08 Apr Blogger 101 – Approaching Brands for your Blog
Starting up in the world of blogging? Or been around for a while and struggling to find your way? Then drop everything and read this now!
Blogging is challenging, especially in a market where the blogosphere is so saturated and no set guidelines to follow. If you are one such blogger looking to find your way, then this is for you. Your guide to get started with a couple of Do’s & Don’ts that need to be kept in mind when approaching potential brands to work with or their PR representatives.
- Building a Database
When starting out, you need to spend a lot of time and effort into researching. Researching brands that are relevant to your blog, their representatives, and ways on how you can connect with them and introduce yourself. It would be helpful both in the short and long run to develop a database. Google PR agencies locally and acquire their contact details. Most of the agencies would have a client list document which they could e-mail you through.
Another helpful way to get word around quickly would be to get your blog listed on the UAE media database – Cisionpoint (www.cisionpoint.com). This is not for you but is widely used by PR and marketing professionals when formulating media lists. It would also help to create an excel file and have all your PR peeps listed down in the order of brands they represent, this list will need to be updated regularly as and when people move jobs or take on new brands.
Tip – UAE Journalists Facebook group has a database of 500 + PR professionals (That list is gold)
When starting out you need to be out there as much as you can. Network with people, hobnob at events, see and be seen. Even if you aren’t a natural extrovert you need to be the best possible extrovert version of yourself for those 30 – 45 minutes. The more you mingle, the quicker your network will grow.
- Find your Niche
Don’t be an ‘I do it all Blogger’. Find your niche and stick to it. If you are passionate about beauty blogging then give that your 100%. Don’t get swayed away by everything else that is out there because you will only end up confusing your followers and audience. A style blogger is not a food bloggers and vice versa. Find your voice!
- Preparation & Pitching
Before you go out and pitch you blog for a potential partnership or collaboration be ready with your material. PR professionals receive up to 15 new introduction emails from bloggers weekly, you need to ensure yours would stand out from the other 14. Go in all guns and blazes, introduces yourself and your blog professionally. ALWAYS attach your media kit when writing to anyone, your media kit needs to include the following:
- Who you are?
- What is your blog about?
- Facts & figures such as unique visitors per month, age, gender, nationality split of followers, social media following and enjoyment figures
- Case study of a brand partnership (If available)
Having the right attitude is key, whether you are a newbie blogger or an established one you need to ensure your attitude is always on point. Being an influencer or a popular blogger does not give you the right to behave like you are entitled to anything. Bad attitude will only put people off and won’t serve well for your blog.
- Incomplete Media Kit
Never share a media kit or rate card that offers no insight into your blog. No one would want to read a 5 page document with tell all tales. All businesses work on a simple principle of ROI (Return on investment). During the negotiation phase, always ensure to explain the potential return you could offer via your blog should they decide to invest in you.
- The Ghost Blogger
Do not disappear for weeks post the completion of a campaign or review that was arranged. Always deliver what was promised on the agreed timelines, should there be a delay let the person know. Always share links of coverage, it takes 2 seconds to do but goes a long long way in making an impression.
- HAVE a blog!
Stating the obvious here, DO NOT call yourself a blogger if you don’t have a blog to begin with. Having a profile on a select social media platform does not qualify you to be a blogger. Take the profession seriously and you will have returns.
- Goody Bag Business
Do not be into it for the goody bag. Avoid jumping from one event to the other only to gather goody bags and rush home. This might work in the short run but would certainly not serve well in the long run. Have a keen interest in the event / launch / show you have confirmed your attendance too, if you show respect you will receive the same in return.
Blogging can be a daunting business but if you are truly passionate about what you do, success won’t be too far away. Let’s hope these tips can help out a little bit. J