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6 Tips for Bloggers working with Brands
Last week, I wrote about the Best Practices for Brands working with Bloggers, this week I am writing about the Best Practices for Bloggers working with Brands.
When I first started blogging I had no intentions of earning money with my blog, truth be told, I didn’t even know that you could earn money using a blog, let alone get free products from companies. I still remember how excited I was to get my first paid sponsored post, I was so excited that I actually lost the $50 check!
Hey, Tasti-Lee Tomatoes, sorry but I never cashed that check!!
Anywho, I have definitely come a long way since that first sponsored post, which by the way was on November 26, 2013. Believe it or not, I am still buying those tomatoes because they really are tasty, which leads me to the first of 6 tips for bloggers when it comes to working with brands.
Be honest in your review. Don’t “sell your soul” for a few free products or a small check, remember your reputation is at stake and nine times out of ten, it will come back to haunt you. For example, my family and I don’t eat pork and I have mentioned that fact many times in my YouTube videos. Therefore, there have been numerous occasions in which I’ve rejected requests to write a sponsored post featuring pork products. My followers know that I don’t eat pork and no amount on a check is worth a damaged reputation…unless of course it’s large enough to take me through my retirement years … just kidding!
Be honest in your review. Don’t try to convince your readers that a product works if it didn’t! If after accepting a campaign for a review you find the product didn’t work or there was an adverse reaction, immediately contact the Campaign Leader or the company and let them know. Again, your reputation means more than the check or the free product so don’t write a positive review if it was a negative experience.
Write your own review. Sharing is Caring but don’t use another blogger’s post or copy another published product review and try to pass it off as your own!
Write in your own voice. Do the best that only you can do and don’t try to imitate other bloggers. Remember it’s your blog and your readers are looking for your voice. You may not have a fancy DSLR camera or even the best photography/video skills, but it’s you that your followers like and they are looking for your voice so use it.
Be Upfront and honest. Make sure to include an initial Disclosure Statement so that your readers know that you were compensated for the review and this also meets FTC regulations.
Reach out to Brands Directly. Is there a product or service that you use and simply love? Perhaps you long to become a Brand Ambassador or attend a major event, well don’t sit back and dream about it, take the initiative and contact them. In today’s world most brands and companies understand the power of blog posts and written reviews. It cost them less to pay a blogger to write a review than it does to post an ad in the local paper so put together a Media Kit and contact the brands directly. You can make the initial contact via Twitter or Facebook because they probably receive hundreds of pitch emails daily and yours may never get read. Hey, the worst thing they can say is, “no”, but wonder if they say, “yes”.