Bloggers blog for multiple reasons, and these reasons are often very personal. For many, a blog is a creative outlet where they can enjoy and grow their passion for writing, photography and website design. Blogging is often a great way to engage with readers and other bloggers, meet like-minded people and make friends. Many bloggers also love to use the powerful voice they have to raise awareness for causes that are important to them and give back to their community.
But what brands should never forget is that for many bloggers, blogging is a business. It is hard work, and for more and more bloggers it has even become a full-time job. Bloggers should be taken seriously – just as seriously as another business partner or a client for example.
Unfortunately, bloggers often experience ignorance, or worse, disrespect from brands. Here are five ways you should and should not be working with bloggers in order to get the most out of your outreach marketing.
How you should work with bloggers
- Bloggers can get hundreds of emails pitches a day. They want you to invest time and effort into your pitch: make sure your brand is a good fit for their blog, show you’ve read a couple of posts, and be genuinely interested in a collaboration. At the very least, get their name right! Emails that start out with “Hey blogger!” will be instantly deleted.
- Bloggers want you to value their input. They are not advertising machines. Instead, ask them for their ideas for promoting your brand and what their readers would really value. An exchange of ideas is much more likely to lead to a win-win partnership. Be open to your brand message being slightly transformed by the blogger – they should make it a message of their own!
- Bloggers should get excited about your brand… but that can only happen if YOU are excited about it! Make sure to communicate passion and enthusiasm in your pitch.
- Bloggers love building relationships with brands over time, instead of just receiving one-off press releases or free samples. This allows them to produce much more organic content for their readers by incorporating the brand into their everyday lives naturally.
- Bloggers expect you to cross-promote their content in return for their efforts. If they’ve created a blog post for you with great content and beautiful photography, it is a slap in the face for them if you do not even share it on social media.
And how you shouldn’t work with bloggers
- Do not expect blogger content to be free – their time is valuable! Bloggers want brands to know that one blog post costs them much more time and money than brands realise. Every post can demand up to 12 hours for writing, photography, SEO and social media promotion; as well as money for props such as flowers and long-term investments like a DSLR camera.
- Do not give up if the first price they quote you does not fit into your budget. Bloggers are open to negotiation. If they like your brand and your pitch, they may be open to finding other ways to collaborate, like social media promotion for example. You are both businesses and you both want to help each other out after all.
- Do not send them free products and then demand content from them. Send them samples or other gifts with no strings attached, and see where it leads.
- Do not pitch before you’re ready. Bloggers want you to be prepared and have planned out your campaign before sending out a pitch. Many brands often do not know what they are asking for and that leads to unnecessary back and forths. You need to manage expectations!
- Do not assume it’s a done deal just because you are a big brand. Many bloggers say that even if their ‘dream brand’ approached them with contempt, they would turn it down.
Find out more about the other side of outreach marketing: working with journalists in my blog post: “Top 11 tips for Digital PR”
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