by: Carol Bryant
Making money and gaining recognition/becoming a trusted source are two of the main reasons that people blog. There are ways you can monetize your blog if you are willing to put forth the time, attention, effort, and passion into doing so.
BlogPaws program opportunities are on the increase! Our work with bloggers and brands is just one way we continue to support our community and our network. Paid opportunities are available to those bloggers in the BlogPaws Network and Community only. It is because of our trusted relationships with both brands and bloggers that brands want to work with us and with our bloggers.
In order to help you become familiar with the process of a paid blog campaign, get the inside scoop on what brands are looking for in a campaign application from you, and how to better increase your chances of getting accepted into a paid campaign, read on. This is the anatomy of a BlogPaws campaign.
The Brand Call
Here’s a typical scenario: A brand wants to work with BlogPaws, which incidentally has thousands of members in its community who will receive an email about any potential paid opportunities. While on the call, the brand works with Team BlogPaws to discuss timing, content, and the goals of a campaign. All of the finalized details eventually make their way into the campaign call-out that you, the blogger prospect, receives in their inbox.
Once details have been worked out and contracts signed, a date is assigned to the campaign and a call-out goes out to you, the blogger prospects.
The Call Out
A campaign call out will hit your inbox. Check your spam, junk, and any filters that may impede the delivery of email to your inbox. The inbox that receives the campaign call out is the one you used to sign up for the BlogPaws Ning platform based community. Opportunities are only sent to those community members who indicated on their enrollment that they wanted to be included.
There is generally a very tight turn around with the brand to deliver all applicants to them, so most campaigns have a short window of application opportunity.
The Do’s and Don’ts
Because we work behind the scenes, directly with the brand, here’s a handy checklist of do’s and dont’s that can help escalate your success (i.e., being selected):
DO answer all questions thoroughly, accurately, and with honesty.
Don’t lie about your numbers: We check. If you say you have 20,000 Facebook followers and have 700 followers, this does not bode well for you. Just be honest. Each campaign has different requirements.
DO explain why your blog is a good fit for the campaign and why the campaign will benefit your audience: Each blog is unique and each blogger has a distinct following. Tell the brand how and why your audience would be a good fit for them. Showcase other links that demonstrate your ability to connect to an audience. Have a post that received a lot of comments? Link to it.
Don’t say things like “I love this product and I know it will rock on my blog.” Show us what you mean by that: Be specific.
DO grow your social media channels. This is all outlined with specific month by month challenges in the BlogPaws Pet Blogger Influencer Group. Decide which social media channels are important to grow and then tackle them. Perhaps you want to grow your Facebook and Pinterest by a few hundred before 2016. With about 90 days left as of this writing, now’s the time to invest in you.
Don’t try to forge ahead without a clear blog goal in mind. Is your blog’s goal to make money and increase comments? Do you know your blog’s goal? Have a blog business plan?
DO create, learn, create, and promote in order to grow your blog.
The Next Steps
Once the applications are received, BlogPaws compiles the list and sends the list to the brand. We do NOT select the bloggers: That is up to the brand. If you are a dog blogger and apply for a cat campaign, chances are you won’t get picked. Those are the types of bloggers that would get removed from the list before it is sent to the brand. Otherwise, off they go.
The brand will go through the applications, which do not include your emails. They hand select the bloggers they want and then we contact you.
You, the blogger will be notified that you are selected once the brand replies to us, we set up the campaign, create the group in the community, and include all materials in the group including the content starter kit, images, blog post due dates, and any other essential details. Product is shipped out to bloggers in the campaign.
For Those Selected: Mistakes
There are things that both the brand and BlogPaws staff watches for when it comes to paid campaign participation. No matter how long you have been blogging, the following items apply to all levels of bloggers, both pet and lifestyle bloggers with a pet focus:
Here are some common mistakes to avoid if you are selected and participating in a paid BlogPaws campaign:
* Failing to get your post up on time: A paid blog post is the equivalent of showing up for work on time: If you come into work whenever you feel like it, chances are your supervisor isn’t going to be happy. Keep showing up late, and chances are you won’t have a job long. A due date is just that: the date the blog post is due.
* Failing to follow instructions: Sounds simple, right? Sometimes the easiest and most glaring details are the ones that get overlooked. Check the campaign starter kit before you publish.
* Scrambling to write a blog post last minute. If you were selected for a campaign, it’s because the brand saw something on your blog and in your work ethic that made them take notice. When less than stellar posts are delivered, not only does it make you look bad, but future brands looking at your blog will notice the lack of effort.
* Promoting the post one time. Campaigns will have specific details that must be followed on social media. For example, you might be required to share a post on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, and Instagram. If you do this just once, it will not help the campaign as much as it could if you share multiple times, multiple days, and various times throughout the course of the campaign. Yes, the brands are watching, and yes, the hashtag reports on the campaign matter.
* Forgetting to put #sponsored or #ad whenever sharing the post: You are being paid. The FTC requires transparency with regards to this payment. A clearly shown hashtag of #sponsored or #ad with all social shares is mandatory. Without it, you risk harming the campaign and we cannot use those social shares in overall reporting. It is also a clear violation of FTC rules and can ultimately harm the campaign.
* Viewing the group details on a mobile device. The BlogPaws Ning Community, which houses all the campaigns, is best viewed on a desktop or laptop. Details will be overlooked if viewing from a mobile device.
* Failing to turn in a W9 form so you can get paid.
* Failing to use NOFOLLOW code, as required.
If you can work well with brands on the paid opportunities and are willing to put forth the effort, attention to detail, and clear/quality images coupled with an effective social push, then you are on your way to being selected for campaigns time and again.
Check your email account associated with the BlogPaws Community and check email daily for campaign call outs.
Are you a member of the BlogPaws Facebook News and Boost Group? We often make members aware of opportunities here on the day they go out.
Need to improve your blog and grow your numbers and influence? Be sure to engage in the many influencer challenges. Not a member of the Influencer group? Apply to join here (no brands, please).
Your application for a blog campaign should stand out: What makes YOU different than anyone else? Shine! You deserve success and work for it on your blog: So tell us in your application. Convince the brand they need your blog.
Want more help? Read How Pet Bloggers Can Monetize with BlogPaws here.
Why do you think you and your Blog are a good fit for paid opportunities? You need not tell us, but get ready to answer that question the next time a paid opportunity comes knocking: Oh, and we have a bountiful few months ahead!
Who’s ready to make money?