By Casey Danton A few years ago, you would never imagine that bloggers could have so much sway, but they have now become the shepherds of online communities. So, how do brands successfully interact with bloggers to further their online presence? What is the proper etiquette when reaching out to an influencer? What are some pet peeves bloggers have? Let me fill you in…
Bloggers can be a brand's best friend or worst enemy. Just this summer a blogger commented on Adam Richman’s Instagram condemning him for using the hashtag #thinspiration on one of his photos because of the negative connotation it has with those suffering from eating disorders. Adam Richman fired back with some less-than-savory remarks which threw the online, plus-size blogging community into upheaval. When the Travel Channel found out about the events, they postponed the air date indefinitely for Adam’s new show, “Man Finds Food.” The show still has yet to air two months after the originally planned air date.
My experience with blogging comes from my personal beauty and fashion blog, DullLikeGlitter.com, where I have been posting nail art designs for the past couple of years. I have worked with everyone from brands, to PR companies, to other bloggers (even a YA novelist) for all types of content. Along the way, I’ve picked up a list of "dos" and "don'ts" for the best way to interact with us.
Here are three tips for working with bloggers.
1. Remember that blogger content is not free.
I cannot begin to tell you how many of my images have been stolen off of my blog and Instagram. When I create nail designs, I sometimes pour hours of work into them before posting and sharing with my audience. Seeing my content picked up by other users or even brands and reposted without proper credit is very disheartening and has happened to me personally much more than once. It ended up getting so bad that I had to start including watermarks on my images. If you think a blogger's image is amazing and you want to share it, you CANNOT just take it. Bloggers own the creative rights to their content according to copyright law. But most bloggers are more than happy to share content as long as you ask first so that they know it is being used and can receive proper credit. It’s that easy!
2. Never ask for a positive review.
Part of a blogger's job is to have the most up-to-date information on products and services. Many bloggers accept items in exchange for their opinion. It is never acceptable to ask a blogger to review a product in exchange for a positive review. Bloggers have fans who trust their opinions and look to them for advice. The best bloggers are honest and upfront about their experience and opinions. If you are sending out a product, don’t expect that just because it was free that the feedback will be positive. As a work-around, you can always ask to see the blogger's opinion before posting to use it as feedback. I have had brands ask me politely to not post about their product when I had a negative review which I was more than happy to do.
3. Host giveaways and competitions.
Part of attracting fans to a blog is by offering freebies and giveaways. Bloggers are always looking for prizing they can provide that won’t put them in the red. A great way to get exposure and forge some great connections with bloggers is offering something to include in a giveaway on the blogger's social media channels.
With these three tips you’ll have a great roster of bloggers who can’t wait to work with you. Who is your favorite blogger to work with?