I actually started blogging in the 90s. Before it was even called blogging. I didn’t know bloggers were making money till 2011. There are bloggers that have issues being called a sell out, well you can miss me with that, who wouldn’t want to make money? I went to BlogHer ’11 cause I came up on a student ticket and only because it was in San Diego. I had no idea what I was getting into and my husband couldn’t believe I was making an investment on some blogger conference. When it comes to blogging, if all you see is the fun side then my job is done. But the reality is, it took crazy work to get to where I am. I had to prove myself to brands. I wish brands would just trust me and pay my worth. It gets so much easier to be creative when brands cut me a check as a way of saying I trust you. But even with that, my constant battle is against no one but myself and my voice.
How do you get brands to trust you?
- Get out there and meet brands at conferences. If you get invited to an event, go. It is an investment in your own brand/blog. When I say brands, I mean actual brands which also could mean agencies, PR people or random people that work with brands. It all goes hand in hand. They all talk. Some bloggers don’t get that. Don’t be that blogger.
- Meet other bloggers, they will be the ones to refer you to projects. You won’t be as successful if you don’t know other bloggers or can’t play nice with other bloggers. I’m not saying you have to be BFFs.
- Don’t listen to everyone. Everyone is not good for you.
- Quid pro quo. You might have to do things for free in the beginning. Gasp! I’m gonna get to this in detail below but basically know that you won’t get paid cash money for everything that comes your way and that’s fine. Do what you are comfortable with and don’t let anyone tell you different. Some folks out here say they make $5000 a blog post but yeah right.
- Your word is your bond. Look, if you say you are going to do something, make sure you do it. Don’t make the rest of us bloggers look bad cause you couldn’t handle what you promised.
- Don’t be fake. No one wants a knockoff. Keep it real.
- Don’t chase the money. There are trends when it comes to blogging. Review and giveaway bloggers were huge at one point and the industry changed, brands wanted more storytelling. And honestly, that’s how it should be. Stop copying and pasting press releases and using stock photos (unless it is announcing a new product, etc.)
- Show brands love. If you work with a brand, make sure it isn’t a one time thing. Build that relationship. Their wins are your wins. Business Insider did a piece on How Denny’s completely turned business around. I didn’t have to share it but I did cause I celebrate with them!
- Spend money to make money. Goes back into what I was saying about investing in your business. This can mean anything really from taking classes online to buying props, ingredients, etc. Learn how to make a dollar outta fifteen cents
- Do quality work. I like reading blogs and some blogs are just dialing it in. Boring. Forced.
- Don’t take on too much. No one likes a flake. There are times I’m overwhelmed by just looking at my calendar. I’ve hosted events and worked on projects where someone will flake and I’m like never again. Brands are investing in you too, don’t make it where you stop getting invited or blacklisted. Your empty spot could go to someone that actually wants to be there.
- It is okay to say no. Who gone check me boo? No one. I do what I want. And you should too.
See how that was a lil’ bit textbook and a little street? That is my authentic self and I cannot tell you how much it means to me that brands do trust my voice! Let me tell you a story, I went to BlogHer ’13 on a full sponsorship from another brand and Denny’s did a swag room drop with a menu, $10 gift card and some branded Denny’s items. I was grateful for it but others turned up their nose at $10. I flew home on a Sunday, was completely exhausted and treated the family to Denny’s. We probably had to put in $15 and I was cool with it. I ended up doing a post for free (gasp!) and that investment turned into my favorite ambassadorship! I’ll spare you the details but I do get a check every month and we’re going on two years of a good thing. TRUE. STORY. I salute brands that want to work together in these digital spaces. You give us the financial power to be who we are, be our own bosses and build our own empires. Shout out to Denny’s for always being down with me.
The duality of blogging: fun vs. business.
The day blogging stops being fun is the day I’ll stop. You can’t do this and not have fun. Mom 2.0 Summit is one of my favorite conferences and I go for fun and business. I took in Luvvie’s awesomeness (peep it on my YouTube), one of my good friends who I met on the internet like 15 years ago who isn’t a blogger took me and my BFF for Mexican food, we went for a late night swim, I roadtripped with Amber + Lori, it was awesome. It was the refresh I needed. Back home and ready to do work!
My partnership with Denny’s allowed me to attend Mom 2.0 Summit. I am forever grateful that they trust my voice!