One of the most common things that people wonder about bloggers is how they get to a point where they can start working with brands.
There are some brands that collaborate with bloggers and social media influencers. And it can be pretty exciting (and overwhelming) when you begin receiving inquiries about sponsored content.
I’ve been blogging for over a year and a half now. And in that time, I’ve had the opportunity to work with a few different companies and brands. I’ve learned a lot from these experiences. So, today I thought that I would share some of the tips I’ve picked up.
Before I get into details, I feel like I should preface this post by saying if you’re someone who is only blogging in order to have these opportunities, you shouldn’t bother. I know that sounds harsh. But the fact of the matter is that reaching a point where brands want to work with you requires lots of time and effort. And you shouldn’t waste your time on something that you aren’t truly passionate about.
Now that that’s out of the way, let’s dive into the fun part! These are some general guidelines that I like to keep in mind whenever I’m dealing with brands and sponsorships.
One of the most important things to keep in mind when working with a brand, product, or company is transparency. Your followers should be able to trust that you’ll be open and honest with them. So, it is important to disclose any type of brand sponsorships or advertisements that you participate in. Even if you liked a product well before you got paid to promote it, you need to make it clear that you are involved with the brand.
A good way to be transparent with your followers is to have a disclaimer page set up on your website that details your policies when working with brands. (I wrote a post about how I structured my disclaimer page, if you want to check it out.)
It’s also important that you disclose any affiliate links that you use. I use affiliate links sometimes in my fashion posts, and when I do, I always make sure to put little disclaimers at the bottom of the post. An affiliate link doesn’t necessarily mean that I’m directly involved with a product or company, but it’s still really important to identity them. It’s better to be overly transparent than to not be transparent enough. The last thing I want is for readers to feel as though they can’t trust me.
Another thing that’s very important when it comes to working with brands is remembering to be cautious. When you receive an email from a brand or PR interested in working with you, it can be pretty exciting. But amongst that excitement, you must remind yourself to be skeptical.
It’s a sad truth, but some brands out there try and take advantage of bloggers and social media influencers under the pretense of collaborations. A lot of the faux collaborations that I’ve seen have in the form of affiliate programs. Obviously not all affiliate programs are scams. In fact, there are many bloggers out there who have had positive experiences with them. However, not every affiliate is a good affiliate. So, it’s important to do your research before you invest yourself in something.
Before you give out any of your personal information to someone online (which you will obviously have to do in order to get paid), make sure to do your research. A quick google search is one of the easiest ways to determine whether or not a email you’ve received is legitimate. If the person or company that you’re in contact with doesn’t appear to have a credible online presence, you might not want to work with them. And if something doesn’t feel right, don’t do it. You’re better safe than sorry.
At the end of the day, I think the most important takeaway from working with brands is remembering that integrity is all that should matter. When you promote a company or a product, it’s your name and your social influence that are being used. And if you don’t feel comfortable associating yourself with something, you simply shouldn’t do it.
Think of it this way: your blog is your brand. You don’t want to connect it to anything that you don’t personally endorse or believe in. It’s perfectly okay to turn down promoted content if you disagree with the ethics or principles of the company. Or if they aren’t willing to pay you fairly.
Thank you so much for reading! I hope these tips can be useful to you if you’ve recently begun receiving brand offers.
Have you worked with brands before? If so, do you have any advice?