As I approach my one year anniversary as a blogger I am reflecting on all I’ve learned and all I haven’t learned. There are so many things to learn about blogging it can become overwhelming as you get deeper and deeper into it, which may be why most blogs don’t make it out of the first year. If you are new to blogging please do not get discouraged. There are many wonderful resources where you can get most of the information you need to learn about your blogging platform, technical aspects, social media dos and don’ts, growing readership, improving SEO and more.

The unwritten “rules” of blogging etiquette are a bit more elusive. As we grow and participate more within the blogging community we begin to understand what other bloggers expect of us. We learn certain good manners, if you will, like visiting a few links at the blog hops you participate in, and reciprocating social media likes. Cultivating relationships with other, more experienced bloggers is often the best way to learn about blogging.

But what about brands? A great way to monetize your blog is to build relationships with brands and write compensated sponsored posts. Maybe you want to write product reviews on your blog – you will need to interact with brands unless you plan on buying all those products and giving out free reviews. I’ve recently started working with brands and I’ve learned a few valuable lessons I’d like to share.

Where to Find Brands

There are several places to find sponsored post and product review opportunities. There are groups on Facebook and communities on Google Plus where opportunities are offered and there are several sites that connect brands with bloggers.

Sverve is my favorite place to find blogger campaigns to work on (which is why I’m so excited to be contributing to their blog!). It is the most straightforward place to find campaigns that fit with your blog. Sverve is a great platform for bloggers and brands and I’ve learned a lot about brand interaction from my participation in Sverve campaigns. The application process is simple and they do the work for you as far as offering you the campaigns that are right for your level of readership.

As you go along you may even find that brands will start contacting you directly if they like your blog.

Important Rules – Stay True to You

The best piece of advice I can give about working with brands is to remain true to yourself. Keep these tips in mind to help you do that.

Use your own voice.

Don’t get so excited about working with brands that you lose your own voice and style. Remember your readers are there because of you, not because of the brand. Sponsored posts and product reviews should be for things that complement the theme of your blog, things your readers are interested in. It’s better for the brand, for you and for your fans if you stay true to yourself and your blog’s mission so never lose sight of that.

Don’t underestimate your worth.

Think about what is being asked of you. Does the compensation fit the work involved? Remember that social media promotion is work too, and remember how much work you’ve already put into building up your social media following.

Unless you passionately love a brand or product, there is no reason for you to work on marketing for that company for free. I often receive emails from companies, some large, some small, who ask me to write a post for them for nothing. At first I was so excited every time a brand emailed me only to be let down when I was told they were not offering any compensation. I have learned to tactfully say thanks but no thanks and I let them know that if they have any paid opportunities in the future I’d be happy to discuss that.

Make Your Own Rules

The bottom line in this business of blogging is that you have to make your own rules, just like any business owner does. When working with brands keep in mind that they are your “customer” and you are providing a service for them. You should decide on what price should be paid for that service. You should provide the level of service that matches the reputation you want to uphold for your blog.

What unwritten rules do you follow in this wonderful world of blogging?
jen leemanJen Leeman is a working mom whose passion is blogging. She lives at the Jersey Shore with her husband, stepson, daughter, 2 dogs and a cat. She writes about her love of family, home and garden, food and cooking, casual entertaining and shore living at her blog Driftwood Gardens. You can also connect with her on social media:

Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Google Plus

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{ 11 comments… add one }

  • Derek July 11, 2014, 1:02 pm

    Great article Jen! I hope I have half as much knowledge on blogging as you do once I hit my one year anniversary… lol.
    Derek recently posted…Watermelon Salad… with a kick.My Profile

  • Antionette Blake July 11, 2014, 3:05 pm

    Congrats and these are great tips, thanks for sharing.
    Antionette Blake recently posted…Red White & Blueberry DessertMy Profile

  • Slap Dash Mom July 12, 2014, 2:07 pm

    I love articles like this. Thanks for sharing such awesome tips! :)
    Slap Dash Mom recently posted…10 Free Things to do in San DiegoMy Profile

  • David July 14, 2014, 11:49 am

    Super informative and well written!
    Thank you so much for the great info girl!
    David recently posted…Cilantro Shrimp SaladMy Profile

  • Taylor S July 14, 2014, 12:02 pm

    I love what you said about staying true to you, that is SO important and sometimes can get lost.
    Taylor S recently posted…Paleo Week Two Meal PlanMy Profile

  • Carissa Pelletier July 14, 2014, 5:06 pm

    Great tips! I like the reminder to treat the brands as our customers. I always want my customers to be very happy with their experience and try to give brands each the individual attention and effort they deserve.
    Carissa Pelletier recently posted…Beach Bag Essentials for a Fresh Summer DayMy Profile

  • WendysHat July 14, 2014, 5:25 pm

    Some really good tips here. Thanks

  • Tatanisha July 15, 2014, 9:31 am

    Great tips Jen! I’m slowly working on this piece right here so I appreciate any advice!
    Tatanisha recently posted…5 Ways You Can Stop Siblings From BickeringMy Profile

  • Jennifer-Mommy Life After PhD July 17, 2014, 5:40 pm

    Great tips, thanks for these Jen! I especially love the common theme–staying true to your blog and your blog voice. So important for you and your readers!
    Jennifer-Mommy Life After PhD recently posted…That one time when I gave birth to an alien.My Profile

  • July 17, 2014, 7:13 pm

    Great blogging tips and you’re right we should carefully choose brands and the products we share with our readers. recently posted…Life Is Better With Dessert!My Profile

  • Lush Fab Glam July 17, 2014, 7:14 pm

    Great blogging tips and you’re right we should carefully choose brands and the products we share with our readers.
    Lush Fab Glam recently posted…Life Is Better With Dessert!My Profile


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