Hi Beauties. I’ve said it before, but I’ll make this disclaimer again: I’m no expert! I’m just a woman with a bit of blogging experience trying to share what she learned. One topic I see come up again and again for beauty and fashion bloggers is the issue of working with brands. I mean, the fun of blogging is it’s own reward, but who doesn’t love freebies? So without further ado, here are my top tips for working with brands.
Have Contact Info Easily Accessible: We have to start with basics. How are brands supposed to reach you if you don’t have your name and email up? Try incorporating this into your “About” page, or better yet, make a separate “Contact” page. I also like using the contact page to connect with readers.
Hone Your Pitch For Contacting Brands: Tired of waiting for the brands to come to you? Well, the good news is that you don’t have to wait. Search around your favorite products’ website. They might have an email specifically for bloggers to contact. Not sure what to say? With a little Googling, you can find some good examples of pitches. I’d give you my own example, except I haven’t tried to contact a brand this way…yet. You can also try tweeting them.
Know Your Stats: Before many brands decide to work with you, they’re gonna want to know the numbers. That means number of followers, unique page views and followers on any social media accounts you have connected to your blog. Don’t despair if your stats aren’t too good. Many brands are also looking for a high engagement score, meaning that people comment on and share your posts.
Join a Blogger Program: If you go to the right side bar on my home page, you’ll see links to Brandbacker and EtailPR. These are just two blogger platforms that help connect bloggers to brands. When brands run campaigns that they want to promote, bloggers can apply to promote the products for freebies or monetary compensation. This is way less intimidating and time consuming than reaching out to a brand on your own.
So you’re getting offers to work with brands. Now what?
Follow Disclosure Laws: Every country has a different law, but at least in the US, bloggers are required to disclose when they’ve been compensated for a post. Even if your country does not have such strict enforcements, I personally think it’s best to be open and honest with readers.
Be Honest: You’re asked to review something…and you hate it. Well this sucks. There are several things you can do, but lying and saying that you love the product is NOT one of them. First, try contacting the company that sent you the product. It may come as a surprise, but many companies are fine with poor or lukewarm reviews because it’s still publicity for their brand. Others may ask you not to publish the post. The important thing is to consider the reader. If you’re disappointed with a product you got for free, imagine how your readers will feel if they went out and bought the product based on your recommendation.
Don’t Accept Every Offer: There’s quite an allure to freebies, but consider how it fits in with your blog. I think it’s important to maintain your vision for your blog and uphold your blog’s integrity. I have (politely) told PR reps this when their pitch doesn’t fit my blog and they are understanding. You really don’t have to jump at every opportunity that comes around if it isn’t right.
Write About the Products You Aren’t Given: Even Temptalia, who is given enough freebies to write several posts every day still goes out and purchases her own makeup for review at times. I think this is especially important if you’re not yet getting enough swag to write several posts a week. I’ve followed some great bloggers who now only write a post or so a month when they get something for free, and honestly I think the quality of those blogs has gone down.
So those are my top tips! And again, if you read my blog you’ll notice that most of the stuff on here was bought with my own money, so I reiterate, I’m no expert! Do you have any tips for working with brands? Let me know in the comments below!