Today’s post is for all my fellow bloggers. One of the questions I get the most is how I work with brands as a blogger. If you’ve been around for awhile, you have probably seen the evolution of my partnerships. I’ve talked before about my sponsored content over the years, but I haven’t necessarily delved deep into the world of how to work with brands as a blogger. If you are a blogger who wants to work with brands, or are curious about how bloggers work with different companies and secure brand sponsorships, then today’s post is for you.
How To Work With Brands As A Blogger
One of the ways that bloggers make money is working with brands. I did an entire post about ways that bloggers make money, and brand sponsorships are a big part of that. Working with brands looks different for every blogger, so I can only personally share how it works for me. There is lots of good content on the interwebs that shares other vantage points of this topic, so I encourage you to check them out, too 🙂
How To Work With Brands As A Blogger
First, let’s talk about the different ways to work with brands as a blogger. Sponsored posts are probably the most popular form of revenue and brand collaboration for bloggers. Sponsored posts can come in the form of a blog post, a social media post or content for the company’s blog.
Aside from sponsored posts, bloggers can work with brands on other forms of sponsored content too. This includes: inclusion in newsletter e-mails, participation in social media chats, social media mentions, attending live events, product placement, unboxing videos, etc. The possibilities in this category are kind of limitless, because the world of online marketing is consistently evolving!
Now that I’ve sort of discussed how bloggers can partner with brands, let’s dive into the part that can be a bit intimidating — how to get started working with those companies!
How To Get Started Working With Brands
Many bloggers are part of influencer networks that compile brand opportunities that way. These can be a great way to work with brands for all levels of bloggers.
The pros are that the brands are compiled neatly in one place, opportunities are often emailed directly to you and the application to apply for the opportunities is usually pretty straightforward. If you’re chosen, the influencer network will reach out if you are selected to work with that brand. Your blog and social media stats are stored by the influencer network and that information is also passed along to the brand.
The cons of working with an influencer network sometimes include limited creativity, less pay and specific guidelines regarding sharing (i.e. sharing X number of times on X social channel).
Popular influencer networks include: Fohr, Social Fabric, Ahalogy, CLEVER, Obviously, Collectively
Working 1:1 With The Brand
Opposite of using an influencer network to work with brands, bloggers can also work with companies directly. This can happen in so many different ways — reaching out to the brand yourself, the brand reaching out to the blogger, running into someone on an airplane that works for that brand (not that it has EVER happened or anything ;)). You see where this is going…
So many people I’ve chatted with over the years have shared that reaching out to brands seems intimidating. Don’t be intimidated! Try to think about it like this — on the other end of that brand’s online persona there is a marketing or public relations professional who is looking for people just like you. Influencer marketing is a big deal for brands, so make sure in your pitch letter you include who you are, why you want to work with them, what you can offer and how soon you would like to publish. Be clear, concise and to the point. Here’s an example:
Hi BRAND, My name is ____ and I am the blogger behind _____, a blog dedicated to ____. I have previously worked with X, Y, and Z. (Be sure to link previous branded content so the brand manager doesn’t have to research you — you’ve got it all ready to go!)
I’m reaching out today to see if BRAND NAME partners with content creators? (Right away, getting to the point)
I would love to share how BRAND NAME helps me ______. (Use this space to share how the company would be showcased and why you are the person to do it)
If this is a partnership you would be interested in pursuing, I would love to chat details. (Quick wrap up)
Public Relations Firms
Bigger bloggers will often have a public relations firm that represents them and their professional work. Blogging has become big business, so this is such a savvy move. In this case, PR reps will filter through the many brand collaboration requests and deliver only the best fits for the blogger to ultimately decide.
I hope that this was helpful in understanding how bloggers work with brands and how you, as a blogger, can get started working with brands you love.