Tag Archives: Social Fabric

The Do’s and Don’ts of Sponsored Blog Posts

Sponsored blog posts are one of the most popular ways for influential bloggers to make money. With popularity comes confusion over what is effective and engaging and what is not. Are stock photos sufficient for imagery purposes? Do you have to include a disclosure? The next time you have an opportunity to write a sponsored post, consider these tips:

Do:

  • Add a disclosure at the top of your post before any content or photos.
  • Use 1 or 2 SEO keywords in your post title and in the first paragraph of your post.
  • Link one of the keywords to your client’s website as a “nofollow” link. (Find out more about “nofollow” links here.)
  • Make sure all client links are coded as “nofollow”.
  • Include at least 1 “hero” image in your post as well as 3-5 additional high quality original images that support the story. (The hero image is the first thing a reader will see in your post and is meant to set the tone for your story below it.  In sponsored posts, the hero post often integrates the client’s product in the photo).
  • Check your grammar and spelling…and then double-check it.
  • Tell a story about how you incorporate your client’s product into your life.
  • Teach your readers something (how to make something, how to do something)
  • Be professional while speaking in your unique voice.
  • Ask the brand to share your blog post on their social channels.

Don’t:

  • Accept a sponsored post for a brand that does not fit with your blog’s current content.
  • Agree to a deadline you can’t meet.
  • Forget a disclosure in a post and any subsequent social shares
  • Write a review.  People can find reviews on the brand’s website or on retailers’ websites.
  • Use stock photos unless the brand requires you to do so.
  • Badmouth the brand publically. Send them a private message if you are not satisfied with their product…or if working with a blogger network, notify your direct contact.

Resourcing Local Bloggers

By TerriAnn van Gosliga

Local businesses have known for ages how important word of mouth can be. Nowadays, word of mouth comes in the form of a tweet, a Facebook share, an Instagram photo, or even in an RSS feed. With the introduction of social media and online promotion, hyper-local sites are booming as thousands flock to find out about events and deals in their area. Additionally, many larger brands have found it beneficial to divide their customer base into regional sections to take advantage of this unique type of influence.

Benefits of Going Local

Many bloggers have worked for years to create a trusted online relationship with their local readers. They know the same restaurants, the same points of interest, the same quirky nuances only someone from that location understands. Their voice comes from a place that their extended neighbors can relate to geographically and as families with shared experiences.

Some have even established their own groups to support fellow bloggers in the area. They help each other grow and thrive in the continually changing world of social media through live meet-ups, networking events and referrals. Their families have played together and traveled together, forming bonds that are only created through face-to-face interaction. Instant camaraderie ensues as they see each other at events.

What brand wouldn’t want to tap into a trusted group of local bloggers to help promote events and generate genuine interest among the community?

Where to Start

The two easiest ways to find local bloggers is via search engines and Twitter. For search engines, keywords would include the type of blogger you’re looking for and the local metro area. Among those results will be lists of blogs found especially influential for local residents.

Twitter is a wonderful platform as it’s quite common for bloggers to tag their location-based tweets with appropriate hashtags. From there, you can check the bloggers’ Twitter profiles to further narrow down your list for potential partnerships.

Also, reach out to the bloggers you currently work with. They will likely be able to recommend several reputable bloggers in any given metro area. Some will even help you formulate a customized outreach for a modest consulting fee.

Lasting Partnerships

At the heart of any community is some kind of common ground. Local bloggers have that already built-in to some degree. As you get to know the bloggers that have a voice in various locations, you’ll find reliable professionals that will help make your job of brand awareness and promotion much easier.

TerriAnn van Gosliga is the main writer at Cookies & Clogs and Driving Mamas. Born & raised in the SF Bay Area, she loves to travel. She’s been married to her best friend for almost 14 years, home-schools her 13-year-old daughter, and has an accident-prone lab mix dog.

 

DIY, Give It A Try!

Bloggers are by nature very creative. They can turn a curbside find into a stunning family heirloom. They can make dinner with three ingredients from the pantry at the last minute. In addition, our SoFab bloggers can conceive some surprising DIY home décor and fashion projects with the summer staple Kool-Aid.

Social Fabric and Kool-Aid challenged our community to let their imaginations fly. And fly they did. Members created colorful and fun DIY projects from wood, yarn, paper and fabric.

DIY Party Sign

A bright red stained wooden sign issued a cheerful invitation to ‘Eat, Drink and Be Merry’ to the guests of Randi from Dukes and Duchesses blog.

She applied a mixture of liquid and powdered Kool-Aid to a piece of plywood using a foam brush, the same way she would apply stain. It soaked right into the wood, staining it a beautiful, luscious red. Randi says with a wink, “It smelled better than any stain I’ve ever used!”

Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 2.27.39 PM.png

DIY Ombre Tassels

Kenzie from Chasing Happy blog used one pink lemonade Kool-Aid packet to achieve the ombre effect on her DIY yarn tassels for her nursery.

She started by dipping just the tips, and then slowly submerged the sections until the color was darker at the bottom and lighter at the top. She shares, “Picture me sitting on the floor of my mother’s kitchen with Kool-Aid and yarn snapping photos every thirty seconds. I got a few funny looks from family members. They all thought I should drink the Kool-Aid, not craft with it.”

 Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 2.29.07 PM.png

DIY Mother’s Day Cards and Lip Balm

Kool-Aid becomes watercolors for cards and flavoring for homemade lip balm at the hands of Stacey from Glued to my Crafts blog. She created a simple and easy gift package for the special Mothers in her life.

“This is a fun way to personalize your paper. Did I mention the cards smell amazing?” she gushed. “And when the work is over – take the leftover Kool-Aid and have a tall glass to celebrate!”

 Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 2.39.41 PM.png

 DIY Dip-Dyed Sarong

Sarah from How to Pinch a Penny says, “I am not a fashion model, but this is how I will be wearing my Kool-Aid dip-dyed sarong to the pool this year!”

Sarah submerged the fabric into a large pot of Kool-Aid on the stove for an hour. (One 96 oz. bottle, plus five packets.) She kept the heat low and watched until it reached the right color. She ironed the fabric to heat set it.

Screen Shot 2014-04-30 at 2.40.42 PM.png