Before I get into that topic, I want to give you some foundation on how SEO professionals treated Bloggers in the past and hopefully from there we can move into what we should have been doing.
I remember a couple of years back when guest blogging was the rage in SEO. Everyone started contacting bloggers, offering “unique, high quality content”.
Overnight bloggers started getting overwhelmed with messages from marketing agencies / companies telling them how great their blog was and if they could contribute an article to it. Sadly little did the blogger know that all they were after was a in-content anchor rich back-link.
I must confess that I and many of my fellow SEO professionals jumped onto this bandwagon.We learned to scale the process dramatically by using tools such as MTERK, Buzzstream and devised our own crawlers to find blogroll pages to get all blogs we could find.
Within a few months we completely broke what was meant to be something good and turned it into a spam empire.
We SEOers where a bad bunch of marketers
It got to a point where Google realized what was happening and Matt Cutts and his team had to react to stop it from continuing.
How to get a blogger to work for you
I can’t get into too much detail due to confidentiality agreements but there are many incentives you can give to bloggers (not just financial ones) for them to accept moving to your site and blogging for you. Please keep in mind that this is especially true for industries which are within the content trilogy.
The Content Trilogy (Travel, Photography and lifestyle)
I’ve been lucky to only have worked within these industries and I’ve chosen them wisely simply because its fun and more rewarding. I sincerely can’t imagine myself working for a company that a) does not have a good brand image b) is in an industry where people just don’t talk about i.e. pharmaceutical, loans etc…
With bloggers, its not all about the money, as I mentioned previously, it helps tremendously if you are a good company to represent and your brand image adds value to the blogger you are trying to acquire. Also the type of content which the blogger publishes should not be things such as reviews of competitors because the blogger would loose followers due to lack of impermeability.
- Offer the blogger an affiliate model where purchases coming from organic visits from their blog directory generates a percentage of return to the blogger.
- This also motives them to write more compelling texts
- Agree on a long term i.e. 24,36 month agreement to write 2-4 articles a week, where you as a company would pay X amount monthly for the articles. (in tern they now become your content writers).
- Allow them to be impartial and tell them that you will not interfere on what they publish
- Of-course inform them that X type of articles are not allowed i.e. pornography, defamation etc… and set this up inside the agreed contract
- Give them an upfront amount to move the blog to your website.
- Inform them that your companies audience will become theirs and that the content they produce would also be shown in company newsletters etc…
Why should you acquire a blog and the blogger?
When you acquire the blogger, you will also acquire this or her domain, meaning that all those hundreds of high quality pages, which on their own generate organic traffic will be 301 redirected to the corresponding page on your domain.
Just think of all that relevant link juice
You will also gain their social followers, newsletter subscribers and hopefully a positive brand impact due to you acquiring a blogger whom in their own way is a brand in itself.
How to calculate the monetary value of a blog
Its all well and good but how the hell do I get my director to agree on a posible 6 figure cost with no guaranteed return?
That is a tricky one and is probably one of the hardest to get around. I would recommend that you use numbers to back up your strategy.
How do you acquire these numbers? Simple, ask the blogger to provide you with access to their analytics data or an export of traffic information over the last twelve months.
From this you can calculate:
- Cost of acquiring the same amount of visitors
- Cost of acquiring social / newsletter followers
- SEO benefits for particular keywords which might improve in ranking if you acquire the blog
- Cost of writing and doing research for all that content
Keep in mind also that there is the time element cost, meaning that if you were to do all this yourself it would require a considerable of time and internal resources. Try to give that a monetary value too.
As always Feel free to contact me if you are thinking of doing something similar and have questions or need advice.