The business case for good blogger relations with high-traffic bloggers July 26, 2008Posted by Raul in Blogathon 2008, blogosphere.
Tags: Blogathon Vancouver 2008
This is perhaps one of the posts I’ve been wanting to write for THE longest time, particularly in recent months. It’s definitely not a self-congratulatory post at all, though it does reflect the shifting patterns of blogger-industry relations and my gradual involvement in it.
A few months back, I commented that of course I would be very happy if I had the kind of traffic that Rebecca Bollwitt, Stephen Rees or Darren Barefoot command. I consider all three of them, friends of mine to varying extents (obviously I consider Rebecca a very close friend) and therefore, I have not the slightest amount of envy for their stats.
Through my restaurant reviews on UrbanSpoon, my own traffic is quite good when it comes to restaurant reviews. I figure that if I didn’t write about anything else other than restaurant reviews, I’d probably have really high number of unique views.
Currently, my stats (while I think they’re ok) are nowhere in the vicinity of what the mommy blogger Dooce (whom I have never read in my life, by the way) commands. Colleen wrote a really interesting post on the Return on Investment (ROI) for Nintendo Wii’s campaign with Dooce. (SIDE NOTE – Frankly, I don’t feel bad at all for not reading Dooce – I didn’t even understand why so many people made a big fuss that she came to talk at VIDFEST 2008- but I’d definitely love to have the kind of traffic she commands).
However, I always wondered whose blogger’s traffic would I prefer. For example, danah boyd (who is nearing the completion of her PhD at Berkeley) is someone who got a hell of a lot of traffic for a post she wrote on class division and the Facebook/MySpace divide. Would I prefer to have Dooce’s traffic or danah’s? I’m going to go with probably danah’s, simply because I am an academic and I kind of have that lens to the world. HOWEVER, is my readership the kind of readership danah has, or the readership that Dooce has? Who are my readers, anyway?
I have to admit that I have never bothered to categorize my readers, and I don’t want to cajole them in neat little boxes with labels. But this is an interesting question to me, because I think that if I were to really get something out of my blog, I would need to really understand very well my readership and do a much more thorough analysis of my traffic (Rebecca has a really neat post about this on her blog).
But along the line of higher stats, and given my current (and potentially soon-to-cease-to-exist) status as the top-ranked UrbanSpoon restaurant review blogger, I would figure that more and more restaurants would be coming down and knocking on my doors to get me to review their restaurants. It has happened already with a few, which I am grateful for (particularly because those are really good restaurants!) and I’ve already gotten some nice swag.
But since my blog is so personal, I guess I could not blame any businesses for not choosing to send me stuff. I’m not an iPhone expert (as John Biehler is), nor do I write specific, detailed, restaurant reviews (as Karen Hamilton does – though she also has a personal site), nor am I a really geeky blogger. Nevertheless, I’m happy with what many people have told me about my blog – that they like reading it because it has one theme = Raul (that is, ME).
But back to the blogger relations issue. In the past few months, I’ve been pitched to write about several campaigns, and I am not sure (and would shudder to think) that part of the reason why I am being pitched may be the higher traffic I have now (and let’s face it, I only switched to WordPress in March 2008 so I have NO reason to complain, my stats have skyrocketed).
So, really – I am just saying – if you’re going to talk to bloggers with high traffic, you should keep good relations – whatever the definition of “high” or “good” traffic is. I am really not concerned about my stats, but if you are a business looking to pitch me on the basis of my stats, you better know that my readership is nowhere near the realm of other local blogging powerhouses! 😉
And yeah I recognize that by being honest I might be closing some doors down, but I prefer honesty over fakeness. I am not fake nor will I ever be. I am me and this is my story.
[EDITORS NOTE – Darren, Rebecca and others have written about bloggers relations, it was the topic of a Third Tuesday, but I’m exhausted and my brain isn’t working properly so I’ll update this post when Blogathon is over to reflect all these discussions – and maybe this post isn’t all that well thought out!]