One of the first things small business owners ask me when it comes to promoting is how they can reach more people online. When I suggest working with bloggers, most times, I get puzzled looks. “Did I just speak to you in German?” I tease. The truth is many people still don’t know what a blogger is and if they do they either don’t understand what they do or how to work with them.

So, I’m going to break it down for my fellow business owners (and anyone else interested in learning) in this post. Get ready to learn a whole lot of truth that will leave you thinking- why didn’t I ask sooner?!!

What is a blogger?

To put it simply, a blogger is a creative person who either professionally (or casually) writes or documents things they are passionate about. Topics vary from sports to beauty, fashion, travel, lifestyle, parenting and more. Bloggers share information and original content with their readers. They are also social media marketers and influential people. New titles for bloggers include influencers and content creators.

How can you work with bloggers?

That all depends. When approaching bloggers, a professional introduction should be made. For example, an email expressing how much you enjoy their blog and that you think they would be a perfect fit to work with your brand. It is essential that you check out their blog before approaching the blogger. For example, if a plastic surgeon contacted me to promote a new face lift technique for ages 65+ I would not be interested. Why? Because I cannot relate to that and neither can my readers. But if the same surgeon contacted me about a new skin care treatment to prevent premature aging for women 25+, I might consider it. Get it?
Aside from a proper fit, you should come up with a campaign that you would like to work on with the blogger(s) and offer them something in return. Most brands offer product or a service and payment per post, social media mentions and or photos/video.

Wait- bloggers get paid?

Yes! Did you think bloggers covered events, created content, edited videos and spent long tedious hours editing photos, posts, videos and more?? Blogging has become a job for many people in the industry and brands pay top dollar to work with them. From the blogger with the following of 500 to the celebrity blogger making over 100k per year. They get paid.

Look at it from our side:
Email with brand, meet with brand reps or schedule a phone conference, sign agreements, receive product/service or cover event(s), take photos or video, edit, work on post, SEO, share on social media – and not to mention the creating of the content and wardrobe planning or expenses to get to the event or meeting; etc.

Can you imagine doing all of that work in exchange for pair of earrings or a skirt? Now, don’t get me wrong. Say you own a lovely resort in Punta Cana and you offer a blogger one complimentary week, food included and a few attractions for 2 in exchange for a detailed review on her blog- and all she has to cover is her flight, I think you’d have yourself a sweet deal. In other words, it is possible to get bloggers to work with you for free but you have to really pull out the bells and whistles to convince them it will be worth their time and effort.

Do bloggers guarantee more business?
No. Nothing in life is guaranteed. When you pay for google ads or ads in the paper, it’s not guaranteed. When you pay $500 for a booth at an expo, there is no guarantee. When you give away tees to customers, there’s no guarantee anyone will notice your logo on it or even remember it. But I will tell you this- if you invest in one blogger who has say 1k followers on Instagram, 2k on Facebook, 600 on Twitter and 300 on Pintrest and then 10k subs on his/her blog, you are reaching a whole lot of people. More than you would placing an ad in the local paper which no one really reads anymore- except maybe your grandparents. And what happens when that bloggers readers see the posts? They may share it to their 500 friends or like it, follow your brand, interact with the blogger to know more about the experience with your brand. You may not get a thousand shoppers coming into your store, but what you do is create awareness and press for your brand. So when someone looks you up, they will find the link to that post and be able to read more about you on a more personal level.

Now that I’ve broken it down for you guys, how do you look at bloggers? Would you consider working with them? Why or why not? I’d love to know!