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.
- Have at least 300 followers on either Lookbook, Chictopia or Blogspot (by which they mean Google Friend Connect), then you can apply here.
- Have at least 2,000 followers on either Lookbook or Google Friend Connect, you can apply here.
- 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!!