It’s time for this week’s edition of Man-day by Jensguy.
*Note from Jen- This is a pretty amazing post. Most bloggers won’t share this info with you, but my husband wants to make sure every Mommy Blogger is rewarded for their hard work.
So what if I were to tell you that much of what you thought you knew about building a blog wasn’t so. What if developing your content while slowly but surely building a community of readers wasn’t the way to gain advertisers and sponsorships? What if there was a system where you were immediately judged and either dismissed entirely or let into the “Cool Kids Club?”
I certainly didn’t like the sound of something like that and was very invested in the natural way of blog building where your social networking was the driver to the content of your blog. I wouldn’t blame you if you dismissed these ideas as rubbish and continued on as you have. I felt that way even a couple of weeks ago. For that we can offer the Blue Pill.
Take the Blue Pill and you will go on as normal, which isn’t a bad place to be.
Many people already know about it, some are passing familiar with it, and others, like Jennifer and I up until recently, have no idea what it is. It’s purpose is to take the whole of your online writing and relationships and distill them into a single score which can be accessed by everybody. This could and probably should be considered wholly evil. It will access all of your social networking sites and look at your contact as well as the people you are interacting with and grade each like, share, and comment, compiling a total score that is adjusted daily. If you don’t want to play, it doesn’t really matter, as they will still generate a score based primarily upon your twitter feed. You either play along to increase your score, or stagnate as your score is auto generated missing vital components.
So everything you are online is generated into a number between 1 and 100. Yes, it is soulless. Yes, it is borderline unfair. And yes, the score DOES matter, whether we want it to or not.
Sponsorships and Perks
When you apply for perks and sponsorships they ask you to fill out a form that takes into account your historical traffic and other details. Understand however, know that the first gateway they aren’t telling you about is your Klout score. If you were sorting between hundreds of requests a day, it would only make sense that you would need some sort of easily verifiable bench mark, even if it is creepy. Klout scores are easily obtainable and everyone is scored making it a great universal judgment standard.
And that isn’t where it stops. Even decisions as silly as somebody following you back on Twitter can be determined by your score. The higher your score, the higher your perceived value as a part of somebody’s network. Cold, sterile, but reality.
So, yes, you will need to create an account. If they are going to judge you, give yourself your best shot. Make sure that you add all of your social media outlets, even if some are weaker. The score is cumulative, not averaged, so every little bit helps. On Klout’s home page you can use either Facebook or Twitter to log in. You will shortly be given a score.
Understand that whatever your score is, it will be adjusted upward as your other social media is added. But for a quick and dirty reference, a 40 is what your average social media user will score. Again, whatever your score is, don’t panic, it is going to come up considerably.
Looking at Everyone Else
There are plugins for Firefox and Chrome that will allow you to see the Klout scores of everyone in your Twitter feed. I’m not going to lie, the effect is quite jarring, somewhat akin to seeing everyone in the room in their underwear. People that you thought really had it together may come in lower than you expect and others who you may have dismissed will show to be social media superstars. You will now start to understand the beauty and the warts of the system all in one glance.
Again, don’t panic if your score does not measure up well with your peers. That score is going to come up. Just to reassure you, here is the timeline for Jennifer’s score:
So Jennifer went from a 15 to a 58 (they round up) in a little over 2 months after starting her blog. She jumped up 12 points just in the time that we discovered what a Klout score is. That’s a pretty healthy growth pattern and easily repeatable by others.
And Now the Sliver Linings. . .
It’s an ugly system that takes much of the merriment and wonder out of building a blog organically. Realizing this is a game rather than a journey of discovery is not pleasant for most. Understand, however, that as a mommy blogger, this game is stacked in your favor, and you have a leg up. Here’s why:
1. The mommy bloggers in your social network score far above average, and just associating with other mommy bloggers on a daily basis will boost your score considerably over people trying to break through on the non-mommy blog path. Go back and look at the scores of the mommy bloggers in your Twitter feed, then for an experiment, click one of the trending topics on the sidebar of Twitter. The average scores on this view are considerably lower than the scores in your personal feed. That is the what the average users look like. Your crowd is significantly more renowned.
Also mommy bloggers are friendlier. In the real Twitterverse it is highly unlikely someone with a 70 score would follow somebody with a 50 score. Mommy bloggers will do that, however. Just because the rules are ugly, doesn’t mean that we have to be.
2. Content is STILL king. There are very few social media mavens that can generate a great following just on retweeting other people’s content. At some point you have to become a SOURCE of content. As a mommy blogger you have an entire wellspring of original material to package and share. This is probably why mommy bloggers fare so well in the Klout scoring system. Also this original content is shepherded by an elite force of fellow mommy bloggers who carry much more weight than an average respondent, increasing the odds of your content showing well. Splendid the way that works!
Yeah, Klout is evil, no doubt about it. It is, however, probably a necessary evil if you want to grow your blog large and what we have written here is only a fraction of what you need to know. Twitter matters and if you don’t do Twitter you are placing yourself at a great disadvantage when it comes to sponsorships and perks. Fortunately, moving forward on Twitter is especially easy for mommy bloggers and a little bit of effort here should be immediately paid off with a higher ranking.