15 questions to ask before working with a blogger

If a blogger sends you a request to review a product and you don’t have expensive tools to measure his or her influence, pose these key questions.

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In short: What criteria should we use to compare bloggers?

Agencies have proprietary systems to measure bloggers’ influence, but those tools are typically found at organizations with larger PR/marketing budgets.

What about the legion of small businesses that don’t have a pot of money—those that don’t employ firms like Edelman Digital, Golin Harris, and Fleishman-Hillard? What tools and resources do they have?

Answer: Not much. They often must fend for themselves. Here are 15 questions—broken into three categories—to ask when evaluating bloggers:

What is the blog’s audience?

• For whom is the blogger writing? Make sure the audience syncs with your key audience. Look for an “about” page on the blog; that’s usually the best place to learn about the blog’s purpose and audience.

• How much traffic does the blog receive? You can use Compete.com to get an estimate on monthly unique visitors to the blog; it’s not 100 percent accurate, but it will give you a feel for the traffic the blog receives. (Editor’s note: Alexa.com is another useful tool for ranking websites based on traffic.)

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