I’ve been reading a lot of blogs lately. As part of my new job with Collective Bias, I’ve been trawling the web, looking for the very best of British writers and photographers. It’s a fascinating job, as there are a lot of amazing blogs out there.
In the process though, I have developed several blogging pet hates, which I’m sure other PR companies and brands must share. They are silly little things, but you’d be amazed at how many people forget them. Your blog might be the most beautifully designed site you’ve ever seen, your photography may make your readers gasp with joy, but if you are missing any of these then you could be holding yourself back when it comes to working with brands.
Or not as the case may be.
“I’m a PR friendly blogger, and am always happy to review products and activities. Please get in touch!”
Sure, I’d love to. But how??
Please, if you do one thing, make it easy for people to get in touch with you. Whether it’s through a link on your home page or a separate contact page, this is absolutely crucial, and yet there are still bloggers who seemingly want to work with brands and yet make it virtually impossible for brands to get in touch.
Kate at Witwitwoo has a really simple, easy to find contact page, that just makes it all so nice and straightforward:
Have you got a buzzing Twitter account or a gorgeous set of Pinterest boards? Brilliant! Tell me about them! Social media is such an integral part of blogging nowadays, why would you not shout about your social networks somewhere obvious on your homepage? Having really clear buttons and links makes it easy for brands to quickly see just how fab you are, so don’t be shy.
You can get really creative with these, and make them work with the style of your blog, like these simple icons from Mummy Alarm:
Or these pretty links at The Crazy Kitchen:
Search facility and archives
Often brands will want to have a look through your blog to see the kinds of things you’ve written about in the past, or to check if you’ve ever written about particular products or brands. This is so much easier if you have a search box! It’s also really useful to be able to look for content in a particular month or year, so make your previous content accessible by adding an archive in your sidebar.
If you’re sick of getting offers to review products you have no interest in, make it easy for brands by telling them upfront what you like and dislike. On your ‘About’ page, just write a paragraph or two about your hobbies and interests – do you prefer reviewing toys and games or days out? How old are your children? Where do you live? Do you have any pets? The more information you give, the more relevant the approaches you will get.
On Dragons and Fairy Dust, Alison shows that you don’t need anything fancy. Her about page just has some really clear information about herself and her family. It’s all you need:
What are your blog pet hates? Do you have any more tips for making your blog easier to use and read?