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Blogging has become the ‘go to’ career choice for young women (and men) everywhere and is it a wonder why? Bloggers make it look glamorous, fun and more importantly, a real career consideration where anyone can be successful if they’re just prepared to put in enough work. But for all the fun and glamour, one thing is clear: blogging has become a seriously competitive market and there are now thousands, if not millions of people around the world, who all have the same chance of success at making blogging become a job prospect. Of course, not everyone is looking to turn themselves into the new In The Frow or Hannah Gale, but if you do want to be taken seriously by brands, be considered for reviews and eventually turn your blog into a revenue stream or fulltime role, you have to do everything it takes to become a cut above the rest. Luckily, it’s easier than you may think and with just a few of these considerations, you will give yourself the best chance possible of fulfilling your blogging dreams.

Here are 5 things to work on, if you want to begin working with brands.

 

Your own domain name

This means owning the full domain name of your blog without it containing a ‘.blogspot’ or ‘.wordpress’ sub-domain. For example, if your blog is currently www.rosesandpeonies.wordpress.com you may not be taken as seriously by PRs and brands and may even miss out on the chance for product reviews and event opportunites than if it was www.rosesandpeonies.com. Owning your Domain name shows that you are serious about your blog and view it as an authoritative source of information. Setting up your own domain name is also incredibly simple so it’s a wonder why anyone wouldn’t do this, even if your blog is just a hobby, it means that your readers don’t have to view third-party ads without your say-so and also makes the URL more easy to remember = higher traffic. (If you’re confused about setting up your own domain comment below and I’ll help you as best I can.)

A serious email address/screen name

We all used wacky and hilarious email addresses and screen names as teenagers, but if you want brands to take your blog seriously, this is definitely something you need to leave behind in 2005. The best approach is to try and keep it as close to first name – surname as possible and if that’s already taken, than add a simple underscore (sarah_jones) or number to the end (1, 10 or 11 seem to work well). I also think that a Gmail account looks better than using a Hotmail or Outlook email address, as these are often considered more out of date and the association with Google with hopefully connote that you are focused on using Google Analytics or even Google Adwords, to promote your blog, all of which need a Gmail account to access. If you really want to be the cream of the crop then go all out and setup your domain name address (you will need to do step one before you can do this). For example, for The Full Agenda one of the email addresses we use is editor@thefullagenda.com which looks better than if it was a Gmail or Hotmail account.

An active social profile

Unfortunately, many brands and PRs will look at your social media following before anything else and to be in with a chance, you have to build these up. Do this as organically as possible – those who like it in a ‘like 4 like’ type ecosystem are the ones who will be more likely to unfollow or even ‘mute’ your posts later on down the line – which in the long run will stop your posts from being shown to as many people as possible as Facebook will deem them uninteresting. Similarly, keep an eye on Facebook, Twitter and Instagram algorithm updates which may affect how often your social posts can be viewed and the audience they will reach. Sites such as Social Media Examiner are a great source of information for keeping on top of changes and for providing tips on how to still ensure that you can build a following.

A clean looking blog

Imagine the interface of your blog as though it were the inside of a shop. If you went into your local Topshop and the clothes were everywhere, the jeans were difficult to find and you couldn’t get help from the shop assistant when you needed it how would that make you feel about your shopping experience? The likelihood is, you wouldn’t return. The same applies to your blog. Above all else, ensure you have a clean and simple navigation. Make sure the contact details are easy to find and that all social channels are listed and linked to. You’d be surprised how many bloggers have a super-slick design only to forget to put their email address into the contact or about page. If you’ve been blogging for a while, an FAQ or ‘most popular posts’ bar can help new readers/brands to get a feel for who you are and what you’re all about.

An understanding of brand/blogger partnerships

If you want to work with brands the first thing you need to do is understand them. This usually means managing expectations, knowing what you are agreeing to and then seeing through on your end of the bargain. If you are being paid to write a post, share an update or create a review then the expectations are usually different to what they would be if you are doing it for free. Before you begin, find out what’s expected for the price they’re willing to pay – are there any links they want you to include? How many words do they expect the post to be? Are social shares included in the price? The more you can find out up front, the easier it will be to fulfil both of your needs and ensure that the brand will want to work with you again. It’s much easier to build relationships and work with 2 or 3 brands you love on a repeat basis, than 20 or 30 different ‘one-offs’.

Attention to detail

If you want to be paid to write, advertise or review on your blog then you are effectively running a business. Your commitment to that business should at the minimum, mean that you pay attention to the small details that really do make a difference. Make sure you spell the names of people and companies right, check and double check that the links work and read over to catch any typos or grammar errors. There are a hundred bloggers out there who won’t do this, but by making sure you do, you’ll be setting yourself up for long term success.

 

Do you have any other questions about working successfully with brands? Write them in the comments below and we’ll be sure to answer them or write about them in a future post. To sign up for future blogging tips register here for our monthly newsletter

 

Image source via WeHeartIt

Beth Gladstone

Beth is a Writer and Digital Marketer who founded The Full Agenda as a place to talk about the things that kept her and her friends up at night. Currently working as a Marketing consultant to various SMEs she is a big fan of the startup market and loves technology, apps and anything social media related. When not obsessively checking Google Analytics, she can be found reading, writing or relaxing with a glass of Prosecco.

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3 Comments

  1. Lauren / June 3, 2015 at 5:55 pm /Reply

    Amazingly helpful blog post! I think I have covered everything listed on this post … apart from the domain name! I just get so confused about how it all works, how much it costs and so on! If you could offer a little advise, I would be really grateful.

    Thank you! xx

    Lauren | shynature.blogspot.co.uk

    • Beth Gladstone / June 5, 2015 at 3:48 pm /Reply

      Hi Lauren,

      Thanks for your comment! The first step is to go to uk.godaddy.com and purchase your domain name (there are other sites you can use to purchase it but Go Daddy makes the setup service a little easier I always think). Depending on how in-demand your name is, it will usually work out between £3-£10 for a year and then each year this will renew if you want to keep the name. You can search for different options if the one you want isn’t available and it will tell you how much each one costs and give you other suggestions. Once you have purchased the one you want and setup a Go Daddy logo you need to redirect your bloodspot.co.uk address to your new one. Go Daddy put together this guide here – https://rtcamp.com/blogger-to-wordpress/tutorials/custom-domain/godaddy-com/ on first look it seems really complicated but don’t panic! If you just follow each step one at a time it is actually much easier than you think and is just entering different numbers into different boxes. Let me know how you get on :-) – Beth

  2. Lauren / June 3, 2015 at 7:21 pm /Reply

    Great tips chick
    Lauren
    livinginaboxx

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