Blogging, Brands and Blogger Outreach: Behind-the-scenes
When blogging became a 'thing' over a decade ago, it was nothing more than an 'online journal' or an 'online personal diary'. But over the past few years, it has become a full-time profession for some, a part-time job for others (especially stay-at-home mums) and a career for a lot of 'influencers'.
Terms such as SEO and DA are now common-speak among us bloggers, and working with PRs, blogger outreach agencies and brands has become our lifeline, in order to get work. But just like in any other 'job' or 'profession', there are great bits, the not-so-good bits and in some unfortunate cases, the downright terrible bits. But we live and learn…
Let's start with the good stuff, because that's what I like to concentrate on.
- I love the Blogger-Brand/PR Relationship that has developed over the years. Prior to Mummyhood, I was a journalist, so I've experienced the journalist-PR relationship, and to see that now extending to bloggers is a huge thumbs-up to the blogging community. It implies that we've arrived! It means PRs and brands want to get in touch with us, want to work with us and that makes us feel awesome.
- Going a step further, seeing the number of platforms available for blogger outreach services; numerous Facebook and Twitter groups that share opportunities between brands and bloggers and actual blogging events like BlogOn that focus on exposing brands to bloggers, is fantastic.
- And last but not the least, I absolutely love the sense of 'community' that we bloggers have built amongst ourselves; that feeling of togetherness and the act of sharing opportunities and advice.
Now let's go on to the not-so-nice bits about the blogger-brand relationship. Let's call them our 'blogger pet-peeves'…
There is ONE thing we bloggers don't appreciate. And to be fair, ANYONE in ANY job would not like it either. And that is not valuing our worth. It does not matter whether we are established bloggers, mid-range bloggers or just starting out; or whether this is our full-time or part-time job, we are all worth something. And yes, in blogspeak, this means we are worth being paid a decent fee for the work we do.
- We don't appreciate being asked to 'write a post' or 'insert a link' or 'publish your article' for free. Would you ask a doctor to treat you for free? Or request your child's swimming instructor to teach your child for free? Or your mechanic to repair your broken car for free? Then why would you expect us bloggers to write about you/ your product/ services for free? After all, you would pay a magazine for an ad, wouldn't you?
And oftentimes, we get an offer which we don't know how to react to – a brilliant sum of $5! I mean, after paypal and conversion fees, we would probably get £1. And we honestly don't know what is more insulting – to do it for free or the $5 offer!
- We also hate chasing up payments – sometimes for months on end. Anyone would feel uncomfortable asking for money (especially when it's owed to them) and we do too. Besides, we don't have the time to do so! Publishing one blog post involves some or all of these aspects – emails to the brand/PR, negotiations with the brand/PR, ideating, writing, editing, taking relevant pictures, promoting the post on social media, making attractive pins for Pinterest etc etc. And after all that, we do not want to be sending request after request to get paid for our hard work. So please, do just pay us on time…
- We understand some companies are start-ups or personal businesses and do not have a huge budget, but it is insulting (and shocking) when established big brands ask us to work for free because they don't have a budget for advertising. Really? You think we don't know your profit numbers? Or your CEO's x-digits salary? Come on… show us some respect please!
- And here's another one. We can make out when SEO marketing agents are 'pretending' to be writers or bloggers who are just "starting out" and would like to get published for free. Just to build up their portfolio. IF and only IF we somehow do agree, we then find not one but sometimes two backlinks to websites sneaked into the post. Smart! But not the best way to get into a blogger's good books.
Have my fellow blogger friends and colleagues got any more positives or pet-peeves to share? I'd love to hear them in the comments!
And for all the PRS/ SEO agencies/ brand representatives, we need you lot just as much as you all need us. We're essentially two sides of the same coin. So let's play fair?
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