As much as we all love to blog just because we enjoy writing, it’s no secret that we all strive to make our blog as successful as possible with a decent following, sponsored posts and blogger collaborations. Blogger collaborations – aka collaborating with a company to create content for your blog/brand or reviewing something – is a great way to expand your blogging expertise and show you can turn your hand to different styles of writing.
If you particularly love to review things – and know your readers trust you – it’s a great way to share good recommendations to people and help promote worthy brands. And, of course, collaborating with brands can be really fun too, whether that’s reviewing a meal out or curating content that you love to write about.
However, it’s not easy to find brand’s to collaborate with – especially if you’re just starting out as a blogger. Not everyone knows where to look or how to approach brand’s – so here are some tips.
GET TO GRIPS WITH YOUR BRAND
Before doing anything else, I’d recommend sitting down and having a look at your blog through the eyes of a reader and a company. What works for you – lots of emojis and a down to earth tone of voice – may not fit in with the type of brand you want to be working with. You also need to ensure that your blog itself is clean and easy to follow – with contact details easy to find and all social media links. Think of your blog as a brand rather than just a blog – keep your own little mood board with necessary colour charts and fonts (to keep things consistent throughout) and really think about the message you want to send across.
….AND YOUR STATISTICS
Although it’s easy for a company to see how many followers you have, many are stepping away from this and instead focusing on behind the scenes statistics such as audience growth or engagement. Most statistics can be found easily – companies like Bloglovin’ or Buzzole are great to grab quick charts to put into a press pack – but really, you want to keep an eye on Google Analytics and of course behind the scenes stats for Facebook, Twitter – and wherever else you focus your growth. Oh, and make sure you always have an up to date press kit!
DON’T BE AFRAID TO APPROACH COMPANIES
..within reason, of course. I always tend to shoot out an email if I’m visiting somewhere local or have spoken about a brand before (always, always tag them when sharing content on Facebook/Twitter) as I’ve come to realize that the worst thing that can happen is someone says no. I don’t do this as much as I should but it’s a good idea for smaller brands. Blogging doesn’t tend to be very popular in my area, so if I visit a nice new restaurant or a new business excites me, I always do a review or offer them a little bit of word of mouth promotion when I’m visiting. The more you approach brands, the more you’ll get used to your own way of doing it; whether that’s sending them a link to a previous review out of courtesy or sending a full on proposal with your press kit. Whatever works for you! Just don’t be afraid and only do this if you genuinely want to help a company out or feel you would be a good fit – you should never do this just in the hopes of getting freebies.
STAY IN TOUCH
Share old posts continually and once you do work with a brand, stay in touch. Drop them an email maybe every couple of months to see if they have any other campaigns or share statistics of a post. I’ve worked with brands before where I’ve immediately sent them the post when it’s live, then come back a week later to find tons of comments on it. What looks better= a newly live post or a post that’s been up a few days and has tons of content? Don’t be afraid to give them an update if a post is doing particularly well, especially as brands are starting to favour engagement over follower count now.
ADD A MIDDLEMAN
Sometimes it’s easier to add a middleman and sign up to some websites that specialize in getting assignments for you. This is particularly good if a brand is quite big (it may be hard to find the person who you’ll want to approach) or who want a certain amount of followers for a campaign. This stops you both wasting each other’s time. I love websites like Buzzole (great for summing up your statistics) and The Blogger Programme (which makes it clear how many followers are needed on what platform before you even apply). But, platforms such as Facebook Blogging groups and #bloggersrequired hashtags on Twitter are just as helpful too.
Overall, however, my top tip would be to just stay patient. It took me nearly a full year of blogging before I got my first proper collaboration and, even before then, I’d see bloggers with fewer followers getting more interest than me. Collaborating with brand’s isn’t the be all and end all of blogging and it certainly doesn’t reflect on how successful you are but hopefully, this post will help you get a head start. Once one or two collaborations come along – and you do a good job! – the others should hopefully start rolling in with time.
Do you have any tips on how to start the ball rolling when it comes to collaborating with companies? Let me know!