Blonde 2.0 about importance of blogging for startups

Blonde 2.0 is writing in her blog, "Guy Grimland, editor of TheMarker IT has recently interviewed me for an article discussing the importance of blogger coverage for startups as opposed to traditional media coverage."

blonde20's photoWho is Blonde 2.0?
A Strategist in the world of online marketing, community building, social software and networking. Involved in the marketing, promotion and content creation of web 2.0 and social networking sites. Served as ICQ's Marketing Manager for 4 years

"In my interview I told Guy that bloggers today have a dramatic effect on the outcome of startups. Bloggers are the opinion leaders of today. I would be more inclined to try a service or product if a specific blogger that I admire recommended it as opposed to a journalist. But we’re not only talking quality," She writes.

"We’re also talking quantity. 120,000 blogs are opened each day and startups can receive a great deal more coverage through blogs than through traditional media. In addition, there are niche bloggers that write about specific topics and turning to those bloggers will of course get you much more targeted exposure for your service/product."

Helge: I can nothing else but agree with Blonde 2.0. Corporate blogging is still in its infancy in Finland. Swede's are a little better off. I've some trouble understanding, why? Language might be an entry barrier for some but they could start blogging in Finnish / native language. It's much more important to understand the importance of open co-creation and innovation. A second reason might be that the start-up don't have nothing to say. That's a much more important question. Blogging is also a way to get your act together, it's a healthy educational / learning process for anyone. Learning by doing is what most bloggers experience. Nobody is born as a blogger and social networking. It certainly has been a struggle for me learning to express myself in three languages on a daily basis.

Here are a few tips from the article on how to approach bloggers:
  1. It’s preferable that you contact the blogger through a mutual acquaintance. Even then coverage is not certain. The service/product needs to be unique and interesting enough for the blogger to write about it.

  2. In your email, make sure to make your pitch short and concise. Don’t write a long novel and don’t just send an impersonal summary.

  3. Didn’t receive an answer? Try again in another week. Ask the blogger whether he received your email. If he doesn’t answer, move on to the next blogger. No point in wasting time.

  4. Arranged a meeting with the blogger? Prepare well for it. Try to predict ahead of time what questions he may ask you. There’s no point in hiding events from the past or current difficulties. Be truthful and honest. If you supply the blogger with high quality screenshots and perhaps even a demo video, that’s even better. If your service/product is still in private beta, give the blogger some invites for his readers. At the end of the meeting, make sure that the blogger has all the important details he needs in order to write a comprehensive post.

  5. Watch for the post and the response it receives. Be ready to answer comments from readers. Don’t try to deny problems that you may not have been aware of. If there’s a problem, be truthful and take advantage of this opportunity to fix it. If you committed to giving away invites, make sure to keep your promise.

Even though this article was written specifically about startups, bloggers today influence the future of all companies/organizations (not to mention individuals - but that’s another post). It is crucial for every company/organization to keep good relations with bloggers and a positive online image. What do you want people to see when they Google your name?

Helge: There are big global variations in corporate blogging acceptance. US is leading. It's natural for entrepreneurs and start-ups to use blogs, social media, wikies and open social platforms. How about in your country? How well off are you?

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