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