Working with bloggers is a new and exciting form of marketing that has been all the rage over the last few years. Bloggers may not be big corporations or employees of a PR firm that you are working with, but they should be treated with respect. I know many companies who would agree to the following statement: Bloggers are often times more influential than they seem at first glance. They are part of massive communities and they speak to one another on a daily basis. If there is one thing you need to remember it is to treat bloggers as if they are a “traditional professional,” and they will return the favor by providing high quality work.
Now that I’ve let that little speech out, here are 10 things that (real) bloggers want companies and brands to remember when working with them.
1) “That we cross the line of hobby to business when they want a brand related post. Treat me as such.” ~ Trisha of Momdot.com
This is probably one of the biggest mistakes brands make. Most bloggers see their work with companies as business, it is disheartening and discouraging when brands treat bloggers as anything less than an equal. It is imperative for bloggers and brand representatives to recognize that it is a give and take relationship, neither party should have the upper hand.
2) “That I am a mom and not at my computer 24/7.” ~ Nolie from Noliesplace.com
Bloggers may view their blog as more than a hobby, but many of them have more than one “job.” Bloggers who also hold the title of Mom should be recognized for the hard work that they do. Not only to they take care of their houses and families, they also maintain and produce great content for their blogs. Some of these moms also have regular 9-to-5 jobs outside the home, so if you do not get a reply to that email you sent within an hour…do not worry!
3) “I wish brands would remember that our first priority is being honest to our readers. If your product doesn’t work as advertised, I can’t write a positive review – even if it does make a pretty paperweight.” ~ Jessica (AKA Jersha) from JershaandDup.com
Expecting anything but honesty from a blogger is a recipe for disaster. The people who read blogs are looking for transparency and honest opinions, if the writer cannot deliver then reliability is lost. When it comes down to it, honesty is a blogs best friend.
4) “I need more than a 2 day notice for a campaign.” ~ Jenn from SweetTMakesThree.com
The time bloggers put unto writing, photography, and scheduling posts is a lot more intensive than most realize, this is especially true for those who see their blogs as their business and source of income. It is good etiquette to provide a blogger enough time in advance to product the best work possible, nobody likes feeling rushed.
5) “Just because a blogger doesn’t have tens of thousands of unique views, doesn’t mean they don’t have an engaged audience. Often times blogs with less traffic actually have more interaction and people reading all of the post, instead of just a few select posts.” ~ Tammy from Threedifferentdirections.com
There are bloggers who have such an amazing writing style you wouldn’t be able to tell they only get 1,000 unique visitors per month based on reader interaction. It is a special thing when a blog gains a reader who adores the things written there, it doesn’t matter how big or small. If a reader finds a connection they will be back for more. Brands need to focus on the blog as a whole, not purely traffic stats.
6) “That, while we love writing, many of us are doing this to help pay the bills. My bank won’t take ‘six months worth of cereal’ for my mortgage payment. I’m pretty sure the PR folks get paid in cash, I like to as well.” ~ Maureen from WisconsinMommy.com
When it comes down to compensation, bloggers feel that they are being “cheated” sometimes. There is nothing worse than a blog owner seeing your company as cheap because you will not pay a blogger for their hard work. It is one of the most insulting things that can be done. Would you put in all of the work you do at your job without pay?
If you say “No, but I’m not a blogger…” then you deserve to hear my “So you’re saying entrepreneurs should not make money?” lecture.
7) “I wish PR would remember that even though we all have the title “mom blogger,” we’re each unique and different. We have different writing styles, home lives, and more. Treat us an individuals and expect the best.” ~ Connie MiscFinds4u.com
Bloggers are individuals. If you remember those three words you will go far. Thinking that every blogger is the same and produces the same type of work just because they are a mother is a dangerous road to venture. Picture two different teachers, both women and both mothers. You do not think both of their styles are identical do you? Same line of thinking should be applied to bloggers.
How do you avoid lumping all mom bloggers in the same category file? Simple! Get to know them. Ask to speak with them on the phone, do not hesitate to ask them a little bit about themselves.
8) “Our names! I get so many emails for Amy, Nancy, Michelle, etc.” ~ Jess from MySillyMonkeys.com
The only thing worse than being called another bloggers name is receiving an email that starts with: “Dear Mom Blogger…” It is very important to know who you are speaking to, would you email your co-workers in the office and not address the email to the right person? Bloggers realize this happens a lot with pre-written emails, and that copy-and-paste is easier; but it is a dangerous way to get your emails out there.
9) “We (bloggers) work hard. Our time is valuable, and when you treat us like you know that we appreciate it. Sometimes appreciation will take you a long way with a blogger.” ~ Sarah from PS Mom Reviews
I won’t say much about this, just remember a small compliment can (and will) brighten a bloggers day. Being kind also makes you memorable.
10) “Working with bloggers means you get our opinion on the product, good or bad. You can’t expect a positive review all the time.” ~ Shawn Ann from ShawnAnn.com
This is another example of a blogger who feels strongly about being honest about anything published. There are perks to both the good and bad reviews, brands just need to realize how to take advantage of both.
If you work with bloggers, taking the above topics into consideration is very important. Once these topics are acknowledged across the board as the proper way to interact with bloggers, the better the world of Internet marketing will become.