If you run a blog and haven’t yet taken the step towards working with brands, you’re probably thinking about doing it. Though it may seem like a no brainer to some, there’s a lot of things to take into consideration. The blogosphere is saturated - it’s no longer limited to talented writers and industry experts.
Sites like Tumblr, Blogger, Wordpress and Bloglovin make it incredibly easy to set up your own blog, and with our social lives highly revolving around the digital world now, why wouldn’t you? To stand out from the crowd your blog needs to be outstanding, as Mike Sweeney puts it: “the average consumer and business person’s attention span is plummeting with all of this noise, so only the truly remarkable blog posts will break through the clutter.”
If your blog isn’t just about recording your personal memories, and you really want to create a credible place for people to come to and build a fanbase, working with brands will definitely help you with that.
Below I’ve listed some top tips that will point you in the right direction.
Produce great content
Make your blog easy to find
There’s a lot of you out there and brands/agencies don’t have time to trawl the internet looking for a good match. If they do, they’ll go for those with high visibility - get your blog out there and get noticed. Watch our video on how to establish and grow your blog for some great pointers.
A big part of this is getting involved with the relevant communities on social media and in the blogosphere. A basic knowledge of SEO is also hugely beneficial and there’s plenty of resources out there, including ‘21 tactics to increase blog traffic’ by Moz co-founder & SEO expert, Rand Fishkin.
Do it for the right reasons
A brand campaign needs to be relevant and meaningful to you, the company and most importantly, your audience. Don’t review Samsung’s latest widescreen TV if your blog is about beauty products. Seems obvious, but it happens.
And more importantly, if you are only doing it for the freebies then you’re ultimately going to dilute the value of your content and become another one of “those bloggers”.
Build a valuable relationship
There should be a strong synergy between your blog and the brand. Work on a campaign, not just a one-off competition or some advertising. Show your enthusiasm and offer to become more of a ‘brand embassador’ rather than just another piece of PR in their link building strategy.
This way you’re also building your authority and making yourself more credible to both your audience and other potential brand partnerships. Keep in regular contact with the brands you work with - show an interest in their news and offer to publish supporting content.
Know your worth
So you’re a new, small blog? So what, if you work hard and are passionate about what you do, it’s possible that you’ll be a big player in the blogosphere in couple of years anyway, so act like it now.
If the brand won’t work with you because you don’t have 60 million followers on Twitter, tell them what else you can offer them. In fact, some brands prefer working with smaller blogs because they often produce more personalized work for them with a lot more effort and enthusiasm put in - and crucially, a highly targeted and engaged audience.
I see these as the 5 fundamentals of working with brands - there is certainly more to it than this. Working with well-known and trusted brands can help get you get to the top as well as open up a plethora of other opportunities such as events (social and professional) or posting your content on their website. It just depends what your priorities are - figure out what you want to achieve from your blog.
Remember, the best blogger-brand collaborations are those that have built a mutually beneficial relationship, have an obvious synergy, and provide something for their audiences.