The Pros and Cons of Blogging for a Brand
I’m Sophie, a 27-year-old writer working at a snack company in London and blogging about travel in my spare time. I’m lucky enough to travel around with my boyfriend, with my friends, and with my rather large family, seeing amazing countries and – my absolute passion – eating delicious food.
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Part of my job as a Senior Copywriter for a snack company is to run their blog. It’s one of my favourite responsibilities and if you’d told me five years ago I would one day be paid to blog I would have freaked out. It’s definitely a millennial career choice – I know my grandparents don’t really understand how that counts as work, like most of their generation I’m sure. But the fact remains that blogging has become one of the most idealised careers today. And I’m one of the lucky few that gets to taste the sweet sweet nectar... or not.
Just because you have lots of followers doesn’t mean they care what you say. You still need to work hard to get followers to click on your updates. Lots of brands are actually prioritising engagement rates over their cold hard follower count these days.
You have to think legal. This is a personal post, so I can say that the company I work for makes healthy snacks, but I could never say that on the official blog. Words like “healthy” as well as phrases like “fuller for longer” are absolutely laden with EU regulations, so you’d better be ready to add a paragraph of small print wherever you use them.
It’s all about the stats. Even if I really liked a certain post, if it didn’t rack up those crucial numbers then I can’t do it again.
Or it’s all about the £££. Luckily the blog I write for is considered to be a brand awareness tool and not just a revenue generator, but it still needs to be part of the customer journey. This means a clickable call to action link in every post.
Keeping track of the stats and the £££. I realise this is actually something any blogger needs to do if they want to be successful, but using spreadsheets and analysing stats is precisely not what I enjoy doing.
You’re not the boss. I mean, you might be the boss, but in my case, I’m not the boss. If my actual boss tells me to take a post down or to change something, that’s the last word on the matter.
Branding the crap out of everything. Every single photo I post had better have a big fat logo somewhere on it, or it’ll pop up again, reposted by someone else with absolutely no connection back to us (I realise reposting is an issue all bloggers deal with).
Waiting for other people. If I’ve had a great idea I want it to happen now! There’s nothing worse than the phrase “I’ll look at it next week.” How dare they have other things to do.
People are more sceptical. There is a natural distrust of brands. If I quoted my friend the nutritionist on my personal blog, I probably wouldn’t get the reaction of “bet she’s not a real nutritionist, if she even exists that is.”
You don’t get to talk to your followers. The thing I love about blogging is getting to know your followers through conversation, following each other, leaving comments etc. If you blog for a brand then you speak for the brand, using the voice of the brand.
But that’s enough of the negatives.
You are literally surrounded by fans. No one cares more about the brand blog than the people who work there. The CEO at my company is literally the number 1 fan of the blog. He reads all the posts, makes all the recipes, and gushes about it to anyone who will listen.
You have some seriously talented people at your fingertips. If I want some unique typography drawn, I sit next to a designer. If I want some beautiful photography taken, I have three freelance photographers to choose from. If I need recipe ideas or health advice, I have our nutritionist and a whole team of taste experts on hand.
You get access to stunning imagery. I know I mentioned photographers in the previous point, but it’s so important it needs repeating. And I don’t just mean point and shoot photographers, I’m talking laying out props, setting up lighting, and then editing the images afterwards. And there’s a lot to be said for professional cameras.
You get exposure to the latest trends. When you spend your days with creative minded people with a plethora of different interests, you get clued into all the latest innovations, news and fads in your industry.
You’re never stuck for inspiration. I constantly get emailed about cool stuff that people have stumbled across, in design, food, health, blogging, you name it.
You have more credibility as a creator. This is especially true if the brand you’re writing for already carries some weight. If you’re an unknown newbie blogger, you have to carve out a reputation from scratch. As a brand, people already respect your voice.
You have a pre-established social media following. If I write a new post, I already have access to a ton of people who are interested via the brand twitter, facebook and Instagram.
You get to work with other brands. And on an even footing.
You get to dream big. All of the above means that if I have a big idea, I can really go
the full hog on it, and make it the best it can be. Whether it flies or flops, I know that I gave it the best shot.
You get paid to do something you love! I mean seriously, when I spent hours on Tumblr during my uni days, I never thought I was actually building a useful skill. I’m pretty sure I wished I could get paid for it at several points. Wish granted!
Seriously, all the cons are a small price to pay for having the dream job. Not that blogging is the only thing I do all day, and I definitely enjoy the other aspects of my work, but I’m absolutely grateful that I’ve somehow managed to end up here.
Do you blog for a brand? Does any of this ring true in your experience? Is there anything you think I’ve missed? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!