This question makes for an interesting conversation, doesn't it? As a real-life advertising professional with over a decade of paid media experience and a parenting/family travel blogger, I love to jump in when these kinds of questions are asked. I'm the one getting antsy in my chair, ready to educate any misguided souls on the pros (and maybe a con or two) on working with bloggers.
Bloggers do have a large audience of other bloggers; this is true. The reason is because bloggers, at least those in my genre, seem to be very supportive of each other. Groups like Type A Parent and The SITS Girls have group forums for sharing ideas, opportunities, and asking/receiving advice about technical, creative, or other blog-related issues.
It is also because... get ready for this... bloggers read blogs. I believe it is in a blogger's nature to enjoy writing, and what follows is a love of reading quality content. Bloggers who write and share within the same genre have natural similarities and an enjoyable camaraderie with one another. A fellow blogger is no different than any other visitor; in fact, a fellow blogger may actually be more receptive to the message because they have a strong interest in the genre.
This is not to say, by any means, that bloggers "just reach other bloggers". You only have to take a look at following on other social platforms (Pinterest, Twitter, Facebook, Instagram) to illustrate this point. I highly doubt a blogger with 100,000 Twitter followers knows 100,000 bloggers. Reasonably, due to conferences and networking groups, a professional blogger could have made actual acquaintance with 400, 800, even 1,000 other bloggers - but not 100,000.
The best bloggers are experts at...
- Writing with SEO in mind
- Crafting timely posts
- Creating the very best images for Pinterest/Instagram popularity
Bloggers, especially the working, adventurous, cooking, parenting kind, are busy. They are highly scheduled individuals trying to get everything done for children and spouses including (but not limited to) tasks for school, work, the blog, sports, outside consulting, and networking. If one blogger knows 500 other bloggers, they certainly cannot expect all 500 of those colleagues to read and interact with every post. It just is not possible.
So no, brand client X, bloggers do not only reach other bloggers. They reach interested and targeted audience groups that fit within a niche genre. They do so with skill and expertise, and have created for themselves an influence that can help spread the word about the best products, attractions, experiences, recipes, crafts, advice, etc. I think the right bloggers are absolutely without a doubt, influential. Don't take them for granted. A blogger can be a loyal and trusted partner in your marketing mix.
(And if you need assistance finding the right marketing mix? Well, I am a freelance media consultant. Let's have a chat.)