October 22, 2014

Frequently Asked Questions about the Outdoor Blogger Network

Straying from our normal features, Joe and I decided we might take a day to answer some questions, clear up some misconceptions and perhaps cut down on some of our email load by having a F.A.Q page published that visitors can refer to.

Question Categories:

  • OBN Membership (Directory and Community)
  • Outdoor Gear Review Opportunities
  • Personal/Expectations of the OBN
  • MISC/Personal Information

Membership:

1) How do I become a member of the OBN? Get my blog on the Outdoor Directory? Participate in the Community?

  • We have two main aspects of the OBN. The Community –OBN Homepage/site activities and the Outdoor Blog Directory.
  • You are welcome to participate in one or the other or BOTH.

2) How much does it cost to be a member of the OBN? It’s free to hang out around these parts.

3) If I become a member of the OBN, what do you expect from me? Nothing. We don’t even require anyone to display our OBN Badge (code for badge located in the footer) on their blog for membership or inclusion on the Blog directory… BUT we sure appreciate the support it displays when we see the OBN Badge around the Outdoor blogosphere!!

Outdoor Gear Review Opportunities:

1) I see the Gear Review opportunities you guys post almost weekly, what do I have to do to participate? If you have an Outdoor Blog on the directory, you just need to comment on the review post and let us know you’re interested. That’s it!

2) I won a piece of gear last week to review but you posted something I’d be really interested in getting my hands on this week, can I enter again? Yes! We don’t hold a win against you. You can enter every gear review opportunity we throw out there. Some people have won a couple of weeks in a row. I think the current record is 3 weeks in a row. We don’t decide who wins…the Random Number Generator does!

3) I write a Hunting blog and you just posted a piece of fishing gear for the opportunity. I fish occasionally too, can I enter for a piece of fishing gear? Yes! We don’t assign gear to blog categories, so if you think you can use the current piece of gear AND you’d be willing to post a review about it on your blog, you’re good to go.

On a personal OBN level in regards to Gear Review Opportunities….

4) Can I have the name and contact information of the person you guys worked with to get XYZ piece of gear? (or) Can you guys get me a sponsorship with XYZ company? (or) Will you guys get me a side deal with XYZ company? To put it nicely, no. That’s a can of worms we aren’t interested in opening. Sorry…

However, it should be noted that every company we work with that provides gear, DOES GO and look at the reviews the gear review winners write. On many occasion, the companies have liked a Bloggers review so much that they have contacted the blogger personally or asked us to contact the blogger to work out more gear reviews, special promotions for that bloggers site and more….In other words, relationships between Outdoor Bloggers and the companies are happening!

5) What do you guys (Joe and Rebecca) do with all the free stuff you must get from the supporting manufacturers? With very, very few exceptions, everything we get from the manufacturers who support the OBN gets sent out to the bloggers to be used and reviewed.  (Occasionally Joe wrangles something special for Rebecca, but it’s a rare event because she is stubborn and doesn’t want to take advantage of the OBN in that way)

Purpose/Expectations of the OBN:

How do I become a Featured Outdoor Blogger? (or) How do I get picked as a Featured Outdoor Blogger or for a Quickfire Outdoor Interview? We personally pick the Outdoor Bloggers that get featured in the Outdoor Blogs of the week or for the Quickfire Interviews. There isn’t anything one person needs to do or can do to be picked for either of these features.

We keep a lot of people in our radar and sooner or later, you’ll be picked! Helpful Hint: It is easier for us to keep our eye on you the more active you are in this community.

I’ve wrote a blog post that is……xyz….., will you feature it in an OBN post? As much as we’d love to be able to promote every cool post that is out there, we just aren’t set up to do that currently and let’s be honest, if we do it for one request, we would feel obligated for every request. If you have something really special going on, let us know about it and we’ll see what we can do to help out.

**Note: I have tried to feature Outdoor Giveaways that are going on around the community and if you are having a giveaway, let us know. We can’t promise you that we’ll feature it, but we’ll certainly try to help spread the good fun.

Will you send me a list of all of your bloggers and include their full names along with their emails? No can do…

I sent an email 3 days ago and no one has responded yet. What’s wrong with you people, do your job! Job is an interesting choice of words. The OBN isn’t our job because the OBN does not pay us to work it as a full time job. If it did and this is all we had to do everyday well, then we’d be on top of every little detail.

We understand people like quick service, but it’s also good to understand we both have full time jobs elsewhere, families and an outdoor life of our own. The truth is, we do our very best to run a nice community, but sometimes our response time is slowww…especially in the email department. 

I signed up as a member of the OBN last week, so when are you going to promote my blog? (or) I became a member of the OBN, but I don’t see where you are promoting my blog. (or) I signed up for your network, put your badge on my blog, when are you going to do your job and send traffic to my blog? Just to be clear, we don’t take on the responsibility of promoting anyone’s blog specifically.

An Outdoor Blogger that uses the features actively…

The OBN community is built as a hub of information so that you can self promote your blog through participation and discover others via:

Use those features actively and you’ll start seeing the benefits in new traffic!

We also actively promote Outdoor Blogs via Featured Outdoor Bloggers, Reader Approved Blog Posts and Quickfire Interviews. The people we highlight are at our own discretion, our choice, but we can say, we typically highlight the bloggers who are active in the OBN community in one way or another. They are the people that are on our radar more so than say…someone who puts their blog on the directory and never returns. (We promote those too, just maybe not as much)

MISC/Personal Information:

Do you have “people”?  Also asked as, “who runs this joint”?  Yes & Us. Us= Rebecca and Joe. A small team of two. Rebecca lives in the Northwest and Joe lives somewhere out East. You can read about ‘us’ here: About the OBN

Is the OBN your full time job? No. Joe and Rebecca both work full time jobs elsewhere while maintaining the OBN in their free time.

Are you two getting rich on the OBN? (or) You two must be rolling in the money!

  • Joe’s answer, “You’re kidding – right?  This is, and has been , a labor of love since its inception. We think that it is good enough to generate some type of income, and may pursue that somewhere down the road, but for now, it’s just what we do.
  • Rebecca’s answer, “For the first year we took in a few pennies here and there via the one ad I had on the site. In December of 2011, I intentionally added various ads around the OBN to help soften the monthly OBN Bills. Hopefully at some point we’ll get enough ad clicks each month that we hit a break even point. Recent ad clicks have helped a bit, so that’s nice. Like Joe said, this site is a labor of love and I’m good with that and committed to that.

If we decide to take on a sponsor or monetize this site in some major way, we’ll let you all know. Again, we’ve declined all offers thus far, but it does take up an incredible amount of time and a decent chuck of money in operating costs each month (hosting, api services, paid software etc). So we’re keeping an open mind to future options…

I have a problem with one of your Outdoor Bloggers, will you talk to them? Just to be clear, we don’t ‘have’ bloggers, nor do we claim any Outdoor Bloggers as ‘ours’ to control. We are a hub to hang out around. We may say, “Our OBN Members” but that’s just generalizing the community. We do not have any control (nor would we want any) over what Outdoor Bloggers do. Personal issues between the bloggers is just that…personal issues. We will not get involved. We can’t help. We are a neutral zone.

I’m looking for an Outdoors kind of gal, Rebecca will you send me some photos of you, your phone #, home address? Hmm…no, but maybe Joe will send his info…if you ask him nicely.  [Joe - umm, ahh - no one has ever easked me for MY picture or contact info.  I'm feeling  little hurt right now!]

What’s your plans for the future of the OBN? We are just rolling with the flow of the community. As it grows, we try to implement new features, expand, and keep up. We have lots of ideas for the future and we’ll roll those out as we can…

And to sum things up, remember, we are doing our best around these parts.
There’s always room for improvement and we are open to ideas and feedback!
We appreciate the heck out of all the Bloggers who visit this site, support us and support the other bloggers.

It’s the positive atmosphere that keeps us going and having fun!

Rebecca and Joe

If your question wasn’t answered here
Please feel free to visit our Contact Page

 
 
About Rebecca

When Rebecca isn't running the Outdoor Blogger Network, she is off Fly Fishing her favorite rivers. Occasionally she writes about those adventures at The Outdooress.

Comments

  1. 1

    Keep up all the great work, your labor of love is very much appreciated!

  2. 2

    Great job both of you and thanks!

  3. 3

    Thanks Guys!!

  4. 4

    Seems like a lot of the questions focus on what you’re going to do for others. Maybe it’s because of my background on forums, but you get out of it what you put into it. You two have given me the opportunity to go beyond the Chicago area. Would have never happened without OBN. Thank you very much.

    • 5

      Ken, I do think sometimes people have one way of looking at what we can or maybe should provide (like when people don’t think we aren’t doing our job) and what we can really accomplish for them. Hopefully the FAQ clears up some things for those that are new or just don’t know.

      We are definitely here to help when and where we can, but we do have to set some….boundaries? I would agree with what you said 100%…in both the OBN and blogging in general. You do get out of it what you put into it.

      And you’re welcome for any part we’ve had in your successes. We appreciate all your support and kind words!
      Rebecca (and I have no doubt Joe would offer a second to my sentiments)

  5. 6

    Thanks for the pic/quote! My standard answer for “why isn’t FF on Facebook?” is “The OBN sends us more traffic than Facebook and is FAR less maintenance” (:

    • 7

      Matt, I’ve saved that screenshot for a special occasion because to this day, it still makes me smile.

      I’m sentimental like that =)

  6. 8

    I don’t think any of us who maintain our own individual blogs and benefit immensely from the work Rebecca & Joe do here at the OBN can thank them enough. We also “don’t truly” have a feel for what you do that makes this place tick. Just reviewing this post helps me realize that what I do know is just the tip of the iceberg when it comes to the big picture. Humbly, I say thank you more than you will ever know.

  7. 9

    I don’t see how anyone could run the thing any better. Now, can you tell Troutrageous! to stop stalking me so much. Thanks.

    PS – Just to keep up my reputation, I do find it rather annoying that the “Comments” link is now at the top. Scroll, scroll, scroll your screen….back up to the top….Merrily, merrily…you get the idea. ;)

    owl

  8. 10

    For a FAQ (i.e. usually boring and dry) that was probably the funniest thing you have posted. If even half of those aren’t tongue in cheek facebook and Google has completely warped us.

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