Ruth Writes is a 30-something Liverpool based blog covering mid-size fashion, pescatarian food and beauty.
Lately I’ve had time on my hands to take stock of the blogging community and involve myself in discussions and debates surrounding the finer details of being a blogger/creator/influencer. The community is full of creatives who each bring something unique and new to the table.
I think when many people categorise bloggers they automatically think of the ‘Influencers in the wild’ twitter/Instagram account but it’s so much more than that. Yes fashion and beauty bloggers are what spring to mind first, but there are food, books, men’s grooming, gaming, finance, wedding, parenting, crochet, film bloggers. The list is endless.
I’ve really enjoyed Vix Meldrew’s content lately, sparking debate around when should a blogger be paid for their services, helping new and developing bloggers understand what brand are looking for in exchange for a blog post/AD on social media. And then there’s the rabbit hole of blogging and link building. His the two exchange and compliment eachother. And I think there’s still a huge question around SEO and link value. Which I’d love to dive into in this post.
In April 2020 I left my last job after four years of working in blogger outreach. The purpose of my role was to build quality backlinks to a series of websites. Having been a blogger for 10 years now, I like to think I have a firm grasp on how to speak and interact with bloggers and vice versa, understand the value that collaborating with bloggers has on websites.
I do believe there’s still a gap to educate bloggers on how best to utilise their site, increase their SEO value and understand how it is beneficial to brands.
This works both ways. We all know about domain authority (DA) as calculated by Moz, but many SEO specialists use Ahrefs, and domain rating (DR), as a way to calculate the value of a website. As a blogger or website owner, you ideally want your site DA/DR to be as high as possible.
In industry terms, a site with a DA/DR of 20 provides strong ‘link juice’ to a partnering site and obtaining a backlink on said site carries authority.
Site rankings fluctuate monthly, inline with Moz and Ahrefs algorithm. For example, this very blog www.ruth-writes.co.uk had a Moz DA of 25 in 2018, however it currently (June 2020) has a score of 16.
It’s calculated according to the number of backlinks obtained – sites such as brand websites and blogs linking to your site as external links and internal links on your blog.
My role in my old job was to build backlinks. So source bloggers with a strong DA/DR and an aesthetically pleasing blog (appearance is important) to collaborate on either a paid or gifting-only campaign in exchange for a feature or mention in a new blog post with a backlink.
This is where it gets confusing. Google Guidelines state bloggers and website owners should use the nofollow attribute, however from an SEO standpoint, a dofollow link carries more weight and is more likely to assist with increasing a website’s ranking.
For example, I worked on a well-known jewellery brand account and in just under two years, built over 130 backlinks to a series of category pages. This was conducted via blogger outreach alone. Gifted jewelry in exchange for a dofollow backlink. The rankings steadily increased and the brand ranked on page one for a variety of keywords and popular search terms – example being, ‘women’s necklaces’.
That the power of link-building for brands. An SEO/Outreach practise that has been tried, tested and well loved by SEO teams across the globe.
But, bloggers should also be looking to increase their backlink profile. It will help your site to rank higher, for more terms and increase your visibility in organic search, i.e. search engines such as Google.
Back to the link attributes shared by Google. In September 2019, Google updated the link attributes to include Sponsored and UGC (User Generated Content). All links are now treated as a hint, so whether you include a Dofollow, Nofollow, Sponsored or UGC link – they all carry SEO weight.
Another aspect to remember when creating blog content and wanting to increase your visibility, is to research and utilise keywords.
Writing a blog post about L’Oreal Shampoo? Don’t do the 2011 blogger trend of using song lyrics for your blog title (who remembers!) include the brand name and product name in your title and in full in your post. Further to this, make sure you mention ‘Women’s Shampoo’ as it’s related.
All sounds pretty basic doesn’t it, but if it’s review content specific to a new product launch and you want your review to stand out, optimising your content and including alt tags on all your images will definitely go a long way.
I do understand how some bloggers can find the SEO side of content creation baffling, especially if you’re day job etc is outside of digital marketing, but ultimately we all create and write posts that we want to be read and engaged with and by putting small processes in place, it definitely helps to pay off in the long run by increasing your DA/DR and taking your collabations from being purely gifted to paid.
If you’re a small brand, new business or blogger wanting to expand your blogging potential or looking to get further advice, I would reccomend checking out Tekfirst for digital marketing services in Harrogate.