I’m a little overdue for a blogging tips post, and this lesson in particular is a *big* one that I’ve learned over the last couple of months.
I think that one of the major keys to becoming a successful blogger is choosing campaigns that are a right fit for you, and also knowing that a campaign that might have been a great fit a year ago or even six months ago might not be a great fit for you today. The more your blog grows and the more opportunities hit your inbox, you as a blogger are going to need to learn how to say “no” way more often.
This is something I’ve struggled with over the last few months, but going into the latter half of 2016 I’ve got my head in the game. How on earth can you tell if a campaign is a good fit for you? Read on, my friends. Read on.
Go by the law of “Heck Yes!” or “Heck No!”
If an opportunity hits your inbox, read it over and figure out what your reaction is. Ideally, you’re going to want to have a “Heck Yes!” reaction. If you’re pumped about a campaign from the start, that’s a pretty good sign that you should learn more about it. Disclaimer: never fully commit to anything without knowing the all of the details, always ask to “learn more” about an opportunity.
If you get an opportunity that makes you go “meh,” or even “I don’t know” — ding ding ding, that campaign is most likely NOT a fit for you. If your heart isn’t in a campaign, it will show. Politely decline the opportunity and move on to the next!
Do you have the time to do it?
This one has been like, the hardest lesson for me to learn as someone who has a full-time job and spends ~2 hours a day commuting. If you’re given a lengthy contract for a campaign, for the love of god: please, please please read the fine print. I recently signed up for a campaign that ended up being several days worth of work and I wasn’t aware of it because I didn’t read the contract all the way through. If a contract is several pages long, take at least 48 hours to read it through, re-read it, get a second opinion, etc. Also, if the campaign involves any travel, or if it requires you to hire a photographer to get shots done — keep this in mind! All of those things will take up additional time.
Are you being compensated fairly?
This is a situation where you should know your worth as a blogger. Sit down and look at every detail of the campaign. Figure out how long a campaign will take you. Figure out how much it will cost on your end to produce a campaign. If a company’s offering you a $50 dress, but you have to pay your photographer $35 per outfit and you’re spending 3-4 hours writing, editing and promoting the post — do you really want that dress? Most of the time for me it’s a big fat no, however, if I already have a relationship with a brand, or if I’m really passionate about the brand, I’m a little more inclined to support them. Also: don’t be afraid to negotiate compensation!
Will the product/service appeal to your audience?
Will your audience really care about what your talking about? Think about posts you’ve done in the past that have been home-runs, and think about posts that have been complete strikeouts. Know your audience and don’t alienate them because you saw a big fat payday from a campaign.
Are you able to tell a unique story in this campaign?
This is another situation where you need to read a contract and/or campaign prompt thoroughly. Unfortunately, some campaigns, you won’t really be able to tell how much wiggle room you have until its too late, but just know to never partner with that company ever again if that’s the case. For example, I was pretty mortified one time when a company pre-scripted tweets on my behalf for a Twitter Chat. Like, really? I was participating in a Twitter Chat with someone else’s words — I was put in a situation where I was unable to be authentic in a campaign, and that’s a huge no-no for me!
Last little note of advice: don’t hesitate to ask a ton of the questions before signing onto a campaign! You should know every single little detail of a campaign before signing on. Some companies are better at communicating campaign details than others, so don’t feel bad if you have to go through several rounds of emails to nail down campaign details. Happy blogging!