I applied to blog one of my favorite brands in the past few days and today I got rejected. I won’t lie, this one hurt a little bit but I am at a point in my SL and RL where something like this does not affect me as much as it once did, you know? Is just one of those things that happen and life moves on. I will not stop blogging the store or stop linking when I feel like it, it’s just one of the many realities of being a blogger in SL and not being ‘to the liking of specific brands’. So let’s talk about this.
Second Life, to me as I am thinking it is to many others, is a game where you are social, can hang out with people, get to know others, look and feel however you want. And one of the many perks of this virtual world is the fashion. Oh boy, this is my favorite.
A little bit about me, I am someone who has been diagnosed with ADHD since I was 12, my mother, being the savvy woman and doctor she was, taught me coping mechanisms. She explained to me what symptoms I presented and how I could cope with each one of them. She focused specially on trying to make me understand that ‘rejection is a doorway to improvement’ and should be seen as an opportunity, not a sign of failure.
Of course my stupid young brain and the many chemicals and hormones it released when I was rejected, left out or ignored never saw it like that. Not until many years later, and I have Second Life blogging to thank for that. If you are interested in how I found my voice, you can read that blog here.
Now let’s actually discuss blogging as a job, not only in SL, but RL also.
To me there’s two types of bloggers, those that actually run a blog, they write, make content, usually will have a separate website/blog where they put stories, opinions, lists and more.
And photo-bloggers, think Flickr, Instagram, Facebook. These last ones will usually use a platform that is more photo oriented, if they have a blog, it will most likely showcase a gallery with the item list and where to buy in the description.
Now here we move into the marketing perspective and as a brand manager and online marketing person, let me share a few important points I consider every blogger should know about brand management and influencer/bloggers:
Brands will look for what fits their vision.
You read that correctly. A brand will usually receive a lot of proposals and on rare occassions reach out to influencers to have them review and give feedback on products. In Second Life, most of this interactions are based purely on aesthetic. What the brand owner wants, the type of pictures they would love to see and the type of content they want to see their items be featured in.
Brands receive a LOT of applications/collab requests.
This is just a reality, we all would love free stuff but a brand cannot simply be giving away items to everyone all the time. They have to pick and choose. Sometimes you will be put on a waiting list, whether you are told or not. They need to pick and choose who and what fits what they want to show. So do not get discouraged if they have to be selective and reject you.
Target audiences and numbers are important, but not everything.
Any small business or brand WILL look at your target audience. Who likes your photos, the number of views it gets. How often do you post, who are your followers. Where can people find you. They need to know the reach they will get and if it is something they want to relate to. At the same time, they are not everything, sometimes brands just enjoy someone’s work and pair up with them because of their style alone (is on a case to case basis).
All of the above deals with the reality of being a brand manager, now let’s discuss the important points for bloggers/influencers:
Genuine interaction is best.
Bloggers that actively engage their audience beyond just interacting on their own photos leads to bigger engagement. Brand managers will look at the type of content you put out, if it vibes with them and they see people vibing with you and your activity matches it all, they will consider you.
Word of mouth vs. the numbers game.
Yes, numbers are important, but just as I mentioned above, interaction and word of mouth is as important as numbers. When others recommend your work, talk about you, see what you do, they WILL talk and that talk will reach ears. Slow growth is best because it means you are actively working for it.
Know your brand
This is probably the most important, in my opinion. If you know who you are, and what content you want to bring forth, you will become more recognizable. You can be a jack of all trades and talk about it all, from reviews to video blogs to photo blogs. Or you can be a specialized blogger and just do one thing REALLY well. This is entirely up to you and only you. Brands will resonate and vibe with this particular point. At the same time, you need to learn to say no to what doesn’t vibe with your brand and learn to set boundries when needed (best example of this is to have a review and disclosure policy, aka your do’s and don’t’s.)
Rejection comes with the territory.
Finally we reach the most dreaded on the list. We all want to get the big sponsors or we have specific brands that we LOVE and would love to blog for them, yet when the time comes and they open for their blogger searches, poof they reject you. Some give you the basic excuse “team full, sorry keep up.” Others straight up reject you without a given reason. And you know what, that is okay. Not everyone will vibe with your style or your content. So chin up, keep working on your brand, content and eventually the sponsors will slowly come to you. But you do need to have a high tolerance for rejection. Sorry.
Do not overwhelm yourself
As a blogger sometimes we want to just bite the world and blog and do everything but we need to be realistic about the commitments, the deadlines and the balance between our RL and our SL time. So try not to take on too much. It’s okay to eventually drop brands or not apply to a few others. Your mental health is more important, so always keep that in mind.
The reason why I wanted to make this blogpost is to share the experiences I have accumulated through the years from both ends of the stick, as a blogger manager and a blogger myself.
Blogging is an art form, one I particularly enjoy seeing. From the lewd oriented bloggers to the kawaii looking ones, they all inspire me to be better. So keep that chin up, keep learning, keep watching, keep creating because someone somewhere will become a fan and will want to be part of your brand and sponsor you.
EXTRA: Mykie was kind enough to share some blogging points for anyone starting I recommend you give them a read and give her a follow on Twitter. You can read the thread here: