Today launches a new series on the blog where we will go behind the scenes with some of the best names in blogging to find out their thoughts about how brands and bloggers can work together and hear about their experiences of working with brands on their own blogs.
We’re kick-starting this series with none other than amazing blogger Nicole Avery herself. Nicole is an accomplished blogger, published author and mum to five children and is currently represented by Agents of Influence, Australia’s first Native Advertising Agency. Yes, she’s all kinds of amazing! I am so grateful to Nicole Avery for being willing to share her story and wisdom with us – let’s great straight to it!
Why did you decide to start working with brands on your blog?
I had been blogging for over 18 months when I realised if I was to continue to spend the amount of time I was on the blog, I was going to need to start earning some money to justify it. Working with brands seemed like an easy first step to start monetising the blog.
How does working with brands benefit your readers?
My readers come to my blog not only to hear about how I manage and plan for family life, but they trust me to bring information to them that they might not find elsewhere. The majority of my readers are email subscribers, many of who don’t even realise they are reading a blog!
By choosing carefully who I partner with, I can let readers know about products or services that I have tested out, use or can happily recommend. In a world full of choices, my blog offers virtual word of mouth to readers. They can assess my review or experience and determine if the product or service is right for them.
What’s been your biggest surprise in working with brands?
Missed opportunities through brands only wanting to engage on a one off basis. Blogs create communities through building relationships and trust with their readers. These take time to develop and it can also take time to educate readers on new products or services. A more integrated approach can have much more success than a just one off interaction.
Could you share your best experience working with a brand?
My best experience to date would be my most recent one, working with Pureharvest. It is the best because:
- The alignment of the philosophy of Pureharvest and Planning With Kids is so well matched. Pureharvest aim to provide and distribute products that create healthier and happier people. I have undertaken a completely new approach to my nutrition over the last 18 months to a whole food based diet and was already bringing my readers along with me on my journey.
- It is a long-term relationship. We have both committed to work together for 12 months.
- It is not disruptive. The native advertising posts on the blog, do not disrupt the reader like an advertorial but can be found easily by those readers who are interested in what Pureharvest have to offer.
What’s your biggest nugget of advice for the bloggers reading?
Before starting to work with brands, know exactly what you want to achieve by doing it and set yourself boundaries. Going blindly into working with brands can mean you end up taking on products or services that are not the right fit for your blog and you can lose credibility. Write a list of brands you love already, products you use and love and a wish list of products services you would like to try. Short list those that then also fit with the content you currently publish on your blog.
When you receive pitches from brands and public relations agencies, refer back to your list before you say yes. Is working with that brand going to the right fit for you and your blog? Personally I always had a rule that if I had to think hard about whether or not I wanted to work with a brand, then the answer was no. I should instantly be able to see how the relationship can work if it is really going to work well for my readers and me.
Any tips for the brand reps reading?
Look beyond a traditional sponsored post and look longer term. Each blog has a unique proposition and has numerous opportunities to be able to showcase a product or service that doesn’t have to be a one off sponsored post. Work with bloggers to find out how to best reach their audience, whether it be through sending out trial products, a series of posts on topic relevant to readers with the brand providing support or providing expert advice on complex topics.
Thanks so much Nic for letting us get a glimpse of your journey so far – we wish you all the very best and look forward to your continued wisdom on this topic!