Let Bloggers Build Your Brand

Let Bloggers Build Your Brand church sign

I have a confession, dear reader.

I didn’t always make money online to keep me in shoes. Once upon a time, I had “real jobs”.

I worked with some fantastically talented people, including Mr Blogjam and Ms Ladyshambles. I also worked with some real schmucks.

Many said schmucks worked for advertising agencies. Their common passions were overpriced Japanese trainers, permanent suspicious sniffles and an awful habit of talking at people. Mostly about themselves.

Very few of really understood the web, leaving me dazzled that buffoons could bluff with such success for so long. They’d use phrases like “thinking outside the box” or “blue sky thinking”, while I’d bite my tongue in lieu of explaining the irony of using cliches to illustrate creative thought.

These ad agency goons were not alone in failing to understand their medium of choice. At one startup, I proposed making bloggers the focus to launch a new service. The benefits of approaching bloggers were manifold: acres of free publicity, easy link building for web traffic and an army of potential early adopters to act as evangelists.

The downside? The CEO would need to clear a little time in his schedule to be interviewed by bloggers. He declined. Repeatedly. That year, said CEO cut cheques to the tune of £48k to a name PR firm. This generated one solitary, if substantial, write up.

That’s one piece of positive press in twelve whole months. From memory, this FT piece generated zero visible increase in user registrations.

So it’s always a pleasant surprise to see companies just *get it* when it comes to engaging bloggers. I can think of few more effective ways to build a buzz around a new brand.

Within hours of blogging about Swivel.com, I received an email from their CEO. He wanted to arrange a private demo to show me how Swivel could be used to analyze AdWords and AdSense data (watch this space).

I use myriad Google Alerts plus custom RSS feeds to track every mention of my websites and URLs on the web. I’m also playing with Track Engine as suggested by Eric Ward in his excellent Search Engine Land column.

What tools or methods do you use to help you build your brand in the blogosphere?

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