So as you may know if you follow me on social or read this blog on the regular I gave a short masterclass at the #BlogConLDN event that happened this weekend. If you were there then here’s the post I promised, and if you weren’t, here’s what I spoke about.
I’ve working in Outreach for over five years now, and have learnt a hell of a lot about what brands look for when they first visit your blog. I though it’d br nice to share these with you so you can build your blog! So as a brand… what do we look at?
For most brands, not just ones I have worked for, you will need to own your own domain. This means you’ll be SquibbVicious.com as opposed to SquibbVicious.wordpress.com. It’s super easy to do and should cost you less than £20. This is your able to have your own Domain Authority; is a score (on a 100-point scale) developed by Moz that predicts how well a website will rank on search engines.
For me, I look at your Domain Authority as it helps our brands DA too. The higher the DA the better the link quality for the brand. A lot of brands, certainly all of the ones I have worked with, have a target amount of Das they would like to work with and limits of how low we can work with. This is mainly for SEO link building.
If it’s for brand awareness this doesn’t always apply as some blogs with a smaller DA have a huge following!
Your layout is key! A tidy blog is more appealing to a brand/potential client than an untidy one… obviously! Rumour has it that there are some brands out there that will only work with blogs with a clean, white layout; I’ve not had this in any of my outreach roles but it has been heard of! The cleaner cut your blog the easier posts are to read and the more photography stands out.
Within the homepage of your blog make sure you have your Social Media links, it helps knowing how active you are on these!
This one goes hand and hand with your layout I think. When taking photos take your time, I know it’s tough when you have a job etc and blogging is your hobby but you can really tell the difference between a quick phone snap and something that has been taken on a quality camera in a well-lit setting. I know camera phones have totally upped their games recently but I’m still a sucker for getting the DSLR out for a day of shooting some blog snaps. When I’m looking for blogs for a brand I always take into account the photos on the blog already in the hope the blogger recreates the same quality within their posts for us!
Also, image size is a BIG deal. There’s nothing worse than a layout with all different image sizes. It’s easy to keep them all the same as most CMS’s will have sizing options when dropping images into posts.
I’m not sure how it works are all PR & Agencies but I know from my experience that the software we use to keep track of emails, attendance and blog posts doesn’t keep track of what we send you via contact forms, so for ease we don’t tend to use them. So I’d say scrap that contact form and pop your blog email on a contact me page! It’s simple and means you may get more opportunities sent your way!
I know SEO is so vast, even after working in the field for over three years a lot of it still goes over my head, but knowing the basics can really help your content. It may not be your target to be a full-time blogger or make lots of cash but helping yourself to rank on Google is a great way of bringing readers to your site and surely, if you’re writing a blog that’s the aim, right? There are some many great posts out there for learning the ways.
One thing I always check when creating a list of bloggers for brands is the things you’ve post previously; do they praise every single thing they receive? do they talk negatively about things? how well do they know their grammar? how’s their spelling?
I take all of these into account to ensure that the brand we are representing get a worthwhile post that would interest blog readers and give them great coverage and brand awareness.
And a little side note…
We Can’t Please Everyone!
On a normal outreach campaign, there will be certain metrics that we have to adhere to defined by our clients, which means not every blog is accepted. This isn’t down to us, so please don’t take it out on us! We are quite simply the middle man and don’t want to upset anyone when we can’t invite them. Sending us mean emails isn’t very nice and sometimes we do take it personally, so please remember that we don’t call the shots and we are humans too!