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How Much Do Bloggers Charge For Sponsored Posts?

Hi everyone! Today’s the day: I’ve finally managed to make sense of, and write about, my sponsored post survey!

One of my most popular posts is: ‘How much should I charge for sponsored posts?’  And whilst this is still a useful post that breaks down the key things a brand might be looking for; how to create different package costs and work out a fee right for you; lots of you still ask me about the specifics. So I decided to create a survey that answered questions such as: how much should I charge for a sponsored blog? what about sponsored social posts? and how much should you charge for guest posts, use of images and giveaways?

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Pitching, engagement and budgets: Email with Alex from CCD PR

For regular readers, you might remember when I interviewed PRs and small brands on working with bloggers. I interviewed Icelolly.com about press trips, Fran from PrezzyBox about gift guides and Sam from Socially Sam about engagement, pitching disaster and everything else PR deal with!

Today, I’m back- and interviewing the lovely Alex-Account Executive at CCD PR who look after all sorts of lovely natural health, food and wellbeing brands. Alex shares such amazing insight which I know you’ll all find so useful!

Before, I begin, just to ask if you could (if you haven’t already!) fill out my big blogging money survey-to help me share how much bloggers charge for sponsored posts.

 

Q:Hi Alexandra, thanks so much for chatting with me today! Would you mind briefly introducing yourself, your role at CCD PR and a few of the brands you represent?

I’m an Account Executive at CCD PR working across natural health, food and wellbeing brands, I work across brands such as Nairn’s, Ombar and Equinox Kombucha . As an account executive my role encapsulates everything from getting our products into the press, working with bloggers and influencers, hosting events and brainstorming campaign ideas.

 

Q: All of my favourite brands (sidenote: If you haven’t tried Ombar, please do immediately!) How much of your day-to-day work is working with bloggers?

It often depends on what we’re working on with our clients. If we’re creating campaigns with bloggers or putting together a series of blogger reviews it can be a big focus of my day-to-day work. I think the work we do with bloggers of all sizes is definitely growing and brands are increasingly open to working with them.


Q:We’ve discussed projects that would suit both my blog and the publications I write for. What are the differences between the two pieces of media do you think? What are the benefits and the drawbacks of getting something in front of bloggers instead of traditional media?

We constantly work to get our clients in the media as it lends a recognised authority that people will trust and respect, also these days a greater number media outlets now have social media with hugely influential followings, so we do have devote a lot of our time to gaining exposure through these channels.

However, working with bloggers can add a more personal touch, so we’re always on the look out for innovative bloggers and influencers to work with who will help introduce a brand to more specialised and dedicated audiences.

Times are definitely changing and I think a lot of PRs now aim to get a balance of both blogger and media exposure for their clients, as we do find that blogger exposure can have a longer-lasting impact for brands.


Q: Very true! Us bloggers are constantly told brands are looking for good engagement-but what does that really look like to a PR company?

Engagement can come in many different forms, but essentially, when I look at a blogger’s engagement it’s to make sure their following isn’t just a number but rather an audience that are genuinely receptive and involved with the content that is being published.

When I look for engagement I often look for bloggers who engage with or work with other bloggers, produce beautiful imagery, have interesting or unique angles for their blog posts, and those that evidently engage with their readers, whether this is replying to comments on their Instagram and blog posts or through Instagram stories.

I also usually look at how they’ve worked brands on previous projects, I’m always really impressed with bloggers that create multifaceted campaigns, even on a small scale, where they showcase brands on both their blog and social media in a way that is unique to them.

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How to network as a blogger with brands and PRs

In today’s blog, I really wanted to talk about networking. I’ve had a busy few days in London and purposely made sure I fitted in some networking opportunities around my trip (leaving my poor husband to hit the shops alone!). Networking can take many forms: meeting other bloggers, attending events, meeting with PRs and brands for coffee or simply getting linked-in savvy. But if you want to get your name out there, be on everyone’s radar and make a go of your blog, then networking is pretty vital.

This is something I didn’t take much notice of in the first few years of my blog. So it’s absolutely fine if you don’t want to jump right into to it. But since I’ve gone freelance, I’ve found networking has made a huge difference! So here’s my advice on why you need to network to grow your blog AND how to do it!

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10 mistakes bloggers make when emailing PRs

Today we’re going to talk about emails. I’m sure you’ve sent lots of emails to brands this week; with a renewed sense of purpose with growing your blog and the companies you team up with. However, lots of the time, bloggers can make vital mistakes in the emails they send out!

I often get asked to proofread bloggers pitch emails so wanted to share the biggest problems I’ve noticed with lots of them. However, I don’t claim to be an expert, so I’ve also asked two of my favourite PRs-Sam from Socially Sam (if you haven’t already, read my interview with her here, it’s full of tips for working with brands) and Charlotte from Smoothie PR (if you are a food blogger, read my interview with her in which she explains how to work with food brands) to share their biggest bugbears.

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Everything you know about gift guides (and 7 brands who want to work with you on them)

Gift guide season is now under way! If you are not sure what they are or how things work, then this blog is here to help! 

Gift guides have long been part of mainstream media but it’s only recently that bloggers have done them. They involve curating lists of ‘gift’ reccomendations, whether by age, gender or interests.

 

What’s the benefit for the blogger?

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How I Turned My Blog Into My Job

 

Hi guys, today I am going to be sitting down with you and telling you all about my blogging journey. I started to think about this when I inadvertently stumbled across my first ever blog from a whole 7 years ago! So I wanted to hop on here to let you know about how I turned my blog into a job and that not everyone is a success straight away. In fact, my blog had 7, yes 7, reincarnations- everything from fashion to music to travel until I finally found my match at A Balanced Belly (and hopefully The Bloglancer will stick around too!)

Find a Blog That Fits

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Image source: http://www.notonthehighstreet.com

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Yes, Bloggers. Sometimes you SHOULD work for free.

Ooh, I do love a click bait title. Don’t worry, today’s blog post is not designed to preach to you the benefits of exposure. In fact, if you know me at all, you’ll know that I am pretty vocal on the subject of not working for free and knowing your worth. However, somewhere down the line, the message has got lost and what I’m seeing is bloggers still not talking sensibly about money, trying to charge for everything, missing out on the opportunity to develop their blog and still undercutting each other left, right and centre. So, today rather than repeating motivation phrases, I am going to give you the dos and don’ts and look at answering the old age question (well since 2010): when should bloggers work for free? As always, this is just my take on it all but I’d love to hear your opinions too.

 

Yes, consider working for free when….

  • Looking to boost your Domain Authority. I do not personally think DA is the be all and end all (and I’m not asked for it all that often) but given that the Bloglancer is brand new, I am devoting 3o mins a day to creating a guest post for other sites. Now, this is one example, where doing your research is absolutely key. Make sure you check potential sites using the MOZ toolbar as I get emails every day for sites with a DA of 1 offering me an amazing opportunity to write for them!

 

  • The opportunity adds at least equal value to you as it does the other party. Writing for free is something most of us get asked to do every day.  Although I don’t generally recommend writing for free, it needs to be thought of as a transaction and it’s only worth considering if what you get back is of equal value to what the other site gets. This is why I have rarely written for brand blogs for free because let me ask you this: have you ever read a brand blog and followed the writer that very instant? Therefore a brand is getting a valuable resource of content (which helps their search engine rankings too) and you are probably receiving little back in return. Instead, especially if you have a product or ebook to promote, I’d recommend channelling your energy towards pitching for freelance writing in online and print media as a longer term strategy If you’re going to do it, make sure it has maximum benefit. Getting featured on online sites (e.g. Get the Gloss, The Mighty, Female First and to a lesser extent, Huff Post) or even print publications, will not only provide a big traffic boost if the content is thought provoking (I once got 1000 extra visitors a day after a thumbnail size feature in the Mail on Sunday) but it’ll be something to pop on your media kit (‘as featured in…) and writing portfolio (should you want to develop a freelance career). Therefore, while the publication is getting free content, you are getting something equally beneficial in return. I appreciate this might cause an angry rant of writers saying you should never write for free and yes, ideally there is nothing wrong at all at being paid from the onset (that is the goal). If your idea is unique and can’t be done by another writer, you should absolutely be compensated.  However, you can also be strategic about it and use it as a starting point- not an end point. As I say, you can also ensure your best post, product or ebook is linked to the bottom of an article to attract readers. A compromise can be contributing to articles as an expert. Use the #journorequest hashtag to search for current opportunities. Doing this lead to me being featured in The Guardian!

 

  • It will actually benefit your readers.  Sometimes, you can put aside the concept of a ‘transaction’ if it’s something really valuable to your readers.  We forget that there are real people reading our blog and the information we provide helps them. Linking to sites is too often seen as ‘currency’. If you follow me over at A Balanced Belly you’ll notice that most of my blog posts have about 20 links in them! Not because I am being paid to promote but because I know my readers are actually looking for the information and/or products. And sometimes bloggers lose sight of that. I have in the past pitched to a supplement company and an accountancy software company that I think have really valuable stuff for my readers but they haven’t had a budget. The difference being is I include them on my own terms (not an infographic) because I know they’re useful for my readers.  This is the similarly the case for giveaways. Although many bloggers do charge for giveaways, if it is a once in a lifetime prize that you know your readers will love you for, then it might be worth it. I remember my site almost crashed when I gave away a Nutribullet.

 

  • You just love something. Which leads on to my last point. Recently on my blog, I did a round up of 14 things I had loved that month. Here, on the Bloglancer, I wrote about how much I loved Response Source.   Both of those times, it was me writing about something I was passionate about with no brand or PR agenda- which is largely what blogging should be all about. The same goes for supporting a charity your passionate about.

 

No, don’t even think about working for free when…

  • Someone is getting more value out of something than you are.  Whether it be monetary compensation or value for your readers, if the person on the other end of the email is getting more value out of it than you, then be cautious. This is why you won’t find any dodgy infographics on my site. If they have emailed you, they already recognise your value so therefore you shouldn’t have to prove yourself by working for free first.  And warning, those who build links will often promise ‘quality content’. If the only thing you are getting out of a transaction is content, then consider supporting your fellow bloggers instead and popping a guest post request on a facebook group instead.

 

  • To undercut others. One of the weirdest exchanges I saw on a Facebook recently was a brand asking about a general costing for a post and a whole host of bloggers comment underneath to the point where people were offering to do it for completely free. Why would you do this? The brand clearly asked about costing and therefore was prepared to pay. Let me tell you this if you are new to blogging: there will always be someone who comes along and tries to undercut you. If your thing is being the cheapest blogger, you won’t get very far with that strategy.You have to stand firm and believe what you can offer is truly valuable and unique because the minute you try to drop your prices to compete, you find yourself just going lower and lower.So, while it is frustrating, it is all about the long game and if you set a value on your work, then believe in it!

 

  • The onus is on you to ‘prove yourself’. If you are pitching an article to an online website or a brand you absolutely love, it makes sense they might want to see what you are made of and it’s clear its something of value to you too. However, far too often, I receive emails offering me the chance to work for free to ‘prove’ myself or with paid work further down the line. Never work for free simply because there’s a possibility of paid work if you meet someone’s approval. You can always redirect them to your blog which has a whole host of articles that show exactly what you can do. 

 

I hope this blog post made sense! As you can see, working for free is a complicated (and wordy!) issue but hopefully these tips will be useful! If you enjoyed this post, please do take a second to share and find out below how you can follow me and The Bloglancer!

 

 

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

 

Brand Spotlight: Interview with the icelolly.com press team!

 

After the success of last week’s interview with Charlotte from Smoothie PR, this week’s interview is with the lovely press team at icelolly.com. Icelolly.com are the kings of blogger outreach and have an amazing influencer network with a regular newsletter that goes out to bloggers too. I asked them to share exactly what they look for from travel bloggers and what makes the perfect email pitch. Travel bloggers, this is an absolute must read for you guys! To make sure you don’t miss out on more brand interview and opportunities, make sure you sign up for my Sunday newsletter.

Q: Hi guys! Can you tell me all about how about the team at icelolly.com works with bloggers?
Over the last couple of years, we have made a conscious effort to turbo charge our blogger outreach programme. This has included organising numerous blogger stays with a variety of different individuals/groups, hosting our own bi-annual blogging event (Blog At The Beach) in and around the icelolly.com HQ, sending around a regular email to our blogger database with the latest news, events and opportunities and smaller collabs including Instagram takeovers and guest posts.
 More on all of this can be seen here: https://www.icelolly.com/influencer-hub
 

Q:I’ve noticed you have worked with lots of travel bloggers- when did you start working with bloggers and what’s the decision behind that?
We initiated our blogger outreach programme roughly two and a half years ago. The main reason behind this was because we really see the benefit of building a positive rapport with influential individuals within the travel industry and the various collabs we’ve organised have helped to up our UGC no end. Namely through guest posts and Instagram takeovers, both of which have contributed towards an increase in weekly blog page views and general Instagram engagement/followers. Members of our team have also been involved in the blogging game away from work and really appreciate the influence brands can have on individual blogs/bloggers.
 
 
Q. What do you look for when selecting bloggers to attend your lovely press trips?
We want to work with bloggers that we feel represent our core brand values, these being; inspiring, independent, quality and playful. We’re a quirky brand that intends to come across playfully whilst inspiring our users and offering honest, independent views on destinations, resorts, holiday types etc. It also helps if we actually know the blogger we are sending away on a press trip as it is difficult to select a brand ambassador otherwise. This is why we often encourage bloggers to get in touch with us via email, social media or by attending our events. Even dropping in with a simple ‘hello’ or ‘great blogger email’ etc from time to time means a lot to us and helps build the initial foundations. If we don’t know somebody, it’s hard for us to judge whether they will be the right fit for our opportunities/collaborations!
 
Q:Is it important for bloggers to have a niche? Do you go for sole travel bloggers or are you open to lifestyle bloggers too?
It’s important to specialise in a certain area to an extent but we also feel you shouldn’t pigeonhole yourself too much and alienate a bigger potential audience. We have worked with a variety of bloggers in the past including travel, lifestyle and fashion specialists and we like to see ourselves as pretty open to a lot of different niches. As we are obviously a travel company, we would prefer some travel blogging experience when working with somebody but this isn’t necessarily a necessity. It can often differ from campaign-to-campaign.
 
Q: Are stats everything? What stats do you focus the most on?
The obvious answer to this question would be yes. Most people look at sheer numbers and come to certain conclusions based on how big (or small) a social media following somebody has for example. However, would you rather have 100k followers and a 1% engagement rate or 10k followers and a 20% engagement rate? If you have a dedicated blog readership, the stats will look after themselves so often it’s not worth getting stressed about numbers. Just concentrate on your output, making it more relatable or current to people for example, and always remember blogging should be something you enjoy. We don’t tend to focus on numbers at all – for us it’s about the individual, the relationship we have, how proactive they are and how they fit in with our brand values.
 
Q. Do you welcome pitch emails from bloggers? What makes a good pitch in your opinion?
We sure do! Often we’ll present ideas and select bloggers from there that we feel would be a good fit, however, we’re not arrogant enough to believe we have all the best concepts. Somebody may have a killer idea for a working partnership, so we’d always encourage conveying this and not just sitting on it. We do get a lot of pitches so it’s impossible to go through with them all but that doesn’t mean we don’t consider blogger suggestions.
You need to have built some kind of relationship beforehand ideally. Think of it like cold-calling; if a company you’ve never heard of rings, how likely would you be to go through with whatever it is the person at the other end of the phone is selling or proposing? This is why we encourage conversation with bloggers, make yourself known by chatting to us on social media (we host a monthly Twitter chat for example that lots of bloggers get involved with!) or simply dropping us a quick email. Other than that just be enthusiastic with the idea you are pitching, show an interest in our company, present examples of your work and/or a synopsis of how and why you think we’ll be a good fit.
 
Q: Have you ever had bad experiences with bloggers? What do you wish bloggers wouldn’t do?
We wouldn’t say we’ve had any bad experiences but some can be harder to deal with than others – sometimes through no fault of their own however. We understand lots run their blog as well as holding down a full-time job so time constraints can have an impact on certain things. Our only ask is deadlines are stuck to for guest posts for example and no ‘cold-calling’. Drop in a few times with a simple tweet or hello so we know who you are before getting to business-like with pitches!
 
 
Q: Do you find us ‘micro’ influencers can be just as beneficial as big bloggers?
Most of the bloggers within our database would probably be described as ‘micro’ so yes, absolutely. At the end of the day, we’re a fairly small business so we know what it can be like as the little fish in a big pond. Would we rather work with 100 ‘big’ bloggers once and never hear from them again or 1,000 ‘micro’ bloggers multiple times through stays, events, Twitter chats, Instagram takeovers etc and build a strong relationship going forward? Certainly the latter! It helps to build brand advocates over a longer period of time.
 
Q: How can bloggers get in touch and discuss working with you?
Follow us on social media, engage with us and we’ll engage back! Take part in our Twitter chats, sign up to our blogger emails (available midway down this page: https://www.icelolly.com/influencer-hub) or drop a line to  influencers@icelolly.com . We’re a friendly bunch!

 

 

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

 

The one tool every blogger NEEDS to know about: Response Source

Hi guys!

Just to start off by saying a massive thank you for all the support this blog has got over the past few days since launch day. It’s had such lovely feedback from brands and PRs alike and I am so excited about where this blog is heading. Just a heads up, I’ll be sticking to a routine with this blog, so I’ll be aiming to get 1-2 pieces of really useful content on freelancing and blogging  (like my 8 tips for emailing PRs) up a week (usually Mondays and Wednesdays) and then a PR and brand interview on a Friday (like last week’s with Charlotte from Smoothie PR)Then it’ll all be delivered to your inbox along with other exciting opportunities on a Sunday- which we all know is prime blogger day!

In this post, I am going to have a chat with you about http://www.responsesource.com– a tool that is so useful to brands, journos and bloggers. It’s been around for a while but isn’t widely mentioned in the blogosphere, so I am going to use this post to give you an overview of what response source is and a guide for using it for bloggers.

 

What is Response Source?

Response Source is a website that connects bloggers, journos and PRs/small businesses. It’s free for those in the media to send out requests, while PRs and brands pay a fee to receive all the requests in their inbox. I have used this in both capacities. Both as a freelance writer and blogger putting out requests but also as a small business when trying to promote my book and nutrition services in the media.

How Should I use Response Source as a blogger?

  1. Head over to http://www.responsesource.com
  2. Click ‘send a Journalist inquiry’
  3. Fill in the details of what you are looking for, any deadlines and information about your blog. Then hit preview and you’ll be taken to a page to preview your inquiry.
  4. Once you hit submit, your inquiry will ping its way to literally thousands of PRs and brands. It’ll be sent by a special platform so the brand won’t be given your email initially- they’ll respond via Response Source and then it will forward it on.

What kind of things should I use Response Source for?

Response source is a fantastic way to make connections, seek information about brands and find collaboration opportunities. In the last week, I’ve made connections with half a dozen brands and we’ve figured out a plan to collaborate -all from me sending out a Response Source message. In turn, when I trialed the brand/PR service, I replied to a request which led to a feature about my Instagram in the Guardian.

The key, I believe, to using response source is to use it for requests when you already have specific blog posts in mind. For example, my last two response source requests have been ‘looking for healthy frozen food items for a freezer hacks post‘ and ‘looking for easy to grow herbs for an introductory guide to gardening.’ Why are my requests so specific? Well, two reasons. Firstly, when you sign up to response source as a brand, you pay for each separate category you subscribe to. Therefore, food brands will only receive specific requests in the food category, so generic requests ‘looking for giveaway prizes’ may be less successful. Secondly, having been on the other side of using the system, I easily received 100 emails a day from Response Source when using the trial. Brands do not have time to filter through these so a specific request (which forms the header of the email) is always best.

What should I not use Response Source for?

From what I have heard, Response Source doesn’t allow you to use the service to seek advertisement or sponsorship and I am inclined to agree with them. I talk about this in my pitching toolkit but I strongly believe that the best way to sponsored posts is not just about emailing or tweeting (yes I see you in the hashtags!) that you are looking for paid work. Instead, advertising or review products should fit into existing content you are already planning. Therefore, these services work by helping you build a relationship and finding the right fit for posts you are already planning. Therefore, don’t use response source just to get freebies or paid work. Instead, it needs to be used as a journalist would, with a specific focus and aim.

Any more tips for using it?

  • Plan requests around key dates. Remember PRs are used to receiving requests months ahead of dates so be proactive and send requests out early.A request for christmas content in July will be the norm for some brands.
  • I’ll say it again but use the space you have to be as specific as possible about what you’re looking for.
  • Also add in the description what you’re not looking for- this saves time and also shows brands you aren’t just on a freebie hunt. For example ‘looking for frozen food items, must be gluten free. No smoothie mixes please as I’ve already covered those.’
  • Make a list of key blog posts you are planning and send a response request
  • If you have another business on the side or are looking to get your name out there in the media, consider signing up for a trial of their service for brands.  It will give you a really good insight on how the service should be used and there’s nothing wrong with putting yourself out there as a blogger for case studies.
  • Create a separate email folder for Response Source emails- that way you can keep them in a file for later should you want to get back in touch with brands.

 

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

 

8 Tips for Emailing PRs

I am always getting asked questions about PRs- how we should approach them, what to say to them and my top tips on working together. I’m lucky in my work that I work with PRs in lots of ways- as a blogger but also a freelance writer. In turn, the shoe is sometimes on the other foot as when my book was released, it was me reaching out to blogs and magazines, asking them to feature my product.What I’ve noticed along the way is that the majority of issues in bloggers working with PRs is down to miscommunication, so I’ve created this helpful guide to try to demystify the process.

 

1. Always find the name of who you’re speaking to. One thing us bloggers rightly hate is when we’re addressed as ‘blogger’, yet many bloggers reaching out to brands will just use a generic email. Take the time to find out which member of staff is responsible for specific brands before emailing.

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