Tuesday, June 25, 2013

Hints + Tips - How Bloggers Can Work With Brands

Recently I wrote a post about how brands can work with bloggers as a result of reflecting on some great and not so great experiences I've had working with PR companies and brands as a blogger. Now it's time to share a little insight into a few things bloggers should think about when working with PR companies and brands.

Do not fudge the numbers
Be honest when sharing details about how many followers you have on social media channels, the number of visits your blog gets and the number of people signed up to your mailing list. Also though it may be tempting do not buy followers this can easily be checked and will not reflect well on you nor your blog if you're found out. Recently a fellow social media user had not done it themself, but somehow was getting a high percentage of fake accounts following them and was greatly concerned about how this would affect her reputation.

Know who your audience is
Through various analytics I can get a good idea of the demographics of my audience that I have reading my blog and following me on various social media channels. PR companies and brands not only want to know what you write about but also who it that is reading and engaging with your online content. A good starting point is to find out the age groups of your readers, percentage of males and females, and which cities your readers live in.

Understand the value of your blog
Whilst it may be tempting to give all and everything for a beauty treatment consider the value of that beauty treatment and what you are giving in return. There are various sites that can tell you the value of your blog and social media channels. It's also worth considering the amount of effort and time required to create the content and sharing it. Take the time to consider how much value you are willing to give for that beauty treatment and don't be afraid to negotiate. Yes, I've turned down opportunities because they were asking too much for too little.

Be honest
Don't leave anything to assumptions, if you're getting paid for or recivining a good or servive in return for a post, make sure you know exactly what it is you are getting including details such as size, quantity and retail value, plus what it is you are giving in return. Make sure you've as many details as possible. Under no circumstance should you assume it is okay to "rip-off" a brand or PR company, it is better to over deliver than under deliver.
Also be honest with your audience, let them know if the post was paid for or if you recieved the product or service from the brand in return for the post.

If there are changes to anything regarding your arrangement, do keep the PR company or brand you're working with up-to-date in a clear manner. Whether it letting them know that the samples have arrived or changes to when the post will be live, either way make sure it's clear in an email or phone call and that they understand. Also be able to be contacted by the people you are working with so that they can notify you of any issues or clarify things. 

Show your personality
Any blogger can copy and paste a press release, but what will make you stand out other than your audience is how you write about their product or service. Inject some of your personality, your readers may not just be interested in that beauty treatment, but they also may be interested in why you love it. Tell them about your experience with the product or service, or why you'd love to attended that charity event you've been approached to write about.

Don't feel let down
If you are not approached to share a product or service don't beat yourself up about it, even if you've gone through an application process. They simply didn't see your blog being the right fit for that campaign. Just keep doing what you do and look at approaching the PR companies and brands you would like to work with and build that relationship, so that next time they are looking for a blogger you are more likely to be asked.

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