Blogging as a business involves positioning your blog to become “brand-attractive” which in return brings in income. Although, this one is the trickiest of all because it involves reaching out to brands who at the end of the day might just turn you down.
The first thing you want to be sure of is that your reputation is solid and your blog is a clear representation of what you are interested in as a person. Also, when you want to reach out to a brand you would love to work with then you have to show support towards them.
You should get social with them; follow them on their social media, tag them in that Instagram post, mention them in that tweet, retweet, do all that stuff that would make them see you as “having their back” before sending that mail!
These brands are getting pitched by people who claim to love and use them, you have to be distinct and gain access by proving that you actually love them and want them to grow. With the proves, they would be convinced that you are the best person to handle the job.
Furthermore, working with brands involves certain Pros and Cons and we cannot afford not to treat it in this article. Starting with the Pros;
First, working with brands on a short-term basis can turn into a long-term partnership if you impress them which means constant funds for you. Although, you do not necessarily have to reach out to all brands if they do not interest you, but when you work with a brand, they tend to promote you in the process of promoting their brand which means more traffic for you on your blog.
However, pitching to a brand and requesting to get paid is one very awkward act that you must master as well as accepting a whole lot of “Nos” in the process. Sometimes, scouting for brands and the whole courting process might be long and discouraging but you need to keep pushing anyways.
Below are possible ways to work with brands;
- AFFILIATE PROGRAMMES
This involves making money through commissions from selling brand products placed on your blogs, either through banners or links. Bloggers interested in working with brands can join large affiliate networks so as to get access to a large number of brands. We have more about affiliate marketing here!
Examples of these affiliate programmes are AWIN, ShareAsale and so on. You can also join the affiliate programme of a particular brand like Amazon or sometimes these brands will just track it internally by giving bloggers a specific tracking link to determine sales made.
2. EXCHANGING SERVICES WITH BRANDS
For most bloggers they prefer to enjoy certain benefits and services in place of money. For instance, a lifestyle blogger can partner with chains of hotels to promote them and in return request for a two-night stay in a cool tourist destination branch.
In this case, it is a win win for both parties; you get to enjoy a VIP treatment for two nights with enough pictures for your blogs and they get a post reviewing their hotel which is publicity for them.
3. BEING A BRAND AMBASSADOR
In this case you get to represent the brands and portray the brand through your blog posts. It becomes more interesting if the brand’s product is something you are passionate about, you get to work on something you love and still get paid.
You can be fairly organic with their ads by mentioning them on posts related to their products. On another hand, both parties can collaborate on paid campaigns when they launch new products. So you get to work to promote the brand and they share your contents on their channels, giving you an opportunity to be seen by potential clients.
4. PRODUCT REVIEWS
Most bloggers get continuous supplies of products and endless deals for services to get reviews in return. You get to enjoy certain luxury because these brands know that your review would drive traffic to their websites which would become conversions eventually.
You have to take good product pictures, create videos and write a convincing review post on that product or service.
5. SPONSORED CONTENT
A brand can pay you to write sponsored contents connected to them as a brand, making it known to your readers through mentions like “brought to you by…” or their brand name in between to acknowledge that they are behind the content. A lot of people get stuck here.
A sponsored ad should however never sound like one as this would bore your readers, you just have to be strategic about it so it appears more organic. A few tricks to help through this:
- You definitely want your readers to connect with not just you but the brand so you have to be relatable
- It is best you integrate your sponsor into a post that can pass with or without a sponsor, this way it sounds natural and reaches more people
- Let people know there is an established relationship in as much as you want to be as authentic as positive. People will definitely support your hustle
- Use a call-to-action that would encourage readers to share and comment so as to increase engagement
WRITING A PITCH MAIL
That pitch mail is your only opportunity to shine but you have to be careful not to sound so vain to the brand. You want to get across your potentials, skills and experiences but you also do not want to waste the brands time when doing this.
Don’t just feed them with all the magic you have done since you started working with brands, instead, send a polite introduction stating clearly what you do and how you can use it to the benefit of the brand. You can attach a few links of previous jobs or better still attach your media kit to the mail.
Make sure your mail gives them just leads that would make them reach out to you because they want more.
THE FOLLOW UP
You can use STEAK; a Google extension to monitor how many of your mails are opened. You can then send a follow up after a few days to persuade them into opening your mail and giving you that desired response.
if a brand does not open your mail, it is nothing personal. If you have a messy inbox you would understand the need for a follow up mail, accompanied by the fact that some mails go to “junk”.
WHEN BRANDS APPROACH YOU
When you get to a particular stage in blogging, brands would approach you. Now not all brands are worth working with, you just have to be certain about what your interests are and your goals as a blogger. Some brands can be selfish, wanting to use you and your influence to get to their target audience without giving anything in return, RUN!
What if the brand won’t pay?
If they are not going to be paying cash then there should be an attached benefit. However, it is up to you to decide if you still want to work with such brand and not you being persuaded into it.
If you decide to reject the offer, don’t take it personal because you just might have been above their budget, you can send out a few tweets about them to show support and see if they would change their mind.
Have you had bad experiences working with brands? Do you have questions you want to ask about working with brands? Share in the comment section and we would definitely give you a reply!