altruistic, and without selling interruptive ad space.
Blogging is now an industry
If you need further evidence all you need to is look at Metetup.com to see how many of the blogger meetups focus on monitization, extreme growth, brand engagement; Incidentally meetup.com is a great place to find local bloggers. Blogging is now an industry, and the quicker you accept this, and forget out fuzzy warm relationship building, the quicker you will start being able to understand and deal with these ambitious, finance focused bloggers/writers.
How to get ‘Engaged’ with the average blogger
Want to engage with bloggers on any kind of scale you need to bring 2 of these 4 things to get their table.
- A Bribe
This is what they ALL want first and foremost.
“if you want me to talk about you, you pay me for my time right?”.
If you are a household name they will talk to you without needing cash to grease the wheels, this how ever will not be enough to secure you any of there traffic.
“if you are a huge brand you can afford to pay me for my time right?”.
Can you fulfil there dreams? Can you give them access to behind the scenes or exclusive content no-one else can have? Can you let them talk to there hero’s via email? Can you let them in on your secret project as a consultant?
This is partly an ego play, make them feel special and important.
“if you let me talk to the CEO you will have my attention, I don’t want to deal with a marketing monkey!”
I had this done to me expertly by Diageo and Grants whisky when they invited me to meet there Global Ambassadors for a meal and a whisky tasting. which leads nicely on to ‘the bribe’.
In leu of buying ad space to start a conversation, you can try to bribe bloggers with samples, free trials, tickets to an event etc… For this to make sense you have to either send them bribes of a lower monetary value than just buying ad space, or aim to build a relationship; remember the idea here is get them talking to and about you.
“if you send me a box of beer I might review it and link to you. Give me free tickets to a festival and i’ll be your best friend!”
Once you have their attention you can then develop the relationship and close the deal on getting at their traffic. At this stage you may even find you enjoy your conversations with them and develop a great long term relationship.
In fact do all this right and you can create an avid follow of your brand, always looking for the next hit of: