Bloggers and Brands: Monetary Do’s and Dont’s

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blog pets

by: Carol Bryant

If you are a blogger and reading this, chances are you want to make money in some way, shape, or form. Many hobbyist bloggers embrace the “show me the money” philosophy if they start to see traction gained on their blog’s traffic.

Do any of the following apply to you?

  • I want to make money.
  • I want to monetize with BlogPaws.
  • I am a pet blogger and want to bring in cash through my blog.

If so, there are monetary decisions you should make before proceeding into any relationship with a brand. Here, then are a list of Blogger Do’s and Dont’s when dealing with brands and monetization:

Don’t make promises you can’t keep. Never tell a brand you promise to increase their sales unless you are 100 percent certain you can and will. Over promising and under delivering does not make for a happy mix. Brands who expect sales in return for a blog post will be unhappy if that is a promise on which you are unable to produce. Just like with advertising and public relations, sometimes a brand’s ROI  (return on investment) is exposure that may result in later sales, not direct, trackable sales from that particular post.

Do get it in writing. With any agreement, get it in writing: It need not be super formal, but an exchange of money for blog services should accompany something both parties agree to and that “something” should be at the least, a one-page document of details. Include your blog, the brand, the terms of agreement, monies promised, time frame, terms, and ensure it is signed by both parties.

business_plan

Don’t bad mouth other bloggers. Bloggers talk and brands talk, many times and often times, to one another. Trash talking serves no one and can honestly harm your reputation. If you talk about people to others, what’s to say you won’t be considered a pariah by brands? Treat others as you want to be treated, plain and simple.

Do have a business plan.  A blog is a business. Every business that plans to monetize should have a road map. That road map is a business plan. Blog Manager, Robbi Hess, kicked off a series on writing a pet blog business plan this year. Start yours now if you missed the series:

What’s A Business Plan For

Getting Started on a Blog Business Plan

Marketing in a Blog Business Plan

Pulling it All Together in a Blog Business Plan

Don’t let your content suffer for the almighty dollar. Yes, we all want to earn a buck but if your content and what makes you unique starts to suffer, chances are the money will, too. The same holds true with methods of monetization. No one wants to visit a blog and be bombarded with pop up ads, gobs of affiliate offers, coupons blaring at them, ads haphazardly placed or jammed in tight, and so on. Be thoughtful about how you intend to monetize and then focus on those methods. 

Do be respectful of the brands you connect with on more than one occasion. Building brand relationships is a lot like dating, and this is a favorite analogy of mine. If a potential suitor only calls when he or she wants something, it gets needy, clingy, and even creepy fast. The same holds true with brands and relationships. If you only connect with a brand when you want a sample, are bursting at the seams for a review, or want a conference sponsorship, why would that brand want to work with you? Brands are more inclined to work with you if you show and maintain your work ethic and do so respectfully. Connect year-round. Stop by their blog, say hello; comment on a post; do a social share; attend the BlogPaws conference and voice your desires to the brand(s) of choice.

blogpaws conference

Do respect yourself by being honest if you aren’t happy about something. Not happy a brand isn’t willing to pay? Talk to them about it. Did you promise a product review and the item fell short of expectations or promises? Hop on a call or email before moving forward. An e-review on a blog is much more permanent than a letter to the editor. In other words, it lives on, is sharable and searchable.

Don’t hide disclosure and privacy policies, and your blog has one, right? This is something we discuss in the BlogPaws Community. Policies and procedures that have a permalink on your blog cover you in so many ways, so be sure to have them.

Do be clear about payment terms and what forms you accept. Again, this falls under the contract category. Is PayPal okay? How often? Cash up front?

Don’t copy what other bloggers are doing. Be unique, be real, be authentic, and showcase these skills in your best posts when dealing with brands. Copying is also plagarazing

Do have a media kit. Media kits come in a variety of formats and you can choose to put your own categories into them. Stay tuned for a special e-book to this effect, as well.

So how many of these do’s and dont’s apply to you? 

Here’s how to monetize with BlogPaws.