The brand and blogger relationship fuels many influencers and helps drive our business online. Some bloggers may start off blogging as a hobby but soon realize there are benefits to working with companies. Some start off working with brands from the start and then grow with the brands as they grow. It is not unheard of for bloggers to be making a full time living off of their blog and social media channels. Word of mouth advertising has been a reliable source for referrals for years. Bloggers engaging with brands, and their readers is word of mouth advertising. We share our experiences with our readers. First hand experiences along with images while being able to answer any follow up questions that may come up after the fact.
There are many ways bloggers can work with brands. Below are a few I personally do
A company will reach out to the blogger usually by email with a topic requesting a post. Since compensation is offered the post is considered sponsored and the brand has more guidance on what the post is to include. Quite often they want to include information about their company, product or promotion. Key information to be shared with our readers for a set amount of time. If product was supplied the blogger can usually add in personal experience first hand.
Reviews (paid and unpaid)
Providing bloggers with product and allowing them to use an item first hand is a review. Some bloggers will publish the good and the bad where others prefer to avoid anything negative and will not post if the product is faulty or did not meet their standards. A fee is often offered for time, additional promotions and follow up on stats etc. Be sure to have your email on your blog so companies can reach out to you. Include any information or guidelines you have set in place for reviews. (a minimum dollar value, full size product, no loaners etc are popular ones)
Social media promotions
The more engaged a blogger is on social media the more offers of social media promotions they will recieve. When a brand sees a blogger having influence on a specific subject they will reach out for a paid sponsorship. Influence and following numbers often reflect the price offered for these campaigns. Sometimes information is provided as are images and other times the blogger has more editorial freedom and is to just include a link or hashtag. Pay attention to your social media analytics to see your engagement and growth as this is information many potential clients will request.
Advertising is not something everyone likes on a blog. However this is how bloggers can afford maintenance on their blogs and pay their bills. Ad networks compensate bloggers on views and sometimes clicks. The ads may target a specific audience or be set for a promotion or company for a limited amount of time. Ad networks often are on a contract basis and many will also provide sponsored post and reviews allowing the blogger a steady flow of opportunities.
Ad network usually have the rights to your premium advertising realty, however you can still advertise elsewhere on your blog. A set rate usually based on your niche and monthly pageviews is a good way to price out button ads on your sidebar and footer. These ads are clickable advertising the brands site/product. Often the company will track how much traffic comes to them from your blog. You can place an “advertise here” button on your sidebar to start attracting client right away.
Influencer marketing networks
Similar to an ad network a influencer network acts as the middleman between the brand and the blogger. Having many bloggers in their network they often have contacts and opportunities a blogger could not get on their own. Compensation is usually set based on visitors but often can be flexible and negotiated. Brands will contract the network to create buzz and get the most eyes on their campaign for the budget allowed. I think the more networks a blogger is associated with the better. Less down time and a steady flow of income is a win win with Influencer networks. Socialix.com is an influencer marketing network I have been involved with for a while. They offer third party support that helps you get your pay in a timely manner all the while they screen their advertisers. This offers security in a very unstable online world where many blogger are not sure about negotiating and reaching out to brands.
Events and travel
Covering local events and traveling while engaging with your readers is a fun way to work with brands. Companies will invite bloggers to cover their press events, parties or get to know them better at retreats. Travel opportunities are offered through tourism boards, destinations and resorts. While there bloggers will share in a live format what is happening first hand on their social media then with a follow up on their blog once home. Covering family travel this is one of my favourite ways to work with brands.
I know there are ways I have missed. Maybe you can share how you work with brands as a blogger below? I would love to hear about it as would others.