Last Friday marked the first month of my internship at CMD. I get the opportunity work on excellent projects, doing awesome things and with some pretty cool people. Much of my time is devoted to research.
More specifically, I spend much of my time finding influential bloggers.
Although most of the hype these days is around micro blog sites (Facebook, Twitter, LinkedIn, Google+ etc), the blogosphere is one of the most loyal and active communities. Look at the mommy blogger community and you will see what I mean.
Finding a specific demographic of bloggers proves to be one of the most difficult facets of blog research. Here are some tips I came across while trying to find industry influencing bloggers.
Micro blogging: The majority of the tweets that come through my feed are links to articles or blogs. This is why micro blogging is usually a great place to start. Depending on the industry you are looking for, social media sites have influencers from all walks of life. Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google+’s search engines crawl through hundreds of millions of profiles for key words and phrases. Generally the search engine will show the top profiles with those key words in them. These are your influencers.
Blog Roll: Blog rolls are links to profiles and websites that the creator finds helpful. Once you’ve found one influencer, search through their blog roll to see if they have more stellar contacts. This can fill up your list of influential bloggers before you know it.
Company Websites and Blogs: Why not start at the top? Contributors to the industry are always influencers. For example, if you are looking for influential car bloggers, why not start at Ford and work your way down? Most companies these days have blogs on their own websites, and with the new understanding of transparency, most blogs reveal their author. If you take it one step further, you realize that these authors are industry influencers, so you can Google their names and see if they have personal blogs as well. Chances are they do and you’ve found yourself an excellent contact.
Good ‘ole Fashion News: Most news sites have opinion writers and bloggers. These writers are well versed in their specific fields and generally have a large local following. So what does this mean to you? Yes, you have yourself an influencer.
Analysis Tools: Influential people are influential because they know what they’re talking about and they can be found. Search engine optimization is the key tactic to be discovered in the Internet world. This way of finding bloggers is a little more time intensive. First think of key words that these bloggers might use, and enter them into sites like Google Analytics, Google Trends and Google Adwords. These tools will help you figure out if your words are on the right track. Once you make a short list of high traffic key words, enter them into Radian 6, Twitter, Facebook, LinkedIn and Google Blogs to see who pops up.
Google: Google has several tools to help you find your influential bloggers and my two favorites are Google Blogs and Google Reader. Google Blogs is a search engine that functions almost exactly like the regular search engine, but it only searches blogs– simple enough right? With the words you found by using the analysis tools and the Google search punctuation, you can find bloggers in any industry.
Hopefully some of these you’ve never thought to try, and I hope they work if you do choose to try them. They’ve helped me along the way.
Please let me know what you think and comment if you have any other tips.