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?

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