When I first began blogging, I mistakenly underestimated the power of having a local blog presence. Not only does it provide a great foundation to use for future networking and brand collaborations, it is an almost endless source of unique content!
IT'S NOT BLACK AND WHITE
I used to think that when it came to creating local content, I had to either identify as a local blogger, or as a bigger, wider scale blogger. I seriously want to be like ummm hello Marie? Hi. Yeah, so you can do multiple things at one time...
Whatever. Hindsight is 20/20.
This lapse in judgement has gotten me thinking. What are some of the benefits to building a local presence, and how does one go about doing that?
The Benefits of Building a Local Presence
Building Your Portfolio
When you are first starting to build your audience as a blogger, it can be tricky finding brands that want to work with you because you have less experience doing so.
Securing a brand collaboration is kind of like trying to build your credit. You can't build your credit without a credit card, but you can't get a credit card without credit.
Fantastic. Makes perfect sense. *eye roll*
Working with local brands is a great way to grow your portfolio of sponsored work that you can later use to secure a larger company. Because local businesses are typically not as large as some of the giant brands that you eventually want to work with, they are more likely to work with a smaller blogger that has little to no experience.
Brands Want An Engaged Audience
When brands collaborate with a blogger, they want that blogger to have a targeted, engaged audience. A wide domestic and international readership, as well as an engaged LOCAL presence, will dramatically increase your blog's value to the brand. (AKA more money for you).
Local Content Is Unique Content
While a chunk of your readers will have zero interest in reading about your local posts,
Uhh I live in New York, I don't understand your weird obsession with Tex Mex...
another chunk of your audience will love it! Creating local content will automatically separate you from other life + style bloggers that are just exclusively posting Nordstrom outfits and Shopbob sale roundups all the time. You want your blog to be a reflection of you, so creating unique content about your city and physical surroundings will help to portray that!
It's time to get your hustle game on. Make a list of local bloggers and brands that you want to connect with, and start re-posting their content and interacting with them on social media. Don't be a weird stalker about it, but when you are sharing the love and spreading their content, they will be much more likely to want to start building a relationship with you.
Building relationships with more established local bloggers will allow you to potentially leverage THEIR following and readership.
Most bloggers are on the prowl for other saavy minded business owners like yourself that they could potentially collaborate with. Think of all of the fun, unique content that you can create together that you wouldn't have been able to make had you been living in a different city.
Reach Out To Local Brands
Beginning to build connections with local brands in addition to local bloggers is extremely important. Make a list of potential blog posts and another list of brands that you might easily incorporate into that content. Start reaching out to the companies that you are interested in working with and pitch your ideas.
Another simple way to start getting companies to notice you is by tagging the brand in a photo when you post something that they are featured in. For example, let's say that you post a photo of you drinking a cocktail at a new restaurant downtown. Tag the restaurant in the caption and in the photo and talk about why you love that restaurant. More often than not, the restaurant or company will respond back to your comment and/or follow you!
Create Your Own Guide
A fun way to connect with your local audience is to create a city guide featuring your favorite hangouts, restaurants, things to do, etc. I am currently working on one for my own blog, and I have had a TON of fun making it. Not only is this content beneficial to your readers, it is a good way to feature multiple local businesses at one time.
Make sure to tag all of the companies mentioned on social media when you are promoting the guide! You want to make sure that they see the post and potentially promote it themselves.
Consider creating a separate page on your blog to accommodate your different city guides like Mackenzie Horan from Design Darling did! This contains all of your relevant posts, pictures, and commentary in one easy place for your readers to navigate to.
The sky truly is the limit here, so get creative with the content that you feature in your guide! I have compiled a list of some fun local related posts below to get you started!
Best Tacos in Your City
10 Under $10 (Either ten things to do or ten yummy things to eat or drink)
Favorite Boutiques to Shop In
Best Spots to Take Pictures In (great for fellow bloggers)
Fun Places to Hike
Free Things to Do In Your City
10 Things No One Will Tell You About _____
Sh** People In ____ Say
Best Bars in Your City
5 Fun Places to Take Your Dog
10 of the Best Geo-Caching Spots In _____
5 of My Favorite Places to Buy Art In _____
3 Touristy Things You Have to Do While In _______
My Love Letter to ______
10 Reasons to Move to ______
I hope that you found these ways to build your blog's local presence helpful! Let me know in the comments if you have found other creative ways to build your local readership.