Is your blog hurting your chances to work with brands?

– Posted in: featured, on writing/blogging

how to work with brands--a guide for bloggers

As many of you know, I’ve worked as a campaign manager at an influencer marketing agency for the past few years. What does that mean exactly? It means that I am a liaison between bloggers and advertisers for paid campaigns. I’ve learned quite a few things since I started that I think could help us all as bloggers improve our relationships with advertisers. I’ve also learned quite a few turnoffs for brands that I think might be especially useful if you’re looking to increase paid sponsorships on your blog.

Here are 5 tips bloggers should keep in mind when trying to secure partnerships:

Branding. This is a really big one, which is why I’m putting it here first. Your blog is your online persona. If anyone is stopping by your online home, and they don’t know who you are within a few seconds of perusing, they’ll lose interest and turn to the next one. If you’re a photography blogger—wow an advertiser with bright, beautiful pictures. Food blogger? Let’s see your recipes. Fashion/beauty—you get the idea.

Your social media presence. Look, I get it. We were all heated this political season. BUT. If you are a bully online, brands will notice. If you disparage big companies and mean tweet regularly to tell them they suck, brands will notice. I mean, why would a brand want to work with you when you are essentially telling them you might be a liability to their reputation? Answer: they won’t.

You are hard to contact. I can’t tell you how often I am asked to reach out to so-and-so because “she has a great Facebook audience” but contact info is nowhere to be found. WHY ARE YOU DOING THIS? Yes, I’m yelling. I should not have to dig on your website to find your email address. Put that shiz on everything and make sure there is a “Contact” or “Email” tab above the fold. Add it to the “About” section of your Facebook page, and even your Twitter/Instagram profiles if you have the room. Trust me on this: you will already be in a brand’s good graces.

Your blog title is confusing to your readers. Recently I sent a list of influencers to a big-name food brand. Immediately, they rejected a very well-known blogger simply because she had a misleading blog title (I won’t reveal the actual name here, but it essentially said “Cooking Sucks”). When we asked the brand why, they said they couldn’t imagine her wanting to work on a food campaign—even though she was a food blogger! In the end we made a compelling argument to work with her, but she was initially ruled out simply because of her blog name. Certainly something to consider.

You blog has popups, music, and distracting elements. You only get one chance to make a first impression. Advertisers, agencies, and blog networks literally deal with hundreds of bloggers each day, and they will very quickly leave if they find it hard to navigate or if the popups are distracting them from the meat of your blog. Do not do this. Seriously.

Are you guilty of any of these things? Don’t worry—you’re not alone. Try to see your blog through the lens of an advertiser and make sure your blog’s purpose is concise, intuitive, and user-friendly.

Good luck!

21 Comments… add one
Chrissy March 20, 2017, 9:05 AM

Ah, Charlotte, what a great post and so many awesome tips!
Unbelievable they rejected her bc of her blog name when she is a food blogger!
There are so many things you need to keep in mind. Wow! Thank you for this, sweet! xxx

Divya March 20, 2017, 9:48 AM

I feel like the problem with my blog is that I am a bit scattered. Most of my recent posts have been education-related because I was trying to narrow my niche. But I don’t want to lose sight of why I started blogging in the first place – to document my small and big events. To leave a “paper trail” of y life. So, sometimes I get frustrated that I am not working with brands as often. And, other times, I just have to remind myself that I’m doing this thing for myself!

Beth March 20, 2017, 10:39 AM

These are all great tips and suggestions, I’m glad to see that I’m not guilty of too many of them! I kind of laughed at the “cooking sucks” blog!

ShootingStarsMag March 20, 2017, 11:05 AM

Great tips – thank you for sharing! I know some bloggers really ARE difficult to find contact information for, and that’s definitely sad because nobody can get a hold of them – brand or otherwise. I’ll have to make sure I’m doing okay with this one, but I feel like I am. I’ll have to add my email to some of my social media though!

-Lauren

Jess March 20, 2017, 11:12 AM

These are really great tips. I often don’t think about how my blog reads to brands because I feel stuck in between wanting it to be my space and reflect me, but also appeal to brands. And I totally agree about pop ups. They are THE WORST!

Eli@CoachDaddy March 20, 2017, 1:22 PM

I’m picking a new theme for my blog tonight. I’ll be sure to make a contact-me spot, because of this post. Any of my sponsored or review posts are totally by accident!

Trish @ The Trish List March 20, 2017, 1:58 PM

This is great! I love knowing what people are looking for when they stop by my space. I need to take a look and see where I can improve!

Tamara March 20, 2017, 2:06 PM

I love this! You know my life dream is sponsored posts, so I take this seriously.
One thing I wonder about is having an organic vs sponsored post ratio that works well for me. I used to be worse, but now I’m either 50/50 or more organic! I really hope that helps brands see me as genuine and a leader in my field.

Marian March 20, 2017, 3:34 PM

Thanks for the insight and reminders.

Lecy | A Simpler Grace March 20, 2017, 3:38 PM

Great tips! I would agree (as a blogger and not a brand) that popups and music are very annoying when you’re trying to read a post or leave a comment. Thanks for sharing these!

Angela Strand March 20, 2017, 5:10 PM

So good and true! Would you mind taking a quick look at NW Healthy Mama and sharing your first impression with me?

Cathy Lawdanski March 20, 2017, 5:28 PM

All very good points. I’m just starting to monetize and I need to do ALL of these things! Thank you!

Dominique March 20, 2017, 6:56 PM

These are all very interesting points!! The pop-up’s one… I really can’t stand those when I go to other sites, but I can’t help but wonder if they’re effective in getting sign ups?

texerinsydney March 20, 2017, 8:02 PM

We all blog for different reasons, and I am impressed with some of you who have turned it into part of your career. That’s just not my reason for blogging. In fact, I’ve politely declined the handful of times I’ve been offered to work with a brand. This is a really informative post for those who are wanting to do so!

Natalie March 20, 2017, 8:22 PM

Yes to all of these! I’m a blogger, not a brand, but even when I want to get in touch with a fellow blogger and I can’t find the contact button, I get annoyed. I can’t imagine what it’s like to have to try and track down hundreds of bloggers without a contact tab or email button!

Sheryl March 20, 2017, 8:37 PM

I’ve stayed on the cusp of reaching out to brands but I’m always aware of what influencers are looking for. Thanks for the reminder.

Akaleistar March 20, 2017, 9:18 PM

Great advice! The story about the food blogger is so interesting, and I can definitely see how a blog name can make or break working with brands 🙂

Jessica Bradshaw March 20, 2017, 9:58 PM

These are great tips! Sometimes I think my blog could be misleading, but I still love that it is positive, My goal is to encourage and inspire. Thanks for these!

Kimberly March 21, 2017, 7:57 AM

I seriously want to jump through the computer and throat punch the bloggers who have pop-ups. “No bish. If I want to sign up for your blog, I’ll do it on my own accord. Don’t follow me with your pop-up to each individual page like a GD car salesman. I’m not buying.”

lisa thomson March 27, 2017, 3:06 PM

Awesome tips, Charlotte. I will keep these in mind. I don’t seek out brands however, I have had people contact me to submit sponsored posts that they’ve written. I charge them and also I make sure the content is relevant to my readers and my niche. This is great info for anyone looking toward monetizing and who knows, I may try it one day.

Also, what Kimberly said about pop-ups! Ditto.

Thanks for this helpful post, Charlotte!

Dean March 30, 2017, 11:38 AM

Yikes, about the food blogger.
I wonder if I turn off companies for being misleading…
I’m not sure if I am, but I know my blog isn’t nichey (which I’ve read is a problem).

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