There are a number of "black holes" in the blogging industry which few people seem to address, such as how much your fees should be, how to land a brand collaboration and at what point you have a sufficient number of followers to be taken seriously.
Last week I attended “The Brand Building Workshop” with One Roof Social and Currys PC World. It was such a fantastic opportunity to gain some insight into the industry and learn a few tips and tricks to guide me along my blogging journey.
It was one of those wonderful evenings where I got the full blogging 101 and the opportunity to mingle with likeminded people and enjoy some wonderful hospitality. All in all, it was simply too good not to share on the here! Plus, if there are any fellow bloggers who are in need of some advice and insider information (and let’s be honest, who isn’t?!) I figured this post would be quite handy!
The event was hosted by Currys PC World who caught us up on everything Microsoft Office and showcased how we can use Word and PowerPoint most effectively to support our blogging needs.
Ways in which you present/sell yourself and your blog was a key theme of the evening and it was one of the main lessons I took away from the workshop. Some of the PowerPoint tips were really helpful and insightful, particularly the design templates feature, which are ideal for putting together pitches and brand presentations.
Anna Hart, who is the founder of the influencer media management company, One Roof Social, and a successful blogger herself, led the majority of the workshop.
She has a unique insight into the industry as she works both angles from a blogger and brand’s perspective.
There are a number of “black holes” in the blogging industry which few people seem to address, such as how much your fees should be, how to land a brand collaboration and at what point you have a sufficient number of followers to be taken seriously. It was really refreshing to finally have some light shed on these areas.
Apologies, this is going to be a long post but hopefully, it will be full of useful tips and tricks to help you navigate the blogging world.
Back to Basics
Before I delve into the main themes of the evening I thought I’d share a few interesting statistics and figures which offer an insight into the where the industry currently is and how quickly it is growing:
1) The UK only accounts for 7% of the world’s influencers – the US holds 30%.
2) Last year HMRC accounted for 27,000 individuals who had earned revenue through being an influencer. This is expected to grow to 100,000 by 2020.
3) 55% of global influencers are between 21-35 and 20% are between 36-50.
4) 6000 followers is the point brands generally start to pay you attention.
5) A successful number of views on your Instagram Stories is usually around 20% of your following.
Google Analytics – It probably already goes with saying but Google Analytics needs to be your best friend! It’s essential for gauging when and what your audience is reacting to best.
SEO – Generally successful SEO is based around key-wording. In a nutshell, this means using as many relevant words as possible to describe what you’re writing about.
These are 3 top line rules to always follow to improve your SEO:
1) Name Your Image Files – Instead of keeping them as “IMG_01” always change the file name to something descriptive as search engines read both textual and pictorial content. For example, “Mango Cream Linen Trousers” is a far more relevant image name and much more SEO friendly.
2) Title Your Content Logically – Avoid fancy blog titles (something I am guilty of) if you want to up your SEO game. Title your posts something which clearly relates to the subject of your content. For example, “How to Wear Mango Cream Linen Trousers in Spring”, rather than “What to Wear in Spring”.
3) Link Correctly – Google prioritise websites which link to content they’re searching for, so ensure your anchor text (the text that you highlight and make clickable for readers to visit the link) is relevant. For example, “Mango Cream Linen Trousers” is much better than “click here” (again, something I am guilty of!).
Declaration – There is still a huge amount of uncertainty, both by brands and influencers surrounding sponsored content declaration. However, the below is a good rule of thumb which will keep you out of trouble with the ASA:
1) Gifting – When you’ve been gifted a product with no prior discussion about featuring it in any content, it currently requires no declaration. However, this could potentially change as the ASA is looking further into declaration and could develop/change these rules.
If payment for a campaign is in the form of a product/gift rather than monetary value, this still counts as payment. If the content produced is part of contractually obliged deliverables and has been preapproved it must be declared as #AD.
If you receive payment in the form a gift as part of contractually obliged deliverables but the brand has not pre-approved the content it must be declared as #SPON.
2) Payment – Paid for content must always be declared. If the brand pre-approves content as part of contractually obliged deliverables it must be declared as #AD. If the brand does not pre-approve content but is part of contractually obliged deliverables it must be declared as #SPON.
You can also use “Paid partnership with…” feature on Instagram to declare payment as well.
I think pricing is the biggest grey area, as bloggers and brands still remain very secretive regarding fees. Influencer marketing is driven by data and ROI, so fees need to be in line with what you can actually deliver for a brand. Things to consider are:
1) Targeted Reach – Fees shouldn’t be based on your total following, but rather the following which is relevant to the specific campaign. For example, for a UK based product, if your following is only 50% UK then the fees should be 50% of your “standard rate”.
2) Engagement and Sentiment – If you’ve got a small following but one that’s well-engaged in a specific area, you’re much more useful to a brand than an influencer with a large following without the targeted following. Make sure you consider this when pricing.
3) Traffic and Conversions – Think about all your social media platforms and how you can use them to fit the campaign objectives, as well as the best ways you can drive traffic to the brand’s site.
4) Pricing Suggestions – One Roof Social suggests charging somewhere between £100-200 per 10,000 relevant followers.
Selling yourself and your blog to brands is fundamental to gaining collaborations and connections. If you want to succeed in the blogosphere it is the responsibility of you and you alone to make it happen. Don’t rely on other influencers to help you up the ladder.
When approaching brands a good introduction goes a long way. Personalisation is key as it shows you’re already clued up on the brand. Demonstrate why you think your blog aligns well with their brand.
Also, do your research and mention any recent work or products you’ve seen you feel you could assist with. If you have content ideas, mention these so the brand can immediately see your proactivity and enthusiasm to work together.
Make sure you include your media pack and relevant insights, so the brand has everything they need to consider you for a campaign. Use insights from Google Analytics to illustrate your relevant readership. Age, gender and location are usually the most useful stats to convey. If you don’t have a particularly big following, present your insights as percentages, as these can be more impacting than numbers.
Finally, it sounds obvious, but it is often forgotten, link all your social channels in your email signature.
I hope this has been helpful in providing some more in-depth information into the blogging industry. You can read more about the Brand Building Workshop with Currys PC World and One Roof Social HERE.