21 Ways To Be The Best Blogger For Brands
With the wind in my hair we sped in a classic sports car down the seafront in Cannes. The summer sun making it a perfect moment to catch myself and realise that this was actually happening to me. The plane over to France had been full of journalists working for major National papers. Journalists whose bosses and titles had put them on that plane; on that trip which lead to that amazing experience. Me, well, I’d put myself on that plane and in that sports car. I’d got there my building up my blog, developing relationships with brands and by making sure I did a great job with all the brands I worked with. As I took in that amazing experience, I was so thankful for my blog. Thankful also for the persistence and drive I had in me, which had seen my blog grow and become appealing to brands.
As you get further into you blogging journey, you might start to become interested in working with brands. Maybe you fancy doing the odd product review or perhaps even work towards ditching the 9-5 and making your blog your business. Working with brands is one of the main ways of earning from your blog and today I’m going to share 21 ways that you can be the best blogger for the job!
Know your worth
Bloggers need to know their worth. As a blogger, chances are you have an engaged and trusting audience. Your readers feel as if they know you. They’ve read stories about your family’s happy and sad times; maybe even watched your children grow up. They trust you and value your opinion. This is a lot more appealing to brands than you think. So brands are looking more and more towards bloggers to promote their business/products.
I’ve been blogging for over three years. In this time I’ve been exceptionally lucky with the opportunities my family and I’ve had. We have been on lots of incredible holidays, had many fab days out, been for lovely meals, received fantastic goods, worked as brand ambassadors, earned cold hard cash and have built many fantastic relationships with wonderful companies.
Here are 21 ways to be the best blogger for brand work;
- You can work with brands even if your stats aren’t amazing. What matters is that your audience is engaged. Also, if you blog is in a narrow niche, then you can afford your stats to be lower. As the specific audience might be the perfect audience for a certain brand.
- Be truthful with what fits you and your family. Don’t just accept every offer put your way, as you may lose respect of your readers.
- Create a Media Kit and know your numbers. When talking to PR’s and brands, it’s a good idea to know your monthly page views and unique visitors off the top of your head (roughly will do).
- Be flexible and think outside the box in terms of what you can offer. If a company or a PR emails you, think of ways you can work together. For example, if they are not offering enough money for you to create a post, offer to do some social media promotion instead.
- Don’t delete press releases. I’ve lost count of the amount of times I hear people saying they just delete the press releases sent to them. DON’T! I know they’re sent out in a blanket fashion, but you can still use them as a conversation starter. Email back and ask the PR if they are looking for sponsored content or reviews. You never know what it might lead to. Once I did just this, and it resulted in me being hired to do a Podcast for Ladybird Books.
Why not devise a standard response you can send in response to press releases and save it as a keyboard shortcut, so it takes only a few seconds to respond?
- Be professional. This should go without saying, but if you want to represent brands, then you have to act in a professional manner. Think about how you act on social media as brands will check your feeds before working with you.
- Create great content. Try to be original, think of how to tell the story in a different way. I still want my content to be interesting, even if it includes a sponsored link. Try to make your sponsored content personal.
- Add value. This ties in with the previous point. Don’t just take the money and post the link, but think how you can add value to the post. The link will be clicked by more people if your post is interesting or useful. So create a great post, regardless of the fact that you have included a certain link.
- Don’t be too literal with the content/link connection. I’m not advocating that you’re abstract, but when writing a post that has to include, for example, a link to a technological product, it doesn’t have to be a detailed post about that product. Think outside the box.
- Use attractive and large images. Show the brand that you can show off their product. Images should be as wide as your template allows.
We’re half way there!
- Make sure it’s worth it to YOU. You must decide your own fees and if you decide to have a minimum product value for reviews. Whatever your limits are, just make sure it’s worth your time. It will take time to test a product, photograph it, edit the photos, write up the review and promote on social media. Make sure what you get in return covers your time.
- Ask other bloggers for advice. Blogging is such a helpful and supportive community. So, if you need help, ask another blogger. Email them, message them or join one of the many Facebook groups for bloggers. I have a super supportive FB group MomBossSquad, to join you need to pop your email in here, then request to join the group.
- Keep your social media feeds professional. Many brands will check your timelines before hiring you or agreeing to work with you. I’ve heard about people who have lost good projects, after the brand checking their feeds.
- Don’t work for free, unless YOU want to, not because you are made to feel is if you should. The offer of high res images or perhaps they have written a wonderful post that you can use for ‘free’…. doesn’t mean you SHOULD post it. It’s your blog, know your worth and you should post only what you want to.
- Make it easy for PRs to work with you. Make sure you have a search bar on your blog (so they can quickly find out if you have worked with a particular brand before). Include an email address, not contact form. Have your social media links on the front page in a prominent position. Include a picture of you on your sidebar (not your dog or your baby!). Tell them where you are located. If you’re an ambassador for a brand, put badge in your sidebar. That way they can avoid any conflict with brands.
Are your social media links in a prominent place?
- Make your blog represents you, while remaining professionally laid out. Proof read, use clear text, don’t use music or moving backgrounds.
- Work with me page. A ‘Work With Me’ page can be a great place to summarise the brands you have worked with, how you work with brands and any other relevant details. This page should be like a CV of brand work.
- Be confident and pitch to THEM. Confidence does comes with a bit of experience. However, if you want to be successful, you need to give the impression of confidence to brands. If you want to work with a particular brand, then pitch to THEM. Don’t wait until they come to you. Chances are they might never come across your blog. A prime example of this for me is my past collaboration with Diet Chef. I wanted to work with a weight loss brand and so I pitched to them. I laid out why I would be a great person to work with their brand, why it would be good for them and what exactly I could offer them in return. This resulted in a 6 month collaboration, which was the longest collaboration with a blogger that they had ever done.
- Keep in contact with brands/PRs you have worked with. Every month to two months, give all your PR contacts a quick email. Remind them of you and your blog and ask if they have any suitable opportunities.
- Search FB groups and Hashtags. For blogger opportunities. On Facebook try BlogPR(UK), Twitter #BloggersRequired, #PRRequest, #BloggersWanted.
- Join the Networks. Britmums, Mumsnet, Social Fabric, Tots100 to name a few. All these networks offer opportunities to bloggers.
There you have it, my whistle stop tour of working with brands. I hope this will give you some ideas of how you can start to work with brands, or further expand your brand work.
If you want to go deeper into brand work, then you should check out my Brand Work Bootcamp, which even includes example scripts you can use when dealing with brands.