Fashion & Style Blogger Programmes

A lot of UK online retailers still don’t fully realise the power of bloggers to their full potential – they have a lot to learn from some of their American (but internationally active) counterparts. UK brands some might work with a selected few bloggers, and those lucky ones are selected and managed by the retailers’ PR team. It’s not really something you can apply for. In the US however, online retailers are capitalizing the power of bloggers a lot more openly and cooperatively – ROMWE, SheInside and OASAP are just a few to mention, who openly run blogger programs.

Here, as a style/fashion blogger, you can apply to become part of their blogger programmes which will provide you with a specific amount of store credits (dependent on your number of followers) and you place an order. Once you received the items, you then have 7-15 days to blog about them with specific links and then your credits get reassessed and renewed if you have generated traffic to the retailer. If you don’t do these posts within the given time period, you will be dismissed from the programme.

I think this is a brilliant way of effectively managing an international community that is becoming stronger and stronger. It’s all about wearable fashion – people are interested on seeing clothes, accessories, shoes and jewellery on real people, bloggers, and seem to be more and more inclined to buy through those bloggers than because they saw this and that product in a picture of a skinny, possibly retouched model. More and more brands realise this power and especially the reach of this and so they offer these programmes to bloggers. In the end these bloggers can generate sales for the retailers.

OASAP Programme
- Have at least 300 followers on either Lookbook, Chictopia or Blogspot (by which they mean Google Friend Connect), then you can apply here.

ROMWE Programme
- Have at least 2,000 followers on either Lookbook or Google Friend Connect, you can apply here.

SheInside Programme
- N/A on minimum numbers of followers, but you can apply here.

***

Approaching companies to practically ask them for freebies in return for coverage seems a taboo in the UK [because some bloggers do it with a sense of entitlement or demanding freebies!], though I think there’s nothing wrong with asking – in the end companies know what they want and what budget they have available and if they think you’re not a fit, I assume they would tell you so – in the end if they accept you and give you freebies, they will have to justify that action to their supervisors. This applies especially to PR companies, whose clients set them targets in terms of reach of campaigns with budget limitations – they will definitely have to justify their actions. A lot of PR companies seem to actually be grateful for bloggers to be proactive in their approach because the sheer growth of the blogging world and the always relatively small PR budget means that they often can’t keep up with finding all relevant and new blogs. But then again I might be wrong – I don’t work in PR so I don’t know if it’s common to say no to bloggers when they aren’t a good fit and when they should be said no to (according to the client’s specifications). Maybe someone can tell me?

Either way, I wanted to let you know about these programmes – I thought it might be helpful to some of you out there!!

♥♥♥

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21 Comments on “Fashion & Style Blogger Programmes

  1. Jayne

    Great post sweetness. Love your bit about PRs as it's so true. Some PRs will have been asked by their client not to focus on bloggers (for whatever reason) and some brands use external PR companies only for print press. So it's good to realise that being said no to doesn't mean you're no good. 99% of the time there will be a valid reason, that the PR company may not be able to always disclose. Bloggers need to remember how saturated the market is now and that it is very difficult to respond to every single email personally.

    Reply
    1. Miss drifted Snow Wh

      Exactly! A lot of people don't know the multitude of reasons why PR companies would say YES or NO. But they have their clients' specifications who to work with, so if you approach them they will check whether you match these criteria and if you don't, they'll be stupid to say no, because they'd have to justify their actions to their clients and that would only be damaging to them. If they dont check whether you match the client's outlined criteria or don't feel comfortable with saying no, they shouldn't do their line of work I think. But maybe that's just my German nature – I know the British struggle with saying 'no'.I think as long as you as a blogger make it clear that you do know that there's criteria that you might not match and that it's ok if they say no, I'm sure they don't mind your asking, no?xxx

      Reply
    1. Miss drifted Snow Wh

      That's true. But then we're all biased in some way, whether that's for a personal reason (good or bad experiences with a brand) or a 'professional' reasons (get more out of the collaboration) I think it's really hard to be 100% objective. But I know what you mean with honesty, but then I think readers will notice if a blogger doesn't care about their integrity and just constantly write positive things about everything. I try to be critical about everything I get sent, try to at least find one thing that isn't good about the product. Because in the end, nothing is perfect and that should be pointed out, right? ;)

      Reply
  2. Ms Bubu

    It's true. Especially the "freebies" part. I don't see them as freebies, as bloggers work for them in a way (try them, post reviewws, etc). It is part of the deal. Some people will argue that blogging is not a job, it's a hobby. It can be both. I don't see why it would be bad to accept samples and post our opinions about it in blogs. After all, if you like fashion or makeup, it's in your field of interest anyway, it's not like suddenly you are talking about insurances or something not relevant. Anyway, I like the fat that companies have partnerships with bloggers, it's a win-win situation. Clothes/products for the blogger to review, traffic and sales for the company.

    Reply
    1. Miss drifted Snow Wh

      Bloggers definitely shouldn't feel entitled to freebies, but as you said, it's a win-win situation as far as I see it. Of course with these programmes you are constantly being reassessed, you have to submit posts, etc. Because it's managed so effectively, those who are serious about this and don't just do it for the freebies, will continue to work with these brands. I'm sure there's a lot of bloggers (and wannabe press) out there who just get free stuff and then don't feel obliged to write about any of it and the PR companies lose out. That's why I'm thinking the retailers should take things into their own hands the way these US retailers do it :)xxx

      Reply
  3. Lina

    I agree with Ms Bubu (though I'm not a blogger, so I have a more of an outsider's perspective). I would think of freebies as raw data for your work.

    Reply
    1. Miss drifted Snow Wh

      It can be a perk but also be a necessity – in the end, otherwise you spend all this money and the brands get free publicity… Sometimes it's nice to get something in return. And also it's impossible to always cover everything that could be interesting to your readers due to funds or access or whatever, so again, freebies can be helpful! :)

      Reply
  4. Becs @ Lay the table

    Some of the reason you might get turned down is because PR's don't just do it for exposure on blogs, it's for SEO purposes too. A good blogger will get plenty of traffic and strengthen a comany's position in google. By giving a company inbound links (ie you link to their site)you can help boost their google ranking. I've got a really good ranking in google and good traffic so I get asked quite a lot to do review (and I am easy to find because of the words that I use on my page titles etc). Hope that helps!

    Reply
    1. Miss drifted Snow Wh

      Thank you for your advice :) Yeah I'm aware of that, but what I'm saying was more around the general taboo of even approaching PR companies. They know what their clients are looking for, may that be SEO, potential sales, etc, so they will assess the blogger when they approach the PR and will then obviously decide whether it matches the client's requirements, budget, etc. If they say YES without checking these things, then it's their own fault, but not the blogger's fault in my eyes.Nothing wrong with asking – if you don't ask, you don't get. There's a million and two bloggers out there, it's difficult to boost SEO now cuz EVERYONE does it, and once your blog is big, it stays big, through SEO but to get it there, it's difficult and you get overlooked and overshadowed, even when you actually do meet the clients' requirements. So taking a proactive approach shouldn't be tabooed in my eyes.So I don't see anything wrong with itxxxx

      Reply
  5. Jane

    Great post, would love to know more on GETTING those illusive followers on your blog, twitter comes easy, on the blog not so much. mammyjane.blogspot.co.uk

    Reply
  6. jessbuurman

    Of course with these program mes you are constantly being reassessed, you have to submit posts, etc. Because it's managed so effectively, those who are serious about this and don't just do it for the freebies, will continue to work with these brands. But it's benifitable for top lable person.

    Reply
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