At the Local Parent Network we pride ourselves on not just being local websites, but on being social media professionals. We strive to bring best-practices to our customers in everything that we do. We would like to be the gold standard for local blogs in your area.
We realize, however, that businesses often want to work with several blogs in a particular area. Great! Here are some tips to make sure the site you choose to work with is both professional and a good place to spend your money.
- Look at their site. How much of their content is sponsored? A recent article from industry expert Kelby Carr recommends that a blogger produce no more than 25% sponsored content. As a site extends beyond that, they are seen as less trustworthy and the value of that sponsored post goes down.
- Examine their sponsored content–is it in keeping with the most up-to-date guidelines from the FTC? If you’re not sure, ask. If you don’t get a great answer, look those guidelines up yourself. Google is your friend. If someone is going to get in trouble for sponsored content done incorrectly it will always, always be the brand and not the blogger. You need to think about that before hiring a blogger.
- Ask about no-follow versus do-follow links. If the blogger doesn’t know what you’re talking about, find someone else to work with. Google is very clear on the types of links allowed for sponsored content and it’s important to stay on Google’s good side! No one wants to get “dinged” in the search results because of an unprofessional approach to sponsored content.
- Ask your friends who work in social media about a site you are looking at. Most bloggers in an area know each other and know who is keeping up with best-practices. A quick check can often reveal any potential issues. Ask how long they’ve been around–you’d hate to pay for blog content on a blog that’s gone in a few months.
- Check their Facebook page. Divide the Talking About number by the number of fans. The goal is to be over 8%. Every site will have its low days, but this is a gauge of how good a site is at engaging its readers. You can also click on their likes tab and see the city and age of their most active users.
- Just like on their blog, is their Facebook page all sponsored content or a good mix? The goal is more organic content than sponsored.
- Ask them how they keep up with trends and legal changes in the world of social media. Do they attend conferences? Are they a members in any online groups such as SITS, Type A, or BlogHer? A good blogger knows the landscape of social media is changing constantly. They strive to keep up with the latest in guidelines and best practices. If a blogger you’re working with doesn’t do this, you could be wasting your money or worse yet, breaking the law.