Category Archives: BloggerBridge

15 Tips for Choosing Bloggers to Work With

Earlier this year I was working with the agency for Airberlin to help them pick bloggers for a specific FAM trip to Germany.

This is a service we offer now at BloggerBridge.com but, It seemed like others might be interested in what sort of things I look for when looking for bloggers.

Background

Airberlin was organizing a trip to Düsseldorf for carnival. It was the 3rd year in a row they had offered this trip.

Pre-Filtering

The first year that Airberlin offered this trip we had 204 bloggers that were interested within a week. While it is great to have interest, that creates a lot of work. So the first thing we did for this trip is set some minimum qualifications:

  1. Domain Authority – We looked for a domain authority of 35 or greater. Domain authority is something a website gets overtime by being linked to by others. It is a decent sign of a blog that will drive SEO traffic to your website.
  2. Page Views – For this trip which included free airfare we set a minimum number of page views of 10,000.

Filtering

Even with those qualifications we ended up with 45 bloggers and only a few spots on the trip. So now we start to compare bloggers.

We had created this opportunity in BloggerBridge.com as a “One Click Apply”. That means that everyone who expressed interest in the trip was added to a list of bloggers. We can sort that list in different ways so:

3) I Sorted the list by traffic (page views) first and start at the top of the list to look at the different bloggers.

4) I also saved myself some time by creating some templates. I created one that said (in a nice way) “Sorry we had a lot of interest but and you did not make the cut”. I can then click a button to start a message to someone quickly.

Edit your BloggerBridge.com message templates here: https://bloggerbridge.com/message_templates

5) The next question for the client was, what are your requirements for location? language? audience?

The #2 slot on the list had a lot of traffic, but his blog is in Spanish about a specific European city, the city where he lives… and it wasn’t Düsseldorf. I eliminated him, because the content wasn’t relevant to this project which was trying to promote Airberlin to the U.S. market.

The list also had bloggers from Canada, a couple from Great Britain, one from India and one from the Philippines whose audience were not big in the U.S. We eliminated those as well.

6) I wouldn’t just pick the top 5 for traffic. Some of the bloggers are travel bloggers and some are not. I knew one  blogger, for instance, on the 1st page and she is great. The client would love her. But I will bet her most popular posts are recipes.

So if I pick a Lifestyle blogger or a parenting blogger, for instance,
I would want to ask how many page views they usually get for travel content. That is a reasonable question to ask.

7) I can even use the BloggerBridge.com campaign tracking feature to get the specific page views for a post which they have created in the past which is similar to what they expect to post for this project.

Maybe I would pick one of the family bloggers, or maybe I would do a whole blog trip with just them, but it would depend on the content and what their audience likes.

8) When I was on the first Düseeldorf trip we went to a drag queen competition because we were with a number of gay travel bloggers. You want to match the bloggers and the itinerary. So think about the bloggers you want before creating the itinerary or pick the bloggers that match the itinerary.

9) The blogger  who had the most traffic blogs about meals normally. So I asked the client did they have some good meals planned? Her site is a bit slow, but some of her travel content had great depth. I know this because by now I am looking at content on the bloggers sites.

10) I looked at time on site  in the Google Analytics for each blogger. Anything more than a minute long is typical, much under a minute is a concern.

One blogger had a 50 secs time on site. That is not low enough that I would reject her, but I noted a different blogger with over 2 minutes  time on her site which meant that even though she has almost half as many page views total, she gets more attention in terms of time people spend reading her site.

One blogger had a time on site that was only 28 seconds. The longest post I found on her site was 128 words. Skip her.

11) Ask around

I knew personally 5 of the bloggers on the list and they are all great to be around. For other people on your short list you can ask for the name of a PR rep that they have gone on a fam trip with.

12) Think mix. It might be nice to have one person who is good with video, at least one photographer, maybe at least one person with a strong social media following, especially because this is a big colorful event.

13) I sort the list by Instagram followers and look at the top couple.

I expect to see something like 30 likes / 1000 followers and the more comments the better. Our top Instagrammer had good numbers and probably more importantly, I liked her photos.

14) I sorted the list by You Tube subscribers to see if there were any people good with video, the carnival parade would make for some interesting video.

The top blogger by video followers have been around for a while, although I don’t know them personally. Some of their videos got a lot of views, but some didn’t,  so I checked out the next few on the list as well.

15) I sorted by total followers to see if there are some surprises

One blogger had a great facebook following, so she was worth looking at, but her time on site is not great and I only found one travel story on her blog. Her travel category was mostly movie reviews. Skip her.

Conclusion

By this point we had a pretty good short list. What would you do different?

Campaign Tracking in BloggerBridge (video)

One of the most requested features from companies using BloggerBridge has been the ability to track how many page views the various blog posts being written for them or about them by bloggers are getting. Companies want to see this data today but also want to track it a month from now, six months from now, etc.

Bloggers want this reporting to be simple and quick.

To meet both needs we have added campaign tracking to BloggerBridge which we think will make it easy for both companies and for bloggers. See how it works in this video:

Message Templates – Save Time When Contacting Bloggers

One of the companies using BloggerBridge.com had a number of people interested in a new opportunity which they posted last week. They found themselves sending some of the same information over and over again to different bloggers. Messages like:

“Hey, looks great we would love to have you join us and here are the details…”

or

“It appears that you didn’t see in the opportunity where I said that the requirements for this opportunity were…”

To save them some time and to save you in some time in the future we have added message templates to the system so that you can at least start that email with the part you keep adding over and over. You can define a message and a button name and we will add that button to:

  • Search results
  • User profiles
  • Message Viewing
  • User List management

So you can quickly send a message and move on. You can find a new tab under the Messages tab called “Templates” where you can create, delete or edit new templates. All enabled templates will show up as buttons in the places above.

This feature is only available to companies.

Here is a demo of the feature.

What do you think?

Where BloggerBridge Bloggers are Located Now or In the Future

I was curious. We have been tracking the locations of hundreds of the thousands of bloggers in BloggerBridge for a while now. Probably the number one way that most connections are currently made in BloggerBridge is by companies that are watching for bloggers coming to a specific city. But, I wondered, where are the bloggers and where are they going?

So I hit the BloggerBridge database and pulled out some data. I queried for the location of all the bloggers in the present or the future and got this map:

Map of bloggers locations or plans

Where BloggerBridge Bloggers are Located Now or in the Future
where in the USA are BloggerBridge Bloggers Now or in the Future

That’s a lot of locations! That’s a lot of bloggers!

10 Ways that BloggerBridge makes your life better for a DMO

10 Ways that BloggerBridge makes your life better for a DMO

1) You know that you need more content for your website but content takes time to create. BloggerBridge.com will help you contact local bloggers who know about your destination. Don’t go it alone, find local allies.

2) You don’t have a huge budget to be flying in writers, bloggers, photographers. Wouldn’t you want to know of people who already have plans to visit. You might be able to get some content just for comping a night in a hotel or two or maybe just tickets to that new museum will help publicize it. Be opportunistic, make your budget go further.

3) You are traveling to a different city to meet with local press. Find out which influencers will also be in the area that day, even if they are just passing through. Multiply your efforts, get more for your travel dollars.

4) There are thousands of different bloggers you know you could work with but how are you supposed to know who has the most influence. BloggerBridge.com will help you compare bloggers side by side. Make better decisions, optimize.

5) You know that you could be doing better with your social media, but who has the time to learn. Find content creators for your next press trip who also do consulting and have them teach a half day class for you and your steak holders. Get Smarter, find help.

6) You know you could get more traffic if you had more content or better content on your website. Find content creators who you can pay to create additional content, because you have enough to do. Prioritize your time, outsource.

7) Yes, you usually tell people that your destination has something for everyone, but you know that isn’t true. Whether your target audience is families, business travelers or adventurers, you can use BloggerBridge.com to find niche bloggers to focus on the people you are looking for. Find your niche, specialize.

8) You have some great content, great! But how do you get the word out about your message. Use BloggerBridge.com to find content creators who have loads of followers. Amplify your message, socialize.

9) Those content creators you contracted to, connected with, reached out to, or hosted will probably want to work with you again. Use BloggerBridge.com to organize content creators into different lists to make your work easier next time you want to reach out. Don’t just contact content creators, collect them.

10) You are doing well, you now have a number of projects outsourced and new content coming in daily. Don’t drop the ball on what you need to do with all these moving pieces. Use BloggerBridge.com’s workflow feature to keep track of who is late or who you own a review or a check. Keep your sanity, organize.

10 Ways that BloggerBridge makes your life better for a DMO

Bloggers – Updating Your Schedule the Easy Way

TripIt

Last Summer my wife and I and planned a trip to Washington D.C. We bought our airline tickets and the next day I received an email from a BloggerBridge customer that wanted to know if I wanted to take a guided tour of the Air and Space Museum in exchange for a blog post. I am a huge (space) nerd so I did and we had a great time.

But… how did they know? I had not gone into BloggerBridge and added that trip to my schedule. Instead, my BloggerBridge account is connected to my account at TripIt.com. When I book a trip I just forward the confirmation emails to plans@tripit.com and TripIt keeps track of my trips. This can work even with a free TripIt.com account. Every day in the wee hours of the morning BloggerBridge connects to TripIt and sees if I have new trips scheduled. If it finds some it updates my schedule and then sees if any company is looking for bloggers coming to that city.

Could we make it any easier?

To tie your BloggerBridge account to TripIt click on the schedule tab on your blogger profile and click on “Authorize TripIt”.

Reaching Bloggers – Getting The Word Out With Opportunities

AirBerlin wanted to take 5 bloggers on a press trip to Düsseldorf. JayWay Travel has an apartment in Prague they can let bloggers stay in. Great. So now what?

Solution

Even when you have something great to offer you still have to get the word out. So you work with a PR firm or you try and collect an email list of bloggers… somehow. Or you ask around. Spending more than a thousand dollars to a PR firm is the way most companies solve this problem.

BloggerBridge – Opportunities

What AirBerlin did instead was open a BloggerBridge Lite account and advertise an opportunity. Bloggers could sign up with a one click apply button and AirBerlin received all the bloggers via a list that they could sort in most of the same ways as the search feature. Which bloggers had the most Instagram followers, page views, twitter followers. They had 210 bloggers apply within a week. All this without collecting spreadsheets of stats, emailing for Google Analytics, etc.

If you get too many bloggers you can add a user filter and the opportunity will only be visible for certain types of bloggers, bloggers with x many followers, bloggers who have at least y page views, etc.

BloggerBridge.com Opportunities

BloggerBridge.com

Problem: You Have Limited Travel Budget but You Don’t Know Who is Nearby

When we created BloggerBridge, we created it to make our lives easier and yours. We kept running into a series of problems and thought, there must be a better way.

Problem: You Have Limited Travel Budget but You Don’t Know Who is Nearby

The email invited me to visit their resort this weekend. That all sounds well and good but the resort was on the end of Long Island and I was in California. No, they weren’t offering to fly me to their destination. They didn’t have a budget for that. What they had were empty rooms.

Solution

You do what this hotel did. You email everyone you can and hope some of them will be in the area. This is not a great solution but I see companies doing it everyday. Hotels, restaurants, day tours and local tourism boards contacting people all over the country and hoping to reach the right people. It is a great way to get your email on a spam list.

You search the web or the internet for people blogging about your city. The problem is that if you do find people you are likely to send this email:

“I see you just went to ______, I wish I had known you were going to be in town because I would love to have you ______. Let me know the next time you are in town”.

BloggerBridge.com schedules

BloggerBridge Solutions

BloggerBridge Location Search

With BloggerBridge Lite or Premium you can create a location search and we will let you know when bloggers and other content creators are planning a trip to your city… or to the nearby city.

So instead of the “next time you are in town letter” you can have this:

  1. My wife and I decided to travel to Washington D.C., we booked a flight
  2. I emailed my flight confirmation to plans@tripit.com which created an itinerary in TripIt.
  3. Every night BloggerBridge contacts TripIt and updates the schedule for bloggers who have associated their TripIt profile with their BloggerBridge profile.
  4. When a blogger schedules a new trip (either manually or through TripIt as I had) BloggerBridge looks through the location searches. In my case it found City Wonders who had a location search for Washington D.C.
  5. City Wonders received an email with a link to my profile and a brief description of me.
  6. City Wonders contacted me and offered me a free tour of the Air and Space Museum in exchange for a blog post. I got a great tour. They got the word out about their product without having to pay my airfare from California to Washington D.C.

If you get too many emails from BloggerBridge you can add a user filter to only be notified for certain types of bloggers, bloggers with x many followers, bloggers who have at least y page views, etc.

Problem – You Need Good Content – How Bloggers / BloggerBridge.com Can Help

When we created BloggerBridge, we created it to make our lives easier and yours. We kept running into a series of problems and thought, there must be a better way.

Problem: You Need Good Content

He worked for a well-known travel company, he worked with their partners and he had a problem. Google had changed their algorithm to punish people who published bad content. Some of his partners had literally lost half of their traffic over night. Millions of dollars of revenue had gone away because someone had saved money by buying content on the cheap from overseas writers with bad english skills writing about destinations they had never seen. He wanted to find good content creators.

Content is increasingly important. People are skipping the ads on their TVs… if they watch TV at all. Newspapers and magazines are losing subscribers. People are spending more and more time on the internet from their desktops and their phones. And your content is competing with everyone’s content. It had better be good. You might want to get help.

Solution

If you want to connect with bloggers, it’s not that hard, you just need some time. Start by searching in google for particular keywords. Look for phrases like “top travel bloggers” or “top food bloggers”. Collect a set of blogs and task an intern with tracking down the contact info for all these bloggers, track down how many followers they have on particular social networks and contact them to find out their traffic and would they like to work with you. Of course if you need someone who is located in a specific city or will be in a particular place, that’s not as straight forward.

BloggerBridge.com screenshot

BloggerBridge – Search

BloggerBridge Premium offers search of our database of content creators. That search is more effective as you will only be searching blogs and specifically a database of bloggers who are looking to work with companies. Not all bloggers are. Bloggers can specify what type of work they do, which can save you a step. Also your search results will provide you with all the blog’s stats. Many of the bloggers have also made things simpler for you by adding samples of their work.

You can do searches like:

  • food bloggers who accept guest posts
  • adventure travel bloggers located in New York
  • business bloggers who will be in Chicago on May 3rd
  • parenting bloggers who have a lot of Pinterest followers (or twitter, Google+, Facebook, instagram, youtube, or a certain Klout score)
  • blogs with the word ‘ski’ in the description
  • food blogs in Spanish
  • bloggers with good SEO value (Moz Domain Authority), or who started blogging more than 5 years ago, or who have at least 10,000 page views a month