Brands and Bloggers: Making the Relationship Work #BlogFrogRocks

I started blogging primarily as a way of journaling what was happening with my twins when they were babies.  I had this crazy roller coaster ride of a pregnancy and things were pretty touch and go for months.  Everyone wanted emailed updates.  Eventually life leveled out and I felt like that circle of concerned family and friends still cared, but didn’t necessarily want emails anymore.  Blogging seemed like the perfect alternative.  It would allow me to write about not just the twins, but all of my children, post pictures, write about things that were important to me and not have to flood anyone’s email inbox with updates from me.  I liked the idea that visits to my blog would be completely voluntary.

 

Eventually I realized that people besides friends and family were interested in what I had to say and I noticed that blogging also had this “community” built into it.  People could find me and leave a comment and then I could visit them and there was this trickle down effect.  Very quickly the proportion of people who read my blog that I had never met far exceeded the people I knew in real life.

Then something happened that I definitely would have never anticipated when I started my blog:  I started getting noticed by brands.  They were interested in what I had to say, too, and that felt really, really good.  It was empowering to think that my voice was important to brands (both big and small) and that it had reach.

On Working with Brands

Now that I’ve worked with many brands, I can see that some my first experiences working with brands were less than optimal.  These were in the early days of blogging and the companies contacted me to basically pimp out their product for free or for like $10 worth of product.  I didn’t know better, so I did.  There were even  a few instances where I ran a giveaway for a company for free and then they didn’t follow through with the prize for my winner so I actually had to provide it (because they won and deserve a prize!)  To this day I get pitched daily with requests to work with brands that leave me shaking my head – because there is nothing in it for me, only for them.

These are the brands I won’t work with, and never will.  Brands who work with Bloggers should realize that there has to be something in it for the Blogger as well, whether it’s monetary compensation, product, the chance for their branded name to be associated with the Brands name, or just the satisfaction or a fun campaign that is mutually beneficial in some way.   For some campaigns that benefit  may just be the feeling of a job well done!

Advice to Brands

  • Don’t prey on the starter-uppers who don’t know any better.  It’s just not nice.  Don’t ask them to do work for you that you know no one else would do.
  • Do get to know the Bloggers you work with and ask them what works best for them for optimal results for you.  If the Blogger you work with has an amazing Facebook following but doesn’t have a Pinterest account, ask them what ways they can leverage their Facebook Following in the campaign and don’t bother asking them to do anything on Pinterest.
  • Do stay organized and provide expectations up front.
  • Don’t change assets and links at the last minute if you can avoid it or worse yet, once the post has already published.  EKK!!!
  • And one of my best pieces of advice, have Blog Frog {#BlogFrogRocks} organize your campaign.  My most successful and stress-free campaigns are almost always handled by Blog Frog.  They know how to work with Bloggers and Brands, beautifully.

Advice to Bloggers

  • Don’t work for a Brand if you don’t even like the Brand.
  • Do give the Brand your best so that they’ll work with you again!  :)
  • Do negotiate.  Many times there is middle ground that can be reached that will keep you both happy and reaching towards the same goal.
  • Don’t sell yourself short.  Your influence and voice is important!  If the Brand doesn’t recognize that, move on.  Conversely, when they do, be sure to show them that you appreciate their trust in your expertise!
  • Meet your deadlines, be professional.

Feeling valued for what I do is important to me, and when I successfully work with brands, there’s a real satisfaction in a job well done!

If you’re a brand looking to work with online influencers, learn more about BlogFrog’s Brand Solutions here

As a part of the BlogFrog Influencer Circle, I have the chance to create meaningful, authentic content for brands I love.  If you’re a blogger interested in new opportunities, join BlogFrog’s Influencer Circle and check out some of the top brands already working with BlogFrog. 

Now, I’m curious. What do you love most about blogs and blogging?

This is a sponsored conversation written by me on behalf of BlogFrog. The opinions and text are all mine.