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How to Determine Which Blogs to Pitch

The blogosphere continues to grow by leaps and bounds. In an earlier post we addressed the pros and cons of starting your own blog.  The conclusion was: don’t blog for the sake of blogging; have a purpose and be ready to commit.

The same could be said about initiating a proactive blogger outreach campaign intended to engage bloggers in your company or brand.  Given the seemingly endless stream of blogs out there, you can’t just surf the Web looking here and there for targets.  An effective effort must begin with planning and research.

Start by defining your campaign goals.  Clear and well defined goals can help you find the right blogs for your outreach. Here are some examples of top-line goals that may fit your communications strategy:

  • Product reviews
  • Guest postings
  • Event promotion

Once a goal is established, there are several ways to search for the best blogs to target. Some recommended resources are:

  • Google’s Blog Search Tool. It allows you to use search terms that align with your goal. Plus, it will provide results in the order in which the blogs rank in Google.
  • Technorati is the leading search engine dedicated to the blogosphere. You can search terms and add more parameters to better identify blogs that fit your goal.
  • BlogCatalog is a combination of a social community and blog search engine.
  • Industry events. Keep a close eye on your industry’s events (webinars, exhibitions, conferences, workshops) and check speakers’ lists. Google them, you will be surprised how many of them have their own blogs and write about your industry.
  • Traditional media. Watch TV or radio shows dedicated to your industry. Watch the news. Read your industry’s newspapers and magazines. Influential bloggers from your niche might be interviewed by journalists and reporters.

Once you’ve identified viable targets, you should develop a “tool” for managing your research and analysis.   A simple spreadsheet could do the trick.  Dedicate columns to relevant factors, such as:

  • Monthly or weekly blog traffic. It depends on how active is your industry. If it is a fast growing industry, weekly log traffic is more relevant. If it is a relatively small niche, monthly traffic will suffice.
  • Social media influence. Depending on your industry characteristics you may be interested in bloggers with influence on specific social networks, such as: Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Pinterest, YouTube, Foursquare, just to name a few. Klout is a useful tool that can tell you how influential a blogger is on social media.
  • Blog subscribers. The amount of RSS subscribers is particularly important, as it indicates the number of interested readers that regularly check the blog.
  • Google Page Ranking.  The Page Rank is determined by the website’s traffic, the quality of the content, its originality, how often the website is updated, and how many links it receives from other sites.  If many sites with a lot of traffic and high Page Rank link to a website, then its Page Rank will increase. Google and Facebook have the highest Page Ranks of around 9 or 10.  When identifying blogs to target, those with Page Ranks of 4 and higher are most worthwhile.

Once you’ve gathered this information, you are ready to review the results to determine which blogs to include in your outreach campaign. Keep in mind that the selected blogs need to be in line with the specific goals you’ve set.  Rankings shouldn’t necessarily be the primary factor.  And remember influential bloggers receive many pitches every day, so have a diverse list of targets that might be easier to secure.  Either way, dedicate time to developing relationships with all your targets – that’s the best way to get results.

We’d love to hear about some of your successes with blogger engagement!