For Sponsors: Blogger Compensation

By Sara Urquhart. Photography for Lonny Magazine.

This post is a part of our blogging series for sponsors. See the rest of the series right here.

Remember that bloggers are small business owners. Approach them as partners that can offer you great value, and with whom you can build long-lasting relationships that are good for both of you.

Expect different levels of compensation for different bloggers. Someone who is just starting out may be happy to do some work for trade, but keep in mind that for most bloggers, this is their job. Typically, employees don’t work for gift cards or product. Although blogging is a relatively new and non-traditional form of advertising, it’s hard work and if you want a blogger to work for you, you must be prepared to offer financial compensation.

It’s appropriate for either the sponsor or the blogger to start the compensation conversation. If you have a set budget for your project, you can include that in your original pitch to the blogger. Or you can ask to view the blogger’s media kit or request for an estimate for the kind of campaign you have in mind. Remember, it’s important to communicate the end result you’re seeking and craft your agreement around that specific goal.

Selling By Storytelling

This post is sponsored by Squarespace.

By Seine Kim.

Though mass-manufactured products sold in big-box retailers are still as prevalent as ever, an interesting parallel has begun to take shape. More and more people are starting to question where their purchases are coming from and how they’re made. Simply look at the emergence of local farmers’ markets in major cities, or the continuous popularity of Etsy. There is a real desire to seek out small-batch, hand-crafted, artistic products. Some of us prefer products lovingly created by dedicated craftspeople, as opposed to those that appear at the end of a factory conveyor belt.

If you’re a small business, or a creative shop trying to market your wares online, this can often work to your advantage. Selling online is now easier than ever, with a myriad of services offering the means to do so. There are certain advantages to working with an established marketplace – you can get set up easily and quickly, and belonging to such networks can help you and your products get noticed. However, having your very own online store gives you far more control over the look, feel, and the overall shopping experience you provide to your visitors.

For Sponsors: How to Approach a Blogger

By Sara Urquhart. Photography by Barena Venezia.

This post is a part of our blogging series for sponsors. See the rest of the series right here.

Partnering with bloggers is a great way to build exposure for your brand, and since the blogging space is fairly new and many companies will be approaching bloggers for the first time this year, we’ve created a series of posts for sponsors about how to create effective and mutually beneficial relationships with bloggers.

First, research. You must know the type of blogger you’re approaching and be familiar with the type of content she writes about. All bloggers who are mothers are not necessarily mommy bloggers. If you pitch mommy products to a design blogger, the pitch falls on deaf ears and wastes the blogger’s time and your own. When you carefully research the right bloggers for your brand, you’re building long term relationships that make your current and future campaigns more successful.

For Sponsors: Brand Ambassadors – Lessons from Dating

By Sara Urquhart. Photography via Ruffled.

A brand ambassador is someone who promotes your brand in the world of social media. Ideally, she’s a person who already uses and talks about your products, but she can also be someone who would authentically use your products once she’s introduced to your brand. We couldn’t help but notice some parallels between finding brand ambassadors and courting a special someone.

First, find the right person. Look for anyone who’s already saying nice things about you and your brand, either through your Twitter name or a hashtag about your product. Look for people who mention you in positive ways often. You can also look for people who are pinning and re-pinning your products on Pinterest, or posting about you on Instagram.

Maybe you have the perfect blogger in mind, but she doesn’t even know you’re alive? Before you set up a blind date, do some research about how she does engage with brands. What does it look like on her blog and Twitter? Look at her media kit and prepare your approach based on what you’ve learned.

Adding Music to Your Online Videos

By Jenner BrownPhotography by Cuba Gallery.

So you’ve decided to make the leap into creating amazing video content for your blog–high five! You’ve got your DSLR, your concept, your uninhibited creative savvy-style, and a great eye for details. You’ve even shot your video and are now assembling a masterpiece with Sundance on speed-dial.

What about the music?

Before you reach for that Justin Bieber techno-remix to overlay your macaroon tutorial video, you should know that there are a lot of rules about music when it comes to online video. It can be complicated and confusing to sort it all out.

Adding to the dilemma is the unsettling fact that online content can live forever, including your videos. Once you post something you have no idea who will see it or where it may be downloaded. With any luck your video will go viral and get embedded all over the internet, drawing waves of viewers to your blog. When it comes to copyrighted content like photos and music, it’s simply wise to be on the cautious side.

From Blog to Shop: 4 Lessons from Bloggers in E-commerce

By Janette Crawford, Beth Giles, Mackenzie Horan & Piper Toth.

When we started planning our Blog to Shop panel for Alt, we had no idea how much we would learn just from each other. We had such a great time sharing what we’ve learned over the years, and the audience seemed to love it as well. Here are our main points, as well as a few top tips from the panel:

1) Sell without selling out

  • Start by selling products you’re passionate about – your passion will come through in the way you talk about them, which will feel natural 
  • Find a balance between what you love and what sells 
  • Don’t sell something just because it’s popular 
  • Let go of what you love, if no one else does 
  • Talk about your product in an authentic and organic way — how the product plays into your lifestyle 
  • Promote other people’s products that are a complement, not competition, to your own 
  • Feature the brands/makers on your blog 
  • Talk to your audience like they’re your best friends; your recommendations feel like word of mouth