What Blogger/Brand Relationships Should be all About

Several months ago I got up caught in the excitement of BlogHer 2010 and purchased an early bird ticket to what sounded like the most amazingly awesome conference ever.  I had no idea how I was going to pay for the rest of the trip, but in the back of mind I thought, how hard can it be to get a sponsor?  It’s hard, especially when you are a bit choosy like myself and prefer to only work with companies who put health and wellness, and of course respect for the environment, at the top of their priority list.
Not long after I purchased my ticket, Lara (@Dipaolamomma on Twitter) tweeted about a contest for a chance to win a partial cash sponsorship from a company called Seed.  I was certainly intrigued because I knew I would need help to make my journey to BlogHer possible.  Lara wasn’t the only one hosting the contest, so were Jennifer (@Mammamania on Twitter) and Bailey (@Makeovermomma on Twitter).  They were offering three opportunities for entry into the contest.  One could be a Whrrl story, one a written blog post, and one a vlog post.  My goal was to enter by all three methods to improve my chances, but there was one really important thing I needed to do first.  I needed to read the background on the company and try some of their products.  I simply couldn’t enter a contest just to enter a contest unless the product was something I would purchase for my family.
My lotions and bar of soap arrived in the mail and I fell in love.  Seriously!  Just wonderful products!  Then after reading their story, I knew this was a match for me.  I just knew I had to enter.  I ended up only getting in two entries – a written blog post and a Whrrl story.  When the announcement came of the winners I can still remember the excitement.  My husband had forgotten about the date of the announcement, but he was here at home with me when it happened.  I stayed quiet because I wanted to win so badly, but didn’t want both of us to stress about it.  Then there it was.  On my computer screen…..I had won for my written blog post.  I calmly carried my laptop over to my husband so he could read it.  Then all hell broke loose.  There was yelling and screaming, kissing and hugging, and maybe even some happy dancing in my living room.  I had done it.  I had won a partial cash sponsorship toward my trip to BlogHer in New York City.  Not only had I won, but I won from a company that I found to be simply incredible! I was to receive my prize once in New York City at a swanky cocktail party to be held at Aquavit Restaurant.  Yes, I said swanky, darling!  But is was not about the location, it was about finally getting to meet and hug and talk with Rebecca and Benjamin ( the creators of this wonderful company).  Now, if they are going to offer a cash sponsorship, they must want something in return, right?

Perhaps a link in my sidebar to their website? Nope, never asked for that.
Maybe that I wear one of their t-shirts throughout the conference? Nope, not that either.
How about that I hand out their products or business cards to other conference attendees? Big no!

As a matter of fact, they never asked for a single thing in return except that I have a wonderful time at the conference and join them for the cocktail party when I arrived in New York City. 

The party was amazing!  I felt so at home (when less than hour before I was literally crying in the lobby of my hotel worried I would be late).  I was in desperate need of water, coffee, food, or maybe a cocktail.  I got a combination of those, but I also got to meet all the wonderful girls who hosted to contests on their blogs and Rebecca and Ben.  They all lived up to my online perspective of them and then some!  I truly could have spent the entire evening with them. (Part of me wishes I had!)

Rebecca (one of the Seed founders) and I

This is truly what it’s all about.  A brand that cares about the bloggers they work with.  A brand that truly listens to those bloggers and respects them and reads their blogs.  Thank you Seed for starting off my stay in New York City in the most amazing way possible!

Disclosure: I won a $250 cash sponsorship toward my expenses relating to attending BlogHer 2010.  Seed did not ask me to write this post or to promote them in any way.

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