10/01/2014

Blogger's Secret: Happy Cooperating

http://jetsetgirlfriend.com/category/blogging/

When we start blogging we're still quite insecure about our work and we keep waiting for occurrences to prove that our blog is worth reading as well. Maybe we're waiting for our first 100, 500 or even 1000 readers, maybe we want to reach 1.000.000 page views as quickly as possible, or maybe we think that as soon we get a cooperation offer we have made our way. First of all let me say that none of these things make you a good blogger! In all these years were I have been reading blogs I've seen the strangest things. There are bloggers who are famous all over their country, who have made it to their own book and still hardly get any comments on their blog. There are blogs that are super pretty, with a gorgeous blog design, a cute blogger and enviable outfits that hardly have 100 followers. And I've also seen the contrary: blogs with over 1000 or even 2000 followers, that looks super crappy and don't even have good content, just because the blogger kept asking people to do "follow-for-follow". So as you can see the numbers around your blog aren't a prove of how good your blog is. Now what about cooperations? With them it's about the same because only if a blogger has been cooperating with Romwe or Chicwish or ... for years, doesn't mean their blog is any better than yours. There was a time in my blogging career where I thought that the more cooperation requests I would get, the more desirable my blog would be. However 99% of the brands cooperating with bloggers don't care about you as a blogger, your blog or your blog design. They are just interested in how much traffic you can bring to their web page. I don't want to say that it's just Asian wholesale sites who do this, but they are particularly invasive when it comes to cheap advertising on blogs. Kristiana Vasarina only just wrote a really striking post about that phenomenon which for me was the reason to write this very  post. I really recommend reading her post first, so you know how weird the whole wholesale business actually is. I definitely won't hide that I have been cooperating with such brands before as well. However last year I noticed that those people really don't care about you or your blog. They don't even take the time to find out your name but just contact you with the link of your blog. It also happened to me that I told one company that I didn't wanna work with them and a few weeks later they would contact me again as if nothing had happened. That is just impudent and I'm not willing to work with those brands anymore. However not all cooperations are bad and I have worked with a few cute brands as well so with this post I don't want to keep you away from cooperating with brands I just want to tell you what you can do to make cooperating a nice experience for you, your readers and the brand you're working with:

1. Stay away from Asian wholesale companies! After you read Kristiana's post this doesn't need any explaining.
2. Make sure the cooperating brand is interested in your blog. The brand will for example go into a post you wrote recently or tell you why they like your blog (no average compliments!). At least they will know your name and also address you with your name.
3. You're being contacted by a brand that has been cooperating with any other blogger you know? That is never a good sign because they go for quantity instead of quality. (Yes I'm talking about a certain "online optical store" I have been cooperating with as well...)
4. Check were the brand is situated. Why should an Asian brand with no agency in Europe want to work with me? Some of the best cooperations I've been doing were really local ones.
5. If you want serious brands to work with you, you will have to provide them with serious information about your blog. You can either put some stats in your "about" page or build up a media kit. Also make sure your e-mail address can easily be found on your blog.
6. Learn how to say no. Even if it is a serious local brand that wants to work with you - if you don't like their clothes or products why should you say yes?! Also if you only find out you don't like a product after you got it, you can tell your readers! A serious brand indeed wants to hear what you think and not only the positive bla bla.
7. Sometimes brands don't want you to write a review about one of their products but simply write a post about them from nowhere. Why again should you do this? (Unless you have known and loved the brand before).
8. If I write something about a brand I want to be able to write what I think and stay true to my own words. If a brand wants you to include 5 dofollow links with the most awkward key words... stay away from it!
9. Make sure everything is being clarified before the actual beginning of the cooperation. This is especially important when you do sponsored giveaways. For example have you already agreed on who of you ships the prize?
10. The best way to cooperate is to do so with brands you love. However not every brand will be able to find you so why not contact some of your favourite brands on your own? Try to make the cooperation as palatable as possible. You can only win!

Okay, this post turned out way longer than I have thought but I find it important to be said as wrong cooperations can really spoil blogging! Please tell me about your cooperation experiences. Are there brands you would never work with again? Or have you had really lovely and positive cooperations before?

18 comments:

  1. I loved your post! And I didn't find it too long, I think it was exactly the right amount of information one needs! Well written and clear! I will send this to a friend of mine who "cooperates", as you said. But she is savvy, I just want her to read it and maybe to show to other friends, maybe not so savvy. You are right about comments. A friend of mine was saying that she felt she was doing so much, and still so few comments. I told her exactly what you wrote here - the number of comments don't really make a blog, and actually, her blog is really super cute. Really such a good post, well done! Have a great weekend! denisesplanet com

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  2. this was by far, most worthy reading post tonight~
    i think it is true! there are some site which i think is too "demanding" so i ignored their cooperation, but after a few days, they sent you lots of email, (it became like spam) even if i said i am not interested, they keep coming back like they had forgotten about u (wish i can post it out which site, but i don't want to be sued, haha) best thing is i have already host their giveaway and they keep coming back to ask me host the SAME goddamn giveaway =..= they seriously do not remember you . ugh! but i think your blog it well, i guess the most important thing in blogging is to blog FOR yourself, and not for the sake of others~ that is rule number one ( :

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  3. Great information! I started my blog about 5 months ago and trying to find good advice as it starts to grow . Thanks for posting this:)

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  4. Jetzt bin ich verwirrt, kooperierst du nicht selbst mit Persunmall? Ich lese mir den Artikel gleich mal durch den du da verlinkt hast, hört sich interessant an!

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  5. First, I've read the post you linked and I was totally shaken! Really! I never cooperated with this kind of Asian sites (at least for clothes) and I have NO idea about the situation..have been contacted too and said no many times but I admit that all the times I saw the stuff from others I was in some way inspired to try. So far I haven been collaborated and collaborate with that online store you mentioned and my experience was positive all the times..I honestly have nothing to say against their behaviour with me as blogger but I can get the quantity is for them an important aspect. I hear your thoughts and I have to thank you for the post since for me was very useful. Anyway I use to collaborate with brands I really love..I think is something you learn with time as well as the "bothering" and really sick requests of follow for follow or of any other kind, which make me hating blogging sometimes. Have a nice evening dear! xo

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  6. This is so useful sweetie, thank you for sharing!

    Diana
    www.ManhattanImageandStyle.com
    New Blog Post: 5 Tips To Lose Weight Without Dieting

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  7. I love this post, I totally agree! As a fairly new blogger I have a guilty tendency to want to scope out any companies that want to work with me but I'll try to keep this in mind. ;) I totally agree about the Asian wholesale companies, they're really sketchy and unprofessional. :/ HOWEVER, I was recently contacted by one and actually had a really great experience. The person that worked with me was really sweet, answered all my emails in a timely manner, and was quite professional. She emailed me back after I did the review saying thank you and that it looked lovely. The product arrived quickly and there were no issues, AND it's super super good quality. As in, I was shocked at how good the quality was. So basically, there ARE exceptions, but yeah, the majority are kinda sketchy. I think you just have to be careful and use your own judgement. :)

    aclassystateofgrace.blogspot.com

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  8. Very interesting post, I've also just read Kristiana's. I have yet to collaborate! I regularly receive offers for fashion but since I'm not a fashion blogger, I ignore them. And the few that bother addressing me by my name, I will politely respond to and let them know that at this stage I'm not interested. I've even turned down cash where I was asked to write about a specific topic. If I accept a collaboration (in the future), it will have to be a top brand/company and my heart has to be in it 100%.

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  9. Nice tips ! Partnerships are not my priority but sometimes I accept when the brand corresponds to me ! :)

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  10. Excellently said Carmen, I loved reading your insight and 100% agree. I get spammed by these brand bullies so many times a week, I have learnt they really aren't interested in our blog content but more in their business and how much of it you will bring to them. I have never cooperated with any of them and portably won't in the future either. Great tips. You're a star blogger Carmen when it comes to posts like these

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  11. We'll done Carmen! I also receive lots of e-mail about cooperation which I choose to ignore. In my opinion, we just have to ask ourselves which direction we would like to take our Blog to? Are we for monetizing our Blog? I have read some really high quality and successful Blogs with no Ads or any Cooperations. Successful as in they have loyal readers who give meaningful comments. We really have to be careful who cooperate with and what we put in our Blogs.

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  12. interesting and true... anyway it's hard to make a true and bad review if you want to have a long term cooperation with a brand...! it happened to me once! Thanks for stopping by my blog! Got a new post in BLOG.THE.DREAMS.COM Hope you like it!

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  13. hahahaha! Loved this post!
    One of my rules is... they email saying Hi...or Dear (insert my name here)... then I give them a chance :). Still, Im super picky with their products. I work with two since a long time, and I have been doing ok... recently started working with a third, and had to tell them that the collaboration was over cause the products arrived broken!!! still, they asked if I could review the ones that did not break? Really?! Of course not!
    and of course, there are the others that keep on emailing... even though I said nein!
    xoxo

    Novelstyle

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  14. Carmen, this post was awesome! I work with a lot of brands, but I'm very selective. I've turned many companies down. I only work with companies I'm interested in. Bloggers really have to do their research.
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