Gary Vaynerchuk

10 Reasons why bloggers and brands need to listen to Gary Vaynerchuk

In Editor's Corner by savvysassymoms49 Comments


I have a social media crush, some of you close to me know ALL about it. I love Gary Vaynerchuk. I hang on his every word… why?  Because he’s so fucking real and tells it like it is. Like Gary, I am known for my colorful F-bombs. I think swearing is a form of passion — I realize it’s not classy but it’s a burst of emotion and one that just comes out when you are talking about something you care deeply about. It’s that kind of fire and passion that gets shit done. I actually see many similarities between Gary and myself and I am not just talking about the swearing. I’m talking about the heart and the hustle. I know I am not even 2 percent as successful as Gary, but I look up to him and what he’s achieved at such a young age (he’s only 38) and I find it not only inspiring but intoxicating. (In case you’re wondering, I’m 36.)

I discovered him about three years ago when I read Crush It and let me tell you, that book changed the way I not only looked at blogging and Savvy Sassy Moms but myself. It really flipped the switch for me. I knew that I had to own it and take on social media and blogging with intention. I was here to play and win, bottom line..

Reading his latest book Jab, Jab, Jab Right Hook could not have come at a better time for me. Many of us in the blogging community feel that things are changing and there is a shift happening. Those of us that have been blogging for 5+ years are starting to wonder, “What’s next?” It’s like we’re in blogger purgatory. We’ve built a brand, we have an established voice, we’re making money some months and none the next. With all this online noise it’s hard to stand out and do anything original, there are just so many blogs and so much competition. So what the hell do we do now?

After subscribing to Gary Vaynerchuck’s YouTube channel last night and watching about six video clips, he got me all fired up and well, this is what’s on my mind…

Warning, this is where I get sassy and channel my inner Gary Vee…

1. Bloggers should stop listening to other bloggers.

The last thing we need is to attend another conference or speaker panel and sit through bloggers giving vague talks on how to be successful, and never really saying anything that makes a difference in their approach to blogging and business. Nobody takes away anything useful.  If you are in this as a business then listen to smart business people, attend a business conference and hang out with people that are running small businesses.

2. Brands, stop asking us to share shitty content.

In Gary’s book he gives prime examples of shitty content. This content fills our inboxes daily, it’s mind numbing. We get hounded to share the most ridiculous shit with “our readers”. It would blow Gary’s mind to look at a bloggers e-mail inbox and read what PR people are pitching us. We realize that It’s not always the PR person’s fault. AND please for the LOVE of GOD do not send “Partnership Opportunity” e-mails when there is no equal benefit at all. A partnership should be something that is mutually beneficial to both parties whether that is in a form of compensation or some huge amount of PR, e-mail subscribers or traffic.

3. Bloggers need to stop being so damn demanding.

Listen, you are not a celebrity and you are not going to get paid the big bucks like celebrity endorsements. Your rates and fees should be realistic. I don’t have huge traffic, but I do have a pretty solid social media footprint overall and I use that as my negotiating tool. Just because you have a blog, that does not mean you get everything for free or people have to say yes to you.  This is why the term Mom Blogger has turned into a four letter word.

4. Bloggers, don’t promote stupid shit.

I was offered $500 to do a sponsored post for a hideous TV wall mount, I turned it down. Nothing about a TV wall mount is savvy or sassy. Could you imagine the tweets I would have had to tweet out to promote that post. “Hanging a TV this weekend Moms?” Gross. We all want to make money but when you take money and promote something that does not match your brand and voice it dilutes everything. I realize we all have mouths to feed, but something else will come in next week. When you say no, it allows you to say yes to something better.

5. Brands, hire a blogger to lead your blogger outreach campaign.

We know a thing or two about how to reach out to other bloggers and what we would be receptive to. We also know what bloggers would be a great match for the program and are professional to work with. Don’t forget, Mom Bloggers are also your customers so you can use that to your advantage and actually listen to us as a consumer and not just a “mom blogger.” We’re on social media and engaging with other moms before you’ve even had your first cup of coffee.

6. Brands, invest in us long term.

Brands need to see the value in quality websites and bloggers and pay them for their worth and hard work. There are many of us willing to work hard for you, but you need to pay us. We want to create long-lasting relationships and be a valued partner and voice for your brand. One sponsored post is not going to cut it or make an impact, but if our readers keep seeing our loyalty and longevity with the brand they’ll know our partnership is authentic and that we actually do know more about the brand other what it says on your packaging. Invest in us long term. We’re willing to go the distance.

7. Bloggers need to re-think their strategy. Or get one.

You still need good ol’ fashioned editorial and authentic content, you cannot be paid for everything. Do you have a mission statement, do you know what you stand for, do you even know who your reader is? What is the value you are giving people, and why should they come to your website? Are you just throwing up random content and copying what other people are doing? Does your blog feel like an infomercial, sponsored post after sponsored post? Great, you got a free trip to Disneyland, a free facial and car service! How does that help your readers?

8. Bloggers, set your own standards.

Stop wanting to be on the top blog lists and curb your jealousy for not making the top lists. Keep your head down and work hard and stick to your own goals and objectives. No one can measure your success but you. At the end of the day you should be able to look at what you accomplished, who you connected with, how well you moved forward or made progress on a project and be happy with that. Set your own standards, don’t live by other people’s.

9. Brands, create a REAL brand ambassadorship program.

Here’s an idea: Maybe you should sponsor websites instead of per post content. Find a blogger that matches your brand’s voice and demographic. If you believe in what they are doing and what they are putting out then help them to continue what they are doing by sponsoring the entire website for a year. Work with them to create editorial content that is in sync with your brand and theirs. (If anyone wants to test this theory with Savvy Sassy Moms, email me.)

10. “Surround yourself with people who piss excellence.”

This advice I got from my husband, Harris Fellman, a very smart internet marketer who gives me epic nuggets of wisdom like this constantly.

If you are working with people that do not have the same work ethic, values, aesthetic and moral compass you should not be working with them. Seek out people who piss excellence not just in work but in life. These people are dependable and show up every, single, time.You don’t need to piss perfection, but you need to be consistent and always do your best no matter the task or the situation. I put the same effort into a $150 job as I do into a $1,500 project. This is your work and reputation, nothing is more valuable than that.

Gary talks a lot about knowing your strengths and knowing what you’re good at as the key to success. I have been working more towards this, focusing all my time and energy on what I do best, outsourcing my weaknesses and building a team around me that only lifts me up and makes me want to do better.

Blogging is never going to make you rich, “you need a backend” (another nugget of wisdom from Harris Fellman) and the more people realize that, we can all get busy doing what we’re good at and leveraging our strengths.  Then using our contacts, our relationships and our reputation from blogging to make our next move.  If nothing else, our blogs have been a stepping stone on our path to what we should be doing next.

I’m not just @SavvySassyMoms, I’m Andrea Fellman and I believe I can do more than this.

Bloggers and Brands you should really read Gary’s latest book Jab, Jab Jab, Right Hook for everyone’s sake.

*I apologize to the savvy sassy mom readers that come here for the latest and greatest in fashion, baby gear, travel tips and our favorite apps. This is not a typical post on Savvy Sassy Moms but it needed to be written. All of the above affects my business and how I am able to sustain and keep Savvy Sassy Moms alive.  

Disclosure: This is not a sponsored post. I bought the book myself with money I’ve earned working my ass off on Savvy Sassy Moms and the Amazon links are not affiliate links, but probably should be.

Got something to say?  Share it below, I would love to hear what you think!

Meet the Author | savvysassymoms

Andrea is a Mom who hasn't lost her style to motherhood. Andrea loves social media and works on a variety of social media campaigns with brands big and small. Connect with Savvy Sassy Moms on Instagram

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  1. Awesome, awesome, awesome! Thank you for putting into words what I’ve been thinking for the past 2 years. AMEN and high five to you!

  2. Um– yes. I was going to point out my favorites, but that would have been all of them!

  3. I love this post for so many reasons. Although I am not a mom blogger, I am a midlife one who also blogs about living with a disability. My goals are the same as yours, and I agree with all you said. You are, as they say, kickass (I don’t usually use “those words” but it sure does feel good!) and I appreciate your honesty. This is an important post for me. Thank you for writing it.

  4. As you know (from my private messages telling you just how f*cking proud I am of you), you nailed it with this. You put into words what so many of us have been thinking, but couldn’t articulate nearly as well.

    What I love most about this piece is that there are some “yep” moments, some “Oh! I hadn’t thought about that” moments and a whole lot of f*ck, yeah…brilliant!” moments.

    The perfect blogger manifesto, my dear!

  5. Oh, my friend…what a kick-ass manifesto you have woven! Each and every point made me THINK about where my blog is headed, what I WANT for my site and how important it is to have goals and stick to them.

    I am so freakin’ proud of you right now.

  6. And then there’s this “and the Amazon links are not affiliate links, but probably should be”…not only did you write a kick ass, inspiring post but you show us that you are a work in progress just like us. Love it!

  7. Great post, hon…

    I like and agree with the word “Manifesto” being tossed about by Nichole & Sherri. Kinda reminds me of Jerry Maguire. You had me at “piss excellence”.

  8. I’m so glad to read this. I avoid many aspects of the “business of blogging” because of so much of what you say here.

  9. Andrea,

    Your 10 point manifesto is right on. I have straddled both roles at various points and you are on the money with those “call outs”.

    My first run on the Jab Jab book did not go so well. After reading your piece, I will pick it back up and make another go for it.

  10. From one passionate f bomber to another F yeah! Btw… This can be used in all aspects of businesses and entrepreneurs! Love you and that guy who has nuggets of wisdom!

  11. Awesome on so many levels. I never take advice form other bloggers because I see the worst advice given to others. It’slikemyohmygoshstopitalready!

  12. love these tips! I also love Gary Vaynerchuk. I found him through my old boss and his first book I read was Thank You Economy-though I should read Crush Ittoo! I’m working through JJJRH now 🙂

  13. Applause to you for breaking with the format and revealing the underside of the pretty, sassy, savvy website and community you have built. True, this stuff is more relevant to other bloggers, but I’ll bet it’s interesting for at least some of your readers to see how much work and strategy goes into creating your content. And indeed, you have me curious about GV’s books. Might even fire up my rusty e-reader…

  14. I love this and will be following you- because I believe you piss excellence

  15. Hi Andrea, You are one sassy mom, no doubt about it! I actually loved this post and it is so timely for me. I’m just a baby in the social media and blogging world and I have tons to learn. Thanks for this valuable lesson. I am trying to be and do all the things you say. I’m sure I’ll make stupid mistakes, I’m sure I already have; but, I keep reminding myself to be likable, valuable and above all ethical and decent. I agree with other comenters, this post of yours is top notch!

  16. GREAT post, Andrea! I have always suspected that “to thine own self be true” is the way of the blog world and this is great confirmation. xoxo

  17. I love everything about this…and the passion!! My key takeaway is that I must drop the f-bomb more! 🙂
    getting this book now!

  18. Author

    Someone else mentioned Jerry Maguire to me – this is perhaps my “memo moment”. I owe 75% of my success to you.

  19. Author


    The book is really geared towards brands – but as bloggers, I think we can learn a lot from acting and thinking like a brand. A few of these points has nothing to do with Gary’s book at all, but reading this and listening to him just brought it all out. Thanks for reading and commenting!

  20. Author

    Patty, I did not read Thank You Economy {shocking, I know} Crush It is by far the best! Would love to hear your thoughts on #JJJRH

  21. Author

    Thank you Kim. That is exactly what is always tough for me when dealing with my site. How much personal and business can I share? I mean, pregnant moms looking for the hippest gear and stroller news are not exactly looking for my behind the scenes as a blogger drama…

  22. Author

    Kerry, thanks for reading and commenting! I love that “likeable, valuable and ethical” 3 things you should be proud to stand by. The real secret to blogging…is to just be yourself. As lame as it sounds, it’s true. And don’t let brands and other bloggers dictate your content, it’s easy to get caught up in what other people are doing and want to do the same things or post about something you really don’t care about just because you were flattered by their offer.

  23. Author

    Ana, parts of this book you and I are already doing and have been successful at. Think of the jab, jab,jab, right hook for getting sponsors on board – it’s a great way to go about selling 😉

  24. Love your passion Andrea – and so glad I am not the only one whose passion leads to the dropping of F-bombs. 😉
    Epic insights – a fantastic post! Off to share…

  25. I smiled through the entire post. I followed Gary’s advice intensively for 5-6 years but haven’t read this latest book yet. I love this advice and intuitively without reading the book this is exactly how I have been building my blogging strategy the past 2 years. Killer team that “piss excellence” and have the same ethics and quality standards as I do, and not sharing shitty content from brands, but focusing in building our own voice and not selling out for every little sponsor but waiting for the right ones. Great post!

  26. Author

    Thanks Janice, I just want us all to succeed and DO better so it fires me up! Thanks for commenting and sharing.

  27. Thank you for saying everything that’s been on my mind lately! I got to meet Gary at a Crush It book signing in Boston 4 years ago when I was pregnant with Gavin, he’s so dynamic and a blast. We started our website with the vision that is now coming to fruition now, almost 5 years later. It’s been a long haul. I’ve listened to other bloggers and gotten burned most of the time, not because their advice was wrong, but because different brands in different industries are not in the same stratosphere and there just is not an equation that works for everyone and everything.

  28. Bravo! Thank you for sharing! So much that needed to be said. I learned about his first book from Jeannie Mai. I will be picking up the 2nd!
    p.s. you better throw those affiliate links in asap!

  29. Well said!! As a former “PR Person” that worked with bloggers, I sometimes wanted to shoot myself when brands asked us to ask bloggers to share shitty content but also when bloggers thought they were bigger than their britches. Love your perspective and I’ll be buying this book!!

  30. Something I really needed to read today as I wade through my next moves. Thanks for always being a motivation and encouragement lady. Now to get back to work (where is that darn nanny to take the kids!)

  31. I am printing this out and hanging it on my bulletin board in front of me at my desk. This is a great manifesto of blogging – 10 very important reasons – and why we have value.

  32. Hands down, best blog post I’ve ever read on this topic. The brand/blogger landscape needs to change. It’s mostly uncharted territory that desperately needs more protocol and structure. I work with many brands and there are very few that get it just right and are mutually beneficial. I absolutely love your ideas for improvement.

  33. Andrea: THANK YOU so much for this post! I have only been writing for a year and blogging for about 9 months so I easily get sidetracked by all the “this is what you should do” “I would never say no to that” and other pieces of advice I get from other bloggers who swear they have the magic formula and want to make it seem like they’re getting rich off their mom blog. I have actually made the decision to halt advertisements or PR other than affiliates that I know and love, and use myself. I just want to write. All the other stuff just gets in the way for me.

  34. So Glad I came across this post. As a new Blogger stepping into this maze of mom blogging, this was a breath of fresh air. I have looked at blog after blog and have found that most of them are sharing the same content just in different words. I’m not looking to support brands I just want to get my story out there, while sharing some of the great things that make life easier. So think you for saying the things that I think all bloggers new and old need to hear.

  35. Wow sister! how long has this been brewing in your sassy head? My personal fav was “Surround yourself with people who piss excellence.” I mean that’s brilliant! You go girl and rock the hell out of 2014! I’m off to buy this book and if you send me an affiliate link I will use it. I like to give credit where credit is due. 🙂

  36. This is my first visit to your blog, and I absolutely LOVE it. Every point you made had me nodding and saying, “Yes” and making me assess what I’m doing on my blog. I have quite a few sponsored posts in recent months, and when I look back at the travels I posted with my awesome pics, I know I need to pepper that in. I don’t want my blog to seem like a total walking add when there’s a savvy, hardworking woman (and mom) with heart and passion for what I do. Thank you for being a fabulous, joyfully foul-mouthed voice of reason. You’ve gained a new fan and serious respect.

  37. Pingback: Is Your Blog a Brand? | Roar Retreat

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