Wednesday, 12 December 2018

The Small Blogger's Guide To Sponsored Posts: 5 Things No One Tells You About Brand Collaborations

The Small Blogger's Guide To Sponsored Posts: 5 Things No One Tells You About Brand Collaborations

With Christmas on the horizon and the end of the year in sight, I thought I would snap to it and bring you the final instalment in my small blogger's guide to sponsored posts, part of my wider Working With Brands series. I'm really happy that this series has proved to be so popular with so many of you - I guess you enjoy reading about other people's blogging experiences as much as I do! I will be bringing you more about working with brands in 2019, as well as more about blogging in general, but today, I'm going to conclude my guide to sponsored posts by focussing on what happens in the final stages of a (paid) brand collaboration. While it might feel as though everything is done and dusted once you've finished editing your content, there are still a few important things that happen afterwards, and, in my experience, there isn't a huge amount of information out there to help new and smaller bloggers with this particular part of the process. So, in this post, I'm going to shed some light on the 5 things no one tells you about brand collaborations.

Before I begin, I want to make my usual disclaimer - I am not a big blogger, but I do have a fair amount of experience when it comes to working on sponsored posts. I also understand the particular issues smaller bloggers face in trying to produce professional quality work without the resources available to bigger influencers, so I really hope that I can benefit others by sharing my experiences. If you're new to the series, I recommend you check out my my earlier instalments, 6 Important Questions To Ask Before You Start and 5 Tips For A Successful Brand Collaboration before moving on to this one.

Yellow Christmas Party Dress

5 Things No One Tells You About Sponsored Posts


1. The Brand Might Not Respect Your Schedule


With some sponsored posts, you are free to hit publish on your content without getting final approval from the brand, but usually, in my experience, your first deadline will be to submit a draft, so that the brand or PR can check it over before giving you the go-ahead to post it on your blog. And even though you might have taken care to leave yourself plenty of time for any possible amendments, it doesn't mean that they will! On more than one occasion, I've had to wait until the eleventh hour to receive feedback, and have been left frantically trying to incorporate the requested changes the night before the post is set to go live. 

This isn't ideal for anyone, but can be especially tricky for smaller bloggers who are probably juggling the work with a full time job. Unfortunately, there isn't a lot you can do about it except keep your own work well within the timescale and potentially be prepared for a late night! Ultimately, if we are serious about earning from our blogs then we should be prepared to see them as a real business, and those take hard work and a certain amount of sacrifice. These kind of situations are part of the reality of sponsored posts and my best advice is to grit your teeth and get on with it. However, if it is getting really close to the wire and you have other commitments which may result in a potential clash then a polite email to let the brand know is probably a good idea.

Yellow Christmas Party Dress

2. Promoting The Post Can Be As Stressful As Writing It


I always breathe a sigh of relief when a sponsored post is signed off and scheduled for publication... and then I remember that I also have to create promotional tweets and Instagram posts for it, and for some reason I can often find this just as stressful. Have I chosen the right photo? Have I included all the information I need in the caption? Have I spelled the campaign hashtag correctly? Sometimes, brands want social posts to go live at certain times, and of course, with Instagram, that means you need to be available to do it. When faced with the prospect of creating a whole blog post for a brand, it can be easy to dismiss the social media promotion as something you can easily throw together afterwards, but this is a mistake, and will leave you feeling unnecessarily under pressure when the time comes to promote your post. Instead, devote some time to planning out your social posts in advance, paying particular attention to any requirements the brand may have, the correct spelling of their handle and any hashtags they want you to use. And of course, don't forget to include #ad!

Long Sleeved Party Dress

3. Published The Post? Expect Radio Silence From The Brand/PR


When the post is live, promotion has gone out, you have emailed the link to the brand and they are happy, there is only one thing left for them to do, and that is pay you. For some reason, it is at precisely this moment that I find my brand/PR contact can often be remarkably quiet, even if they've communicated very well up till now. I don't know if bigger bloggers find the same, but it can sometimes feel as though they disappear once they've got what they want, and while they may have replied promptly to every email during the collaboration process, the final one I send, containing the link to the finished piece and my hope that all is OK, can often be met with radio silence. While this can seem somewhat rude, it's best not to take it personally. It has happened to me often enough to realise that it is fairly common, and I have gone on to work with many of the brands again, so I'm pretty confident that they don't hate my work! Like everyone else, they are busy, and with the post published, it means that your contact gets to tick off a task from their to do list. In most cases, it will be an entirely different department that deals with the payment side of things, so your contact has probably passed on your details to them before cracking on with their next project.

River Island Yellow Midi Dress

4. Waiting Ages To Get Paid Is Normal


Most brands work to a certain payment schedule, which means that there will be a fixed day of the month when they pay their invoices for that month. So regardless of the date you publish your post, you will have to wait until the next payment run to get paid. Details of payment will normally be discussed before you agree to the work, so you should at least have an idea of when you can expect to receive your fee, but if not, I would say that one month after the publication date is an acceptable time to send a polite email about it. 

In my experience, following publication of a sponsored post, the brand will either send you an invoice to fill in, or you can submit your own. It doesn't have to be fancy, just make sure that you include your name and address, details of the account you want the fee paid into, a brief description of the work done and the fee agreed. You can also state the payment date if you've been given one, otherwise, I usually put a payment date of 30 days after the date I submit the invoice. (This doesn't guarantee you'll be paid by then, but it gives you some support should you find you need to chase for payment once the date has passed.)

The Small Blogger's Guide To Sponsored Posts: 5 Things No One Tells You About Brand Collaborations

I have never not been paid for a sponsored post, although I did once have to wait about three months. However, that was unusual, and the brand remained communicative and apologetic throughout. As I recommended in my first post on the subject, you should make sure you have confirmation of the fee in writing from the brand before starting work, but it's unlikely that you will have to resort to using it.

5. Finishing The Post Doesn't Have To Be The End Of The Story


Once you have been paid, it can be easy to forget all about the collaboration and move on, however, you could be missing an opportunity. You have now established a relationship with a brand, and hopefully they are pleased with the outcome of your collaboration. Following payment, I will always email my contact to say thank you, express how much I enjoyed working on the campaign and let them know I am open to future collaborations. And, on occasion, I have had the same brands come back to me with new projects. One thing I have not yet done as a blogger is pitch to brands for work - I always wait for them to approach me. However, this is definitely something I want to start doing in the future, and if it's something you're thinking about too, the contacts you have already made are the perfect place to start. They might not be in a position to offer you another campaign straight away, but making sure you stay on their radar as you continue to grow your blog at least keeps open the possibility of working with them again in the future.

The Small Blogger's Guide To Sponsored Posts: 5 Things No One Tells You About Brand Collaborations

Shop The Look 


I really hope you found these tips useful. If you've worked on sponsored posts, what did you wish you had known beforehand?

Kate x

Some links may be affiliate links. All opinions, as always, are my own.
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27 comments

  1. I absolutely love the dress! You look gorgeous

    Candice | NatalyaAmour.com

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  2. Your dress is beautiful!
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena
    www.dressedwithsoul.com

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  3. I LOVE this series!

    It's so interesting to see things from a different perspective.

    Jess
    The Crown Wings | UK Travel & Lifestyle Blog

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  4. Great tips, Kate! I can imagine that it must be stressful if you have to wait until the last minute to make changes! xx

    Beautylymin | Makeup Bundle Giveaway

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    Replies
    1. Yes it is! It doesn't always happen but it's a bit of a nightmare when it does! x

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  5. I love this so much! Such good tips! Working with brands can be a mine field, but worth it overall :)

    Erin || MakeErinOver

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  6. Yes always follow up with a brand after you work with them!! I once was paid 60 days late from a sponsored post. They were net 30 and I didn't get it in time!

    Jennifer
    Effortlessly Sophisticated

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    Replies
    1. Yep, this can happen. Must be awful if you are really relying on that money! x

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  7. A very helpful insight in what happens after you have gone through agreeing on and creating a sponsored post. Writing my own invoice isn´t something I have gotten used to yet, it still feels strange.

    Anne|Linda, Libra, Loca

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    Replies
    1. Luckily my husband knew how to do this, so he created a template for me - I wouldn't have had a clue otherwise! x

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  8. your tips are amazing and I will definitely take it into consideration! i did my first sponsered post this year and I have been blogging for five years!! i was also very surprised at how quickly they paid considering i hear so many stories about how people dont get paid for months on end xx

    www.cristyjadelydia.com

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    Replies
    1. Yay well done! And yes I have had some brands pay me straight away, and with others it's taken ages, so it's pot luck really! x

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  9. This dress is a dream!! The color looks amazing on you Kate!!! x

    Yiota
    https://pinkdaisyloves.blogspot.com/

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  10. Love your yellow dress, you look beautiful! I found myself nodding along as I was reading your tips, especially the bit about promoting it, which I personally find a lot more tedious than writing the post itself! I've been lucky enough where I haven't had to chase down any payment, except for the whole fiasco with that big agency that shut down out of the blue a year ago. Luckily I wasn't owed much, but I know a lot of bloggers lost out on hundreds of dollars :(

    Jenny // Geeky Posh

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    Replies
    1. I remember that! Such an unfortunate incident and must have been so disheartening for the bloggers who ended up not being compensated for their hard work. x

      Kate Louise Blogs

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  11. Gosh you look so amazing in that dress my dear :)
    Yellow suits you perfectly.
    And how amazing is this location? Simply beautiful.

    Need cute cat content?
    And some christmas vibes, take a look at my Youtube Video HERE

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  12. Thank you so so much for sharing these great tips! I have recently stared blogging and this information is so useful.

    http://innapishtoy.com/

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    Replies
    1. You're welcome! So glad if it's helpful. x

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