Marketers Should Make Things Easy For Bloggers

Posted on April 26, 2008

Novelist and Boing Boing blogger Cory Doctorow has some excellent tips for marketers wanting to reach bloggers in an article in Information Week called "17 Tips For Getting Bloggers To Write About You." To most bloggers these tips are common sense but a surprising number of marketers don't follow them. Some of Doctorow's best suggestions have to do with linking.
Have a link. Seriously: if you want bloggers to link to you, you need to have something linkable. Your upcoming TV show, protest march, product or soccer tournament is literally unbloggable unless you put it on the Web somewhere first.

Have a permanent link. Don't just change the front page of your site every time a new speaker for your speaker-series in announced. A blogger who links to the front page of your site today in a post about the upcoming address by Philo T Farnsworth, wants that link to stay good for in the future, and not point to the upcoming address by Paris Hilton when you change it next week. Put up a separate, permanently linkable page for everything you want to get blogged.

Have a link for everything. Don't have a single page with ten items on it. Blogging a link to the top of your fifty-screen-long page with a blurb about something halfway down generates 200 e-mails from readers who can't find the referenced item.

Use real links. Don't have links with expiring session-keys that are no good if someone revisits the URL later. If a blogger can't send the URL to a friend or put it on the Web, then that blogger can't send people to go look at your stuff. Likewise, avoid the giant, 800-character gobbledegook URLs filled with junky alphabet-soup GUIDs -- if it can't be pasted into IRC without linebreaking, there's some group of compulsive communicators who'll be unable to get to it.
Doctors also tells marketers to avoid using Flash and PDF. He also tells marketers not to worry about things like losing bandwidth due to hotlinking. Doctorow writes, "Dear site operators: Here's a quarter, go buy a terabyte from Amazon S3 and stop complaining." Post nice high-res images and don't use annoying javascript code that tries to block bloggers from downloading the image.

More and more marketers are doing the things Cory Doctorow suggests in his article. They are providing permalinks and easy-to-grab images and video downloads. This will make the marketers who don't get it even more obvious. They will stand out like a soar thumb.