When I was running Style Unveiled the question I got asked the most was: HOW MUCH TRAFFIC DO YOU GET?? Style Unveiled was a niche blog ... I catered to a specific type of bride: the hiring bride. I never promoted DIY and I didn't have a shop ... so my traffic was aimed at brides who were planning their wedding and hiring wedding professionals to help them achieve their wedding day dreams! This was strategic for me and my wedding blog and I didn't stray from the plan. IMO asking a blog editor 'what their traffic is like' to decide whether you want to advertise with them is like telling someone how much you weigh to determine what size of jeans you should get: these things don't always match up.
These days there are so many things that affect the traffic to a wedding website/blog:
- Is the blog national/international or local focused?
- Does the blog have a shop?
- Does the blog have a 'recipe' section? (yes, this is a valid point)
- How old is the blog?
- How many Pinterest followers do they have?
Let's dissect each one of the points made above:
>> National/International Blogs vs. Local Blogs <<
If it's not already obvious - a national wedding blog will have way more traffic than a local blog. Yes, duh. The pool that a national or international wedding blog pulls from will be much larger than a locally focused wedding blog. What you should be more interested in, rather than daily numbers, is PREQUALIFIED TRAFFIC. Are you from the local blog's area?? Well then the numbers shouldn't matter ... because the percentage of brides searching in YOUR AREA would be in your favor here. If you area lucky enough to have a wedding blog in your area that is locally focused then I would get on that sh*t!! Not only is it great to support a blog editor who cares enough to promote weddings in your area - but you'd be doing your company a huge favor!
>> Blogs that Have Shops <<
I am 100% for blogs monetizing their websites ... working for free is not their job and they should do anything they can to get PAID for their promotions of wedding delights ... but a shop will 'up' their traffic ... so you need to consider that if you ask a blog editor the bullsh*t question of 'what's your traffic like' and they come back with a HUGE number and you're like 'ok, let's do it!!' ... well, how much of that traffic is going directly to their shop?? Things to consider.
>> Blogs that Share Dinner Recipes <<
I understand that some recipes are valid to share on a wedding blog ... speciality cocktails to serve at the reception, for example ... but to have a page dedicated to RECIPES ... that is something entirely different, my friend. And, yes, there are wedding blogs out there who do this! This is a tactic for traffic to generate page views to their affiliate banners that calculate the traffic and page views per month and then pay them for those. This will not help you, as a wedding professional, to catch a client off their site. Before you dive in and pay someone for an ad you need to take a good hard look at their blog: is it WEDDING FOCUSED?? Or are tired moms coming to their website in search of the perfect casserole dish to make for dinner that night?? Food for thought!
>> What is the age of this blog? <<
Just like wedding professionals will let their website 'go' after years of being in business - a wedding website can do the same thing. There are lots of wedding websites and blogs out there who started before the bubble burst in 'wedding blog land' and they stopped caring about their branding all together ... but their traffic may be large because of 'online searches' and the fact that they have been around LONGER and have an established domain. If you go to a blog and aren't 'feeling their look' you probably shouldn't advertise with them ... it means that your target markets and your styles don't mesh!! But: their traffic may be super high because they are older. Again: numbers don't mean sh*t sometimes ;)
>> How many Pinterest Followers do They Have? <<
Pinterest can be deceiving for traffic ... if a blog editor has a sh*tload of Pinterest followers and has a few images go viral - then their traffic may be booming!!! But, again, that won't do much for your vendor directory listing ... this is helping their affiliate ads that depend on high traffic to generate income ... or, it's helping their shop. You've been warned. Now: where high Pinterest followers come in handy for advertising is if the blog editor has a GROUP PINTEREST BOARD for their paying members in their vendor directory and you are allowed in if you advertise ... this is a whole different story! I shared about one such blog who does this a few months ago on The Editor's Touch ;)
So, Heather, when does traffic matter?? Traffic matters if you are purchasing a sidebar ad. That's really it. Beyond that you need to ask the blog editor WHAT ELSE THEY DO FOR THEIR PAYING VENDOR DIRECTORY MEMBERS. Do they use their social media following to promote you? Are there any perks via their website that you will be allowed to use (like the Wedding Chicks do)? Will they let you Pin with them? Do they do an Instagram takeover for their members? Do they put together styled shoots with their members (like The Southern California Bride blog does)? Do they say 'f*ck no' to promoting DIY? << and that for me is HUGE ... I will actually be devoting an entire blog post to my anger towards wedding blogs who are DIY focused and have the nerve to host a vendor directory on their website. Have you ever considered how hypocritical it is to take money from a florist and then tell your audience how to make their wedding flowers themselves??? Dude. Not cool.
Here's my advice when it come to advertising and making the big decision on where your money should go: are they proactive? Do they support their advertisers in a way that goes BEYOND just a listing?? That is what really matters.