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.