If you get a group of newer bloggers in a room with some more experienced mom bloggers who are already at the point where they are actually making some money from their blogging efforts, one of the first questions that group #1 will eagerly ask of group #2 is about how deals are made between brands and bloggers.
That’s because the whole process of connecting with a particular company or brand for purposes of landing advertising, sponsorships or brand ambassadorship opportunities can seem wildly intimidating and downright mysterious to bloggers who have never done it before.
How do the bloggers who get these deals land them?
What’s a reasonable amount to expect in compensation?
How do I negotiate with a company if I do get an offer without turning them off?
These are the kinds of questions that bloggers seeking to turn their hard work into a business venture often have, and to be frank, finding clear answers to those questions has not been an easy thing. And even for bloggers who do know how to approach and pitch brands on their own, and how to negotiate a reasonable deal, the process is often stressful and a major time-suck.
Enter a new concept: the blogging agent.
Before I say anything else, I want to disclose that as a blogger, I am represented by Danielle Wiley of Sway Group, and I have also done some freelance consulting work for Sway. But the reason I am involved with what is arguably the very first real talent agency for mombloggers, launched in June, is because I think it’s a damn good idea, and one that’s time had come.
Just as writers utilize literary agents to pitch their manuscripts and negotiate with publishers, and in the same way that actors and athletes rely on their agents to bring them the right work and get them the best deals, bloggers have needed that same service, specific to our particular media category. There have certainly been some individuals working within the momblogging space in recent years to rep and land deals for a few bloggers, but most bloggers weren’t aware of who these folks were or what they were doing, so they didn’t know that utilizing an agent was even an option. But with the very public launch of Sway Group LLC just over a month ago, the game has officially changed.
While Sway is the first full service agency created specifically to connect bloggers with brands (and deals), I suspect that other agencies will follow suit. Why? Because the idea is so timely and so needed. Small boutique firms will launch, while larger talent agencies will announce divisions devoted specifically to blogging talent.
And in my considered opinion, this new type of blog-centric supporting player will be a good thing for all of us – new bloggers, more experienced bloggers and even the supahstars of the category. No longer will any of us have to stumble around blindly, silently wondering how in the world Blogger X managed to become the spokesperson for Brand Y, and wishing we could figure out how to put together our own, similar opportunity. Instead, bloggers will be able to focus on doing what they do, which is creating and sustaining an audience for their work, and if they are successful enough at doing that, blogging agents are going to want to represent them, meaning that more women will have the chance to be compensated for the media platform they’ve worked hard to create.
While very few bloggers are currently represented by this new type of talent agent, I predict a big jump in those numbers over the next 24-36 months. And that’s a Good Thing.