21/02/2013

How NOT to Approach Bloggers: A Guide for Companies




I am far from what you'd call a famous or successful blogger, at least  if you measure success in money, gifts, press attention and lucrative brand collaborations (I am, however, a very successful blogger if you measure success in how many cool people I meet through blogging. But that's a different post.). Even so, I've been propositioned with some pretty out-there stuff from companies that seem like they don't really know what's going on. Which started me thinking about what the more influential bloggers must be facing every time they open their inbox.

So I thought I'd put together a little guide for the companies on how to NOT approach bloggers. Note to brands: if you catch yourself doing one of these things, change your approach or don't be surprised if I don't reply. You can thank me in the letter that comes with my free Stella bag, thank you very much.


How to effectively ruin your relationship with a blogger (not to mention annoy said blogger's designer socks off):


By all means, forget that I have an actual name (clearly stated in the About page and the "Hi, I'm..." box at the top right corner of this blog) and just address me as "Dear Blogger". Really, we love it. Reinforces our identity as bloggers.

Then, send me proposals that have NOTHING to do with the contents of my blog whatsoever. I just love getting press releases from companies that make leather shoes, silk scarves and cosmetics that are tested on animals. It's lovely how they haven't even bothered to find out the most basic facts about me and my blog.

With that in mind, if you are considerate and savvy enough to actually read up on what I'm all about, do try and keep the wording of your proposal as out of line with the blog's core values as possible, ie: "I applaud your commitment to a vegan lifestyle. I wanted to talk to you about a post on our new wool hats." Um, do you know what "vegan" even means?

Or, you know, ask me to submit "one of my outfits" to your website's gallery. When I've never even published "one of my outfits" on my blog. Trust me, I'm a penniless writer. You don't want to see my outfits.

While you're emailing over said proposals, just a press release is enough. No need to tell me who the heck you are and what you do. And don't forget to ask me to follow you on Twitter. Obviously without following me back, that goes without saying.

Compensation? What's that? Bloggers don't care about getting paid. We're overjoyed for the "honour" of filling up our beloved little space with your big ugly banners for zero cash.

On that note, we don't even need to lay eyes on the product before reviewing or recommending it to our readers. So don't you bother sending anything over. We trust you. We know you're marvellous. And as previously stated, why on Earth should we get anything out of this?

Oh, and we just adore sponsored posts. It's so kind of you to offer to write them for us, cramming your links and keywords all over our labour of love. I'm surprised more bloggers aren't jumping at the offer. Wouldn't you be totally psyched to give up the space you've worked night and day to create for someone to use as free ad space? Thought so.

If you insist on offering compensation, a 20% discount will do, really. I mean, who doesn't want to get up and do a joyful song and dance about the wonders of getting to PAY for someone else's free advertising? I can't believe how lucky I am!

If I show interest and say I do want to write about you, feel free to email over a list of products you want to "push" this month. Do get annoyed when I don't choose them as they don't suit the style of my blog and go with other products from your line. Who cares that you're still getting free press? All that matters is that I didn't write about the pink floral clogs you need to sell. PS, who knows how come they're not sold out yet...


So there you have it. At the end of the day, blogs are becoming a powerful tool of communcation and we're glad that brands are picking up on that. But while blogs can be an exciting new platform for brands to reach out to their customers, they are not an opportunity for free marketing. Bloggers are becoming savvier in choosing who to work with and what to recommend to their readers and I'd love to see brands catch up. I haven't worked with many brands yet, but the ones I've reviewed here and/or in one of the magazines I write for have all been absolutely lovely and understanding of my style and voice. Too bad that they're so few and far between.


Pictures from my old picture archive and I honestly don't remember where I got them, but Google Images would be a good bet.

7 comments:

  1. I have had so many e-mails this week that have driven me up the wall.. 'we notice you write a blog dedicated to babies and toddlers/senior dating/climate change' we have written this high quality article that is exclusively for you, you don't even have to pay us for the rights to use it!

    First of all, my blog has nothing to do with any of those things they think it's related to. Second of all the very suggestion that we should pay them for the free advertising theyre trying to force on us outright insulting.. so annoying!!

    Great post xx

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  2. Love this! I've just had so many of them at this point I just hit delete tbh.

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  3. Ahaha.. so funny and true!

    http://absolutelyfaaabulous.com

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  4. ovviamente la mia esperienza di blogger è totalmente diversa e non ho mai avuto a che fare con questi soggetti, però non si rendono conto che chi frequenta i blog ste cose le sgama? Se un blogger che seguo inizia a fare marchette senza senso io non sono mica scema, me ne accorgo e se infastidita smetto di leggere. Bah!

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    1. Quoto! Un conto è assecondare certi comunicati se affini ai nostri gusti e allo stile del blog ma così, per partito preso, no!

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  5. Great post! I am lucky in that I don't ever get asked to review/write about/give free advertising for anyone! But I would totally understand how flippin' annoying it would be just to receive a generic email from a company who has NO understand of you and your blog.

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  6. I'm so bored to giving this explanation at someone that now I do not answer anymore. Rude? Maybe, but if they not unsubscribe me from their mailing list, I do not care to be polite!

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