How bloggers can start working with brands

bloggers-and-brands

I recently attended a blogger conference and quickly realized there is a lot of missing information when it comes to blogging. Many bloggers were asking me questions that I never thought to address on here. I hope to be able to help with this by providing some information here over the next few weeks. I want to begin with ‘How bloggers can start working with brands‘. I get that not everyone wants to be brand friendly but for those of you who do, maybe this can help.

I have had this blog for over 4 years but I started working with brands fairly quickly. Below are a few things I have done that I find worked well for me. In the big world of social media quite often we are not sure how to be found or how to stand out. Once this is figured out the possibilities are endless.

Engage on social media

Twitter has made many companies more accessible. Follow those you are interested in, RT what you feel is important and engage. Ask them questions, give them a shout out etc. If you are shopping and buying their product snap a pic and send them a tweet. They love it, it gets you on their radar and it will start the conversation. Same goes for Instagram as they are both very social and quick.

Facebook is a bit different.

If you are a blogger you should have a fan page. This is a business page anyone can like and see. This is separate from your personal profile. When you engage with brands, hotels, PR networks etc on Facebook do so from your fan page profile. This can be done by clicking on the flag in the comments

facebook-profile

Reach out via their website

With so many bloggers out there brands are just like us. They are unsure where to start the relationship and in some cases how. Reach out to them via their contact form or their email list ( most are listed as per their duties/responsibilities) but Google may be helpful for this as well. Search “Media contact for {company name}Canada {or other country} ” Introduce yourself and your blog. It does not need to be a long drawn out pitch. You can easily open doors with a short and sweet intro that ends saying “Happy to answer any questions you may have. Looking forward to hearing from you soon“. Of course if you have an idea in mind then go ahead and pitch away int eh initial email. I personally do short and sweet as I am often looking for an ongoing partnership and am quite flexible with how we can partner.

Once they know who you are and where you are and what you do, they will add you to their media list and reach out as they can. Many brands  I have spoken to love when bloggers reach out as it helps them know who is interested in a partnership.

Make your blog brand friendly

If you are fortunate enough to have been found either by search or social media you are already ahead of most. But make it easy for the people who found you to contact you. Have your email on your blog and have a contact form linked to a tab that can easily be found. Some like to fill out the form and others prefer to copy and paste the email then add to a group pitch. Make this easily accessible for the brands and reps looking on your blog. Include information about demographics, location, specific interests etc. An empty-nester does not want to have their time wasted with baby pitches nor does a cat lover want to be pitched about dog products. The more info you have the less time is wasted by all. Have a page via a tab that is “brand friendly” or “about me” or “contact me”. If the person wanting to contact you needs to work too hard or spend too much time finding how to contact you, they will most likely move on.

Network with other bloggers

When you talk to bloggers similar to you the possibilities are endless. You develop relationships beyond what you would ever expect. Not only are you finding someone to bounce ideas off of but you are expanding each others circles. When I am pitched often I am asked if I know others “similar to me” who the rep should reach out to. If they do not ask, I may mention “If you are looking for more bloggers I am happy to refer some” In return they will do it for you. Good karma!

As you and your friends grow you may pitch together for larger campaigns, twitter parties and events.

Attend conferences

Conferences are great for learning but they are also amazing for getting one on one time with sponsors, brands, community managers, PR networks etc. We all work online but we still crave that personal connection and seeing what the other is really about. In a sea of bloggers that in person meeting may help you stand out next time they are looking for blogs to add to a campaign.

Join networks and get on email lists

A quick Google search of “Networks for bloggers” will show you endless networks that connect bloggers with brands. In Canada we have Yummy Mommy Club, SavvyMoms, Influence Central and more. Open to bloggers throughout north America we have SITS girls, IZEA, Social Fabric, Linqia and more. As well as the endless PR Networks.

If they have a form fill it out. Usually they ask basic info about you and your family as well as your blog. Most often they are also looking for social media presence and stats. If there is no form send an email introducing your blog and asking to be added to their media list for outreach and campaigns.

Have a professional blog

I am a true believer of investing in yourself and your business. I realize when you are not making money it is hard to put money into your blog. But once you do it will pay off. Get rid of the blogspot domains and invest in your own URL. Also be self hosted by using a hosting site. If you are on WP and not self hosted you have too many restrictions in regards to monetizing, so be self hosted. Your host will offer technical support, special perks like discounts on advertising for Facebook, twitter etc , as well as upgrades to use as you grow.

At first it may be scary and you may be ignored or rejected when you put yourself out there and pitch. Do not let this get you down! We have all had this happen. The more you put yourself out there the more doors will open. Eventually you will get to a point where you are being pitched daily and having to turn down work yourself. We all begin somewhere. If your numbers are good I highly recommend looking into an ad network as many also offer social media and blog campaigns that pay well. These are often only available to those who are within their network.

Most importantly-Do not be afraid to ask questions and reach out to other bloggers. Most remember starting out and will gladly offer some basic help and advice. Remember their time is valuable and they are not obligated to help so do not overstep 😉 Google is a bloggers best friend as there are many posts on the subject easily found at your finger tips.

My next post will be how to make your blog more brand friendly.

Do you have anything to add? Any questions I may not have covered? Leave a comment below. Happy blogging!

 

 

Comments

  1. Amanda Ferreira says

    Thanks for the tips! I had no idea that I could post on a brands Facebook page with mine.
    My recent post 6 Tips to Conquer Bed Wetting #ConquerBedWetting

  2. Great post, Kim! I'm looking forward to the other posts you have coming up this week!
    My recent post How To Make the Best of Your Family Beach Trip!

  3. cindyloveofbook says

    Great tips Kim. There was a few things that I didn't know about and I am happy you addressed them. I look forward to reading your upcoming posts.

  4. Hi Kim!

    Thank you so much for posting this valuable and helpful information. I'm a newbie blogger and while it's exciting, it's also a bit scary. Thanks again for sharing!
    My recent post Home Plate(s)

  5. I've worked with brands through networks, but I'd love to work with brands directly someday soon. Time to start reaching out!
    My recent post Yummy Chubby Hubby Ice Cream Inspired Cookie Recipe

  6. I love this post. I am also starting off with my family travel blog and looking forward to following this series. Thanks so much!

  7. Great post Kim! Looking forward to add your post on how to make your blog more brand friendly.

  8. Awesome tips Kim!
    My recent post What I Ate Wednesday

  9. This is a great article…thank you so much for your insight. I started a blog not long ago and had limited knowledge of how to market my blog, where to reach out, and basically what to do.
    Love your post!

  10. mypixieblog says

    Great advice–thanks so much for sharing!! And yes, toggling back to your fan page on Facebook and commenting from that is a great way to not only get more follows, but also have your blog stand out to the brand itself. Thanks for this!
    My recent post Come Clean Pop Culture Soap review and giveaway

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