Grow Your Blog: Getting Noticed by Brands

Getting Noticed by Brands

Once you make the decision that you want your blog to become a business and not just a fun hobby, it’s essential to figure out how to make connections with brands.  Of course it’s important to grow and engage your reader base, but it’s equally important to work on making your blog stand out from the rest so that companies you want to work with will take notice of you.  After all, while you’re ultimately blogging for your readers, it’s the brands who will pay your bills.  Today, I want to share with you four of the best tips I know for forming valuable brand partnerships.

Getting Noticed By Brands

#1: Anytime you make or do something using the product of a particular brand, tweet them and let them know.

Let me be clear - I’m not talking about sponsored posts.  That’s a whole separate ball game and you already have the company’s attention.  I’m talking about every project, every recipe where you  use something made by a company you think might potentially be a good partner.  For example, you might really love using Bic markers and make a really cool project with them that you just know the company would love.  But if you don’t share it with them, they’ll probably never see it.  So, send them a tweet – “Hey, @Bic_Creativity!  Look at the keychain I made using Mark-Its and a wooden disc.”  Add your link, post it, and someone there will see it, I guarantee.  They may retweet it, they may ask you if they can pin it, they may share it to their facebook page.  They may just favorite it or take no action at all, but if you do it often enough, someone at the company is going to take notice that you are constantly coming up with cool stuff and giving them shout-outs.  Eventually, they’re going to want to know more about you and it may lead to a partnership opportunity.  If you happen to know of a hashtag they like to use, make use of that too.  Maybe include a photo in your tweet, or tweet it from Instagram and tag them there too.  Whatever you can do to get your project in front of them is a good thing…how else will they know how awesome you are?

Getting Noticed By Brands

#2: In addition to tagging the company on twitter, send an email to a contact at the company when you make a project or recipe using their products.

Again, we’re not talking about sponsored posts.  We’re talking about your normal everyday projects, or perhaps projects you do after a sponsored campaign.  For example, I recently had a campaign through Social Spark where I received six rolls of Valentine themed Duck Tape.  My job was to make a Valentine project, post it, and share it, all of which I did.  But after that, I still had…six rolls of Duck Tape.  So, when I needed to make a Dr. Seuss project, guess what?  I used my tape.  And I used it for a card.  And I will continue to find uses for it; I mean, come on!  It’s Duck tape, after all.  I’m not getting paid for any of these follow up posts, but they were things I’d have made anyway, and I happened to use their product.  So, why not let them know?  After tweeting it to them, send an email to that contact you had from the campaign to say, “Hey, look what I did with the leftovers!”  Again, they may take the opportunity to share it on their social networks, which is a win-win.  Or they may not.  But I guarantee that if you do that often enough, they will see your potential as a more long term partner.  Don’t have a contact at the company?  Find one!  Go to the brand’s webpage and look for contact information.  If they list out someone who’s in charge of media or marketing, that’s your person.  If not, just send it to the general email account and hopefully it’ll end up in front of the right eyes!

Getting Noticed by Brands

#3: Align yourself selectively and strategically.

When you’re first starting to form professional partnerships, it’s okay {and probably even advisable} to try and connect with as many brands as possible.  That way, you’ll see who responds, who’s good to work with, and who’s a good fit for your blog.  But eventually, you need to make sure you have a plan.  What I mean is this; you can’t work closely with both Sharpie and Bic.  Know what I mean?  It’s awfully hard to promote both Silhouette and Cricut.  There are a lot of different products and manufacturers out there, but once you choose to align yourself as a partner with one of them, you need to know what the competition is so that you’re not undermining the company or yourself.  If one day you swear by Folk Art paint and the next day say that you use nothing but DecoArt, your influence loses its value and you become less of an asset to either manufacturer.  So, as you get a feel for who you like working with and the products you truly love, you’re going to have to make some hard choices and possibly even “break up” with a brand or two in order to best serve both your own blog/brand and the companies you’ve chosen.

Getting Noticed by Brands

#4: Integrity is the key.

Above all, if you really want to stand out from the crowd, handle every interaction you have with a brand with integrity.  It is more valuable than you can imagine for a company to know they can trust you.  Don’t talk out of both sides of your mouth.  Don’t forget to follow through with a commitment you make to a brand.  Communicate with them openly and honestly, and be up front at all times.  I recently had a jewelry company contact me wanting to form a partnership.  I looked at their site, which carried beads, leather, chain, findings, and metal stamping supplies.  I already partner with ImpressArt for all my metal stamping needs, so when I emailed this other company back, I told them that while I was willing to try out some of their other supplies, they needed to know about that existing partnership and that I could not in good conscience promote their metal stamping line.  Turns out, they wanted me to promote a totally different product, and I was able to move forward with that project, but as a result, the new company now knows that I will be loyal, honest, and forthright with them too.  Integrity takes a lifetime to build, but can fall to pieces with one bad decision.  Think carefully about the way you’re interacting with brands and remember that you’re answerable for what you do and say.

I hope these tips help you to get your name, your face, and your fabulous work out there in front of the brands you love most!  Good luck forming partnerships that will move your blog to the next level!

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Comments

  1. 1

    Awesome post Amy!!!!

  2. 3

    What a fantastic post! It’s been my goal this year to look at my blog as a business and these are great tips! I have been blogging for four years and while I don’t know it all, so much of what is said about making money blogging is old news. You have some great new information presented and I am going to go take some of your advice right now!

    • 4

      Thanks so much! I try really hard not just to repeat what everyone else is saying, but to share the real nitty gritty of what works for me and what I’ve found just to be good practice. Good luck, and keep me posted!

  3. 5

    This is such a great post! These are things that so many of us wonder about but have no idea where to go for the answer.

    Very helpful!

    ~Cheryl
    http://snaps-of-ginger.blogspot.com/

  4. 8

    Great tips and Advice for connecting with brands,Thanks Amy!

  5. 9

    Great advice! I’ve just started growing my blog and had some questions about working with brands…I’ve started sprinkling the seeds for forming partnerships later. I appreciate the information!

  6. 10

    Great advice! I’ve started working with a couple brands and the seeds were planted similarly to what you suggested here.

  7. 11

    Hi Amy! Great post on what gets a brand’s attention! Wanted to add that the same goes for agencies like ours – our One2One Network prides itself on connecting the right voices to the right projects — and the more we know about who you are, what you like/dislike, issues or topics you are passionate about — all of those go a long way toward helping up insure our blogger target lists are rock solid.

    Keep up the great work – and we’d love to have you and your community as One2One members: http://www.one2onenetwork.com (We have projects for bloggers as well as social media mavens on various platforms!)

    All best,

    Krista Carnes

  8. 12

    Thanks for this post. Helped me get things straight in my head.

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