Are you the blogger left behind?
Is everyone else being offered opportunities with your favorite brand partners while you stand there with your jaw on the floor? Do you have a terrific flare for creative content but can’t get the “right” people to look at it?
The following are 10 tips for getting noticed and standing out to prospective brand partners. Whether you are just starting a blog or you’ve been blogging for several years, it doesn’t hurt to keep a list like this handy. Don’t get left behind over a few tiny forgotten details!
1. Own A Unique URL
Keep this in mind: every brand representative, be it a marketer, publicist or social media manager, is held accountable by someone, so presentation counts.
If it’s the difference between MyBlogname.blogspot.com or MyBlogName.com, they will gravitate towards the latter because it is less wordy and more aesthetically pleasing. Beyond looking better, a unique URL allows web-traffic analysis sites like Compete to track analytics and report on reader statistics, which is essential for reporting back to brand partners.
2. Be Social
Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram… Make sure you are present and active on the platforms relevant to your blog.
Remember it’s not just a numbers game– brand reps are looking out for followers as well as engagement. It’s also a good strategy for all of your social handles to be identical as it makes you easier to find.
3. Make Your Email Address Visible
Why would you keep your contact information a closely guarded secret? Publicists wanting to work with you are out there, but their time is just as valuable as yours. Don’t make them hunt for your information or you run the risk of having that potential partner move on to someone else.
4. Look Pretty
Don’t clutter your page with an unreasonable amount of advertisements, graphics, logos or text that isn’t content. Your post will most likely be screen-captured and you want to look good in the campaign report.
5. Be Selective
Do not say yes to everything. It will exhaust you and make it impossible to meet all of your deadlines.
Pick partners that you are passionate about and that will be of special interest to your readers. Sure, a new line of home décor accessories is tempting, but you traditionally write about dining out and local events.
At the end of the day, people read your blog because they like you so make sure you are being genuine in your writing. Believe it or not, your readers can tell when you’re writing about something simply because you were paid to.
6. Over Communicate
Reply to emails from brand representatives in a timely fashion and don’t be afraid of asking questions.
As soon as the content is live, send all of your links (blog post, social shares) to the partner. If you enjoyed the interaction and experience, check back in with the partner a couple of months later to see if there are new opportunities to work together.
7. Accept Invites
As a blogger, you will be invited to events. Keep professionalism in mind!
Dress the part, do not bring the whole family (unless the event specifically calls for it or you got permission), be on time, take notes, and post about it in a timely manner.
8. Don’t Wait
If you are the blogger wondering why so many brands reach out to your colleagues but not you, don’t wonder anymore. Be proactive and find contacts.
Reach out and introduce yourself, your blog and why you feel that you’d be a perfect partner for them. If they aren’t able to work with you at that time, find out what you need to do in order for them to reconsider.
A lot of bloggers charge for “sponsored posts” and rightfully so. If no product has changed hands for review, or a review of the product requires a substantial amount of time and effort, it is reasonable to request a fee.
However, it is smart to find out what your peers are pricing themselves at and to be aware of trends in the marketplace. In some instances it is better to ask, “What is the budget for this?” rather than blindly sending a price back to a potential partner and risk pricing yourself out of the opportunity.
The FTC has laid out very clear, very important rules for bloggers, social media influencers and digital advertisers. These rules are commonplace now and will not deter readers.
No one wants to be the blogger who thinks they can get away without them and suddenly finds themselves fined by the FTC. Be smart!
What other tips would you add?