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Interviewing Bloggers and Decision Makers – Part 24: Kristin Addies / BeMyTravelMuse

Date Posted: 23 Dezember, 2014
Kristin Addies - BeMyTravelMuse
Kristin Addies – BeMyTravelMuse

Our series „Interviewing Bloggers and Decision Makers“ continues: In early 2014 we started asking questions on the topic of Blogger Relations to featured bloggers and company spokesmen. As we go along, the answers of both sides will result in important insights on how bloggers and companies can move closer together. This series‘ goal is to capture a status quo of Blogger Relations in the year 2014.

„Blogger“ is a placeholder – it can be influencers of various platforms (bloggers, vloggers, instagramers, twitterati, pinteresters etc.).

You will find a list of previous interviews further down below.

We gladly accept recommendations of guest authors, under welcome@wildcard-communications.de

Part 19 of the series: Kristin Addies, founder of BeMyTravelMuse.

Please find the German version of the interview here.

 

1. Do companies regularly contact you as part of their blogger relations?

Oh yes, several times per day. Sometimes it gets a bit overwhelming.

2. What kind of experiences do you have in dealing and working with companies?

I would say 99% are just sending over a press release or looking for a free mention in my blog, but those who I have formed a good relationship with have turned into something mutually beneficial. I love working as a brand ambassador for destinations and companies that I use myself and can really stand behind and tie my name to. This is why it’s so rare for me to do so, because I want to maintain that reader trust that is so important to me and my audience.

So, when I do partner with a brand, both the brand and my audience can rest assured that I really stand behind my words and really support the company. It’s good business for everyone.

3. What is the biggest mistake companies can make when talking to or dealing with bloggers?

I would say, “boiling the ocean,” so to speak. A mass informal email to a bunch of bloggers without any personalization or research probably won’t pay dividends.

Most bloggers have some sort of page directed at companies and media. I’d suggest identifying the bloggers who really are a natural and perfect fit for the brand, looking for the media pages, reading them fully, and sending over a personalized email.

4. If you were a representative of a company: What would you do, in order to strengthen the relationship between bloggers and companies?

I would take the guess work out of it by hiring a blogger who I feel could really represent my brand well, and then partnering with him/her to find other bloggers who would also be a good fit. Sure, there may be a small finder’s fee, but if you’ve found the perfect blogger for you, chances are he/she knows of others as well.

5. How should companies address bloggers? What should companies pay close attention to when starting with blogger relations?

Have a clear understanding of who they are and what they write about. Reference specifics in initial outreach emails. This will set you apart from almost everyone else sending the blogger an email.

6. In my opinion, the biggest benefit in including blogger relations in communication is…

Hopefully involving someone who has some experience in blogging him or herself, and knows the long-term benefits of working with bloggers.

7. In my opinion, the biggest downside in including blogger relations in communication is…

Not understanding where the real value lies, and looking for ROI in all the wrong places (like twitter impressions, etc.) Don’t hire someone because he/she has a million twitter followers. Look at the engagement!

8. What do you think is the biggest accomplishment of bloggers? What did blogs achieve in your opinion?

Personally, as a travel blogger, reading other blogs that inspired me to get out there and become a digital nomad was a game-changer. They caused me to act because they had so much helpful information and established a high level of trust with me, as the reader, from the beginning. I’ve seen the same happen with my blog in the years since – readers email me to say they went somewhere because I recommended it, or bought a product because I mention how much I love it too. Blogs are about a personal brand, and that personal brand can humanize a company. That’s the real value.

9. Where do you see the blogosphere in regards to reach and influence in the next 1-3 years in the USA?

I really believe it’s about quality over quantity. Many companies don’t realize yet that big numbers, such as twitter and traffic, can be faked. What really matters is the engagement. I think eventually companies and brands will come to realize this and choose who they work with differently. There’s a lot of value out there, but you have to find the right people and sometimes that’s not just the obvious choices.

10. What advice would you want to give to representatives of companies?

Look at engagement, not just numbers. Go for the bloggers who can prove to you that the return they can get for you is real. Put more money into more thought out projects and long-term brand partnerships, not a bunch of quick, easy, cheap blogs that don’t have the reach you really want and need.

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