One of the questions I get asked quite often from our BraVoMark members is, “how do I get chosen for a campaign?” Though the criteria may vary by campaign, ultimately the decision is left up to the brand. After almost 10 years running www.themommy-files.com blog and working directly with brands, and now running both The Mommy-files and BraVoMark, there are a number of things I have found that can help you get noticed and get more campaigns. Here are 10 things brands look for when choosing blogs for campaigns.
1 – Clean Design – First impressions go a long way, though bold colors may be your thing, try to keep your design simple and clean. Websites that are too dark or that have very bold colors may turn off potential brands. If you are unsure if your website has a nice, clean design, ask a number of people. When doing this, ask people what they would change about your site design and what they think would make the site more pleasing. This is much better than just asking if they think your site is good, as most people will just say yes
2 – Frequency – Post frequency, or the date of your last post, may factor into a brands’ decision. If your last post was some time in 2010 you might get passed up for potential campaigns. It is important to post on a regular basis if you are trying to get paid campaigns. By posting regularly you will also boost your rankings with Google, get more engagement, and increase your overall numbers. Though it is best to have posts with 250 words or more, the reality is even just short blurbs about your life or your interests could make a huge difference in getting picked, the biggest thing is consistency.
3 – Quality of Photos – As a blogger, a big part of creating engaging posts is adding photos and videos. The better the photos on your site the more a brand will take notice. Make sure to format your pictures a bit larger than you might initially think, as this will make them more noticeable. Get a good camera or the best mobile device camera you can get. Play with lighting and different angles as these can really liven up your pictures and set up a photo workspace in your home so that you can take fantastic product pictures.
4 – Personal Posts – While many of us as bloggers use our blogs as income for our families, it is vital to have personal posts on our blogs. Whether it’s talking about a family vacation, someone’s birthday or even a meal you cooked, you should scatter personal posts between your sponsored posts on your blog. You should also try to make your sponsored posts as personal as possible. In other words, avoid the regurgitated press release with only stock photos any chance you can get.
5 – Engagement/Comments – Often when we talk to brands about their requirements they state they would like to see blogs with good engagement. This means that they are looking at the amount of comments and social shares on the blog to determine their engagement. If you are looking to increase your engagement on your blog, you can try these few tips. In the closing paragraph of your blog post try ending with a question. This can help to spark conversation and engagement. Be sure to respond to any comments on your blog to create dynamic conversations. Join a blogger thread group on social media to get more comments and shares.
6 – No broken links – You definitely want to avoid having broken links. Sometimes sites close down and links are broken that way, but you always want to double check by either hovering over or clicking on the links in the blog posts you publish as well as on your homepage and sidebar. By doing this it will show that you pay attention to detail and want your written work to appear professional to all those who may read it.
7 – Traffic – Many bloggers would say that traffic is the most important aspect to getting paid campaigns but this isn’t always true. Though the amount of traffic to a site does generally come in to play, more times than not the look, feel, and engagement of a blog can outweigh the need for huge numbers. A simple way to build your numbers is to create a process around each post. Start by always sharing your posts to every social network, add an email subscriber form to your site and create an automatic email newsletter that goes out when there is a new post on your site, and most of all promote-promote-promote. Tell your friends and family when you have a new post and make sure they share with their friends.
8 – Proofread – One thing that many bloggers overlook is proofreading their blog post. Sometimes the last thing you want to do after spending a lot of time writing a blog post is reading it again to look for spelling or grammatical errors. If this is the case, you have a few options. Either you can have a friend or family member read over it for you and make corrections or take a little time and proofread it before publishing the blog post.
9 – Contact Information – In social media, I’ve had both experience as the blogger and the recruiter. As a recruiter (and now as the owner and operator of BraVoMark), I can tell you first hand that having contact information that is easy to find and readily available on your blog is so, so important. As there are so many bloggers to search through on the Internet, you don’t want to miss out on an opportunity simply because a PR person or recruiter couldn’t find your contact information. You can either have your email address available in the sidebar or have a contact page linked at the top of your blog.
10 – Professionalism – In blogging, and especially with paid promotions, there is a fine line between remaining true to yourself and your personality, and representing a brand. Some brands like edginess, but with edge, risqué material, or scathing reviews you run the risk of alienating yourself from opportunities. The best thing to do with sponsored content on your site is to take a professional approach. Be sure to speak in facts. You can give your opinions, but keep them to a professional manner. If you disagree or don’t like a product you are reviewing don’t blast the brand, instead give constructive criticism on how it could be made better in the future while also providing a list of the things that you like about the product.
If you are looking for ways to get more paid campaigns for your blog, look to these ten things to help you meet your goals. Though there are a number of other things you can do to help you get noticed, these are just a few that I have learned over my last ten years of blogging. Happy Blogging!