Blogs offer you the opportunity to engage with communities online. Montfort’s Ben Matthews explores how you can start to find blogs appropriate to your cause
Bloggers and online news sites are increasingly becoming the first place that many people go to get their news, especially in niche areas and topics that aren’t covered by mainstream news.
These blogs and sites are also micro-communities in themselves, as they will often comment on the same stories, link to each other’s articles, and have conversations on other social networks and mailing lists.
As such, communicating with blogs and news sites can be a vital part of any campaign you are running and can help to amplify the messages you are looking to spread. There are also a range of hidden benefits, such as an increased SEO ranking on the terms you are discussing. But how do you find the blogs and news sites that are relevant to your organisation?
Find relevant blogs
Start off with a simple Google blog search* around the subject you’re interested in. You can sort by relevance to your topic or by date, with the latest topics first. You can even refine your search by region, if you’re looking for UK only blogs or elsewhere in the world.
Other sources of blogs include the relevant blog platforms directories: WordPress, Tumblr, Posterous.There are also directories, such as All Top, who group the top blogs by subject (hence “All Top”). Take a look at the nonprofit group for example and you’ll find 20+ news blogs to read.Cision have also listed the top UK blogs in a wide variety of categories, from environment to parenting, health to technology.
Many news sites are starting to carry links to the blogosphere. Take a look at the Guardian‘s Global Development blogosphere, for example. Once you have sourced a good initial list of blogs in your area, you should be able to find more through the various links listed on their sites. Look at their sidebar – is there a list of blogs they read? Do they mention other blogs of interest in their posts? Are there other bloggers commenting on posts? This should give you a few more blogs and by repeating this process you should have built up a comprehensive list to work from.
Develop the right content
Now you have this list, how do you about contacting them about your news? There’s not enough space to cover that here – I’ll do that in a post next month – but the first thing you should be doing is spending time reading the blogs you’ve found. What subjects do they typically cover? Are their posts long posts or short? Do they use photos or videos? What is the blog’s style and tone of voice?
Once you’re familiar with a blog’s take on a certain subject, then it should be much easier to tailor your content towards them. All this background research will help enormously when it comes delivering the right content, in the right way, at the right time.
*Edit from CharityComms: Google blog search is no longer available, but Google searching can be just as effective. Check out this article for more info on this, and other ways to find new blogs.