Getting Free $hit as a Blogger: an Interview with Leeann Froese

Exciting news!! I’m starting  a new series on Monetizing Your Blog! Check in at the end of this post for details. 

I missed Leeann Froese and Eschelle Westwood’s ( presentation at Northern Voice a couple of weeks back (because I had to pick up the boy from school) called Free Shit: How to Get an Use it.

I’ve known Leeann for a few years now, as we met at the very first Eat.Drink. Tweet Conference in Pentiction a few years back. So, I asked her if she would share her wisdom with me (and you guys).

How does a blogger get hooked up with a company that might be interested in either a. sending them free stuff to try or b. purchasing a sponsored post? 

If a blogger wants to write about or review a particular product, the best thing to do is start with the company that owns the product and see if they have a policy of loaning or sampling items to be reviewed. If a company has a media relations department or contact, start here.

But don’t even go down this road if you don’t say who you are, where you reside and what your blog is all about.

In terms of purchasing a sponsored post, the blogger neeeds to be able to demonstrate that the right eyeballs will see such a post. Will the post also be supported on other social channels, and how wide-reaching are they?

On the flip side: do not act like your blog is going to solve the problems of the world, or try to bully a company into working with you. This will backfire and you will get a very bad reputation with PR people!

What must you include in your blog post if you have a sponsored post or you are doing a review? 

  • Disclosure! (as in my slides) was the item free, did you buy it, etc
  • List the company name and product name corectly and spelled correctly
  • Name the company with a link back

Anything else a blogger should know about working with a brand? Should we be expected to reveal our stats, for example? Should we have a page dedicated to this on our websites? A media kit? 

You don’t necessarily need super detailed technical stats, but something that proves eyeballs will see the post – a demonstration of engagement with comments or how else the blog gets shared around.
“Media Kit” can mean a lot of things – I suggest the blogger go a step further and have a page on your blog dedicated to “advertising, sampling, and sponsored post policy” or something similar…   and there they can outline their custom offerings and policy for receiving freebies if companies are courting them.

Thanks, Leeann! Here’s Leanne’s SlideShare presentation from Northern Voice.

About Leeann:
Leeann FroeseFor the past 16 years Leeann has toiled on behalf of Canada’s best-known wineries (she helped them get that way) to dream, strategize, and communicate with, and for them. Her wins in the area of generating publicity could fill a bookshelf with clippings, as she has cultivated excellent relationships with journalists, broadcasters and the social media community across Canada, and understands how to find and share clients’ stories. These days, the behind-the-scenes work is what excites Leeann – counseling clients and helping them both create and implement their brands. Their success is hers. As a partner in the much-lauded Vancouver firm Coletta & Associates, and now at her own company, Town Hall, Leeann’s role is to manage client projects, create and oversee communications strategy, with some media relations in the mix. If she is offline, she can likely be found gawking at a bird.
Monetizing Your Blog series: I’ll be doing a big announcement in the next week or so, but if you want to get in on the action, click here.


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Rebecca Coleman

Social Media Marketing Strategist, Blogger, Author, Teacher, Trainer. Passionate foodie, mom to Michael, fueled by Americanos. I love my bike. Soon-to-be cookbook author. Localvore with a wanderlust.

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