12 Reasons Bloggers Don’t Want To Work With Brands (Part II)

Last week, you were introduced to a blog post titled “12 Reasons Bloggers Don’t Want To Work With Brands (Part I)”.

In this post, we shared information that was gathered through a survey where 500+ bloggers were asked questions regarding the relationships they’ve formed with brands in the past.

Well, that post only included the first six reasons. We’ve got six more reasons why bloggers don’t want to work with you, and they have just as much relevance as the ones you read about in part I. Let’s jump in!

7. Your Brand Isn’t ‘Socially Minded / Responsible / Eco-Friendly’

In a perfect world, every company on the planet would have core values revolving around being socially responsible or eco-friendly. In today’s day and age, consumers are practically expecting brands to support causes.

If you don’t believe us, here’s an article backed by several case studies that states people today are spending more on brands that have a social purpose.

Many companies are responding to this shift in ways that integrate social causes fully into their business and marketing strategies. Bloggers and their readers are in a sense consumers in this respect. If you’re a company that is socially responsible, let everyone know! Just like consumers, there’s a greater chance bloggers will respond to what you’re doing.

Romina, who writes about living green and health promotion on her blog Just Another Hat, tells us:

“Since I focus on green living, I look for companies that manufacture eco-friendly products, are socially responsible, or give back to the community/charitable donations. I also look for their past relationship with bloggers (i.e. if they have sponsored blogs before).”

8. You Have Poor Email Etiquette

If you’re emailing a blogger for the first time and you shoot the email off with the first line of the message saying ‘Dear Blogger’, you’re losing already. You’re losing by a lot.

A blogger can tell what a relationship might be like with a brand through that first email contact. When you write a blogger with an intro like ‘Dear Blogger’, you’re saying that ‘I want to work with the blogger, but I don’t care enough to look at their site to even find their first name’. First impressions are king, and if you’re firing off these emails, you’re making it appear that your strategy is a ‘spray and pray’ approach. It doesn’t sound like you care too much about getting to know them.

Jen, who writes about balancing work, school, and family, with a special focus on natural parenting at her site Life With Levi, explains that:

“How the company rep treats me helps me decide whether to work with them or not. Addressing me as ‘Dear BLOGGER’ will get less preference than ‘Hi Jen’ or even just ‘Hi!’”

Finally, it shouldn’t have to be said, but proper grammar goes a long way. Jeanette of It’s Jeanette writes:

“Because all of my contact is through email, the first thing that pops into my head is grammar. If you write me a pitch letter that my 5 year old can write better, I’m just going to delete it.”

9. You Are A Poor Communicator

Nothing makes us more upset than watching a blogger enter a relationship with a brand and shortly thereafter, the brand manager falls off the face of the earth. If you’re working with a blogger that is promoting your product and you have poor communication, the blogger will think to themselves “wow, if my experience communicating with the brand is this bad, I shudder to think of the difficulties regular customers might encounter.

Becca, a blogger who ‘makes the world a better place…one cupcake at a time’ at her blog It’s Yummilicious talks about her best and worst experiences of working with brands:

“I was given the opportunity to demo and do a review post for a food product.  The company’s marketing team was a complete joy to work with, very professional, helpful, and they had great communication.

My worst experience was a company that wanted me to endorse their product.  They sent me coupons for free samples for myself and my readers, but they had an unacceptably poor response time to my email inquiries, their product wasn’t offered in enough market areas to make it easy to promote, and the company gave me no assistance or ideas on how to engage people outside of the areas where the product is available.”

10. Your Brand Has No Social Media Presence

If your brand’s social presence is poor (or even worse, non-existent), that means you probably don’t understand social media. If your brand doesn’t get social media, you probably won’t understand blog outreach fundamentals. Bloggers will pick up on that and turn elsewhere when deciding to partner with you or not.

Bloggers have told us that before deciding to partner with a brand, scanning their Twitter and Facebook profiles is a must. It helps them decide if the brand uses social media outlets like a megaphone or as a way to have conversations with their followers.

When Rachel of ‘Rachel’s Giveaways’ was asked ‘What are some characteristics you look for in a company when deciding to form a relationship with them?’, she answered:

“My interest in the product, their social media engagement level, if they’ve worked with bloggers in the past, whether or not it’s a brand I feel could benefit from this type of promotion.”

11. You’re Not Interested In Creating A Mutual Relationship

When a brand decides to partner with a blog, it’s just that: a partnership. In an extremely high-level analysis, brands want to grow their business, and bloggers want to grow their readership.

If a brand goes out of their way to help bloggers meet their goals, bloggers will be that much more enthusiastic about their partnership. So before bloggers decide to work with a brand, they ask themselves: do these brands share content that the blogger creates? If you enter in a relationship with a blogger, good brands will share the blogger’s posts as much as the blogger will share their thoughts on the brand.

So if you’re a brand, remember that blogs have goals too. Next time a blog post is written by a blogger on your behalf, pay it forward! I bet the folks that like your brand on Facebook would be really interested reading what the blogger has to say.

When asked about the best experience working with a brand, Teresha of Marlie and Me tells us:

The best experience I’ve had working with a company is one that is ongoing. It’s a skincare brand and it’s a mutually beneficial relationship. When I run giveaways, they tweet/FB share to their followers too. They care about me getting exposure too.

12. You’re Approaching Blogs Without A Clear, Organized Strategy

Suppose you’re going over to your best friend’s house because he or she has something to tell you. You walk into their house and a conversation sparks up:

Your best friend: “Let’s go on a vacation! I’m paying for it and you’re coming with me.

You: “That’s awesome! Where are we going?

Your best friend: “How about the Cayman Islands? You love the Cayman Islands.

You: “I certainly do – that would be great! Where are we staying? How long? What airline?”

Your best friend: “Leave it to me! I’ll figure out all the fine details… don’t worry about it. We’re leaving in 4 weeks.

Three weeks go by, and your friend hasn’t bought the plane tickets. After you call them, they finally get a flight. After getting the flight, you realize you don’t have other essentials: a car rental, a hotel, what you’ll be doing when you get there, etc. It hits you: your ‘dream vacation’ is going to be a hassle. With a week left before your flight, all hotels on the island are booked and the only car you can rent is a full size SUV that costs $163 a day. Push comes to shove, at least you can sleep in the car!

Your friend steps in: “But you’re going to the Cayman Islands!

Doesn’t matter… nothing is in place, you have no strategy, and now the vacation is going to be anything but stress-free.

If you’re working with bloggers: have a clear, organized strategy before forming a relationship. Have a goal in mind, be organized, and communicate your plan with the bloggers that you decide to work with.

Thanks For Reading!

The objective of this article was to share some insights on what it’s like from a blogger’s perspective when they choose to partner with a brand. If you are a blogger or a brand that has worked with bloggers, share your experiences in the comments below, we’d love to hear them!

We love our bloggers that have been so passionate about telling us their stories. We’re also interested in hearing perspectives from brands as well.

Every Wednesday of each week moving forward, you’ll be introduced to a new brand that we’ve been fortunate to come across and work with in what we’re calling the ‘Rafflecopter Brand Showcase’. Brands will be able to speak up about what they’re looking for when partnering with a blogger.

If you’re a brand interested in hearing more how Rafflecopter hopes to help you work with bloggers in a more effective way, sign up to hear more at brands.rafflecopter.com. We’d love to talk!

Hopefully you’ve found this article helpful!

About the author

Greg Goodson

Greg Goodson is the cofounder of Rafflecopter, the world's easiest way to run a giveaway online. Follow his shenanigans, ramblings, and memes on Twitter at @GregGoodson.

  • ModaMama

    I appreciate these two posts so much!  I’ve had a brand of industrial office suppliers contact me with “Dear Blogger” and offer freebies for me to review.  Have you read my blog?  I’m neither crafty, office oriented or anything – I’m an actor, photography and fashion blogger.  How would I need to review 10,000 free paperclips????

  • http://twitter.com/knitwitshair Shari Goss

    Thank you for posting this!  Yes you are right Dear Blogger, or writing Dear Shelly (um I can understand Shair, but Shelly????), doesn’t send good vibes.  Oh and yes, please read the blog.  I have 3 boys and am in Canada, it is stated all over the place.  I have had more companies offer me girl only products, or products they only ship to the US to review.  Most say sorry I bothered you, but I have had some say “well can you just go set up a mailbox in the US for this?”

  • http://closertolucy.com/ Closer to Lucy

    Like, like, like, and like! All very valid and true points. My biggest issue is with rep turnover and follow through…a dime a dozen. I have one brand that I jumped in head first and have busted my back for during the holiday season, with free blog tours and blogger connections, when the rep changed it was like I was nobody. When I finally found the new contact she was rude and blatantly dishonest. I’ve gone back and forth about telling my readers that I’ve rethought my endorsement of the brand and am no longer in love with them. If they were treat someone with a proven record of loyalty so poorly, how are they treating those that have yet to be established. Honesty is just as important as your product.

  • Happydealhappyday

    It was great reading this!  It’s nice to remind us bloggers that we don’t need to be walked all over by brands that we want to work with or vice versa.  We are a brand ourselves and  we just want a mutualistic relationship with those we work with!

    • http://twitter.com/rafflecopter Rafflecopter

      Your comment reminded me of a post we ran across yesterday: http://www.prweekus.com/you-have-one-brand–not-personal-or-professional/article/236617/ How true is that?

  • BeccaHeflin

    Thanks so much to the Rafflecopter crew for your hard work on this awesome article!
    I’d love to see a similar article with tips from Brands to Bloggers on what they’re looking for, who at the company we should be reaching out to, what to expect upon initial contact, etc.

    • http://twitter.com/rafflecopter Rafflecopter

      Thanks Becca – totally read our minds :)

  • Amy

    Thanks again Rafflecopter crew for another excellent article voicing our opinions!  I very much agree with Becca that an article directed to bloggers about brands would be a wonderful idea for the future.

  • http://www.solitarywanderer.com/ Aleah | SolitaryWanderer.com

    I agree 100% with number 8. I’d turned down a brand once because their PR person (or whoever was writing the email) called me another blogger’s name–a clear copy and paste effort that wasn’t even proofread!

  • http://www.iamtypecast.com Nickie

    Number 8 is probably the biggest bugbear amongst bloggers.

    Re your number 10 – had a very special email a few days ago from a company wanting me to write a post for them and they would retweet to their 1000 followers. I offered them the opportunity to write about me and I would retweet to my 2800 followers 

    I’m still awaiting their response *ahem* 

  • Heidi

    While I enjoyed these two articles I really must say that you left off one of the most important things. Compensation. I really dislike when a brand expects me to promote them for free. My time is money and I don’t work for free. Many think that bloggers are a source of free advertising. I think it is unprofessional to ask a blogger to write an article, host a giveaway, and yes even review a product without compensation. What that compensation should be is up in the air. But if you are working with large site/blog the compensation should be more. So many brands I am contacted by have no advertising budget to work with. I am sure brand reps don’t work for free for the love of the company, and neither do I!

  • @MimiBakerMN

    I love when I get emails that are directed to the name of the gal who designed my blog, 2 yrs ago, but I’ve had a new designer since the end of last year. LOL Love being called Crissy. Hello trash folder!

    • http://thecinnamonhollow.com/ Crystal M

      I am CONSTANTLY being called Cinnamon instead of Crystal because my blog is Cinnamon Hollow, even though my actual name is at the end of every single one of my posts, lol Seriously though, they think my NAME is Cinnamon Hollow????

      • http://twitter.com/SavedXgraceblog Christine Tolhurst

        I get called “Grace” because my blog’s name is “Saved By Grace”. My name is not only included in my signature, but also the “about me” section on the top of my sidebar and I sign all my emails with it lol.

  • Tiffany

    Great article. Now if we could just get every brand to read this. I tweeted. I wanted to share. I agree with all 10.

    • http://twitter.com/rafflecopter Rafflecopter

      Thanks for helping us spread the word far and wide :)

  • Glamorganicgoddess

    Thanks for writing about this… awesome post! This topic is so important! xo <3

  • MrsAshley

    How about no compensation? That’s by far my biggest complaint! Do they work for a bag of cookies? Nope and I don’t either.

    • http://twitter.com/rafflecopter Rafflecopter

      Well, I guess it depends on what kind of cookies we’re talkin’ about. #sweettooth :P Thanks for reading, Ashley! :)

      • http://www.theluckyladybug.net/ Cheryl Free

         I work with brands to give something back to my readers, and I usually  receive a free product to try out first.  That’s enough compensation for me!

        I’m not blogging for an income!

    • http://www.losingitandlovingit.com/blog Angie Newton

      Totally agree!  I do blog for a living so it’s very important to me to be compensated for my time. But there are also times that I will be happy to promote a company without anything in return.

  • Passporttofrugal

    Love this post. #8 is a real stickler for me. We actually all of them are. Thanks!