I've been around this 'ere bloggersphere a while now. Not as long as the early birds of 2003 and 2004 but a while. In that time, I've been fortunate enough to experience an array of amazing things and unfortunate enough to experience some of the rubbish that comes with it all too.
Over time I have noticed I am often asked the same questions and thought that rather than answering them individually (or trying to at least), it might be a fun idea to answer some here.
I'm not professing to be Blog Land Expert of the Planet here, but I am saying, 'Hey, here is what I have found in my years of doing this'. You might have felt the same, you might not, I'm only speaking from experience. Do feel free to give your own answers or suggestions in the comments and please do take the time to read other people's because there is always a wealth of information down there and you'd be a ninconpoop to ignore it.
Today's question is:
How do you get invited to blog events?
Firstly, we ought to just clarify what a blog event is. I'm sure there are a great many type of 'blog events', but seeing as this is a beauty, baby and lifestyle blog, I am mostly invited to shindigs relating to beauty.
So, a company have brought out a new range of products and they have a bit of money put by to promote them. Sometimes, the brand will recognise that bloggers have a wide 'reach'. 'Reach' is weird PR lingo for 'lots of people read this bit of the web and it might be good for those people to see our products'. They have a lot of lingo.
As part of that 'bloggers have a wide reach' thought process, the company might decide they want to have their brand featured on lots of blogs. A good way of doing this is to host an event. A kind of party thrown in honour of the new product, where the brand talks to bloggers about why this is such an exciting new nail polish/perfume/summer range etc. Bloggers usually leave with a goodie bag containing samples of the new product/s and a little bit of info about the line (this is known as a 'press release'). Whilst there, bloggers will get the chance to catch up with other bloggers, enjoy a glass of bubbly and play with the new items the event is about. Basically, it's everything a beauty obsessed girlie girl would want in a night- glass of something fizzy, chums, makeup. Happy days.
So how does a blogger get invited to such things? This was a question I asked when I first started blogging and felt very much kept in the dark. I thought there might be a special list or a system or a secret batman light symbol in the sky. In all honesty it's a lot less exciting and a lot more simple.
Brands will find you. If you have a good blog, a presence on social platforms (twitter, facebook, instagram, pinterest, etc) you will eventually be noticed. Ensure you have your contact details easily findable (email address clearly on your blog or perhaps an 'about' section) and check your inbox regularly. It may take months, it make take years, or it make take days, but if you really want it to happen and you truly love your blog and have a passion for what you are writing about, then it will. I will say though, if you have a blog purely for events and samples, you will most likely find that readers will see through that pretty quickly. They're a clever little lot.
If you are that way inclined, you could contact a brand (via email, phone, twitter, facebook etc). From what I've grasped, this is a bit of a grey area- some bloggers think it's a good thing to do, others don't. Be aware that brands are contacted many times a day by bloggers requesting samples, introducing themselves or asking to be put on their mailing lists, so if you do take the great leap of saying hello, try to be considerate of this and also try to stand out.
Top Tips ::
If you have just blogged about a product and are tweeting the link, be sure to @mention the brand (if they are on twitter). Not in a spammy fashion, but in a 'Hello, I have talked about your products' fashion.
If your friend is going to a blog event and you feel comfortable enough, why not ask if she was given a plus one.
Check your spam inbox! Quite often I've had interesting or useful emails slip in there and go unnoticed.
Have patience. It was over a year before I went to an event and that was back when there were a lot less bloggers, so avoid expecting short term excitement (if blog events are what float your boat) if you have just started and are just building your little slice of the web.
To put it very simply, don't worry. If you want it to happen and you work hard on your blog and love it dearly, it will happen. For those of you thinking, 'Pah! I'm not even that bothered anyway!", then I'm sorry to have wasted these minutes of your life! This post really was just to address the question I have been asked multiple times and hopefully it will cast a little bit of light on what can sometimes be a rather guarded area.
If you have any more info, tips or thoughts on the subject of blog events, I would (and think everyone else) would be really interested to hear about them, so do feel free to comment below!
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