Whether you blog full time or as a hobby like me, chances are you may have had the chance to work and collaborate with brands. This can from being sent beauty items to review, a service to try out or paid for sponsored content. I'm definitely a small potato when it comes to working with brands and no expert but I have picked up a few tips along the way, which I hope bloggers will find useful. I'm sure there are more extensive guides and 'dos and dont's' out there but these pointers will be a good starting point!
If you're interested in working with brands, make sure this is clear on your site. Do you have a ‘work with me’ page or have an up to date contact page? Make it simple for anyone that wishes to contact you. If you can, add a hyperlink for your email.
In terms of email etiquette, I think you should always try and find the time to reply. I know some bloggers get inundated with lots of emails but I think it’s good manners to respond and acknowledge the person reaching out to you. Even if you feel the brand is not a right fit for you, send them a short and polite email to decline. You can have a generic email response on standby if you’re pressed for time. Another idea is to pass on details of fellow bloggers who you feel would be a good fit and more suited. My friend Lucy kindly passes on my details for events that she feel I would be interested in :)
After you have established a relationship with the brand and you feel is compatible with your blog style and values. Make sure you are both clear what the brand expect from you and if necessary discuss budgets. Do they require a certain word count, specific phrases to include and what platforms do they want the content shared to? I've had a brand ask to me to remove the "no follow" links on my page...(that's a whole other post I'm sure!) It can get complicated so avoid misunderstanding by checking their requirements.
Find out when the deadline is for the post, be realistic about when you can deliver the content that will be of good standard. If I can't deliver in the given time frame, I always let them know, it's not great to have brands chasing you!
BE AUTHENTIC & ADD VALUE
Brands want to work with you to build engagement around their product and use your readership to raise awareness for their product/service. I know this may be a grey area but work with brands that you feel is in line with your brand and style, rather than thinking 'freebie'. I've been lucky to work with a mix of fashion, skincare and home decor brands - all topics I enjoy covering on my blog. Create good quality content that is true to you as well as add value to the brand. How can you add something different to what they are offering? Create content that is share worthy; it would be great if brands want to work with you again.
As always be honest with your readers with your thoughts and opinions, it’s so easy to lose trust. State in your post if items or a service has been sent to you for free, as well as have a disclaimer on your blog.
STATS & MEDIA
If you want to step it up a gear and be serious about working with brands, I would recommend getting your stats in order and having a media kit. This essentially is an introduction to you and your blog, your values and what you can offer to brands. There are lots of great site, which can help you build a media kit, check out Melyssa’s super helpful post, that also includes a free template! Having a media kit is also a great tool to use to reach out to brands you like yourself. You don't have to wait for opportunities to fall into your lap :)
Use Google Analytics to get your readership stats as well as your social media numbers on your media kit. Don’t get too caught up if your numbers are not up there, it’s good to show growth and engagement. I feel it’s better to have a smaller audience of engaged readers than a larger audience with lack of interaction and engagement. Engagement can be from comments, shares, likes or pins.
Having the right attitude when it comes to collaborating with a lesser known brand or a much larger one is basic good manners. Show gratitude for the service or goods that are being offered but likewise know your worth and make sure you're not being taking advantage off. Just because we run a blog doesn't mean we can get what we want on a plate. This could be the start of a great relationship with the brand!
I hope you found this post on bloggers working with brands useful, please feel free to share with others that may find it helpful :)
What are your tips for working with brands?
Follow me on