Some people (like me!) spend their lives on blogs. In my case, I research and contact bloggers for work; I write posts for our corporate blog; I read lifestyle and food blogs in my spare time; and I even write my outreach tips and tricks on this little blog right here. But for many other people out there, the blogosphere may be unknown territory.
So what happens when all of a sudden your employer tells you to start building relationships with bloggers? How do you find your way around a blog to extract the important information you are looking for? What information are you looking for anyway? Below are my top tips for navigating a blog.
Do all blogs really look the same?
Of course every blog is unique and every blogger has his or her design preferences. But over time I have come to find that the large majority of blogs follow the same ‘schema’. A website schema (as defined by Bellman and Rossiter, 2004) is that website’s visitors’ set of beliefs about information location and routes to these locations. Simply put, it is the template that visitors expect to find when landing on your website.
Just like all e-commerce websites have learned to use a similar schema to Amazon’s, many blogs use a similar schema in order to make navigation easier for readers.
Where do I start?
Most blogs display their most recent blog posts on the homepage. In order to get a feel for the blogger’s content niche and writing style, start by reading the four or five most recent blog posts. Click on the first one and you can then often navigate to previous ones with a simple “Older Posts” arrow.
You’ll be able to see what the blogger typically writes about and if he or she has collaborated with brands in the past. This should already give you a good idea of whether or not the blog is a good fit for your outreach marketing strategy.
Find out more about the blogger
You can then click on the “About Me” page. The majority of bloggers will make this page very obvious in the top or right hand side navigation panels, often including a miniature profile picture as well.
The About page varies greatly from blogger to blogger but should provide you with essential information:
- The bloggers’ name
- The blogging niche they identify with
- Their marital status, if they have children, what their hobbies are, where they live, etc… all the information you need to figure out if they’ll be interested in your brand!
Get in touch
Blogs will often have a “Contact” page, which you can find next to the About Me page link in the top or right hand side navigation panels. Here you’ll find the bloggers’ email address or a contact form, which you will obviously need if you decide to email him or her to start your outreach effort.
Moreover you’ll often find other information on here regarding the blogger’s sponsorship policies. More and more bloggers are clearly spelling out whether or not they are interested in brand collaborations (labelling themselves as ‘PR-friendly’) and how they should ideally be approached. Do not ignore this information they’ve willingly provided you with!
And get social
The majority of blogs clearly display their social media buttons above the fold, often at the very top right of all pages. Have a look at all of their social media profiles, and interact with them where you can by liking, commenting or retweeting. Getting your brand name noticed by the blogger on social media means that your outreach email will have a higher chance of being opened.
If you liked this post, please like, share, tweet or pin it! And keep on finding out more about outreach marketing by reading my latest blog posts. Thanks for reading!