I’ve been doing this whole blogging thing for about 7 months now. So I didn’t really feel I was in a position to talk about this subject. However I’ve been asked a few times now to write a post about working with brands so I feel it’s only right to respond.
Brands and bloggers – a love hate relationship. I think people have this pretty picture painted in their minds that blogging = brand deals. But alas, it is not that simple. But it doesn’t have to be this distant desire, working with brands brings amazing opportunities and, can actually be really fun and simple! So today I thought I’d share some tips from a somewhat still newbie blogger. Whether you may be new to blogging or trying to push that blogging game a little further, you can work with brands too.
At this point I’d like to add, working with brands and stats and all this does not matter. Don’t let it define your success. And brand deals do not have to go hand in hand with blogging – you do you. I’d also like to stress I’m no expert, this is just some tips from past experience. Anyway, back to our regularly scheduled blogpost (or not so regularly scheduled because Em is a bit of a blogging sloth right now)…
Taking the initial step is tricky, that’s no lie. And there are so many question marks – the biggest mark that comes up is blog stats. And I’m not going to sugar coat it – stats does matter, of course it does. But you don’t have to have an established following to get recognised by companies – there are ways. It’s just a case of seeking for opportunities yourself rather than waiting for them to come to you. I believe my blog was at about 100 followers when I first worked with a brand, if that. And I didn’t have my own domain or anything fancy – which just goes to show.
Also never neglect your social media, a cardinal aspect to have is being influential and having a persona. Which isn’t always portrayed through just your blog, don’t forget you can work with people through your Instagram or Twitter just as much.
There are a whole shedload of ways for you to discover brands and visa versa. They all come with their advantages and disadvantages, but whichever way you go is completely valid. There are no wrong options here.
There are so many of these dotted around the internet, being probably one of the most popular routes. It’s soul purpose is to connect brands and bloggers, maybe through having brands put up assignments or creating profiles of bloggers as an archive for brands. These are sites such as Bloggers Required, Bloglovin’ Activate or The Blogger Programme.
I’ve used sites like these a few times, and it was all very simple. Some do ask you to pay for full access, but I’ve always just used the free bits and have been just as satisfied. This is a really good route to take if it’s maybe your first collaboration, as you know it’s safe and trustworthy and everything is there in front of you so there’s no hidden surprises. However, as mentioned before, some have paid memberships and, although I’ve personally never had this, if you were to get paid with an opportunity through them, they tend to take a percentage out as well.
A similar approach is through Facebook groups. In a nutshell people post different opportunities and either attach a form to fill in, ask you to email them or simple comment on the post with links. I would say this is for the more established, however I’m nowhere near established and have had a few opportunities from there. So it’s worth signing up to some and seeing what you can get.
There are plenty of opportunities going for all types of bloggers, however it’s very hard to keep track. You need to check it frequently to make sure you see opportunities as they’re coming in, not a few days later. It is very hit and miss, but still definitely worth signing up for. I’m a part of ‘UK Blogging Opportunities’ and ‘Blogger Opportunities’ and both are great, and easily accessible – just search em’ up on Facebook and request membership.
Just search either of these hashtags on Twitter and you will be greeted with an abundance of different companies looking for blogging. And is always worth looking up every now and again just to see whats around and if there’s anything suitable for you. It’s again, very hit and miss, but not one to ignore. I’ve had a fair few opportunities thanks to Twitter. It may be a good idea if you’re just considering working with brands but not completely set on it.
Bite the bullet and just drop them an email. They may not respond, but you never know until you try. You don’t have to send them a whole essay. But just introducing yourself and your blog, maybe send along your media kit if you have one. And mention if they are ever looking for someone to work with you’d be very interested. Don’t suffocate them with stats and reasons to justify yourself. Just make yourself noticed. I’ve had a few successes from doing this so there’s definitely no harm in trying!
On the other hand you can wait for companies to reach out to you. What I’ve been told to be the most authentic way. When this happens is great, but depends more on your influence as a blogger. There’s not much more to say except to make sure the opportunity is legit and there’s no fine print to this.
Of course there is so many more options and ‘what ifs’ to this subject – but I’d be writing all day. But I do hope this is helpful. I will add if you’re a new blogger and still in need of guidance I am happy to help to the extent I can. Apart from that, happy blogging!
Until next time,