Blogger Outreach is proven to be a difficult thing to get right.  Sometimes, it is simply a case of you not being able to do right for doing wrong.  It’s not all bad though, while first impressions are generally the ones that leave the lasting impression, whether you are a blogger or a brand, you have the chance to redeem yourself. 

Recently, I’ve been thinking about the Blogger Outreach programmes I have seen over the last 10 years.  Needless to say, they have changed; morphed into something I barely recognise from the time when I was starting out.  Blogging is much more a commercial enterprise than when I started.  There were less bloggers but the motivation then was more because one wanted to write.  (I initially started because I wanted to document our family life, not that any of those posts still exist.  I’m sure they are somewhere!)

Anyway, I am kind of digressing… Thinking about blogger outreach, I’ve come up with a couple of golden rules of blogger outreach.

For Bloggers

Be clear on your brand

And be true to it.  Your brand is your blog.  Your voice makes up your brand, YOU are your brand.  These days you don’t have to define your ‘niche’, but it does help to narrow it down.  Whatever, though, don’t feel you have to be a ‘Mummy Blog’, ‘Daddy Blog’, or anything else as narrow.  If you still aren’t sure of your exact niche, experiment.  I’m phasing a few ‘niche’ categories out of my blog and introducing new ones.

Don’t accept just because it’s offered

Some bloggers make the mistake of taking anything that is offered.  (I have made that mistake.) It will be your downfall in the end, because if you genuinely have no interest then it makes your life difficult having to write about it.  Do you really want to be spending hours photographing, writing and creating a post for something that has a low retail value and isn’t amaze-balls? 

Don’t undervalue yourself

This is another one I’m guilty of.  Writing, creating, formatting and publishing a post isn’t short work.  Sometimes, it can take hours.  If it’s something that adds value to your life then go for it. 

I’m not telling you what you should be doing but these 3 golden rules are things that have affected me throughout my blogging life. Don’t stop here though, I also have 3 golden rules of blogger outreach for brands too.

For Brands

Get the blogger’s name right

There’s nothing more irritating than reading an email where the brand called me by a name that isn’t even mine.
I am Beth, my blog is Beth in a Box.  One brand once called me Alexandria, but got my blog name right… go figure!
Also, don’t say you’ve read their blog if you haven’t, that one will bite you on the bum, I promise.

Don’t insult a blogger

I’m not talking about calling them ‘smelly bum poo poo brain’ or similar.  I’m talking about insulting their brand.  Offering $15 for the writing, editing, publishing and promotion of a post with a follow link isn’t great.  In the UK we would get a tenner IF we were lucky.  Offer decent rates, or explain that you just want to maximise promotion for the brand.  Most bloggers would happily enter into a discussion… there may even be a possibility of long term, cheaper collaborations.  Bloggers are like any other business, they like to know when the money is coming in.

Be pleasant and fulfil your end of the deal

Don’t harass the blogger repeatedly.  If you have agreed on a date, unless something catastrophic happens it’ll be done.
If you do send a ‘how’s it going?’ email and the blogger replies, please reply to their update email.  Thank them for their time, bloggers like to know they are appreciated.  They will also remember you and be more inclined to help in the future.

I’m going to wrap up with this… aimed at both bloggers and brands.

Remember that Blogger Outreach is a two-way street.  Mutual respect, collaborations and trust go a long way. 

Remember that bloggers (and brands) talk to each other.  Be consistent in your approach (whether you are a blogger or a brand!). 

Remember that our relationships are valuable.  If you aren’t happy, just say.  Don’t burn bridges because you never know when you will need to cross them..

Do you have any golden rules of blogger outreach? Let me know in the comments below.