Blogging tools

Taking It Up A Notch: Using Your Blog for the Benefit of Others (and Yourself)

If you’ve been following along on our little social media stats adventure, you’ve figured out what blog stats to work on first, and you’ve started displaying your social media stats in the way that helps you grow your blog faster without looking like a self-centered spam fiend. Now I’m going to assume that you’ve done all that and you’re on your way to your goals. This post will cover what you can do with those hard earned stats and platform once you’re there.

If you’re not there yet you can always save this to read it later.

Using Your Blog for the Benefit of Others

After you’ve been blogging awhile you will hopefully have built up a reputation in your niche and have some social media proof of your own.

Companies and PR firms will start to approach you from every direction to review their products, do giveaways and share their content. What they are doing is asking you to share the trust you’ve earned with your audience. If their product is liked and used by someone who is trusted in an online community it naturally associates trust and acceptance with that company or product.

Think of it this way: you read blogger A, you’ve read her blog for 6 months. She’s funny, engaging, has great posts and she’s become part of your day. Now blogger A has found a product she LOVES that a company gave her to try. She blogs about it, she shares, tweets and generally all around loves that product.

What happens? You’re intrigued. This happens for a lot of reasons but it has a lot to do with the reason you like blogger A in the first place. Chances are you identify with her on a number of levels, that’s why you keep heading back day after day. So if you have so many things in common, why won’t you want to try the same product that she is so in love with?

That’s exactly the reason companies give out freebies to bloggers so they can share it with their community.

To gain a person’s trust and turn them into a customer is really hard and really expensive.

Asking a blogger to review a product creates an advocate for that company and they don’t have to spend nearly as much money earning your trust because blogger A has already done that for months.

This isn’t sneaky but make sure if you’re blogger A, you know what you’re worth.

Like I mentioned in our media kit, don’t under estimate (or undervalue) yourself or your blog. See how companies can save money by working with you? It costs them a free promotional product. That’s it and they can write it off at tax time as advertising.

I’m not saying this is bad, it’s a great perk to all the hard work but I do want you to appreciate that social proof is incredibly powerful, and if you have earned a lot of trust online in your niche, that’s an asset. What you have created is something a company is trying to trade a product or money to access.

The moral of the story is don’t undervalue yourself! You may have a smaller community that others blogs you look at but that’s not always what matters to a brand. If you have a very different niche, one that fits their market perfectly then it doesn’t matter if you have 100 followers instead of 10000. For that company, your 100 is better for them than more people who aren’t the right fit.

If a company is trying to access your trust to sell products, make sure you price your services accordingly and feel the trade is fair.

Work with companies that you want to associate with your brand. Be confident in the transaction, know that what you have is extremely valuable, and that can help you stand up and assert yourself in some of those difficult negotiations.

What has been your experience working with brands? Do you feel honored they asked you or do you negotiate for something that works good for everyone?

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