At Leapfrogg we work with a multitude of bloggers across lots of different genres. One thing we’ve noticed crop up more and more is the number of blogs belonging to ‘blogger networks’; collectives of independent blogs managed by an umbrella publisher.
Blogger networks aren’t a new phenomenon, but they have definitely become more prominent with the emergence of the likes of Handpicked Media, Glam Media and now Mumsnet starting its own blogger network arm (Marketing Week, 7th July 2011). Most networks have some commercial aspect to them while others are more about promoting their blogs and social networking.
The real benefits to bloggers joining these networks are multiple. They can help build relationships with likeminded topic experts, help build traffic and revenue to their sites and provide often much needed support and resource around administration and commercial guidance.
However, the way in which we work with bloggers has to adapt along with the emergence of these blogger networks and bloggers overall becoming more financially driven. Essentially, it makes everyone’s jobs a little bit easier; agencies can build relationships with publishers that understand the creative and commercial needs of their clients and bloggers get a gatekeeper to provide them with administrative and commercial support.
It will, however, require some budget. As the gatekeepers to these blogs, the networks will co-ordinate creative briefs that work for their bloggers, identify who would be interested in a particular project, handle all the administration and ultimately ensure the blogs make some money out of the activity; whilst also ensuring an income for their services.
So far we’ve tipped our toes in the water by running lower level giveaway campaigns with Handpicked Media – we’re yet to test out a full blown campaign but it is definitely something we are looking to trial with our clients.