Did you know that, apparently, a blog is set-up every, single second? That’s a lot of blogs and a lot of space on the web that is controlled by real people, with no motive other than to be heard...
Not every blog ever created is still in operation today, some end as quickly as they began, but some people, when they blog correctly and effectively, can find themselves with a big following and can even find that it becomes a job.
The power of your voice isn’t something to underestimate, but a collection of voices is certainly something you can’t ignore.
Bloggers can be harnessed in some pretty brilliant ways to support a message, a launch or a product. Bloggers have a social influence, a following and a reputation that money can’t buy. People trust each other – if you can hear it from the horse’s mouth, over the farmer’s, you’ll choose the horse every time. Why? Because bloggers give first-hand information, they will be honest, they rarely have an agenda.
Charities can, and have been, building blogger relationships too – to help launch new campaigns, drive support and raise awareness.
Here are our top five examples:
The Lullaby Trust
Formerly known as the Foundation for the Study of Infant Deaths (FSID), The Lullaby Trust underwent a complete name change this year, to help raise their voice under a more gentle and compassionate name.
A big part of this was the parent blogger community, who rallied round to launch the foundation’s new name, with a series of blog posts around the concept of lullabies. It worked brilliantly, and was a topic close to everyone’s hearts after one blogger lost her baby girl, Matilda Mae, to Sudden Infant Death Syndrome (SIDS).
Brave mum Jennie, and her friends and supporters, have rallied together to raise awareness and raise funds in order further research and save lives. The most recent of which is The Team Matilda Mae Sky Dive, to raise much-needed funds for this charity. If you want to support them, get involved here.
The Red Lippy Project
Did you know that 20% of eligible women fail to attend a cervical screening when invited? And nearly 68% of women aged between 25 and 29 missed their screening invitation in 2011/2012? Some frightening statistics for a service that is completely free and is estimated to save up to 5,000 lives every year.
For Cervical Screening Awareness Week (9th – 15th June), The Red Lippy Project highlighted the importance of attending screening when invited, especially in the younger age groups, with all profits going to The Eve Appeal – the gynaecology cancer research fund and direct supporter of the project.
The campaign was not only supported by Elle magazine and Grazia magazine, but also some of the UK’s most prolific fashion and beauty bloggers, like Meg from Lips So Facto. Not only did this help on an SEO level, but it spoke directly to the campaign’s key audience and made a cervical screening less scary in the process.
Plans for 2014 are already in place, so if you want to pucker up and make a mark on cervical cancer, drop the team a line.
What do you get when you put three brilliant mums, a massive following, a secret and 25 years of #goodwork through Comic Relief together?
No, it’s not a joke, here’s what it resulted in…
Together, bloggers Annie, Penny and Tanya, joined forces under the name of Team Honk, after one single tweet spiralled into more than they could ever have imagined. Fast-forward a few meetings with Comic Relief and a secret brief later, and there were bike rides, shaved heads, baked cakes and an amazing 48 hours in Ghana, visiting four projects – a woman’s bakery, a vaccination clinic, a school in a slum area and a mental health project. – all in the name of 25 years of #GoodWork through Comic Relief.
What was the outcome?
A total of 262 bloggers, blogged about Comic Relief and Team Honk. #GoodWork and #TeamHonk trended on Twitter. Over £10,000 was raised.
They blogged and tweeted, live from Ghana, and touched the blogging community and beyond, in what seems to have been the biggest blogger and charity partnership to date. Something also tells us that these ladies are ones to watch – I wonder what next year will have in store?
2012: Something New Every Day
Back in 2011, Richard Roberts and wife, Sian, lost their baby due to an ectopic pregnancy, almost taking Sian’s life in the process. Sian thankfully recovered, but lost one fallopian tube in the process, diminishing their chances of falling pregnant again.
As the couple brought in the New Year together, Richard remembers giving his wife a kiss and realising that was the first time he’d ever brought in a New Year by kissing his wife, as the couple were newlyweds. This led him to challenge himself to do one new thing every day in 2012, in order to raise money for the Ectopic Pregnancy Foundation.
The challenge saw him do things like rescue a piglet, drink Armadillo milk and partake in a nappy changing contest, all to raise over £3,000 for the foundation. And his final post? He announced that he was once again a dad-to-be! This blog is a must-read, just to see all the wild and wacky things Richard did. It may inspire you to donate too.
Blogtivism – “using blogs to affect positive change.”
Yes, there’s even a website devoted to those who care about using the web to do good. Blogtivist.org features a range of brilliant bloggers who blog thoughts or support on a range of campaigns, charities, trusts and foundations.
They are raising awareness and building a network at the same time – definitely one to watch.
How can I start a relationship with bloggers/charities?
Whether you are a charity looking for a talented blogger to work with, or a blogger who would like to offer their support with a campaign idea or just a donation, it all comes down to compatibility. Like any good relationship, you need to have things in common and a mutual goal – a little social good.
Make sure you do a little background snooping beforehand. There’s nothing wrong with a good Google search, and sites such as Bloglovin’ should help you find bloggers in the category that you need, for example The Lippy Project would fit really well with the Fashion and Beauty blogger categories.
At the same time, make sure your chosen blogger fits well with your message. Do they have an interest in your area? Are they the sort of person that you would like to work with? Simple things like grammar and spelling help too – as it’s ultimately a reflection of your work, as well as theirs.
Also, be sympathetic, if you are looking to work with a brilliant blogger who is documenting their battle with cancer, make sure that they are in the position to help. You need to agree some boundaries, no matter how passionate a blogger, they may not be up to writing after a particular tough session of chemotherapy or treatment.
- Be Objective
What do you want out of a blogger partnership? Donations? Increased SEO ranking? A voice? A following? Publicity? These all require different approaches.
SEO requires lots of links and mentions on lots of blogs, particularly a few well-known ones if you really want that boost. Donations may come from a sponsored task from someone willing to go above and beyond. A following will come from your work with bloggers and the advice and support that you demonstrate.
Relationships don’t just come from a quick introduction – you need to get to know the bloggers you are working with. Why are they inspired by what you do? What’s their story? How can you support them? An effective campaign is often an ongoing one and perhaps you can start a bloggers’ network where everyone can come together and work collectively.
- Give and Take
As much as this is all for social good, this can’t be a one-sided venture. If a blogger is going above and beyond for your organisation, make sure you return the favour. Offer to plug their blog, link to their site, retweet their tweets – it’s all in the name of social good after all.
For more information on making your content go further, or developing a content strategy email firstname.lastname@example.org.