Hey friends, I shared this post a few weeks ago over on the SNAP! blog, but I thought I’d share it here too in case you missed it. I often get asked when I sit down with other bloggers or in my Sowing Seeds Sessions about making money blogging and how to write for brands so I thought I’d share my 5 KNOWs for writing for brands authentically.
1. KNOW Your Niche
One of the biggest things I tell people is to know your blogs niche. What do you write about the most that gets your readers engaged in what you’re saying? Is it recipes? DIY? Home decor? Often times you hear people say, write about what you know and the readers will come + it’s so true. Does this mean that I’m telling you that your blog must fall into one category? Nope, absolutely not! My blog focuses on family, fashion, faith and community building so when I’m reaching out to a brand or a brand contacts me, I automatically know whether or not their product fits into my blog niche. Brands are beginning to shy away from working with any blogger that reaches to them + are looking to work with bloggers who know who they are and how that product will fit well with their readership. Be willing to ask yourself if you’re the right fit for the brand.
2. KNOW How to Get Creative
When you find a brand you really want to work with, it’s important to have a game plan. Don’t just reach out to the brand, introduce yourself, give them you stats and then ask for free product, go the extra mile. Give them a game plan. Be willing to spend a little time in the email mapping out how you would represent their brand in a real + authentic way and most importantly, why you believe your readers would also love their brand. While the brand, I’m sure, will be impressed by your stats, they will be even more impressed by your plan for how you’ll best showcase their brand. Don’t be afraid to get creative! Tell them how you would represent their brand in a unique and fun way.
3. KNOW How to Set it Up
You’ve build that relationship with the brand you’ve been dying to work with, they’ve sent you product to share with your readers and now the ball is in your court to get that game plan and put it into action. Be detail oriented, make sure that the set up reflects who you are as a person + a blogger, but also reflects the brand in a way that will make your readers want to also own that product. Don’t just photograph the product on your floor or table, but show it in use. In fact, I highly recommend taking lots of pictures of that product and how you’re using it in your home to use in your post. If you can show your readers how that product fits into your every day life, then they are more likely to purchase it. If you’re able to create that call to action, you’re more likely to have the opportunity to work with that brand again in the future.
4. KNOW How to Tell a Story
When working with a brand I always recommend telling a story that brings the reader back to why the product is so great. I truly believe the biggest disservice you can do to a brand is to start your post with, “I got free product”, or “I was sent a $75 gift card to go shopping at…” What this does is it tells you’re reader, right from the beginning of your post, that you got the product for free, but they should go buy it. When you begin your post with a story or anecdote, then share pictures of the product in a creative way, giving honest feedback about the product and it’s uses, the reader is more likely to express a need or desire for the product in their home as well. What this also does is generate great content that the brand is more likely to share through their social media outlets as well.
5. Know How to Find Way to Work with Brands
There are many ways to begin working with brands, but here are just a few to get you started:
- Affiliate banner ads: Do more than just have these ads on your side bar. Share deals + promotions happening with your readers. When brands see that you’re generating an authentic buzz about them, it can open the door for you to work together in other ways.
- PR Agencies: Many times you can find the PR Agency contact for a brand via their website. PR Agencies serve as a buffer for the brand and they will often vet each email as it comes through to determine if you’re the right fit for the brand. This goes back to #2, be creative in your approach, go the extra mile and tell them how you plan to showcase that brand and why you’re readers will connect with that product as well.
- Blogging or Social Shopper Marketing Agencies: There are many agencies that exist to help pair brands with bloggers that will represent them in a truly authentic way. This is done through blogger campaign initiatives that are often tied into specific promotions that the brand is running. This is what we do at Pollinate Media + there are some other fantastic agencies that do this as well, providing lots of opportunities for bloggers to be exposed to great brands.
Whew! I know that was probably a lot for one day, but hopefully you’ve found this helpful as you reach out to work with brands on your blog. If you have any questions, please check out my Sowing Seeds Mentorship program, I’d love to help you brainstorm through this process.