Recently I’ve been asked by a couple of fellow bloggers for blogging tips and tricks about working with brands on sponsored blog posts. Truth be told, I am by no means an expert in this field, but I have notched up a few sponsored blog posts and with the sentiment that knowledge is power in mind, thought I would share with you my blogging tips and tricks from my journey of working with brands on sponsored blog post thus far.
Be confident in your own blog first
The bottom line is when working with brands, you need to be confident. And in order to be confident, you need to be confident of your blog and knowing your worth, and that – in my view – means two things 1) Great content and 2) Good stats. If you already feel you have number 1, but not there yet with number 2, my advice would be to hold out until your stats have increased a little bit. For me, that was when I got to 2,500 unique users a month but for many brands, that is nowhere near enough still.
Ask around for advice
I remember being so utterly clueless a few months ago, feeling ready to take the next step, but not knowing how. If you have a blogging buddy who has already worked on sponsored posts, then reach out to them to find out how they did it. I have the lovely Mama Mim to thank for her pearls of wisdom which got me kickstarted (thank you lovely for helping me take the plunge!). Other bloggers, if they are worth their salt, are usually only too happy to help you make the leap.
Connect with the brands you love
You know what sells? Authenticity, passion and knowledge. The best thing you can do is think of all the brands you have used, rated and rather loved during your time as a mother. When you contact them, first off – tell them that you love them and why. Tell them that you want to shout it from the rooftops! Your ambassadorship for those brands starts right from the very first moment you reach out to them.
How to connect?
My biggest word of advice is shout loud! Seriously, brands are so busy they do not have time to keep tabs on every single blogger out there, and there are A LOT of bloggers out there. If you want it – you need to get yourself out there. As a newbie, reaching out to brands can seem like a daunting task. For me, so far success has come from the following:
Reaching out to them on Twitter
A cheeky but direct Tweet or DM can go a long way….
Connecting on blogger-brand networks
Some you may want to check out are: The Blogger Programme, Netmums Blogging Network Reviews, BritMums Professional and Nuffnang and stay tapped into the Facebook group UK Parent Bloggers and Blog PR for any opportunities that come up there too.
To date, I actually haven’t been able to convert any inward enquiries from PRs although on receiving a press release it’s always a good idea to have a punt – however truth be told most seem to have no budget for sponsored blog posts although I do know of many bloggers who do manage to secure sponsored blog posts this way – perhaps they are saving all their budget for them and their traffic!
Have a media kit
Media kits are your calling card. Everything that a brand needs to know about you, your blog, your vital statistics and what you can bring to the table in one nice, rather lovely looking, tidy document. So what should a media kit include? In my humble opinion, at the very least, this:
About the author
Your experience, why you’re great, what you can bring to the table yadda yadda
About your blog
What it’s about, why it’s awesome, where else your posts have been featured
Monthly unique page views, monthly unique users, social media stats, TOTs ranking, domain authority, google rankings etc
How they can work with you
Sponsored blog posts, reviews, freelance writing, brand ambassadorships..it’s up to you!
Price breakdown for sponsored posts, ad space etc.
How to get in touch
Pitch some ideas
The best way to stand out from the crowd is to think outside of the box. Product reviews are two-a-penny; if you can think of a way to convey the product to your readers in a more unique way then go for it. It always helps to bring something to the table when talking to brands, and your ideas should be that something!
Know it’s a numbers game
Don’t be disheartened by knock backs or radio silence – there are a lot of factors for brands to consider when thinking about whether to take up a sponsored blog post – whether you are a good fit, if your reach is great enough, if they have any budget left or if they spent it all with someone else, the time of the year and so on. Don’t take it personally and know that you are likely going to have to approach quite a few brands before something eventually sticks.
Wise up about do-follow links
Another thing that I, as a newbie, was totally clueless to. If you are going to start on the sponsored blog post journey, you need to wise up about whole no-follow/do-follow rigmarole which is essentially about passing on link juice to mentioned links…or not. You may have heard this in passing and wondered what on earth it’s all about. I’m not going to explain here – you can read this instead.
But know that if you are going to be going down the route of sponsored posts, you need to consider whether it’s worth the price someone is offering. There is an alleged risk that Google penalizes you for allowing paid for links on your site. Although I am yet to find someone who actually HAS been, most bloggers agree it is not worth the risk and damage it can do to your blog for a small amount of money, and sometimes not at all. Thankfully there are various plug ins if you are self hosted which allow you to manage the whole do-follow/no-follow balance. Check them out here.
Are you just starting out working with brands on sponsored posts? Or are you a veteran with some advice to add to the above? Let’s help our blog community and share and inspire!