Bloggers Choosing Brands: What We're Doing Wrong

Before we get started, I want everyone to know that this post is not to put down bloggers who choose to work with a variety of brands.  My intent for this post is to simply help bloggers recognise that brand selection is important when creating credibility for your blogging platform. 

With that said, there is a common discussion between bloggers, in every niche, about working with brands and money. In some cases, a blogger will work with brands for free stuff which could appear as unprofessional or their are other bloggers who will only select brands who will compensate them for there work; or a little bit of both.

The options presented above are what causes bloggers to lose or maintain their value online and offline, which can put a damper on bloggers who expect a certain level of respect when being approached by brands.   

I have come to the realization that this issue is not with the brands, it's with bloggers.

Here are a few points of criticism of bloggers choosing brands and why we're doing it all wrong. 

Blogger and Brands | Taja Fox

We've all been guilty of working with brands for a freebie but let's touch on three critical issues, shall we. 

1. Blogging for free is simply saying I don't value my work. 

Now this can seem a bit harsh but it's reality. Most of us are happy to collaborate with a brand for 'exposure' but what kind of exposure is this getting you? Are you truly benefiting from it and how much return on investment are you receiving?  

Simply look at how far of a reach a brand has with it's followers. Are they sharing your content on a consistent basis or is this a one-off thing? 

I understand that it's hard to view a collaboration as such, but let's be honest with ourselves. If your goal is to become the best blogger in your niche than you must take this seriously. Blogging for fun is great but don't expect to get compensated down the road when you have not shown value in your own work.

2. Bloggers promote an experience that they wouldn't pay for with their hard earned dollars.

This is sad but true. I have been told that their are some bloggers who have promoted a specific product or experience to their audience and wouldn't dare paying for it. If an offer is presented to you to experience a new hotel in your area or try a product to help a brands campaign, don't do it if you wouldn't pay for it out of your own pocket. If we are cautious with how we spend our money, we should be just as cautious when selecting which brands to honestly promote.

3. Bloggers don't do their homework.

When a brand approaches you for a collaboration what facts are they presenting to you about their company. Are they sending you their press release or a media kit? Before I agree to work with brands, the first thing I do is research more about their company through reviews and see if I can put together a timeline of their growth. 

Why? Because you have to know if this collaboration is worth your time. My suggestion to all bloggers is not to be afraid to ask the company a few questions and also, NEGOTIATE!

Here are four tips for bloggers when selecting to collaborate with brands.

  1. Don't be so eager to work with any brand that approaches you. Be a valuable source to your readers and great collaborations will come. 

  2. Be honest and ask yourself, what am I benefiting from this brand deal? Will I truly gain more exposure or just a few followers for a quick giveaway? 

  3. Provide your rates to all brands and make them aware that you do charge for any company collaboration. This will set a tone for any brand collaboration and will show that you're truly serious about your work. 

  4. Your blog should always represent who you are so have some dignity and know what you're putting your name on. This will show that you have full control over your content.

I hope this was helpful and didn't hit a nerve. Please, tell me, what is your approach and share your thoughts to the above criticism most bloggers receive.