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Top 7 Tips for Building Powerful Blogger + Brand Partnerships
As many of you may know, I had the honor of being a workshop leader at this year’s Style Bloggers of Color conference in Miami. The workshop was a huge success thanks to all of the brilliant women and men in the room! Everyone was both creative and strategic in their thinking which made for an effective afternoon of brainstorming concepts for some of the top names on the market. With years of working as a PR consultant for some of your favorite beauty brands, I’ve been responsible for aligning my clients with the bloggers we all know and love as well as emerging bloggers with quality content. Most of these partnerships have been awesome (and continue today), but I’ve got to be honest, a few have left a lot to be desired. I’ve learned quite a bit throughout my experiences, including what not to do, so if you’re ready to take your blog to the next level, this post is for you. Check out my top 7 tips for building powerful blogger + brand partnerships:
- Determine Your Niche: “Lifestyle” blogs are all the rage but it’s important to have a specialty. What topics are you MOST passionate about? Beauty, fashion, tech, cooking, parenting or travel? To build an effective partnership, brands need to know what they can come to you for and determine if YOU can help move the proverbial needle.
- Invest: Gone are the days of blogspots, it’s time to own your URL! Invest in web design, content visuals and videos that properly and tastefully reflect your brand.
- Content is Queen … so put her first! While brands love to see their names and key messages weaved into the pages of your blog, maintaining balance is key. Never compromise the online “voice” you’ve developed for the sake of brand integration. Respect and maintain the partnerships you’ve created while staying true to your readers and why your blog resonated with them in the first place. Maintain YOUR authenticity and personal style.
- Focus on Your Strengths: Are you a strong writer? Do you capture beautiful images? Is your video content a force to be reckoned with? It’s OK to explore unfamiliar territory but don’t stray too far away from what you do best.
- Be Selective: Do you entertain every woman or man that approaches you at a party? Of course not! The same goes for brand partnerships. Develop criteria for what you’re looking for and outline your deal breakers. Think about blog/brand alliances like personal relationships. You don’t have to dive in head first. Allow them to court you and determine if it’s a good fit before jumping into bed.
- Professionalism is a MUST: If you have a negative experience with a brand, DO NOT air out your dirty laundry via social media. Think the world is small? The blogosphere and the digital world are even smaller. You never know who’s watching.
- DELIVER! Now that you’ve officially connected with the brand(s) you’ve been courting, now it’s time to deliver. It’s really quite simple: DO what you say you’re going to do. If you’re unable to deliver or may miss your deadline, let the appropriate parties know ASAP. Show and prove! Like any relationship, the foundation for a successful blogger/brand partnership is TRUST.
Have you had an opportunity to partner with a brand to add value to your blog’s content? If so, what was your biggest takeaway?