For the last couple of years we have been working on a project to populate FeaturesExec Media Database with blogs. We set an initial target to seek out 1,000 influential blogs across each of the categories on FeaturesExec and our overall approach involved reviewing each blog individually for inclusion on the database. Adding 1,000 blogs was an exciting challenge and a great learning experience. We reached our target a short while back but we aren’t about to stop there.
There are thousands of blogs in each sector covering an array of niches. Our collection of blogs only represents a small portion of the blogging community, but we aim to list the most influential. As the influence of bloggers has increased so has the demand for brands to collaborate with them. With this on-going project at DWPub we hope to continue developing our approach and build a leading collection of hand-picked blogs.
Below is a guide we use for adding blogs to FeaturesExec:
Frequency of posts. If the blog posts regularly and often then this means there will be a steady stream of content and an engaged audience.
Quality of writing and design. Bloggers are not always professional writers, but good grammar, spelling and clear design is very important.
Clear focus and audience. Most bloggers dedicate their writing to a specific subject and target specific audiences. Seeking out these bloggers is a particular focus of our blog programme.
Viewing figures. Often a difficult figure to source, however all bloggers have access to readership numbers for their blogs. This gives an immediate indication of the blog’s popularity.
Well established. Some blogs have been going for years and have established audiences with regular content and existing relationships with PRs. These often make for great additions to the database.
Transparency. Does the author display contact details in the about section? Do they accept contributions from PRs? Some blogs are very clear about this making it easier to identify those who would be interested in having their details included on a database
Comments and social media. Social media is becoming an essential part of the blogging experience and a thriving social media community is a great sign of an influential blogger. If the posts attract comments from readers then this is clear evidence of an engaged readership.
Qualifications. Occasionally, journalists and even PRs start their own blogs. These blogs often make great additions to the database because of their prior experience in the media industry.
These are just guidelines and there is always the odd exception to the rule. Ascertaining a blogger’s influence or a blog’s quality is not an exact science and our approach to adding blogs has had to remain flexible to allow for the variety and spontaneity that blogging embodies. This degree of flexibility is necessary for such a dynamic industry. Under the correct circumstances a blog can go from a small, personal project to a media sensation getting millions of hits in a short space of time (see Martha Payne’s Never Seconds blog).
With these concerns in mind we are conscious of the fact that blogging forms a small part of a larger social media landscape comprising blog posts, Twitter feeds, Instagram profiles and Pintrest boards, to mention but a few. Together they form an extension of the writer’s personality and demonstrate the passion they have for their subject. But the core of blogging is community. It is clear that there are many more influential blogs out there and as we continue to build our list of bloggers we hope to do so with a more candid approach and with a view to growing a community of our own where bloggers feel free to nurture mutually agreeable relationships with PRs and other bloggers. So if you’re a blogger on FeaturesExec or are interested in finding out a bit more about what we do then please do get in touch, via Twitter, blog or carrier pigeon. We’d love to chat!