It’s no secret that bloggers are big business. I’m certainly impressed and inspired by the many creative ways bloggers are turning their passions in income! if you’re going to monetise your blog then there are some basic business practices you need to think about, this includes getting paid to work with brands!
Working with brands is business so you want to get yourself set up to do business! That’s just smart, like you!
1. Get set up
Register a business name, get an ABN and set up an invoicing system. These are all pretty simple things to do yourself or you can ask your accountant to help you. (For my Australian readers, you don’t need to register for or charge GST unless you are earning $75K+/year).
If you’ve some serious goals for your blog then look into Trademarking – both to protect your own brand and also to ensure that you’re not building a brand around something that already exists and is trademarked.
With my social media hat on, if you want to make your blog a business then you also need to own your own .com domain (and any variations on it) and get hosting via a service like Bluehost (aff link). If you want more info on getting your blog set up then How To Start A Blog might help.
Some of these things are essentials but all of them will help you bring a sense of professionalism in your dealings with businesses. That’s good for you, and it’s good for the industry!
2. Know your client practices
When you work with a brand in a paid capacity they become your client. Sometimes I think the vernacular around working with brands skips this important point so I want to go into it here today. If you are being paid by a brand or agency to work on a campaign then you are a contractor to that brand and they are your client. You are required, as the basis of your agreement with them to deliver the agreed work.
This is where the idea of sponsored activity can get murky because you’re not independent if you are being paid by a brand. Having really clear disclosure comments on your blog and being really strict with who you choose to work with is essential in maintaining your intergrity and keeping trust with your readers. If you start working with brands that don’t suit your blog and aren’t relevant to your readers then it’s very hard to maintain a position that says that your brand partner posts are unbiased. This means lose your trust capital with readers and you also, ironically, lose the essence of your blog that is attractive to brands. Protect your integrity at all costs.
3. Be professional
At a simple level this means treating your clients with respect, responding to their requests and delivering on time.
At a deeper level, true professionalism means asking and understanding what the brand objectives are, being sure you can deliver on them and then demonstrating how you you do that.
Being willing to pick up the phone will also take you a long way.
There amazing opportunities for bloggers right now and the potential for those opportunities to grow and formalise is strong. The main risk is that bloggers don’t step up and take a professional approach to these partnerships and in doing so become labelled hard to work with or unreliable.
Let’s keep shining! What one change could you make to be more professional in your dealing with brands?