BRAND SPOTLIGHT

How to revamp your old content to get tons more page views.

So for the past few weeks, I’ve been really busy and felt as if I needed some new seasonal content. You know the type: pumpkin recipes, Christmas guides and anything with the word ‘autumnal’ in. Since I already get some traffic from Google and Pinterest, I noticed some of my previous year’s posts were starting to get more hits- for some reason it’s now perfectly acceptable to google Christmas advent calendars in September. The old content was being read but to be honest, it was bit tired: dead links, crap images and very 2016. The solution was clear: to start working on my old content and make it as good as new! Here’s what I did:

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8 brands looking to work with bloggers for gift guides

Today is another gift-guide themed post. Last week, I shared my top tips for writing gift guides and shared 7 brands looking for bloggers. Now, I’m sharing ten more brands that want to get their products featured. I hope this blog post helps with your gift guide dilemmas!

  1. Self-care and Wellness bloggers: Affirmation cards and prints from A Life More Inspired email:nicola@alifemoreinspired.com
  2. Gift guides for her: Checkout https://upoveranddownunder.com/  and email: Info@upoveranddownunder.com
  3. Border collie inspired gifts, clothing+homeware http://www.olliecollie.co.uk email: heather@olliecollie.co.uk
  4. All types of gift guides.That Lovely Stuff. A gift store full of things handmade by mums at home. Email: nicola@thatlovelystuff.co.uk
  5. Gift guides for men. https://www.meandmycar.co.uk/ email:Fiona@meandmycar.co.uk
  6. Gift guide for 3-8-year-olds.  A range of art sensory boxes to feature. Visit facebook page:https://www.facebook.com/squidgydoodle/ 
  7. Gift guides for men. Sci-fi, gaming and retro film prints http://www.smartarts.gallery Email:sales@smartarts.gallery
  8. Gift guides for teenagers/young girls. Miss Dreambox are gift boxes for girls. Email: info@missdreambox.co.uk

Before you go….

 Check out my original post on gift guides and 7 brands looking for bloggers.

Read my interview with Fran from Prezzy Box on sending gift guide pitches.

Read my guide to Response Source– the perfect way to source products for gift guides.

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10 ways to grow your mailing list quickly

There seems to be a real trend towards bloggers and small businesses developing a mailing list lately and there are many reasons why. It is the perfect way of making sure your content is delivered directly to your reader’s inbox. And, with all the algorithm changes going at the moment, the only thing you can really rely on is your email list.

So what makes me the expert? Well, on my first blog I’ve been slowly growing my mailing list for the last year or so and have now reached 1400. Why did I decide on my mailing list in particular? Well being an information-based site, many readers come to you for information and promptly departed.

Health and food blogs have much higher bounce rates this reason, as readers are less likely to follow and connect with the person behind the blog. While I had a group of loyal readers, I could see that a chunk of my readership was brand new readers each month who didn’t find me through my social media. So, to me, it made sense to try and find something to keep them around.

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Gift Guides and What Makes a Good Engagement (with Prezzy Box)

Hi guys,

I’m back with another brand spotlight today. This week it’s the lovely Fran from Prezzy Box and we chat everything from blogger engagement to gift guides. Before we begin, make sure you enter my new giveaway for a chance to win 1-2-1 blog mentoring as it closes next week. You can also read all the past brand spotlights here

Hi


. Now that’s out the way, let’s get started…

 

Q: Tell me a bit more about your role with Prezzy Box? In what way do you work with bloggers?

I’m Fran, PR & Marketing Exec for online gift retailer Prezzybox.com. As a creative business my role literally goes from getting us in the press, to modelling our products and even chatting on the radio. We work with influencers on all types of projects, from reviews and gift guides of our products to hosting events and panel discussions for press and consumers, running competitions and newsletter partnerships plus so much more.

Q:We met at Christmas in July where there was a real mix of press and bloggers. How do you split your time between these 2 forms of media?

Times have changed for both press and bloggers, with lots of print press also having an online platform now, TV having catch-up online and YouTube, blogs and social media being read daily by millions we have to devote our time equally between the two types, but we do look for the most innovative influencers and outlets to work alongside and try to individualise time dependent on how we are working with them.

Q:What do you think the differences are in these 2 forms?

We find a lot of the time daily print press, TV and even social media can produce immediate results in terms of sales or visits to our sites. Whereas a blog or vlog is a longstanding piece of content that can see results gradually over time, or convince a person to return to our site after reading something 3 months previously for instance – it’s difficult sometimes to monitor but we understand that different audiences shop and engage in various ways.

Just one of the many adorable items on Prezzy Box…

Q:What kind of opportunities do you offer bloggers?

We are very tailored in approach depending on what relationship we have or want to create with a blogger. Openness to ideas is key and we have done everything from your standard product placement to unique events hosted by key influencers. We’ve featured bloggers within our emails, collaborated on product ideas, and even produced exclusive content for reciprocal exposure. We try to be creative thinkers – so if you’ve an innovative idea, feel free to share it!

Q:What do you look for in a blogger you work with?

Passion. Knowledge. Punctuality. Uniqueness.

Make a good impression and be enthusiastic, suggest fresh ideas or have a real knowledge about our brand and values plus the way that you could convey that to a reader then you will stand out.

Someone that’s compatible with our brand is a must, PLEASE don’t email me if you are going to call us Prezzy bop or even our competitors name and not even follow up with the link to the blog post. Also, make sure you know the basics, spelling mistakes and having really low stats but being super demanding will make you stand out for all the wrong reasons. So target brands that fit with your blog.

Q:Are stats everything? What stats do you focus the most on?

Should we step away from google analytics?

It’s not all about quality, it’s about quality too. Stats are of course an important part of engaging a brand with your blog, but it’s not all about how “influential” you are, as I’ve mentioned, your blog must sit well with our brand.

We want people who produce incredible content that captures the attention of their readers. You could be targeting a smaller readership but they might find it more interesting than a rushed piece of content that’s gone out the thousands.

The focus on statistics however is dependent on your main outlet, Domain authority is important for SEO purposes when linking back to us via blogs, but views on a YouTube video is important on that platform.

Q:Lots of PRs seem to be talking about ‘engagement’ but what do you consider good engagement? Is it likes? retweets? comments? How can a blogger ‘prove’ engagement to you?

Engagement for us is how invested people are with your blog and your advice regarding our products or services. Social media isn’t always trustworthy especially with sites like Instagram where people are buying followers or likes and bots can comment standard responses such as ‘great job’.

Whereas likes and views are sometimes more fleeting for consumers, unique comments and shares are usually apparent of those that are truly invested I the content. Or, if there is a link to our site that we can track then this suggests viewers are intrigued the product and have come to potentially purchase.

Proof can sometimes be how engaged WE are in a blog, if we like the appearance and write-ups on your blog then we see a value in it.

Q:Is it too early for bloggers to get in touch regarding Christmas gift guides yet?

This is the perfect lead time for Christmas gift guides – come November we’ve scheduled in most of our blogger collaborations and are thinking about Valentines!

Q:Do you welcome gift guide pitch emails from bloggers? What makes a good gift guide pitch inyour opinion?

Personally I hate it when I get a standard email for ‘I’m now working on my gift guides, please send x…’. What is different about your gift guides, why should a reader take advice from yours over another bloggers? Think outside the box. Last year I had someone feature two different watches from us and another retailer in the same gift guide (not as a comparison) just two watches, two outlets and little review or reason to buy either. We were disappointed.

Q:A question from one of my readers: When sending emails to Prs, is it helpful to include information on things like other publications we write for and about us? Or are you strictly looking for key stats?

Yes, it’s always fab to hear who you’ve been working with, maybe tell us more about those collabs and why they worked. Key stats is great, but we can mostly figure these out ourselves – we want to know about why we would be a good match!

Q:Are media kits helpful? Or do you prefer a more personalised email?

Media kits are helpful (so always keep one to hand) but I tend not to work off this basis, I am inundated with media kits daily and sample requests with no information on what they are intended for or when I will see the coverage. The personal approach is best.

Q:Finally, how can bloggers get in touch?

Simple, fran.prince@prezzybox.com, or any of our social accounts!

 

Before you go...
Facebook group: Pitching Motivation for UK Bloggers………………………………….
Join my mailing list:to get weekly blogging tips and brand ops

My instagram: @jennafarmeruk
……………………………………………………………………….
My twitter: @jennafarmeruk
……………………………………………………………………….
Info on my ebook all about working with brands: Pitching Toolkit

 

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Brand Spotlight: Interview with Fetch Friends

I’m back with another brand spotlight! This week I am chatting with Emma from Fetch Friends. She is an ex-blogger so was really informative and understood both sides of the coin! I also couldn’t resist asking a question about gift guides too!

Just before we begin, this week’s Sunday newsletter sees more brand ops than ever before! So do make sure you’re signed up!

 

Q: Hi Emma! Tell me a bit more about Fetch Friends? In what way do you work with bloggers?

Fetch Friends is a social influencer outreach agency, working with clients in the film, luxury and toy industries. We work with influencers on a diverse range of projects, from screening events, launches, features, product placements and reviews – the list is endless!

Q:As a past blogger yourself, what do you think are the common miscommunications or barriers between brands and PRs?

I think the biggest barrier is that it’s all about timing – a blogger who is absolutely fantastic could get in touch to work with us, but it might be we don’t have the perfect project for them just yet. Checking in every so often is a great way to stay on their radar though for when the perfect opportunity comes up.

Q:What do you look for in a blogger you work with?

We look at a number of elements depending on the project such as DA Rating and engagement levels, but if a blogger is passionate about the project that really wins through.

Q: Great to hear! Are stats everything? What stats do you focus the most on?

We tend to focus on engagement over following count, but a blogger’s niche, DA rating and passion are just as important.

Q: It’s so difficult to understand rates and when you should charge. Any tips you could offer us on how to broach this with PRs?

 

I think the best advice would be to stick to your guns and a price you think is fair for your following.

Q:Do you welcome pitch emails from bloggers? What makes a good pitch in your opinion?

We love to hear from new bloggers. When it comes to pitching, it might increase your chances if you can research the brands a PR represents in advance and share any ideas you think would work well. We would also recommend joining our mailing list and Facebook group to pitch for specific projects.

Q:Have you ever had bad experiences with bloggers?

Our experiences with influencers have been really positive so far! We often build relationships with influencers and work with them long term.

Q:How can bloggers get in touch and discuss working with you?

Bloggers can find out more information via our website fetch.fm/FetchFriends, or they can email me directly at emma@fetch.fm

Q:Finally, is it too early for bloggers to get in touch regarding Christmas gift guides yet?

It’s the perfect time! We’re actually looking for influencer gift guide placements for a toy racing set over the next week or so. If this sounds like something you would be interested in please do get in touch.

Make sure you read the rest of the brand spotlights here

 

Before you go...
Facebook group: Pitching Motivation for UK Bloggers………………………………….
Join bloglancer newsletter:to get weekly blogging tips and brand ops

My instagram: @jennafarmeruk
……………………………………………………………………….
My twitter: @jennafarmeruk
……………………………………………………………………….
Info on my ebook all about working with brands: Pitching Toolkit

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Brand Spotlight: Emily from Spring and Tonic PR

Hello! We’re back after a little break and this week I am interviewing one of my favourite PRs: Emily from Spring and Tonic. I got in touch with Emily after realising she represents pretty much all the health brands I use! She has been a pleasure to chat to so I know she’d be absolutely perfect for those health and food bloggers out there. Let’s dive in…

Q:Hi Emily, tell me a bit about Spring and Tonic and the brands you represent?

A:Hello!  Spring & Tonic is a little PR consultancy run by myself and Jess, two friends with a shared love of all things food and drink.We look after a range of healthy food and drink brands including Pip & Nut, Doisy & Dam, Ugly Drinks, Hippeas, The Coconut Collaborative and Ugly Drinks.

Image result for hippeas

 

Q: That’s like 90% of my diet right now! So tell me, what percentage of your time is working with bloggers compared to traditional media?

Bloggers have become increasingly important in the world of PR and marketing…we split our time across them and other traditional print and broadcast media outlets.

Q: When did you start working with bloggers as part of your PR strategy and what was the decision behind that?

We’ve worked with bloggers since we started just over 3 years ago – and before that in previous agency jobs.  It’s part and parcel of what we do in order to engage with consumers as people place increasing importance on the online and social media channels for information and endorsement.  Building awareness and credibility for our clients is key, and this is why we love working with bloggers.

Q: You work with a lot of health brands. How important are food and health bloggers to you for raising brand awareness?

Vital, they speak honestly and directly to our key audiences, an endorsement from blogs and bloggers that are trusted and respected help to build the brand and in turn drive engagement and ultimately sales.

Q: What kind of opportunities do you offer bloggers?

We like to tailor how we work with each and don’t like to use a blanket approach.  We read the blogs, follow their social channels and ensure that we offer each something that will work for them – whether that’s editorial content ideas, competition collateral, interviews or straight up product review opportunities and a chance to try the brands we look after.

A tailored approach is so important to brand and blog collabs.

Q.That’s great to see your approach is so personalised! What do you look for in a blogger you work with?

Credibility, engagement, and content that fits with the brands we work with as well as lovely people to speak to! 

Q: Many bloggers I speak to have no idea when they should start charging for their services and how much to charge. What do you think is the best way for bloggers to chat with brands and PRs about fees and money?

This is a tricky one – we get lots of bloggers approaching us with media packs and asking for fees for Instagram posts or blog reviews, sometimes with little insight on their readers and engagement rates.  It’s not normally a route we like to go down to start the relationship – we prefer to work with people that have a genuine interest in the brand, the product or the back story and take it from there.  Some of the bigger brands and agencies have a dedicated budget for ‘paid for’ content but clients always like to be clear on the return on investment before committing to pay for something.

Q: That makes sense. Are stats everything? What stats do you focus the most on?

Not everything – but helpful.  There are so many blogs that are so well read and trusted by us and our clients that we don’t need to know the ins and outs of the readership figures, however, this does help us put a case to clients for paid for content.  PR historically is about providing editorial ideas and content that get cut through as a story or review without paying, so it’s always good to understand why someone is good to work with if they are new to us.

Need some help in growing your traffic? Read my guide to using Pinterest to boost your views.

 

Q: Do you look for great photography or well-written content? Which do you think is more important?

Both – pics are always so important particularly in food and drink but the content is also key.

Q: Do you welcome pitch emails from bloggers? What makes a good pitch in your opinion?

Absolutely – we love to hear from new people.  It’s always good to keep it concise and share examples of previous work / brand partnerships.  When we approach bloggers we like to make sure we are familiar with what they write about and what will work for them, it’s the same for us.  We always prefer it when people approach us to try the products before they send us a rate card.  Asking for money with little insight on the blog itself and the support they will offer makes it harder to understand why it would be a good opportunity for the brands we look after. 

Q: That’s good to know as I always tell people to share brand partnerships they’re proud of. How can a blogger stand out from the wave of new blogs that are launched every day? As a health blogger it feels like the area is growing rapidly!

By taking the time to research who we look after and sending us a tailored email – not sending us a blanket email that goes to other PR companies.

Q: How can bloggers get in touch if they want to work with you?

Drop us a line/tweet us / message us on Insta…we’d love to hear from you.

If you enjoyed this, you can read my other brand and PR interviews here.

Before you go...
Facebook group: Pitching Motivation for UK Bloggers………………………………….
Join my mailing list:to get weekly blogging tips and brand ops

My instagram: @jennafarmeruk
……………………………………………………………………….
My twitter: @jennafarmeruk
……………………………………………………………………….
Info on my ebook all about working with brands: Pitching Toolkit

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Brand Spotlight: Richard from YuYu Bottle

Today I am excited to be chatting to one of my favorite brands. I have worked with YuYu bottles over the last few years and am a massive fan of their product (as someone with Crohn’s disease, a luxury wrap around hot water bottle is perfection). However, the reason I asked to interview Richard is that he is actively engaging with bloggers with chronic illnesses. As the bottles are stunningly beautiful, it would be easy to work solely with lifestyle or fashion bloggers but Richard has decided to select bloggers whose products make a massive difference to their everyday life. So, without further to do, let’s learn more about Richard and get in touch with him if you think it could be the right fit for you and your blog.

Q: Hi Richard, Can you introduce yourself and tell us a bit about the brand you work for- Yuyu?

A: In 2010, I started a journey to design the best made, earth friendly & most luxurious hot water bottle the world had ever seen. I love the heat aspect of hotties as I’m not one that likes the cold too much. I was tired of having to move my hottie from one painful or cold spot to another. It was important that the length didn’t increase so much that I’d have to wait to boil a second kettle of water, so the YuYu Bottle is still fillable with just one kettle.

In December 2012, I jumped on the tube to Knightsbridge and strolled into Harrods. I wanted the best shop in the world to sell my invention, and I proudly carried in my product. It was quite hard to miss me, as the box was and still is an 85cm long, very stylish gift box with a gold foiled mark on the front of the box which reads, ‘YuYu Bottle, The World’s First Long Hot Water Bottle’. The rest, as they say, is history.

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Brand Spotlight: Interview with Sam from Socially Famous PR

Happy Friday everyone! Today, I am interviewing Sam from Socially Famous PR     Sam runs 2 blogs (sociallysam.com a business blog and a lifestyle blog which is currently being revamped.) as well as running Socially Famous PR. Not only did Sam help me out by answering these questions super last minute; she was incredibly honest and there is so much value in all of her answers. So get a notepad and a cup of tea at the ready!

If you enjoy this interview, you can check out all my chats with PRs here. 

 Q: Hi Sam! Tell me a bit more about yourself- what brands do you represent?

We started out purely as a social media marketing agency but because I’ve been a blogger myself for nearly 10 years now I found I was getting my social media clients asking about working with bloggers. It became natural to add that as a service. We tend to work with smaller brands who have more niche products on the blogger’s side. At the moment we’ve got a skincare brand, a pet product, a wedding services business and we have a new health food product that will be launching later in the year.

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Brand Spotlight: Interview with Every 1 PR

Hi everyone! After the success of last week’s interview with Icelolly.com about travel blogging, today we turn to Every1 PR. I’ve worked with these ladies before and found them to be really lovely. They also seemed to know my blog inside out and I’ve seen them recommend my gut health content to other bloggers which is amazing! So I decided to pick their brains about what they look for in bloggers, the importance of stats and pricing! Make sure you join these ladies’ newsletter and send them an email. For more tips on emailing Prs, you can have a read of my blog post on pitching and my pitching toolkit!  You can also join my mailing list for exclusive weekly brand ops.

Q: Hi Ladies! Tell me a bit more about every 1 marketing- do you just work with blogger outreach? what brands do you represent?

Lauren: Every1 is a full service agency based in Preston. We offer clients digital marketing packages that include web design, CRO, SEO and Digital PR. We represent a range of different clients including FSB, Chemist4U & Simon Jersey.

Q:When did you start working with bloggers as part of your PR strategy and what was the decision behind that?

L: I started working with bloggers 6 years ago as an SEO Apprentice in the dark days of bulk link building. After seeing the worst kind of outreach, I now run the every1 outreach department and I like to take a more balanced approach that incorporates SEO and PR. Bloggers can help boost a brand’s online presence in multiple ways so it really is a no brainer for clients.

Hannah:  I’ve been working with bloggers for about a year now as an at every1. From what I’ve experienced, bloggers are really lovely to work with and great for boosting our client’s exposure online. The blogging network is growing bigger and stronger everyday through social media and the amazing blogs themselves! I think working with bloggers is only going to become more effective in the future.

Q:What kind of opportunities do you offer bloggers?

H: We mainly do sponsored post collaborations but we also work on creative campaigns with clients so we do product reviews, events, competitions. We are also starting our own blogger roundtable event for local bloggers to discuss industry news and get advice from us.

Q: Amazing! What do you look for in a blogger you work with?

L: This depends a lot on client requirements. If a client wants to boost the authority of their website we look for strong Domain Authority but, if they’d rather gain exposure then we look for bloggers who can offer an honest review and have a loyal following. I also love when I can have a good chat with a blogger or get completely engrossed reading their posts for an hour!

Q: I ask everyone this: Is it important for bloggers to have a niche?

H: Having a niche sometimes makes it slightly easier for us when working out which bloggers are best suited to our different projects with our brands. However, I wouldn’t say it’s necessarily important as some bloggers blog about several different things, making it hard to pinpoint a specific niche.

Q:Are stats everything? What stats do you focus the most on?

L:We check and record stats for each blogger we work with so while they are an important part of what we do, they certainly aren’t everything. We tend to check SEO metrics more than social but we also offer clients outreach packages with varying levels of metrics so they get to work with everyone from the micro-influencers to established bloggers.

Q:Tell me a bit more about your recent survey- what was the decision behind undertaking it?

L: We hear a lot of bloggers who have problems with brands and we didn’t see anyone else in the industry speaking about it. We wanted to hear from bloggers themselves – what do outreachers do that annoys you? We have plans to use the brilliant feedback we received to inform the industry on how to improve.

H: We decided to conduct the survey because our relationship with bloggers is really important to us and we wanted to ensure we’re doing the best we can. We also felt it was important for bloggers to be able to have their say. Plus, it makes our job easier knowing what we’re doing right/wrong and what we can improve!

Q: It was a great read! Do you think there’s still a huge issue with transparency about fees in blogging?

L: It is an issue but it’s a complex one. There is also the difference between what PRs and SEOs pay bloggers. If someone has a high Domain Authority but a low amount of Twitter followers then they are worth different amounts to different kinds of marketers.

Q: Do you welcome pitch emails from bloggers? What makes a good pitch in your opinion?

L: Yes! Absolutely. We do get up to 500 every month so I think the best advice I can give is to include all of the mundane technical details or fees that will catch our eye but also include some personality to stand out a little bit.

H: If I receive a pitch email I will always read it and research the blogger. They’re great as it means that you are visible online for people to find you but it’s also nice to hear from different people. Short and sweet pitch emails usually do the trick for me stating what the blogger is interested in and all the details we need. If a blogger emails me and I don’t have an opportunity for them at the time, I will save their details for another time and most likely email them when a relevant project comes up.

Q: Great advice! Have you ever had bad experiences with bloggers? What do you wish bloggers wouldn’t do?

L: Oh yeah, of course but thankfully they are few and far between. We had one where a blogger said they’d never received a product we’ve sent and we saw it in the background of one of their instagram posts!

Q: Oh gosh, that’s terrible! Why do people do this! On the whole, do you find us ‘micro’ influencers can be just as beneficial as big bloggers?

L: We actually very rarely work with ‘big’ bloggers. We see good results for clients from working with mostly micro influencers and I think their readership is often more engaged due the mix of sponsored and non-sponsored content. You feel like you can get to know a micro-influencer and therefore trust them. Besides, working with bigger bloggers agents can sometimes add another level of confusion!

Q:How can bloggers get in touch and discuss working with you?

H: Bloggers can get in touch via our Twitter page @every1PR. We also have a monthly email newsletter that you can sign up to here: http://bit.ly/2uFeKt0 and we are open to receiving emails too (hannah.r@helloevery1.com / lauren.h@helloevery1.com )

Before you go...
Facebook group: Pitching Motivation for UK Bloggers………………………………….
Join my mailing list:to get weekly blogging tips and brand ops

My instagram: @jennafarmeruk
……………………………………………………………………….
My twitter: @jennafarmeruk
……………………………………………………………………….
Info on my ebook all about working with brands: Pitching Toolkit

 

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