To all the bloggers that have felt the same frustrations, and to all the brands that want a meaningful relationship with their blogging partners. This is not a rant, rather a guide to a healthier relationship. I must admit I’ve had the most amazing partners in the past couple of years, so to all of you that I’ve worked with – this isn’t for you. But there are many unspoken secrets that just need to get out for everyone’s sake – so let’s set the record straight shall we? Here are 7 things bloggers wish brands understood for a happier, healthier, more beneficial symbiotic relationship.
#1: Please don’t auto subscribe me to your newsletter. Not because I don’t love you. (I truly do!) Because I get 100 emails a day from brands and partners… you just made it 101.
#2: I know you think I’m crazy to turn down a post in exchange for your product… and the truth is I may not want to say no, but it just doesn’t always work that way. Aside from popular belief, blogging is not just a bunch of kids playing on social media and getting buckets of free stuff and money in exchange for basically zero effort – it’s a lot of work. Just like any other creative outlet – It takes time, an artistic eye, hundreds of maintained connections, media creation, copywriting, PR outreach, the list goes on… so don’t expect me to hand that out so freely. While I personally and admittedly do not, some individuals make their living from their blog. And no one wants to live off ramen forever. If you don’t have respect for the time and effort that I’m putting forth, I won’t have respect for yours.
#3: Oh you want to send me a “gift”? How lovely… the 2 dozen follow-up emails asking if I’ll be posting it soon? Unnecessary. I do understand that you’re hoping for a free feature by sending these gifts. And honestly it just might work if I end up loving your products. But if you harass me… you can forget about it. Ain’t nobody got time for that, and frankly – you’re stressing me out.
#4: Even though it may not sound like it right now… bloggers are actually pretty reasonable. Remember we’re all just people at the end of the day. Don’t have the budget for sponsored posts but we’re honestly a match made in heaven? Talk to me, bloggers are their own business owners and we’re often flexible, just remember to be flexible in return.
#5: If I don’t like your products, we won’t be working together. I don’t care if the deal you’re offering me is down right smashing – if the product or service isn’t something I would buy, I will not consider accepting. A blog is a brand too, and forcing an unwanted match won’t do you, the blogger, or the blogger’s network any good. It’s fake, and we just won’t have it.
#6: Don’t ask me to include a giveaway or promo code. If coupon sales is your only measure of success – you should probably just run a PPC ad campaign. Blogging is much more personal. It’s about resonating with the community and speaking your voice directly from the mouth of your consumer. And coming from a marketing background, that’s worth a lot.
#7: My objective is not to sell, it’s to share. Sure, as a brand or service your objective may be to sell, but it’s not mine, so please don’t try to make it mine. If I wanted to sell something I’d open my own retail store. Don’t worry, if I like your products, my friends over here on the blog will probably like them too… so sales is a natural response. But blogging is my passion. It’s where I share the thoughts that inspire me, life experiences, the places I visit, and things that I love. It’s a magical and curated story of life, a day in my dreams. One I hope that inspires and connects people in a much deeper way. It’s not a sales gimmick, your personal ad space, or some strange social brainwashing platform. This is my life. It’s real. The people I’m connected with are real. We’re a family.
Sound like the opposite of what you’re looking for in a blogger? That’s ok. This space isn’t for everyone. These are the things that I’m passionate about. Life. Experiences. Travel. Happiness. Truth. Family. Fashion. And a little bit of luxury. And as soon as a blog becomes what a brand wants instead of what it is – it’s no longer a blog, it’s an infomercial in disguise. If we end up working together think of it as a film – not a commercial. We’re doing it because I love you, you love me, and because I believe others will love you too. Because the passion and the storyline are so good they must be told. Because this is a beautiful moment when we come together. Because you fit into the lifestyle of a real moment here on this earth or one fleeting moment of imagination. A perfect day – a day in my dreams.
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