Last week I wrote a post called 5 Things to Avoid Doing When Contacting a Tea Blogger. The response was surprisingly awesome (big thank you to everyone who shared it on social media!). It was only fair that I put a positive spin on it now. It can be hard to know what proper etiquette is, especially if you’re new to the industry. The steps below should set anyone off on the right foot.
Do Your Research
It’s really important to do your homework before hitting send on that email, tweet or Instagram message. Reading through several weeks of posts will give you a good picture of what that blogger specializes in. What are their likes and dislikes? Many of us have review policies posted. It is particularly important to read these because it will save both you a lot of time. I field a ton of emails that I inevitably have to turn down because what they offer isn’t relevant for myself or my readers.
Retailers often ask me about where to find bloggers that they might want to work with. One place to start is the Tea Bloggers Roundtable or the list of blogs I follow on Blog Lovin’. For those specifically seeking product reviews, the 2016 Tea Blogger Directory is a very handy resource.
Make It Personal
Think Outside of the Box
Keep It Simple
One of the biggest struggles that I’ve had as a tea blogger are the unrealistic expectations that many companies seem to have. First and foremost, it is important to know that tea reviews do not automatically equate to sales. The ROI on blog reviews serves a similar function to social media. They increase brand awareness but must still be utilized properly in order to be effective.
Here are some rules of thumb that will help avoid issues when working with bloggers:
- Be upfront about any and all expectations from the get go.
- Be prepared for an honest review. It may not be the result you were looking for.
- Do not expect the blogger to pay you for the product used in a review or for a giveaway, even if it is at a discount.
- Do not badger or pester a writer that you’ve sent products to.
- Keep communications respectful, just as you would in any other business relationship.
Keep in mind that most bloggers juggle writing along with jobs, family and everything else that life throws at us. We do what we do because we love tea. Be respectful of our time and efforts.
Retailers and fellow bloggers, I’d love to hear your thoughts on these points in the comments below!