What are some good blogs about deception

Blogger Relations: Why You Should Budget For Bloggers

Blogger Relations - Is This A Fad? Do you need that and should you pay something for it? Entrepreneur and blogger Béa Beste explains why a budget for branding is worthwhile.

Before, when I was "just" an entrepreneur and not blogging myself, I had a strange picture of bloggers. For me they were people who somehow did beautiful things. People for whom blogging was “just fun” for a lot of thumbs (likes) from their community. Just like other people tend their allotments, grow roses or make pottery, so somehow as a hobby.

And I was sure that if I made the bloggers happy with my product (the Tollabox) and even made it available for a raffle among their readers, they would jump in the air and immediately present my product in their blogs with very, very positive comments. Added value for your readers! Yeah I thought that.

I was taught something else

I almost fell off my chair when a blogger gave me a price for a blog post. How? She wanted MONEY and my sacred product is actually just work for her?

I started researching: blogging is actually a business model too. Serious business, much like a magazine, only free for readers. Bloggers bring their skills, their reach, their mostly loyal readership and create a more personal approach than any other ad. Companies pay bloggers money to write an article on a topic that matters to them. The blogger in turn marks the text for the readers of his blog as an advertisement - this is what is known as "native advertising". More on that later. I first had to figure out how to do it myself.

But I also learned to differentiate

There are indeed the “billo” product test blogs that only rate products continuously and make their money through affiliate concepts, but that is not what we are talking about here. There are also the typical advice blogs that are optimized for search engines and only distribute “do-this” tips that you copy from some advice books and rewrite them slightly. And there are also the content curation blogs, which distribute the content of others and are financed by banners. That is not mentioned here either.

It's about the beautiful, lovingly constructed blogs that publish newly created content (texts, photos, drawings, videos) - with personal insights from the authors. They open the door to their world and slowly build up a loyal readership over time. These are people who show themselves and their surroundings, who reflect, and who over the years have built a currency that is worth something: the trust of their readers. Bloggers are small media companies.

I started blogging myself and managing a community

I wanted to understand the matter better and started blogging myself when my former company Tollabox was still in the making. This gave me access to the parent blogger community, which welcomed me very openly. I was able to exchange ideas, understand topics and give my mustard to it. I started not only posting my own blog posts and product ads for my company on social media, but also sharing the content of other bloggers. This also gave me a better understanding of what my target group - the parents - was interested in and what wasn't.

When I was stuck with the Tollabox, it was precisely this blogger scene that tried very hard to help me. I was already "one of them" by then. The fact that the Tollabox didn't work after all and that we had to file for bankruptcy was due to other reasons. But at least the blog and the community are what stayed with me after the bankruptcy.

For years I hadn't made any money with the blog, publishing had become my passion. Based on the reach and the credibility in the target group and the blogger scene, now that I am looking for a new livelihood, I can use the blog to develop new entrepreneurial ideas. I reach several million parents every month. So much for my story.

Why bloggers are an important tool for brand building

If your only short-term thinking in terms of channels and conversions is PR and blogger relations, then you shouldn't try either. However, if you are looking for new sales channels and want to increase your brand awareness for specific target groups, you should try blogs. Blog posts have SEO value because they increase the visibility of your product in search engines. Make sure that your product advertising in blogs is marked as such (general case law) and that the outgoing links are properly set to “No Follow” according to Google guidelines. There have been bigger waves.

From my point of view, also as a long-standing brand expert for The Boston Consulting Group, the most important function of the so-called sponsored blog posts, the "native advertising", lies in brand building. If you choose well and work out a smart strategy with the blogger, your brand will be embedded in such a personal context that is otherwise hardly possible. Here it is important to see the difference to press work: Blogger reports can incorporate more personal opinion than an article for a magazine or daily newspaper. Because the editor-in-chief, boss-on-duty, sales manager and publisher are in personal union: the blogger himself.

Here are some arguments that some blogger friends who are professional journalists themselves and can therefore compare blogging with press work, formulated especially for this article:

“Bloggers let their readers take part in their lives and their views to a certain extent. The regular reader knows the author in a certain way and probably trusts the blogger (otherwise he would not keep coming back). Trust also relates to the fact that only good things are presented as good. If the blogger then recommends or introduces a product, it looks like a friend's tip, another type of word-of-mouth ("I heard that should be quite good"), which reaches a lot of people right on time. Customers only get such closeness with bloggers. " - Journalist Lisa Harmann, who blogs at Stadtlandmama.

“The interaction and closeness you have as a blogger with your readers is much more intense than an advertisement in a magazine or on the company's Facebook fan page can ever be. Through this interaction and closeness, we have built up an incomparable credibility - often over the years, which, like any marketing tool, has its price. A blog may have a smaller reach than a banner advertisement in a large online medium - but the credibility, acceptance and perception is on a completely different basis. " - Journalist Nathalie Klüver with the blog Ganznormalemama.

It is precisely along this line of argument that good and bad native advertising differ. Surreptitious advertising, i.e. what Wikipedia complains as "The intention of the advertiser is to design paid advertising in such a way that it is not directly recognizable and thus attracts the attention of users through deception" undermines precisely the most important currency of the blogger: the trust of the target group. Readers aren't stupid. You understand that “your blogger” also has to make a living from something - and the more clearly and authentically the blogger is committed to the job, the better the effect on the target group. This is one of the reasons why it is best if the blogger writes himself - simply cheering him on with PR texts according to the motto: "Do less work, then make it cheaper for me" is saving money at the wrong end.

Is a Bought Opinion a Credible Opinion?

Many marketing people wonder if paying for an opinion doesn't compromise the credibility of the whole article. The idea is very justified - but I now know from my own blog work that neither I nor other bloggers would risk their own credibility for a few hundred euros. Content bloggers are picky about their collaborations - and only take action if they are really convinced of the matter.

“You NEVER buy the opinion when it comes to a reputable blog. You pay for the work the writers do in the mail. For the photos, for the idea for implementation, for the specific embedding in the blog. If companies are really interested in working together, then they should keep that in mind. Opinion cannot be bought, but the work on the blog has to be rewarded. All in all, this also means that as a company you should consider whether you are now cooperating with 50 blogs and then maybe just feed them off for your work (and thus risk that this will also become an issue) or working with a few, strives for selected blogs on an equal footing. At first glance, it may cost three euros more, but in the long run it pays off through fairness and genuine interest from the target group. " - says journalist Andrea Zschocher, who runs the blog Wrinkled Feet.

That costs the cooperation with bloggers

And while we're at it, “Butter with the fish”. For family blogs, with which I am familiar, the following applies: For a blog post including its distribution in the blogger's social media channels, you should calculate from around 200 euros - for the smaller blogs under 30,000 page views per month. In the range of 30,000 page impressions up to around 90,000 page impressions, you should expect prices of around 500 euros. Anyone who has more than 100,000 monthly page views will call up prices from at least 600 euros, depending on the strength of their social media channels, well and happily around 1000 euros and more, depending on the effort.

My advice: Think less in terms of one-off blog posts and rather rely on long-term collaboration that extends over a few months. Negotiate package prices with several publications, for example a series of consecutive blog posts with YouTube videos and original quotes from Facebook fans, Instagram and Twitter followers and a shared pin board on Pinterest.

This gives readers the opportunity to deal with your brand more often and in different channels - and if they are then confronted with one of your other advertising measures, they are more likely to strike. The marketing legend has it that it takes people seven positive contacts with a brand before they decide to buy.


More on the subject of influencer marketing in the 03/16 issue of impulse: How the collaboration between companies and bloggers succeeds, how you recognize good blogs and which legal framework conditions apply.

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