The Business Behind Blogging
Why should businesses work with bloggers?
The number one reason a business should work with a blogger is the clout they hold. I feel like I’m talking to my friends when I’m blogging (I am, right??) – and I would never steer them wrong. I’m incredibly selective about the products that I talk about. So, I have formed a sort of trust with my readers. I think they know that I’m always on the lookout for the next great thing, and I am going to tell them about it as soon as I find it. It’s also a much more effective form of advertising than buying an ad in a magazine! Bloggers and people in the industry have an eye for styling photos. In my opinion, it can be equally as important for a business to come out of a collaboration with a blogger with content they are proud to share on their social channels. Finally, it’s fun! Working within a world that you may not previously have known can open your eyes to all kinds of new opportunities and perspectives. – Annie Reeves, AnnieReeves.com
Working with bloggers give businesses + brands a wider reach, as a broader, more varied audience will see their products. Bloggers are easier to relate to than traditional print or TV ads as blog posts give products and brands a more “lifestyle” approach. Bloggers can take an item and give it “life” helping readers see it in a new way. – Gillian Ellis, Coastal Bride
Good news spreads like wildfire, especially on the internet. If a business sends a product to a blogger and he or she features it on her blog and Instagram account, that has to be the least expensive marketing they possibly could get, right? Most consumers want to know what other people think about a product before they buy it. If I were to see one of my favorite bloggers feature a product and share positive reviews on her blog, I would want to try the product myself! (That happens a lot to me, actually!) – Megan Stokes, Holy City Chic
What should businesses expect from a collaboration with a blogger?
I recently worked with Haute Hanger on their Hanger to Home program. It was incredibly authentic (I used to work at the store!), and I felt like both parties benefitted from the collaboration. They laid out their expectations in a contract up front, and I met those terms and conditions. Businesses should expect a professional relationship with bloggers. At the end of the collaboration, they were provided with plenty of photos and content to share with their audience, and hopefully new customers that read my blog. Both of those things are incredibly valuable! Also, I see my relationship with Haute Hanger as being an ongoing partnership with AnnieReeves.com – which is beneficial to both parties! – Annie Reeves, AnnieReeves.com
I recently collaborated with Lindt LINDOR Truffles on two campaigns. Lindt is a high-end chocolate brand and I wanted to infuse their products into weddings in an organic and elegant fashion. For my first campaign I created floral arrangements using their truffles and for the second I created “will you be my bridesmaid” boxes centered on their truffles, which included a printable PDF. Businesses should expect bloggers to create a post that focuses on their company in a unique light, helping readers see another aspect or use of their product. For example, you may enjoy eating chocolates, but perhaps you’ve never considered including them in your wedding décor. Businesses should also expect bloggers to fully support the collaboration by sharing across all of their social media platforms, ensuring a large audience sees the blog posts. – Gillian Ellis, Coastal Bride
I recently collaborated with a resort who provided complimentary accommodations for me and my husband in exchange for a blog post and social media mentions. After that, I’ve had so many people contact me about planning a trip to that particular resort! I think businesses should expect the blogger to stay true to his or her voice—actually they should encourage it because it breeds authenticity. They should also expect to receive a mutual arrangement that is beneficial to both parties. A valuable trade should be reciprocated by the blogger in the form of beautiful imagery, a detailed blog feature, thoughtful social media promotion, and consistent communication throughout the process. – Megan Stokes, Holy City Chic
What do you offer your readers?
Well, I would say it’s two-fold. One, I love providing beautiful content. When I’m looking at blogs or exploring the Internet in general, I want to look at visually appealing things. I love having a place to post all of the photos I take – not just the ones that make it to Instagram. Two, I think that people appreciate a place where they can go and find a curated spot to shop. If someone relates to my style, they know that they can go and find great deals, things that fit well, and (of course) pretty things I have my eye on. I consider online shopping to be part of the job (I know, tough life!), so I spend a large chunk of time each day working on that. Most people don’t have time (or justification) for looking through pages and pages of Shopbop or Nordstrom new arrivals. So, I see myself as a resource for my readers! – Annie Reeves, AnnieReeves.com
My hope is to be more than just an average wedding blog. I like to call Coastal Bride a “wedding lifestyle” blog. I want my readers to find fresh ideas to entertain and plan for a wedding. – Gillian Ellis, Coastal Bride
When I first started blogging, I found a few bloggers that I really felt a connection with—maybe we shared similar interests or lived in the same area. I enjoyed following their blogs daily because, as silly as it may sound, I felt as though I knew these bloggers like they were my friends! That’s how I hope to benefit my readers. I always strive to be an authentic voice, to always share content that I personally love, and to give my readers that same friendly feeling. – Megan Stokes, Holy City Chic
About the Bloggers.
Annie Reeves (left) is a twenty three year old girl navigating life in charming Charleston, South Carolina. She’s a big fan of any and all things spicy, rarely wears anything but neutrals and is eternally searching for the perfect iPhone snap. She is also the founder of AnnieReeves.com.
Gillian Ellis (right) works as a photographer where she has the pleasure of photographing happy couples as they say I do every weekend! Her work has been published in a variety of publications including Style Me Pretty, Charleston Weddings Magazine, Southern Weddings Magazine and The Everygirl. Recently she founded The Charleston Blog Society to connect local bloggers.
Megan Stokes (left) is the author of Holy City Chic, a lifestyle blog that features content on style, home, and beauty. Born and raised in South Carolina, Megan affectionately named her blog as a nod to her love of Charleston, where she currently lives with her husband. Megan is also the beauty editor at The Everygirl, a website aimed to inspire career-driven women.
Photography: Kelli Boyd Photography