So, you want your small business, product or service, featured on a blog somewhere. A mummy blog, even. Because we know that mums read blogs and mums trust bloggers that give them advice about products. It’s an intimate kind of relationship that we bloggers have with our readers.
You obviously don’t have your own PR agency to do the hard work for you, so where do you start? How do you find those bloggers and how do you know which one to choose?
If you don’t know any bloggers, ask your friends and networking buddies. Ask them about what blogs they read and why. Ask if they know any bloggers personally. A personal recommendation is always good.
If you have a Facebook Page (if you don’t, why not?), simply ask your likers if any of them are bloggers, or know bloggers, who would like to review your product. Some of them may already have and know your product and would be more than happy to write about it.
Same goes for Twitter. Call out for bloggers wanting to review your product. Do this a few times and ask for re-tweets.
PR Friendly Aussie Blog Directory
Visit PR Friendly Aussie Blog Directory - a directory of Australian blogs which accept reviews and advertising. The Directory is divided into categories and each blog usually lists the kind of things they are interested in reviewing.
If you’re happy to pay a fee to be matched with a blogger, or bloggers, consider contacting Brand Meets Blog, Digital Parents and SourceBottle.
I’ve found some blogs - now what?
Now that you know how to find blogs, you need to find the right one.
1. Visit the blog. Is it the kind of space you want your business associated with?
2. Contact the blog owner and find out who reads their blog. Just because the blog is not about breastfeeding or parenting, the readers might all be mums who would be interested in your products.
3. Ask for a “Media Kit” or “Rate Card” which will have the bloggers fees and advertising conditions in it, as well as a description of the blog’s audience and statistics.
How do blogs promote my products?
Talk to the blogger about what might be the best option for promoting your product on their blog. Here is a brief guide to the most common options:
Product reviews– this is where you send your product to the blogger and ask them to write about it. Some bloggers may require a fee for this. Others might ask for an additional product to give away to their readers. If you are happy to offer a giveaway, it is also good form to cover the shipping cost of the prize to the winner.
Sponsored posts – this where you pay the blogger to write a post about your product, or business. This may be useful where your product or service cannot be immediately used by the blogger, or where you want to promote your business rather than just one product. These posts are written in the bloggers’ own writing voice and weave your story into theirs.
Sidebar advertising – a lot of blogs are now seeking private advertising to cover their costs. This is usually quite affordable, especially when compared to major online forums. The rates will depend on the size of your ad and on the popularity of the blog. Again, ask the blogger who their readers are and monitor the traffic you get from those ads to check their effectiveness.
Blog and event sponsorship – if you want a longer relationship with a blog, consider sponsoring them to attend a blogger event. Sponsorship packages usually include several featured posts, giveaways and advertising, as well as using your logo on each and every post that is written during the sponsorship period. You can ask for your logo to be included on the blogger’s business cards, or for them to wear clothing, or accessories, with your brand on it.
The last word
The best blogger/brand/business relationship is one that adds value to all parties. Ask not only what the blogger can do for you, but what are you and your business doing for the blogger.
Remember, bloggers are not just out there “for free stuff”. They are looking for content that will add value to their blog and to their lives, as well as drawing readers to their blogs. They value their blog space and their readers’ time, so don’t be surprised if they ask to be paid. After all, you are buying their time, effort and blog space.
Dorothy has been blogging at Singular Insanity for over three years. She writes about solo parenting, mental health and recovery from psychological abuse. She spent most of 2011 educating herself about blogging, social media and working with brands. Dorothy is currently expanding her writing services by ghost writing articles for small business blogs and is attempting to self-publish a book. She loves chocolate, champagne and all things shiny. Feel free to contact Dorothy at Dorothy@singularinsanity.com