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Speaking Out - Pockets Of Inspiration

8 Tips for PR Working with Bloggers

PR Working

8 Tips for PR Working with Bloggers

I’ve been blogging almost one year now and over the months I’ve had some lovely opportunities, some fabulous collaborations and then at times I’ve had some really crap offers.

PR Working

It’s true. Sometimes PR companies get it so right and I feel pleased and other times is can be a real nightmare and leave you thinking “thank goodness that’s over”. Other times I’m like what planet are they on!

PR companies often rank and scale bloggers and you know what, I have recently started to rank and scale PR! It goes from Crazy and unrealistic to fan-blumming-tastic, if that’s even a word!

bloggers

Having said the above, here are 8 tips for PR/brands who wish to work with bloggers.

Introduction

Although I’m not going to dismiss an email for saying, hi there, or hi blogger, it would be nice to be referred to as Angela. Sometimes I’m called Hi Mummy blogger and asked to review baby bottles or products which clearly require a baby for review.

I have a lovely About Me page and Work with me page which state my name and give a clear picture about my blog and the ages and type of family I have. I’m not going to get upset if my name is not used but it’s polite and shows you actually want to work with me.

Clarity

So many times I;m asked to do something and it is NOT CLEAR. If you want me to write a sponsored blog post then please do say so. If it’s a review or something else then tell me what you would like. I’m not a mindreader? I don’t have psychic powers.

So often I get a general… “we love your blog and would love to work with you” please let me know if you can work with us”. I really don’t know whether or not I can work with you when you don’t tell me what it is you want and then I have to message you to ask.

Of course if your unsure, then please do state, we’d like to work with you do you have any suggestions, then I’ll give you some ideas but clarity makes life easier and help reduce time wasting.

Links

Generally if I’m writing a review I will include a link to the website where the product came from. This will be a no follow link. This means that the google bots/spiders will not crawl from my site to yours and wont give you link juice. It’s against google terms for companies to purchase backlinks. Backlinks need to be earned genuinely. A no follow link with still send traffic to your site and people will still be able to visit your webpage if interested in the product I review.

Recently I was asked to promote a competition which I promoted. I was asked to do so and would receive something specific in return for my blog post and social media promotion. However once I had finished, I was told I could not have the item promised as the link to the competition was no follow.

The agreement was to promote a competition, not to purchase a backlink, however the PR seemed more concerned about having the backlink and refused the follow through with their end of the deal.ย This was after I had spent a day promoting the post.

If you want a do follow link then it would save time to ask at the start than to try and sneakily ask for it after the agreed work it done.

Budget

If you ask me to collaborate with you, then you are asking for my time and work and I should be compensated fairly. If I’m reviewing a product or experience then sometimes it is reasonable to exchange the product or experience for a blog post. However, I will not write sponsored posts for free.

I’m not a newspaper column and I don’t need stories or products to put on my blog for the sake of content. I’m happy to create my own content although I do like to share charity, health and parenting campaigns.ย When you contact me, I will ask for a Budget and I expect a fair rate in accordance with my following, rankings and Domain Authority.

I will not work with a PR if there is no clear benefit for doing so. No one works for free and that includes bloggers.

Communication

I love a PR company who communicate well. Sometimes I’ve been offered items, they have been posted, I review and share the link. I’m then given constructive feedback. Other times I hear nothing. Even worse, I’m offered a product to review and it never arrives leaving my schedule in limbo not knowing what is happening.

I’d love a thank you once I have completed my post or a quick message to say your satisfied with my work. If for some reason you decide not to work with me or you no longer have the product to send out then please send me a polite message to let me know rather than leaving me in the dark. Often when someone is expecting a parcel they will stay home and waiting around for something which is not coming can be really annoying.

Don’t Jump the Gun

On several occasions I’ve been contacted and offered something and then when I accept, I’m told great we will put you on a waiting list. Or thanks for expressing your interest we will consider you for this job.

If you ask me to do something I expect this to have been approved before you ask me. Of course you may need to check pay/compensation etc however it can really peeve bloggers off if they spend time agreeing to a collaboration and are then told, oh by the way I need to put this idea to the team at a meeting and it may get binned!

Also, please don’t come back after we agree a job and say, I will now have to put you through our quality assurance process. I expect you to have done this before you contact me.

Disclosure

As a blogger it is a requirement under ASA to disclose any paid blog work. If you ask me to take out my disclosure then I won’t be able to work with you- I’m an honest blogger and will always say when or if I have written a sponsored post.

SEO and Pre Written Content

If your a PR company looking to add pre-written content then please be honest about this. Recently I’ve had several dishonest emails requesting me to host Guest posts for free on my blog for so-called “mummy bloggers”. The reality was that these people were actually PR/SEO companies looking to place content with “links” to build link backs for a client.

Whilst I’ll consider payment for genuine pre-written content, I will not place Guest Posts on my blog for nothing . I most certainly will not pay for someone else content which I do not need. ย I only Guest Post my own blogging friends and community. I am no fool.

I hope these tips are helpful. It’s been a learning curve and after one year this is my advice.

Angela x

PR Working

74 Comments

  1. Angela I hear you! I get emailed all the time and some are fantastic and others are s**t to put it bluntly. My favourite has to be ‘ Ana we love your blog Faded Spring and all your content and are giving you the fantastic chance to write a wishlist which may or may not be featured on our social media channels that have over 300 k followers. All you have to do is wait for us to contact you’
    I replied ‘I cannot accept a vague promise particularly if there is nothing in it for me’. Essentially I would receive nothing and the only time I accept wishlists is if I get paid or sent items to review.

    1. Oh Ana, I know…. why would you want to write a wish list for a vague promise. Those promises never tend to come through- especially from my earlier experiences and so i’ve learnt to say no.

  2. i haven’t worked with companies yet as a blogger but this alerts me to know that there are some shady people out there. how awful that they didn’t uphold their end of the deal because you used a no follow link. and yes i agree if they are reaching out to you there should not be a waiting list

    1. I totally agree. I don’t want to be asked to do something and spend my time making arrangements to be told ..oh we will see if your the right person to work with. its rude.

  3. I agree with a lot of what you are saying here. However, I have done work “for free” with plenty of people (past and present), particularly brands I love. Extending a hand in that way has also opened doors to compensated offers from those brands.

    1. Of course… you should not blindly tuRn every offer to work for free down and especially int he early months and when first starting out. I did that. I worked a lot of jobs for free but….i’m saying doing something where they are gaining a huge benefit and you get nothing in return. I did a wonderful campaign that gae me some exposure I would nOt otherwise have got…but i’m not going to write a article for someone to promote a business for no gain whatsoever other than a few page views.

  4. I don’t think PR intentionally is doing it wrong, just like I don’t think bloggers are. There’s just a learning curve on both ends to get to a mutual meeting point.

    1. It is a learning curve and although the majority of PR is fantastic some are not and some do intentionally try to get free work done with no budget and some do try to take advantage of newbie bloggers by placing links in content and passing it off as a innocent guest post when really they are making money from it and taking advantage.

    1. Exactly I think some people don’t understand the no follow do follow rules for blogging especially small business owners ..the bigger pr’s do but some try to get away with it!

  5. I had one company contact me about cakes. I checked them out on their website to make sure they were legit, then agreed to do a review. They asked me to select a cake, which I did, then I didn’t hear from them for two weeks. Well, the cake I asked for was for my son’s birthday. Thank goodness I had the money to buy him a different cake at the local bakery but I was not happy. When I finally heard from them, they told me that because they are from the U.K. they couldn’t ship the cake to me so could I send them to someone who lived in the U.K. I responded nicely and let it go but I felt like asking them, “Isn’t this something you should have asked before I agreed to do a review for you?” I didn’t know about the ASA thing and still don’t know much about it but I haven’t gotten paid yet either so could you elaborate on that? Great post Angela. These tips are very helpful. #anythinggoes

  6. Lots of very good points Angela! I’m not sure which is more of a pet hate for me – not even getting so much as a thank you after you’ve worked hard on a post (happens far too often!) or the ‘great, now we need to get you approved’!

  7. Great post! I get so many emails asking to “work with me” and I have no idea what they want. I also dislike a company expecting a dofollow link. That’s really sneaky and unfair what they did to you.

  8. This is a great post and so informative. So far I’ve only written 2 sponsored posts, one company was great but the other not so much. Kept changing when I was going to be paid and weren’t too keen on me using a disclosure..I left it anyway as want to be honest.xx #anythinggoes

  9. Nice to see someone else who only does nofollow links. I find so many full time/pro bloggers do dofollow, I’m surprised at how many.

    I think I’ve been relatively lucky with prs on the whole. The worst have been people who’ve set everything up, then all of a sudden you don’t hear from them, after it’s had the go ahead. And then see the posts/reviews on other people’s blogs. That’s so annoying when you might have cleared a schedule for them, and a waste of your time.

  10. Thanks for this, Angela – it was so interesting to read, especially as I worked in PR many years ago and remember how unscrupulous some people could be!

  11. Great post and really useful for me – I’ve only recently started to work with other companies and I’ve had some really cryptic emails where I honestly had no idea what they wanted! I do think it’s important to set down guidelines and this post has given me the confidence to do just that.

  12. You are so right. I get so many different offers lately where either they want me to blog for free or the budget is so low it’s a waste of my time. I always have a disclosure too. It would be rude not to have one.

    1. Thanks Janine. It’s crazy that people would expect us to write and spend our time for free. I had another today. She thought I might like to write an article on her brand for free and get nothing in return. I only write about the things we do and that is relevant to us. If we are not testing a product or its nothing to do with my lifestyle, how can I and why would I spend precious time doing so. After all I am very unwell and blog in an effort to get well…ie by raising money for treatment etc.

  13. These are all amazing tips Angela ๐Ÿ˜€

    I would also add “Please don’t leave it 6-8 months before you actually pay me for the work I did. 30 days is surely long enough?” ๐Ÿ˜‰

    Louise x

  14. great tips. I am often contacted with ‘ can you post this guest post for me’. I came to realise quite quickly they they are just looking for a free back link. popping over from Mummy 2 Monkeys

  15. Really REALLY fab tips! As a newbie blogger stepping in the waters of collabs with PR companies and brands this is so handy. As yet our dealings have been great with those we have chosen to work with. The ones who send random requests? Not so much. Thank you for putting thus all so clearly for both blogger and client.

    Love Leigh at Fashion Du Jour LDN HQ x
    http://www.fashiondujour.co.uk

  16. Thank you, this was very eye-opening! I am just getting started and would love to work with companies, but I am still wondering where to start at this stage! I appreciate your post though as it gives some great pointers as to what is and is not acceptable behaviour/expectations from PR companies. I’m off to find out about no follow links now!

  17. This post is fab! I’m actually both a PR and a blogger, so I get it from both sides. I get that lots of clients don’t have budget for blogger activity (which is why I find it so difficult to ask for payment, and often just give in anyway…it’s terrible!) and that being a PR is hard, but being a blogger is a huge amount of work. For me it’s a second full time job on top of my first one and for that we deserve to be compensated. I’ve only just started monetising (which is ridiculous for a blog that’s getting 83k+ page views a month) so I’m trying to be harder with PRs. I’ve begun to offer a range of activity, from free reviews which include less coverage to paid for which include more, hopefully it’ll work! Thanks for posting it, have tweeted!

  18. Great stuff and about time someone addressed this – I recognised a lot of the above and it’s frustrating! Maybe we should all put a link to this blog post in our email signature! ๐Ÿ™‚

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