Your blog can open you up to a wide variety of opportunities, from sponsored posts and reviews to paid ambassadorship programs. Bloggers, vloggers, and digital creatives are the newest public influencers; Blogs, online news sites, and digital magazines are starting to replace traditional forms of media (let’s face it - print is pretty much on its deathbed.)
Public relations pros and communications reps are always on the hunt for the next big influencer to connect with on behalf of the brands and businesses they represent. If you want to work with big brands, using your blogging skills as leverage, make sure your blog is 100% PR friendly.
“What does PR friendly even mean?”
A PR friendly blog is one that clearly provides all of the information PR reps look for when deciding if they want to choose you for an opportunity. Here’s what you need to make your blog more PR friendly:
A Visible Email Address
It may sound obvious to some, but you would be so surprised at the number of bloggers that do not clearly state their e-mail addresses on their websites. Contact forms are perfectly fine for accepting general inquiries and comments from your readers. However, PR pros like to use email addresses to build a “media list,” a spreadsheet filled with contact information from people in the media and online influencers that they want to keep in mind for current or future press opportunities.
Many PR pros have hectic schedules and will not take the time to fill out your contact form. If they can’t easily find your email address on your site, they will more than likely move on to the next blogger. Keep it simple by adding your email address to your contact page either above (similar to how my contact page is set up) or in lieu of your contact form. This allows anyone who wants to reach you directly to copy + paste your address easily.
I also encourage you to create an email address specifically for your blog, if you don’t have one already. Not only does it look more professional, but it also will keep you organized in the long run.
An “About Me” and Bio
It’s crucial to have an “about me” page for reasons that may seem obvious. The most important is to tell your readers who you are and what you’re all about. They want to know that you’re a human with a real life behind that screen.
But when you’re seeking opportunities to work with cool, new brands, having a well-written bio with your basic information clearly visible makes it easier on the person who’s scoping you out. (It’s also great if you want to become a contributor to a blog site because many of them require a professional mini bio to be placed at the end of an article feature.)
Make sure that your “about me” has:
1) Your Name
No, seriously. Lots of bloggers surprisingly forget to put their name (or simply choose not to) on their site. If you have a secret blog that acts as a personal diary, then this won’t apply (and you probably don’t plan to work with any brands anyway).
But for everyone else, you should definitely put your first name, at the least, in your bio. People want to connect with other people and feel real human connection. Plus, it would be really awkward to formally address you by “Dear Nameless Blogger.”
2) Your Location
Many opportunities out there are specifically targeted to influencers in a particular city or region. For example, a PR pro may seek out bloggers for a local client event in Atlanta, your city of residence. You could be the perfect fit for the opportunity, but you make no mention on your site that you’re from or near the Atlanta metro area. Your blog gets glossed over, and you miss out on a really cool event.
Other mentions of your demographic can help PR pros decide if you would match the target market of the brand they represent. You don’t have to put up personal details such as your address or income level, but other hints at your lifestyle, such as whether you live in a big city or in the south, will give people a better view of who you are.
3) Worthy Mentions
Have you contributed to Elle Magazine? Has your blog ever won an award? Have you ever worked with any notable brands in the past? Your “about me” page is a perfect place to mention all of the exceptional accomplishments you’ve made as a blogger. It shows potential partners and brands that you’re professional and obviously doing something right.
Don’t have any worthy mentions yet? No worries - this is definitely optional. Continue to blog hard and follow these tips on making your blog PR friendly. Awesome opportunities will eventually come your way.
Stating Your Availability
If you’re open to opportunities (considering you’ve read this far, I’m assuming you are), don’t be shy about making it known. Express somewhere on your blog that you’re available for (x,y,z), whether that includes sponsored posts, reviews, ambassador programs, events, speaking, hosting, or anything else. It gives PR reps a clear glimpse of what you’re open to.
Some people choose to add this blurb to their contact page and some people make a separate PR/press/advertising page altogether dedicated specifically for reps and their brands. The choice is yours.
Easy Access to Your Social Media Accounts
Blogging is only one form of digital media. As you know, social media is another huge media channel that we use on a daily, even hourly basis. Opportunities for you as a blogger may also require your social media presence, influence, and skill. To show potential partners that you have the total package, make sure that your social media accounts are clearly visible on your contact page, footer, or sidebar (or all three).
Take it a step further by adding social media buttons with links that take the visitor straight to your Twitter page or Instagram feed. No one wants to copy + paste your handle, or try to remember it as they open a new browser. Make it easy.
You should always be ethical in anything that concerns your blog (and in life, of course), especially if you will be receiving monetary or gift compensation for a certain blog post. There’s nothing wrong with being rewarded for your work (and I believe you should be), but you must be transparent and honest with your readers. You must have a disclosure statement on your site stating that you are or could be receiving incentives for writing a post or doing a review. Plus, according to the Federal Trade Commission, it’s the law.
It also shows PR reps that you’re professional, serious about your business, care about your readers, and an honest person—the ideal influencer for their client/brand’s campaign.
Above All, Don’t Force It.
It’s obvious to your readers when all you see are dollar signs. You have a brilliant brand and blog. Apply these must haves to your website, put out creative content, and let your work speak for itself.