10 Tips for Brands Working with Bloggers

Thursday, January 2, 2014

I really hope if you are reading this and you are a fellow blogger you will chime in. Maybe I shouldn't even post this but I don't see the problem in airing a few pet peeves and a few favorite things about working with Brands. And if you are a brand reading this PLEASE keep these things in mind because these are things that other bloggers have discussed time and time again at conference and meet ups.

So here are my 10 tips for brands working with bloggers. Enjoy!

1. When providing an item for a giveaway, try to steer away from requiring the winner to pay for shipping.
You'll get way more entries. Also don't ask the blogger to send their own item as the giveaway prize if it's something like shapewear, lingerie, shoes, or sized clothing. It's unfair to anyone that doesn't fit the same size as the blogger and you won't get as many entries.

2. Don't expect a lengthy detailed post if you are only sponsoring a giveaway through a blogger.

As a blogger, I have a busy editorial calendar, with most sponsored posts being from companies that have sent me something in exchange for my honest review and opinion. Companies that do that take priority on my blog and if a company just wants me to host a giveaway, I will basically give a one paragraph explanation of the company and then get to the giveaway. There's no point in me trying to review their customer service or their product, if I have no experience with them. So if you want a better quality review that will show up when possible customers Google your brand, make sure you give the blogger a product to review and an experience to review.

3. Double check your pitch email before you hit send. Make sure you use the right name, add a personal note about the blogger, and use proper grammar. I have several instances where a brand will email me in regards to sponsoring a review or giveaway and they address me by a different name (Angela, Sara, Jessica to name a few). Right away that makes it seem less personal and I don't know how many other bloggers they have solicited for the same reason. So get the name right. Also, add a sentence or two about the blogger like "I love the advice you give on your blog" or "Your chihuahuas are adorable, I have one myself!". And make sure, for Heaven's sake, that you don't type like a robot! I often get emails that look like they were translated from another language like "I inquire to run giveaway through your host site." WHAT!?

4. Respect a blogger's rules. A good blogger knows the rules and legal consequences of doing things the wrong way. In regards to giveaways, the rules have just changed yet again and in order to run one the legal way, there are some terms you MUST follow like making the entires worth the same amount, not requiring a follow/site visit and comment for the mandatory entry, and more. For an easy to understand break down check out these blog posts here and here from Pink Heels Pink Truck. ALWAYS respect a bloggers rules when they adhere to the legal requirements.

5. Don't try to limit a blogger's own requirements for a giveaway. Honestly, if I'm running a giveaway for a brand, I reserve the right to have a few entry options that benefit ME. Otherwise, I wouldn't get the traffic I do and be able to promote brands like I do. I cringe when a brand tells me they woud like me to require X Y and Z for the brand and then "1 or 2 entries for following your blog". Um, no.... I'm not dumb and if you look at the giveaways I run, you'll see there's a LOT of entries for following a brand on different social media sites. I give equal promotion to the brand.

6. Do your research before contacting a blogger.Check out the blogger's site, more importantly these three things: How they run giveaways, their About me section, and their Press section if they have one. Before you even start to tell them how you would like a review and giveaway done, you need to read their Press section that explains HOW they run them. It's respectful and professional. Plus, the About Me section will tell you

7. Neglecting to send out a giveaway prize makes you look bad to the winner AND the blogger. I think it's sad that some people never receive their prize and then it becomes more work for the blogger when they have to damage control and get the company to send it after the winner says they still haven't received it. Also, if you don't send a prize out in a decent amount of time, I will email you. If I don't get ANY response after 2 business days (not even a "let me look into this") I turn to social media. I will tweet and tag you in a Facebook post asking what happened. You don't want bad press, so don't let this happen.

8. Respect the editorial calendar. 

Bloggers know what gets traffic and what doesn't, and one of the main things is a posting pattern. Some bloggers don't post on certain days.  Some bloggers have a limit of how many sponsored posts go up in a week.  No matter what the blogger's terms are, a good blogger WILL post your review in a timely fashion.  I have a 30 day guarantee and I contact my clients with the scheduled post date.

9. For the best results run the giveaway for 2 weeks. 

It gives more time for readers to see the post and more time to enter.

10.  Build a lasting partnership with a blogger. 

Give them deals if they purchase from you, share the social media posts, and make sure you work with them again and again.   In the end, it WILL pay off!

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  1. I think these are some fabulous tips! Thanks for sharing!

  2. These are great, SUPER GREAT but you forgot a BIGGIE.........now....many of us are asking to be PAID (as in real money) because reviews/give-aways often take DAYS to complete (when you consider photos, etc, especially those of us that blog about pets) You can't always get an animal to cooperate on one take. Often the price of the item we receive in NO WAY is enough compensation for a review/give-away. Actually, I changed my policy for 2014 and am now requiring payment. The amount will vary depending on what i am required to do.

    1. Yes, I've heard that some bloggers do it that way. I generally don't charge for a review because I consider the product cost the compensation. But along those lines I also make my own rules so I would certainly ask for compensation if they started to get picky.

  3. Along the same lines as #1, I'd add something that I can best sum up as "don't be cheap". I've seen so many giveaways where the prize is (for example) something like a $25 GC to a shop, but everything in that shop is $40+. That definitely gives me a negative opinion of the sponsor.

    1. I totally agree!! That's the worst and it almost makes it seem like they just wanted to get the promotion from the giveaway and not actually give a winner what they deserve!

  4. I am not a blogger, but I used to enter tons of giveaways. I appreciate your tips and especially the way you'd handle a sponsor who did not send the winner their product. I had that happen and was disappointed that the blogger did not do more to get the product to me. She contacted the company a couple of times and I think got no response. Don't they have a contract or something? I couldn't believe it.

    1. I always tell my readers if they win and don't receive it, just ask me and I'll do whatever I have to. LOL I have a three strike rule and if the company doesnt respond after a week I put them on blast a bit....after a nother week..BOOM I'll start writing a blog post about it AND contact every email address I can google find at their company lol :)


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