What Should Brands Offer Bloggers in Exchange for Posts?

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At this point, you know not to expect something for nothing.

But the area of what exactly you should offer bloggers for brand mentions can be a little murky. Some marketers just don’t have a big budget and if that’s the case, there are other things you can offer to make it a mutually beneficial relationship.

A word of mouth recommendation from a blogger can be extremely valuable. Think of it this way. How many times have you been on Facebook and someone has posted asking for advice on a product experience, big purchase, travel destination, etc?

This is because consumers don’t just seek out consumer reviews, they crave them.

Peer recommendations are the single most important factor in making a purchase decision. And bloggers are trusted peers. According to Technorati’s recent report, bloggers are in the top sources of trusted information. And BlogHer produced research showing that 61% of the online population has made a purchase based on a blogger’s recommendation. Read more stats here.

Before you reach out to bloggers, dive in with a clear plan of what you have to offer them but keep in mind that what you offer a blogger may not be campaign specific. It may be blog specific. The easiest way to gauge what a blogger really wants from you is to actually read their blog and their “about me” page.


The most obvious and probably most widely accepted thing to offer a blogger is payment. It’s not really paying them to talk to your brand, it’s paying them to honor the time they spend on their blog.

Most bloggers won’t take payment to mention a brand they stand behind in the first place.

And there are some bloggers who don’t take payment from brands ever because they don’t ever want to risk coming across to their audience as insincere.

Product for review

A very common tactic is to offer the blogger(s) something free from your brand. If your brand falls in to their vertical—which if you’re reaching out to them they better—they will have an affinity for your product in the first place.

My favorite tactic is when it’s offered with no strings attached so that it only elicits a sincere post.

Exclusive Information

Who doesn’t like to be the first person to break news or share something new, smart or funny? In today’s digital world, you are what you share…

So give your bloggers something that other people don’t have access to so they can feel like they’re on the inside and feel special.

Something for Their Audience

Bloggers acknowledge the fact that they wouldn’t be where they are if it wasn’t for their loyal audience members. And they are awesome at keeping their audiences feeling appreciated.

So if you give the blogger something they can give to their audience whether it’s an exclusive offer or a product for a giveaway contest, this may very well get their attention.

If you’re using the giveaway tactic, it’s tactful (no pun intended hehe) to give the blogger something both for themselves and for their audience as well.

Kristen Matthews
This monthly Blogger Outreach column is contributed by Kristen Matthews. Kristen is the marketing and community manager for GroupHigh in Boulder, Colorado. A constant thirst for creativity has driven her in to this profession because it's full of writing and new ideas. Kristen is passionate about content marketing and blogging because of the collaborative aspects these trends in marketing have taken. Kristen on Google+
Kristen Matthews


Outreach marketing enthusiast. Creative Strategist. Social Media Appreciator. Lover of red wine, nature, adventures and the written word.
Why Bloggers Prefer to Work with Brands Over Agencies - http://t.co/3YdDip9QyA #outreachmarketing - 12 hours ago
Kristen Matthews


  1. says

    What about exposure — I’ve worked with brands who in return, feature my photography or writing on a major channel. I love reaching new people, and this is a very cost-effective way for brands to offer unique value to content creators.

  2. says

    The short answer is nothing. However, if you do give the raving fans of your service somthing it has to be at no cost to the service publisher you know somthing like the g+1 or in share and facebook likes or fans etc…

    This special free gift should not cost more than a few lines of code that they can happily use on their website and blogs to advertise the service publisher’s products.

    My personal favorite from the first grade is the little gold star put up on the chalkboard by my name, that I would get from Sister Regina when I was good. When I was messing around not doing my school work she was whacking my hands with a ruler. Hurt like hell but the woman never left a mark on my hands.

    Jaron Lanier “says that while many millions of people contribute to and create value for the internet, largely for free, the technology companies that own the central computers are the ones making all the money from it.” excerpt taken from the book “who owns the future” by Jaron Lanier, Simon & Schuster, May 2013 ISBN-10: 1451654960

  3. says

    I agree with the part about paying us to honor our time. I disagree about the other parts regarding money. For example, I teach exercise classes. I love teaching, yet wouldn’t do it for free. So why would I not take money from a brand that I love? If I’m ethical (and I am), I won’t take money from a brand/ product/ service that doesn’t fit my mission, readers or stated positions. Receiving product is great, but I have to pay my bills.

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