Somewhat Simple

Bloggers Working with Brands: My Advice to Brands

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If you’re a company representative looking to partner with a blogger to promote your product or services, here is some advice we’d like you to consider.

Hello, my name is Stephanie…and I am a blogger.

I didn’t set out to be a blogger, nor was my childhood dream to sit in front of a computer and present content to an audience I didn’t really know. And surely I never dreamed of actually getting paid to do this.

But I am a blogger and I happen to LOVE blogging.

I have the chance to create meaningful, authentic content for brands I love.

I’ve cultivated a great relationship with several brands that make my job as a blogger even better.

‘Cause who wants to work at a job where their boss sucks? Not me.

But there have inevitably been a handful of times where the process did not go smoothly, let me give you a quick example:

There is a very well known company that has products that I use almost every single day. Can you imagine my excitement when I was contacted by this company to do a series of posts for them and the payment was freakin’ awesome?! Yep, I was pretty thrilled.

Plans were set into action, contracts were signed and then I got to work.

…And then I got more emails. Requests changed, details were not clear and conversations became frustrating. I hated asking so many questions and I felt like the rep was also getting frustrated with me. I began to feel like it was impossible for me to do my best work, and it was taking a lot longer than I thought it would.

What should have been a 2 month campaign with projects I was excited to show off became a 10 month nightmare working for a boss I never want to work for again.

(Ps. After this campaign was over, I talked with 4 other bloggers who worked on this same campaign and they all had issues- which totally made me feel better!)

From this experience, I learned a few things and today I’d like to talk with the BOSSES out there and share The Top 3 Tips to Keep in Mind Before Approaching a Blogger to Promote Your Business:

1. Get to know me, my blog and my audience.

I get an average of 10 advertising requests each week and I turn most of them down. Why? Because the brand doesn’t fit. I have to be really selective on the products I choose to promote because I don’t want this blog to be one big commercial. The products have to be something that I would enjoy writing about and they have to be something my readers would enjoy reading about.

Case and point:

Last week I got an email from a company with the subject line “Partnership Opportunity” and their opening line said,

“Dear Stephanie, We really enjoy your blog theidearoom,net…”

My blog isn’t The Idea Room, it is Somewhat Simple.

I like when companies have done their research and have read more than just my “About Me” page. This way I know they took the time to determine that working with me would fit- they like my style of writing, they know I can produce good content, and they have a product my readers will love.

2. Have a plan.

Get together all the details of your plan and send it in your initial email so information can be clarified if it needs to and also so information doesn’t get lost. Many bloggers are balancing several projects at once, and we are working hard to keep the deadlines and details straight.

Case and point:

I began conversing with an advertiser through several emails before they decided to move forward with a sponsored post on my site for a date that was 2 months away. While writing the post for this company, I had to re-read through over a dozen different emails from this client to make sure I had all the links and info they wanted me to include. Just a few hours after I hit “publish” I got an email from them telling me I forgot to include the coupon code for my readers. AHH! They were right, I completely missed this!

When info is clearly laid out, mistakes like these are less-likely to occur. And less mistakes is better for both of us, right?

3. Recognize our value.

Before we started entertaining offers from sponsors, we were entertaining our readers and building trust. More and more companies are seeing the value in hiring bloggers and they are recognizing that partnering with us can be very successful for them. Why? Because we have a talent and a passion and we now have a loyal audience.

But approaching a blogger with a less-than-fantastic offer won’t get you anywhere. Bloggers can see right through a one-sided campaign and to be honest, it is kind of insulting.

So before you extend an offer to hire a blogger, think about what you’re requiring of them and what the blogger is getting out of it. Many of us don’t blog full-time, which means we have other obligations that need our attention and blogging is something we do in our “free time.” Is it worth it for us to take time away from families and other responsibilities to get the job done?

I’m not saying you need to spend all of your annual advertising budget on bloggers or take out a small business loan, but writing an editorial takes time and effort on our part, and we’d really appreciate being compensated justly.

Honestly, there are plenty of bloggers out there, so I am positive you will find someone who is a great match for the promotion you have in mind!

Best of luck!

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