Tips for Working with Bloggers

Today I’m in Nashville, TN at the Blissdom conference.  This is a gathering of women (and a handful of men) who are an incredibly influential force on the web.  They are bloggers.  They blog about their families, crafts and home projects, saving money, and more.  And when these folks write, people listen, and take their advice.

Brands have learned that tapping into this well-connected network can be very, very good for sales.  That’s one of the reasons so many big brands are here at this conference, providing freebies and conference sponsorships.

There is certainly an art to working with bloggers.  You can’t just give them your product, walk away, and expect them to write about it.  But when you take the time to read blogs of people who might be influencers of your target market, comment on those blogs, and get to know them, you may find some strategic partnerships that benefit your brand.

If you’re a direct sales company, I highly recommend you spend some time searching for blogs that may be good fits for your company and become familiar with them.  You also need to add policies for your salesforce regarding who is allowed to reach out to bloggers.  After all, you don’t want bloggers, especially the biggest bloggers, to become overwhelmed with too many pitches from your salesforce.

And if you’re a direct seller, ask your company what the policy is about reaching out to bloggers.  Smaller bloggers might be a perfect opportunity for your to market your individual business.

Before beginning any blogger outreach, however, read this article from the Kikolani blog first: http://kikolani.com/successful-blogger-outreach-what-to-do-and-what-to-avoid.html It has some excellent tips on how to approach this properly.

Working with bloggers can bring real benefits to your business.  But don’t expect a one-size-fits-all approach, and don’t think you can just drop your products on a blogger and walk away.  Just like all things social, relationships make a big difference, and can help you have a successful experience in promoting your product and opportunity online.

Have you worked with bloggers?  What has been your experience? What questions do you have about this?  Would love to read your thoughts in the comments below.

5 Responses to Tips for Working with Bloggers
  1. Tina "The Book Lady"
    July 19, 2011 | 12:58 am

    You have some good points here. I am in direct sales (Usborne Books) AND I am also a blogger (3 blogs!). You are right that you can’t just dump your products on someone and then expect them to follow thru. Bloggers are extremely busy (it’s a FT job in itself) – I have only had one giveaway of Usborne because I can’t afford to do a lot of giveaways. I also know some Scentsy and 31 consultants that give away HUGE amounts of review products and giveaways each year and to be honest I don’t know how they do it. I often wonder if they make back what they put in.

    I actually started my literacy blog to build up my professionalism for Usborne Books and then decided that I couldn’t just bombard my readers with everything Usborne and Kane Miller – so I expanded to US publishers and authors. A blog can help you build your professional reputation – just be careful it doesn’t take over your life!

    Great article Jen! Tina “The Book Lady”

    Tina “The Book Lady” recently posted..Need advice… & the outcome!

  2. Janette Stoll
    January 28, 2011 | 11:30 am

    Hi Jennifer,

    I’m seeing a lot more direct sellers i.e. jewelry, home decor, skin care, etc. using mommy/wahm/small bloggers to write product reviews and give-aways. Some of my friends have had some success. The follow up and getting the business hasn’t been successful from the people I know that have tried this.
    However, it’s a good way to get your business in front of a larger audience. The downside to this is that when the person that wins the product giveaway decides to buy, she/he can easily search online, and perhaps buy from someone else.
    Obviously, you need a strategy in place before you start giving products away without having a good way to follow up and follow through.

    Janette Stoll
    http://www.marketingdirectsales.com

  3. Catherine James
    January 28, 2011 | 9:00 am

    Great Tips . . . I need to spend more time reading other peoples blogs. There are a few that I read regularly, but I definately need to expand my circle.

  4. Angela DiGiovanni | Living Out Loud
    January 27, 2011 | 10:12 pm

    One of the best things I ever did to generate more attention to my blog was a giveaway. My blog is about my life – infertility, art, family. So I did a giveaway of a mother and child print. I found the print that I liked on etsy, found her blog, and contacted the artist. She share with all of her readers about the giveaway, so I got a ton of traffic I wouldn’t have otherwise gotten, and hopefully a few new regular readers.

  5. Robert Peil
    January 27, 2011 | 10:01 am

    Hi Jennifer,

    The Direct Marketing method is certainly one of the many ways to promote a product or service. It is interesting info you have here on how Direct Sales marketing overlaps into the blogging world.

    What stood out to me the most was your comment: “…relationships make a big difference, and can help you have a successful experience in promoting your product and opportunity online.”

    I definitely agree!

    Robert

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