Brands have realized the power of blogging and while this can lead to amazing opportunities, sometimes bloggers are taken advantage of. When is collaborating in exchange for “exposure” beneficial, and when should you run the other way?
The bottom line is knowing who will benefit from your work – and how they will benefit. Sadly, there are some shady media agencies out there who offer bloggers exposure in exchange for content generation. The problem with this is that the media agency is charging their client for the bloggers’ content, without compensating the bloggers. Decide if you are comfortable with someone else cashing in on your work. Always pay attention to the signature line of emails, and use this information to determine if you are being contacted by a brand directly, or if you are being contacted by a media agency.
The other thing to keep in mind is if you will actually get exposure from the opportunity. A media agency recently contacted me asking me to blog about restaurants on a real estate website. The site itself wasn’t very complete, and it’s content wasn’t relevant to my food blog. Blogging on a real estate blog wouldn’t be good exposure for a food blogger, because no one goes to real estate websites to read about food and I doubt that the website gets much traffic. I turned the opportunity down because it wasn’t a good fit for me, and because a media agency was involved and would have charged the real estate company for my work without compensating me.
Deciding whether to collaborate with a company in exchange for exposure can be tricky. If you are having trouble reading the situation, ask questions. Ask if someone will be receiving monetary compensation for your work. Ask for stats on the website’s traffic to determine if the collaboration would give you an amount of exposure you would be happy with.
There are lots of opportunities for bloggers out there, some are great and some are frankly a waste of time; determine what will benefit you. When a brand or company reaches out to you, they have already decided that you can do something for them. Take the time to investigate the situation and determine what is in it for you. Ask questions. You are the only person who has your best interests at heart. Writing is work, and our content is valuable. Determine how you want to be compensated, and don’t be afraid of being picky.
Do you have any advice to add?
How to you determine if you want to work with a brand?
Let us know in the comments.
By Kit Graham