Straight up, the greatest insult bloggers get today is this question, “What are your numbers?”

I’m continually astounded by people who query me about something they want me to help them promote, and then at the end of it all ask, “What are your numbers?”

Yes, print media publications have those numbers handy at the drop of a potential advertising moment, but let’s begin to remember why you’re querying us in the first place…

  • Wine bloggers have come into their own as influencers.
    • They are writers who have a passion.
    • They’re trusted because no one is telling them what or how to write.
  • They’re passionate about wine, and have the need to share.
    • Remember, this is how Steve Heimoff, Robert Parker, Charlie Olken, MaryAnn Worobiec, etc. initially all got started.
  • The early wine bloggers didn’t have a print medium outlet for their work, but the Internet was a great portfolio builder, plus a solid jumping off point… Little did they know.
    • If any number of bloggers I can think of were asked today to drop everything and move to California to cover wine and get paid to do it, I’m betting on their acceptance of the position.
  • Bloggers are not concerned about impressing an editor.
    • Many of them have a unique twist on things, and don’t have to run it by an editor, first, to see the written words.
    • You can’t buy that kind of freedom

Before the macroshift of Web 2.0 and the effect it had on people who love to write, writers had no outlet for publishing. We were at the behest of pleasing an editor with our concepts, stories, and the eventual writing. Enter Web 2.0 ~ self publishing and interactivity with an audience ~ and people who love to write just got going. Some established writers came out swinging; others let time tell them what effect it would have on their own careers.

Now, let’s get back to that pesky question, “What are your numbers?”

When you ask that of a blogger, you’re not asking the advertising department’s sales manager. You’re asking someone who has a day job and writes for the sheer joy of it.

As a publicist, I know who I query and why. I also have taken time to learn who the influencers are. So, wine publicists, if you’ve got a wine related product that you want to get in front of a specific blogger’s audience, I suggest you do your homework. Don’t put your job onto the blogger to brag about him or herself, by asking that irksome question.

In this day and age of social media, publicists, please remember:

  • Bloggers write for free. We’re not “on staff,” nor do we have a staff for gathering your market research about us.
    • At least, not until someone pays us to do so.
  • All of these numbers are on line, and are easy to gather.
    • ~ Here you can put in a few URLs to see what the behind scenes numbers of blogs are. You can even pit one blog against another… How fun is that for knowing who’s who?
    • Top 100 Wine Blogs ~ This site changes a couple of times a year. It’s a lot of work for the publisher, and he’s done your work for you. Go for it!
    • Cellarer SearcherThis one is not just wine blogs. It also includes print media’s on line sites, too. Essentially, this one, in measuring print media (and their staff) against a single blogger. It’s a bird’s eye view of how bloggers are catching up to print media’s numbers (popularity), and wine bloggers are doing well, I might add.
    • Wikio ~ Just scroll down and explore. They’ve said that their list is for the top 100 wine blogs.
    • Post Rank ~ In the comments section below, Steve Heimoff also offered this site for checking the popularity of a site (just in case you’re not going to also be reading the comments).
  • If you’re querying someone, be polite. Know ahead of time why you’re querying that person…

Because… anyone who asks me that question from now on has just asked me the “kiss of death.”

Below, also in the comments, Josh Wade of Drink Nectar has completely explained how these numbers are derived, and it’s not for excellent writing skills or fascinating content. It’s for being excellent at knowing how to play the game, and how important it is to score home runs with each entity. It’s worth your time, if you want the game rules.

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