I recently led a panel discussion at the 2014 Haven Blogger Conference and one of the topics we addressed was misperceptions brands have of bloggers and bloggers of brands. So, if you’re a brand getting ready to work with a blogger or if you’re a blogger working with a brand, keep these seven common misperceptions in mind to increase your chances of success.

Misperceptions About Bloggers

Bloggers work for free.

That couldn’t be further from the truth. However, compensation doesn’t always mean dollar signs. As a brand, you need to offer one of two things:  cash or content. Quality content is what fuels successful blogs. If you’re interested in exploring earned opportunities vs. paid sponsored content, we coach our clients to provide bloggers with unique, compelling content that they can’t get anywhere else. And that doesn’t mean a press release!

A post is guaranteed.

If you’re a brand and you’re looking for a guaranteed positive placement, buy some ad space or do a sponsored post. Bloggers write about products and brands they like. If you’re not compensating a blogger with fee, never demand a review and don’t dictate the content you want the blogger to write about. Suggestions are helpful, but authenticity is critical.

Bloggers love free stuff.

Okay, who doesn’t love free stuff, but honestly, it’s not about collecting more branded pens or T-shirts. Make sure everything you send to a blogger serves a purpose, or has content value.

Misperceptions About Brands

Brands move fast.

Sometimes, yes, they can move fast. But more times than not, a relationship takes time. If you’re working on a project and need content, product or an interview, make sure you give the brand enough time to support you.  It takes longer than you think!

Brands and blogger relationships are short term.

Yes, if you want them to be. But the most successful relationships are sustainable. Figure out what you want out of the relationship and stay in contact with the brands you love. Once you’ve made it past their gatekeepers, you have an in, so make sure the relationship is mutually beneficial. Same goes for brands. Once you’ve found a good blogger to work with, never let them go. Find ways to sustain the relationship.

Brands only care about reach.

If a brand only cares about reach, they shouldn’t be investing in blogger relations, they should buy media placements. The great thing about working with bloggers is how much your readers look up to you for support, recommendations, inspiration.

This is just the surface level of the many misperceptions out there. Got any that I missed? I’d love to hear from you. What other misperceptions have you experienced with working with brands and bloggers?

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