Working With Brands as a Blogger

I’ve had about 10 million and one questions lately about working with brands as a blogger from collaborating with companies, bringing up compensation, and what e-mail format I use when pitching a company over the last couple of weeks. And even though I absolutely love helping you all out, I figured it would be easier to do a long ass post about the topic and cover all of the bases for you all to reference whenever you need to! So grab a drink, a note pad and pen, and be prepared for this long ass post.

Working With Brands as a BloggerWorking With Brands as a Blogger

When you decide that you want to start monetizing your blog, there are a lot of different ways to go but one of my absolute favorite to earn money blogging is through sponsored posts. Creating a working relationship with all different brands and companies is so rewarding and is such a learning experience. You might not get it the first time, but you learn how to pitch yourself and more importantly, your blog while making money doing what you love.

BEFORE YOU PITCH A COMPANY

Grow a following and engaged audience – Growing your following and audience is super important when it comes to working with companies to promote their brand. Although it is not imperative to have hundreds of thousands of views and followers, having an engaged audience is. I’ve seen smaller bloggers have more sponsorship opportunities than “famous” bloggers, simply because they have have an engaged audience. This is something that companies will look at and even though it takes time to build, it’s an important aspect!

Create a media kit – A media kit is the document that holds all of the information about your blog in a small amount of space. It showcases who you are, the history of your blog and what it is about, as well as information about your audience – demographics, pageviews, and your social media following. 95% of the time, companies will ask to see your media kit to get a better idea about you and your blog and whether the collaboration/sponsorship that is being talked about is worth it. If you don’t have a media kit, I highly suggest you purchase one (Etsy has some great ones!) or create one yourself!

Related post: Why You Need a Media Kit & How to Make One (I will be updating this post soon, so keep your eyes pealed!)

Make a list of companies you’re interested in working with – Even though having a set niche isn’t important in today’s blogging community, I do think it is important to stick to a small amount of topics (3-5) that you focus on on your blog. When taking sponsorships, reviews, and giveaways into consideration, make sure they are ones that fit who you are and what your blog is about. Your readers can seat right through what is an organic post and what isn’t.

TIPS FOR CRAFTING A PITCH E-MAIL

Pitch a post idea – Telling X company that you are interested in collaborating might or might not get you places. When you tell X company that you want to collaborate and what you have in mind for a post, they are more like to respond and be interested in you and your blog. When you don’t pitch a company and they return your e-mail with something along the lines of “we’d love to work with you, what did you have in mind?” which can increase your e-mail correspondence and quite frankly, will waste both of your time! Don’t get flustered, get your pitch out of the way in your first e-mail.

Short & sweet – Your pitch should be just like the saying “short, sweet, and to the point.” Include all of the important details about you, your blog, and what you can offer the company in your original e-mail. If all goes well, multiple e-mails will be exchanged before coming to a set and stone plan that will discuss all of the details.

Show your personality – Letting you personality show through your e-mail correspondence and your blog is a must. There are so many blogs out there and there needs to be something that sets yours apart from the rest, so why not do that through your personality? Having a good, professional pitch is essential but showing your personality can really win the hearts of the people on the other side of that e-mail.

Tell the company what they can expect from you – You are the founder, the creator, and the boss of your blog. Let the companies that you are pitching know what they can expect from you. Do you offer a specific number of photos or social media mentions? Do you offer something that sets you apart from other bloggers? What type of tone does your blog have? Fitting the personality of the brand into the personality of you and your blog is ideal.

Work with brands that represent your blog – I mentioned this before, but working with brands that represent your blog bring in the most organic views. When a certain product/service does not fit into what you are aiming for on your blog or what your readers are interested in, they won’t be interested in the next product/service that doesn’t “fit” in with your blog.

WHAT TO INCLUDE IN YOUR E-MAIL

Clear subject line – Keep it short, simple, and to the point (see what I did there?). Good subject lines are “Interested in Featuring X BRAND on TYPE OF BLOG” which means I would write “Interested in Featuring X BRAND on Life & Style Blog.” If you’re pitching a hotel, an ideal subject line would be “Media Inquiry: Interested in Featuring X HOTEL on TYPE OF BLOG.” This lets the receiver of the e-mail know what to expect before the open, or even trash, your e-mail.

Your intro – Who are you? What do you do? Create a strong introduction so the company knows who you are, what you do, and what you’re about right off the bat. I like to introduce myself by my name, as a blogger, and then I follow up with creative adjectives about what I do.

Your Blog URL + Social Media Handles – How is a company going to be able to tell if your blog fits in with their product/service if they have no idea where you blog or what your social media handles are? My biggest tip is to hyperlink these URL’s so there isn’t “www.” all over your e-mail!

Benefits of Working With You – What can you offer the company that they can’t find elsewhere? This is where you want to really pitch and promote your blog and how awesome it is. Let the company know why they they should collaborate with you and why it is a good fit.

Contact Information – Be sure to include your contact information (name, e-mail, social media handles, blog URL) so the receiver of your e-mail can get back to you about your pitch. This makes it easier for them so they don’t have to go on a wild goose chase to find your information just to send you a simple e-mail or to check out your blog/social media.

OPTIONAL THINGS TO INCLUDE ON YOUR FIRST E-MAIL

Demographics & Traffic/Media Kit – Including your media kit as an attachment and your stats in your e-mail is a great thing to include to get a better idea of who you are. I don’t always include my media kit in my original e-mail, but is something that is request a good amount of the time!

Brands you’ve worked with – Including examples of brands you have worked with in the past shows that you have experience with writing sponsored posts, dealing with companies, and are a dedicated blogger. If you’re new to sponsored posts, don’t worry about this!

Examples of sponsored posts – Just like including the brands you’ve worked with, including examples of sponsored posts you’ve done in the past is not completely necessary. If you do have any you are very proud of though, it does allow the company know what to expect from you and get a feel for your writing style when it comes to sponsored posts.

Pricing – Bringing up compensation is a rocky topic for a lot of bloggers. The thing is that you should never be ashamed to ask for compensation for a post and/or social media postings. Blogging takes a lot of work and a lot of people don’t realize how much work is actually put into it, so you should ask to be compensated!

I personally have a pricing list but make it very clear with the companies that I really want to work with that I am open to making other arrangements. If you’re OK with just receiving product, that’s fine, but know that it is OK to ask to be compensated for your time.

Because I understand how hard it is to craft an e-mail to pitch a company the first couple of times, I have create a free printable for you gals to refer to! You can download the printable here.

Have you pitched any companies? 

22 Comments

  1. June 22, 2016 / 9:53 AM

    I’ve worked with countless brands at this point, and your points are all spot on, Rach! Another tip: figure out how it benefits THEM. Not just the idea…but how the idea is useful to their current marketing efforts. It takes a little extra effort and prowess, but if you nail it, the gig is yours.

    Coming Up Roses

    • June 23, 2016 / 12:09 PM

      I totally agree with you!!

  2. June 22, 2016 / 10:40 AM

    Love how detailed and in depth this is! Pitching companies can be a tricky thing because there are so many little details you need to nail down in order to land the collab. You did an awesome job of laying out everything there is to know!

    X,
    Cristina
    cristinawashere.com

  3. June 22, 2016 / 11:56 AM

    Thank you for this thorough post! I have considered working with brands as a blogger in the future. I specifically appreciate the your email breakdown as well. Sometimes writing emails can be such a weak point for me.’m still building my brand and following, but this post will be something that I reference back to when it comes time!

    -Tia
    https://retouchingblog.com

    • June 23, 2016 / 12:10 PM

      I agree, the actually writing of an email to a company is the most stressful part. You want to make sure you have all the right info down and worded correctly!

    • June 23, 2016 / 12:11 PM

      Thanks so much Bryn! I hope it helps!

    • June 23, 2016 / 12:11 PM

      Good luck girfran! You’ll do great!!!

  4. June 22, 2016 / 7:26 PM

    This is such a great post! So many bloggers wonder how to pitch to brands (myself included) and this is so helpful!!!

    • June 23, 2016 / 12:12 PM

      Thanks so much Susannah! I’m so glad it was helpful for you!

  5. June 22, 2016 / 8:44 PM

    Great tips, and such a helpful post! It’s always good to know what to expect when starting to work with brands! 🙂

    • June 23, 2016 / 12:12 PM

      YES! And it’s always good for them to know what to expect from you!

    • June 23, 2016 / 12:12 PM

      I recently updated mine but I’m always looking to make it better! It’s a good thing to have!

  6. June 23, 2016 / 1:06 PM

    great tips!! I have never worked with a company/brand but would love to try!

  7. June 29, 2016 / 11:56 AM

    This is so wonderful! I’ve always dreamed of working with brands. Now, I feel like I have the tools necessary to boost my confidence and put myself out there.

    • June 29, 2016 / 12:35 PM

      I am so so glad! You’re going to rock it!!

      • July 6, 2016 / 12:18 PM

        I’m revisiting this post, as I just got a request for a sponsored post! I’m wondering, in your opinion, what a solid minimum payment would be for a newer blogger with a smaller following might be. Thanks!

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