I have worked as a blogger for four years, since the summer of 2016. Having worked in Marketing for many years. I have also worked for the likes of MTV managing relations with bloggers. So I thought I would demystify this relationship, and provide 10 things you need to know about working with brands as a blogger.
1. Align your blog with other brands
Influencer Marketing has been a buzz-word for some time, with many brands working only with the likes of Zoella and Pointless Blog before working with micro-influencers. Those bloggers who have smaller, but engaged audiences. Depending on your numbers, brands often like to work with bloggers to get their brand voice out there. Make sure that your blog suits the brand you pitch to. My blog is broke girl in the city, so the brands I work with all offer my audience value in some way too. Sign up to sites such as get blogged who feature pitches from brands who offer assignments to bloggers through blogger outreach uk.
2. You won’t get paid for writing up a press release
I have always been surprised to hear other bloggers asking PRs for payment for covering a press release. PRs will send out press releases to a wide net of journalists to attempt to get their story covered. You are under no obligation to cover a story, nor is this a paid relationship. You can, however, discuss writing up a feature for the brand as paid work and nurture this relationship. I do spend most of my time re-writing press releases, with many badly written for a digital audience. Long sentences, badly punctuated and my recommendation is to set up Grammarly on your computer to tease out those miss-spellings.
3. SEO companies will try to get work for free
You will encounter many SEO companies attempting to place articles on your blog for a link back to their clients’ work. I am always receiving emails from companies and agencies complimenting my blog, then asking for a link back to another website. Don’t work for free. Similarly, I had a company who offered me $15 to write up a feature and then aggressively told me that the opportunity had been taken elsewhere as I hadn’t got back to her in time. I wouldn’t want to work with any brand or company that was rude to me from the offset.
4. SEO companies will also masquerade as bloggers
I don’t mind being approached by SEO companies and have accepted guest posts which enhance my blog and is targeted to my audience. What is underhand is masquerading as a freelance journalist or blogger trying to get experience. The ones who say they love your blog, and are experienced writers and would love the chance to write for you. Very annoying.
5. Some brands might not pay you straight away
Unfortunately, some brands may not pay you straightaway for the work you have done with them. As frustrating as this is, don’t give up. Be persistent and keep following up with them. Disclose your payment terms on your invoice, which is often good to get into the habit of producing to keep track of these financial conversations.
6. Build relationships with brands
Make sure that your blog is designed with various features and content before approaching brands to work with. You are one of many aspiring bloggers who they are in contact with on a regular basis. Design a media kit to have on standby should they ask for one. Approach their PR teams to find out the latest news and start to build a little black book of contacts in the industry you want to work with. Don’t approach PR companies solely for freebies.
7. Use project management tools for your campaigns
I personally use Trello for my day-to-day blog’s activity. It’s great to plan out my months and also keep track of articles. I also use Moz for understanding my ‘Domain Authority’ which is what many brands will ask you for. A brand can use many blogger outreach tools such as NinjaOutreach, Pitchbox BuzzStream and Milkshake.
8. Find your Tribe
Bloggers benefit from chatting with other bloggers. Not only can you swap top tips, boost each other up when you are having those days when you don’t feel your blog is a success. Also, other bloggers can help you to work with brands in their network and make you aware of work going around and who to look out for.
9. Don’t be shy!
I have approached numerous brands who I will promote for free. My blog is not just a money blog, but a lifestyle one too. So I have been fortunate to be invited to media days and as a result, have promoted new events in London to my audience. Work out your value and what you can offer a brand, and pitch this to them. Tailor this if you want payment, by documenting what value you can offer. Think in terms of ROI (return on investment). What investment are brands giving you, and what can you offer in return.
10. Join an affiliate marketing scheme
I have worked with Affiliate Marketing companies for years, both as a marketing specialist and blogger. Many companies have affiliate schemes and you will need to find the right one. You might not always get accepted, but start building up links to brands to sell their products. Always make sure you label this correctly on your site to follow ASA/CAP guidelines.