Happy Friday, y’all! Earlier this week I got an interesting email from a particularly famous brand asking me if I would be interested in doing a collaboration with them. As a blogger, I’m always on the look out for brand partnerships. However, I exercise caution for a very good reason. Once I expressed interest in the collaboration, the brand representative that had contacted me fired back an email outlining the project and what it entailed. Just by the description I knew that it was nothing more than free publicity for the brand. Here’s how I knew:
- Key Phrases: The buzzwords that companies love to use to indirectly say that you will get nothing out of this “collaboration.” One of the most common is that they need you to help “spread the word” or give “tips to your readership” about what they can do with said product.
- Lack of Marketing Budget: The first thing I ask is what the budget is for the project. When there isn’t one, they really can’t tell you anything else beyond “well we don’t have one, we simply wanted to generate some buzz about…” Boom. Sorry, but you won’t be “generating buzz” on my blog. That’s when you know this is for their benefit and not yours. Move on.
- They Immediately Provide Links: While this isn’t always a bad thing, it can be a red flag. How do they already have links that will credit you with whatever referrals you give them? Oh wait- you don’t get credit for referrals. The brand is literally giving you a link to lead your followers a way from your blog and to the product. It would be one thing if you actually made a commission off of it, but in this case you won’t be.
- Flattering Words: The brand rep called me a “guru” in the particular product category she was marketing. I had written a few things on topics similar but in no way was I a “guru.” Flattery will get you nowhere darling. Unless you plan on paying me, then it will get you somewhere!
I wrote this post specifically for the newbie bloggers out there. When I first started, I participated in a few of these “collaborations” and got nothing out of it. Many promised that the best posts would be shared on their social media pages. That never happened. Don’t fall prey to these scams. Instead, keep your head up and know that your blog is worth more than free publicity.
-Liz (follow me on Bloglovin’!)