On the back of yesterday’s post about the term blogger being a dirty word, I thought it would be apt to follow up with a blogger tips post about the dirtiest of dirtiest of blogging things. Working with brands! I don’t do a hell of a lot of collaborations because one, they’re time consuming and two, they’re not always relevant. Generally when I do a blog post about a brand or product, I don’t get paid, I’m gifted the item and every opinion I have on that product is mine. If you’re a blogger and want to know how to get in with brands, my advice is to start small and build your way up.
If you’re not a blogger you may want to skip this one. If you’re interested in blogging and want to know how you can get more out of it, then read on.
Working with brands has to be mutually beneficial. Not all bloggers take every opportunity simply because they’re getting free stuff. That’s not how it works. Taking everything that comes your way is worthless to you as a blogger and even worse for your readers who may click the unsubscribe button because you’re throwing tat at them.
Knowing your value as a blogger and what you owe your readers is important. I’ve worked with tiny brands, start ups and been lucky to work with a couple of big brands like Dyson and Netflix. I consider myself to be small fry in the blogging world so when a collaboration comes my way I tend to suss it out. What are they offering, what do they want, is it useful to my family and is it worthwhile for my readers to read about it.
Working with brands is a great way to grow your blog. As well as helping to boost your credibility, working with brands raises your profile and allows you to start making some great money from your blog. Working with brands for the first time can be scary and daunting, but once you get the hang of it, all sorts of doors could open for you.
It takes perseverance and guts, but after securing your first brand collaboration it will all be worth it. Take the next step in your blogging journey with these useful tips for working with brands.
Keep things relevant and realistic
As you start thinking about working with brands, it’s a good idea to make a wish list of companies you’d like to work with. It’s important that you choose brands that fit the niche of your blog, rather than going left field because you fancy an expensive gadget or trip somewhere. Take a look at the kinds of things similar bloggers are doing to help you see what kind of collaborations are out there.
You’ll also need to be realistic. While you might be itching to get your hands on a designer bag or a host of goodies from your favourite beauty brand, it’s better to start off small and build up a good portfolio than try to work with big brands straight away.
Image: Kaboom Pic
Get your blog in good shape
Working with brands is a bit like applying for a job – you need to demonstrate that you’re the right fit to stand a chance of them accepting you. Brands get requests from bloggers by the hundreds, so you need to be able to stand out from the rest. Give your blog a little tidy up to make it the best it can be, and work on creating some great content to show off.
It’s also handy to have a firm grasp of your stats (think Dragon’s Den!). Use blog statistics tools to help you understand your readers so that you can communicate your reach and following easily, which is the information most brands need to decide if you’re worth working with or not. Creating a media kit is a good way to gather all of your stats in one place that you can send to brands alongside your email. This speeds up the process, and you can create one for free easily using Canva.
Remember, you don’t need to have high statistics to be a good fit for a brand. Micro-influencers are becoming a more popular choice for brands looking to work with influencers with an engaged audience, regardless of size. If you have an engaged community around you, you could be a better bet than someone with out of this world subscriber figures.
Start gathering contact details
Finding contact details for the right people at different brands can be tricky, but it’s worth building up a database that you can work your way through. The best way to get the details you need is to visit websites and look for the Press/PR contact. If there isn’t one, email the general information email and ask for the relevant person. Try to get a name if you can, this will make it more likely they’ll take notice of your email than simply writing ‘hey’.
Craft a simple email
Writing the email can be the most daunting part of the process, but there are some fantastic example pitch emails you can use to make the right impression. Keep your email simple, using details such as why you love the brand, why you’d be a good fit for them, an idea you’ve had for a collaboration and a nice call-to-action asking them to get in touch. Once you’ve done one, you’ll feel much more confident and able to fire of these emails quickly and fuss-free!
Professionalism is key when working with brands, so don’t get things off on the wrong foot by sending multiple follow-up emails or being rude in your responses. Reply in a timely way to any replies and make sure you stick to agreed deadlines and requirements to make sure you fulfil your end of the deal.
Your personal safety is also important to remember when working with brands. Be careful about who you share your name and address with and never pay for a collaboration. Some bloggers make use of a private home business address to receive items instead of revealing their address. You could also try using PayPal for payments to provide you with extra security. Avoid risky situations and remember that if something sounds too good to be true, it probably is!
As a fantastic way to grow your blog and boost your income, there’s a lot to gain from working with brands. For more great blogging advice to help you improve your blog, why not try some blogging courses to help you grow? With the right advice behind you, you’ll be on your way to bigger and better things with your blog.
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