Shop the Look:
Next month, I’ll be celebrating my 7-year blogiversary. How insane is that?
While I love sharing blogger tips and advice with you on a regular basis, I think it’s also important to mention some of my major blog fails here as well. Blogging is an interesting industry because I wasn’t able to take a class on it in college back in 2011 before I started. I just had to figure out this world for myself. Considering I started my blog as a 21-year-old who wasn’t well-versed in the professional world, there were bound to be some significant mishaps along the way.
Sit down, grab a coffee (or a glass of wine if it’s after 5 pm!), and learn how I botched my first, really big campaign.
The Campaign Deets
For starters, I’m not going to name any names and reveal which company it was. However, I will say that it was a few years ago, back when I was still working my 9-5.
I was super stoked to land this campaign: it was with a major brand, my highest paying campaign to date, it involved multiple different blog posts, a few Twitter chats, and a couple of other deliverables. Simple, right?
Where I Failed (Miserably)
Long story short? I was an unorganized mess, and at the time, I blamed my full-time job for getting in the way of me producing high-quality content — when I should have blamed myself.
A lot of things happened at that point in my life: the longtime photographer I worked with decided to stop shooting bloggers. I was working 9-10 hour days at my 9-5, and was overwhelmed with those projects. It was summer, so my friends wanted to go on spontaneous weekend trips — which left me little to no time to get blog things done. Understandably, sometimes real life gets in the way of blogging. However, those are not valid excuses to do a poor job on a campaign.
I ended up shooting the campaign myself with a tripod and my DSLR for the first post, and had my friend shoot me on an iPhone for the second post. Yup, this was for a major, major brand. It was pretty embarrassing. To add insult to injury, I RSVP’d to a media event during the time of the scheduled Twitter chat, and I wasn’t able to engage with the other influencers in the campaign during the chat like I should have.
What I Learned From My Mistakes
First things first: organization is key. As soon as I sign on to a campaign, I put every single due date in my CoSchedule Editorial Calendar to keep me on track. I also double up and have a Google Spreadsheet with info on all of my ongoing campaigns, since I am often working on at least a dozen projects at once time.
Second is communication. If I’m getting paid for a project, I’m a firm believer that I should deliver the brand high-quality work. Therefore, I always partner with professional photographers for sponsored campaigns. Me shooting on a tripod or getting my friend to snap photos on an iPhone is unacceptable. If I couldn’t find a photographer to shoot by the campaign deadline, I should have requested an extension from the brand. I don’t always like to ask for extensions, but sometimes it is necessary.
How to Bounce Back After a Failed Campaign
Have I ever worked with that influencer marketing company ever again after I botched that campaign? Sadly, no.
I was upset at myself for a while after this campaign. However, mistakes do happen sometimes — blogging is such a new industry, and working with major brands on campaigns isn’t something that is going to 100% come naturally to us. However, I’ve learned something from every campaign I’ve done. I’ve learned what’s a realistic timeline for me to complete projects. What scope of work is reasonable. How to negotiate and tailor campaigns to fit my audience and capabilities.
It’s okay to slip up and make mistakes here and there. All you can do is learn from your mishaps, and come back strong later.
Photos by Tom McGovern