Blogs have evolved over time, so it’s difficult to describe them using a hard and fast definition. Some blogs have an expansive following and are polished and professional. On the flipside, others are more niche with fewer, but strongly dedicated, readers. In our digital world, blogs can be as influential as, if not more than, traditional media outlets.
Among major blogging platforms, such as WordPress, Tumblr, Squarespace, and Medium, there are an estimated 440 million blogs in the world, covering every B2C, B2B, and C2C topic imaginable. With new blogs popping up every day, it’s impossible to be familiar with each one. So, what do you do if you receive an interview request to contribute to a blog in your industry? How do you respond?
Do Your Research
Before agreeing to participate, do some digging to understand if this blog is a fit for your company or brand. Read the blog’s content to understand the tone and approach to presenting information. To assess the readership and target audience, take a look at the comments section within the blog and look through its social media pages. See how users respond to the blogger. If favorable, you’re golden.
Ask Before Answering
Most interviews with a blogger will take place over email, but that doesn’t mean you should just blindly reply to the questions in your inbox. Take a moment to understand the bigger story. What is the blogger’s angle and approach to the topic? Are you the only source in the story or is this a roundtable-style article where potential competitors will be responding?
Also, confirm whether it is an earned media opportunity or “pay-to-play.” Sometimes interview requests can appear “free” at first but, in the end, they want sponsorship dollars. If you choose to sponsor a post, the blogger must put a disclaimer on the blog post. If the interviewee and blogger have an existing, mutually-beneficial relationship, it’s a best practice for the blogger to disclose the relationship as a disclaimer, too. If there was no prior relationship, a disclaimer on behalf of the blogger isn’t required. In any case, it is important to understand the situation before agreeing to participate in the article.
Continue the Conversation
Once the blog post publishes, amplify the article by sharing it on your company and personal social channels and encourage audiences to continue the conversation in the comments section. Feel free to leave additional comments to generate chatter; just be transparent about who you are and don’t create fake accounts to post “organic” comments.
If you had a positive experience working with a blogger, reach out and let them know. Make yourself available for future posts or reciprocate by featuring them as a subject matter expert in one of your own blog posts. Who knows? You might facilitate a lasting, mutually-beneficial relationship with the blogger.
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