November 25, 2014 Cristine Vieira

How to get your blog brand ready: A guide to optimizing your blog for influencer marketing

smallpicBlogs are born for a variety of reasons — to share a passion, to track a goal, to journal, to educate.What you don’t see is blogs being started for the sole purpose of grabbing advertisers’ attention (okay maybe those exist – but no one reads ‘em!). But somewhere between the first post and the 500th, bloggers start to wonder how to make their passion profitable.


The problem is, making the jump from a blogger to promoted blogger is a big, difficult and sometimes confusing jump! If you’re interested in working with brands, you have to first make sure that you have the type of blog that catches a brand’s attention. Here’s what you need to do:


Create a strong “About Me” page


This part of your blog shouldn’t just be a quick snippet about your love for froyo and pugs. This is your opportunity to tell brands why they should work with you. This is your chance to tell brands your inspiration, vision and purpose for writing.


First, make sure your “about me” page is easy to find. You don’t have to call it “about me,” but make sure the purpose of the page is clear. Then, spend some time crafting a quality post about yourself. Tell your readers why you got started, what the purpose of your blog is and your vision for your blogging future.


Most importantly, state that you’re interested in working with brands and include contact information. Even better? Give them links to your social sites (only the ones you keep updated and don’t mind sharing with the public).


This is a great way to enable brands to learn about you and contact you without having to reach out to them first.


Stay focused and develop a strong voice
A lot of new writers are tempted to appeal to everyone. They avoid controversy, disagreements and will include information for readers in all walks of life. This is almost always ineffective.


Instead, stay focused on the purpose of your blog (the things you outlined in your about me statement). Don’t stray from those topics very often. You’ll gain a more passionate readership if you show passion and consistency in your topics.


More importantly, work on developing a strong voice. Spend time crafting posts that really let your personality and opinions shine. This is a blog post we’re talking about — your personality is what differentiates it from an article. So learn how to express your quirks in type and try to be consistent.


If you’re having trouble developing your voice, or don’t even know what that really means, consider joining a writing workshop or picking up a writing development book. The prompts and activities will help you discover the power in your voice.


Create high-quality content only
Once you’ve been writing for a while, you’ll start to realize you can write fast. That’s a great talent — use it for good instead of evil. Don’t skimp on good research and proofreading. And try to avoid too many thrown together posts published only so that you can stay on schedule. If you want to be a highly sought after blogger, high-quality content should be your number one focus. Research, plan, write, edit, edit, edit.


Show an interest in marketing


A good way to catch a brand’s attention is to show an interest in marketing your blog and growing your readership. Luckily, the ways to do that are also beneficial to your blog. Consider adding a subscriber plugin to your blog with a strong call to action. Then, take the next step. Use your new subscriber list to launch a weekly newsletter or tips and tricks page.


Another great way to market your site is to do a giveaway or contest that encourages growth. Have people enter the contest by subscribing to your mailing list or sharing your post. Just make sure the item you’re giving away is closely related to your blog’s focus.


Build and integrate your social media profiles


When brands are looking for influencers, they’re looking at total reach across platforms. They might want a blogger who also has a huge social media reach and has a strong following on Facebook or who is really active on Twitter. You don’t have to be on every network. In fact, it’s probably better that you aren’t.


Just focus on building an active following on at least one or two social platforms  whichever ones you really enjoy using. Once you have your platforms up and running, integrate them into your blog. There are dozens of plugins and tools that will allow you to do this. Give people the opportunity to both engage with posts via social and follow you on social.


Don’t overlook design


Finally, the design of your blog really matters. If a brand doesn’t think you blog looks professional, they won’t think your professional.  Plus, brands are thinking about how their products placements will look on your site. So put your best foot forward and keep your blog design clean and profession.


Focus on readability — dark type on a light background, wider columns, etc. Make sure your blog is clean and easy to navigate. If you’re not happy with the free options on your blogging platform, there are dozens of sites out there offering design templates for under $100. Some of them even have free options. Themeforest is a great place to start.


Above all, be yourself at all times. One of the most appealing parts about influencer marketing is that brands get to connect with their customers in a more authentic way. So they’re looking for bloggers that have that authentic, natural voice. So never compromise your personality and beliefs to appeal to brands. It’s not worth it!


If you’d like to learn more about working with brands and our influencer marketing platform, head to Find Your Influence.


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