With tens of thousands of new blogs appearing every single day, content creators now face an overwhelming variety of websites to reach out to and share their content with. How can you tell the good from the bad? More specifically, how can you tell the blogs that will truly amplify and enrich your message from the ones that will not carry any influence, or worse harm your brand? Here are 6 signs to look out for when researching a blog for the first time.
1. High traffic and engagement
First things first, have a look at the blog’s traffic and engagement stats. Although they are not 100% accurate, free tools like Alexa and SimilarWeb will help you get a good idea of the blog’s popularity.
For example, researching “www.zoella.co.uk” with these free tools tells me that the lifestyle blog gets approximately 500,000 unique desktop visits a month, and its visitors spend on average 2 minutes on the site and view 3 pages. Although more thorough research needs to be carried out, I can already tell that Zoella’s blog has a large audience that seems significantly engaged.
Then have a look at the blog’s social media following and its engagement. How many social networks is the blog present on? How many followers does it have on each one? Most importantly, do its followers interact with the blog, through shares and comments? ‘Fake’ social fans are easily bought these days, so make sure the blog’s audience is authentic and active.
Of course there are no set numbers of clicks or followers that a blog needs to boast in order for you to reach out – with blog audiences it’s more about quality than quantity anyway!
2. Regular and high-quality posts
Look at the dates of the last twenty posts or so on the blog – does the blogger (or bloggers) write regularly? Are they committed to their blog, or is the last post dated 2014? Regular bloggers will have more loyal audiences and attract more engagement.
Then have a look at the type and quality of blog posts that are published – is it only guest posts? Are the posts varied and unique? Are they interesting and well researched? Steer clear of blogs that simply copy other websites’ content!
3. Lots and lots of shares
Researching a blog’s total shares will help you gauge the popularity and quality of its content. Have a look at the number of social shares of its main content pieces on Buzzsumo and the number of backlinks it has acquired on Majestic. Seeing which content works really well on this blog will also help you shape your outreach strategy and make it is as relevant as possible.
4. Content fit and relevance
Of course the blog needs to have some thematic link to your brand or the content campaign you are trying to promote. For example, if you’re a cereal brand, don’t reach out to a travel blog! Bloggers build their following by providing their readers with useful content. So chances are the blogger will ignore your irrelevant email, and even if they do not, their audience will ignore your content. Also having a look at the blog’s past collaborations with brands will give you a good idea of the kind of products and campaigns they are interested in.
5. Obvious contact details
If you’ve been searching for a first name and a contact email or form for 30 minutes, chances are this blogger or website owner does not wish to be contacted and will ignore most emails they get. Bloggers who are open to collaborations will make it easy for you to contact them!
Do read their “Contact Me” page very carefully, as it may include information about the outreach emails they accept and what they tend to ignore.
6. Good SEO metrics
Last but certainly not least, have a look at those precious SEO metrics to know whether a blog is worth reaching out to: Domain Authority, Page Rank and search engine rankings for important keywords are a few to look out for . Even if a website looks great and contains great content, a Domain Authority of 8 for example would seriously harm your SEO. However, these websites should not be completely cast aside – keep an eye on them, as patient and talented newbie bloggers will eventually get to the metrics you need to justify your outreach!
Next step is to write the perfect outreach email – read all my top tips here!
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