I’ve been blogging now for over two years and have had the insane privilege of working with some of the UK’s best known brands such as Debenhams, Specsavers and Travelodge. I thought I would share my knowledge with you and let you know how I got these brands to work with me. I don’t have a huge following and I worked with my first brand when I had around 100 Bloglovin’ followers. If working with Brands is something you are interested in then read on to find out more.
Step 1: Finding a Brand to Work with
First of all you need to have a think about what brand you would really like to work with. Don’t dive straight into the big brands as you want to build up a bit of a portfolio for them. Think of a brand that would genuinely fit well with your blog and the type of posts you write. A good way to find a suitable brand is to do some Twitter stalking and see what brands other bloggers are working with. This is a quick and easy way to find out which brands regularly work with bloggers. After a quick scroll through my Twitter feed I have found a brand called Cocoa Brown Tan that a lot of bloggers seem to have worked with recently. The brand have a self tanning range and I write a lot of beauty posts so this would fit perfectly with my blog.
Step 2: Research the Brand
Now I’ve found a suitable brand to work with I want to do a quick bit of research about them so when it comes to emailing them I have some background information. The best place to head for information is their official website so I’m going to head over to the Cocoa Brown website and do some scrolling. The first thing I’m going to check is all the products they offer and find one that I think I can turn into some really great content for my blog.
Step 3: Come up with a Unique Post
Before I even think of contacting the brand I need to come up with a post idea to pitch to them. Think Dragon’s Den, what would be a unique way of selling my idea to them. The product on their website I am drawn to most is their 1 Hour Tan Mousse. As this tan develops in just one hour I would use that in my post concept, such as, ‘A Fast Tan for the Busy Business Woman’. (This isn’t overly unique but you get the idea.)
Step 4: Making Contact
I need to make sure I am contacting the right person at the company to pitch my idea too, this is normally the person in charge of PR or the brand may have a dedicated blogger team. Checking the contact page of the brands website is normally my first stop but if I can’t find the right information there I will often tweet the brand and ask who would be the best person to email regarding a blogger collaboration.
Step 5: What to say in your Email
When sending your email you want to keep it professional, short and sweet. I will often open with Who I am and My Blog, my Post Idea and then sign off the email with ‘Looking forward to hearing from you soon’. The brands will often get hundreds of emails a day so if it’s too long they probably won’t have the time to read it all so I always keep it short and to the point.
Step 6: Hearing Back
In some instances that might be enough for the company and they will ask you for your postal address and *BAM* you have your first brand collaboration. Brands might email back asking for your blog statistics such as blog views and social media follower counts. BE HONEST with your figures as the brands can find out if your lying. Even if your following is small if you come across as polite and enthusiastic about the brand then they may still want to work with you. Sometimes follower count isn’t everything. Sometimes you might not hear back from the brand at all and that doesn’t mean your blog isn’t good enough it could be that the brand are swamped with blogger requests and aren’t working with bloggers at all. If this happens then start the process again with another brand. It won’t be long until you get your first collaboration.
Step 7: Creating your Post
Once the product arrives with you this is when the work really starts. If the brand have agreed on your post idea then you need to deliver that. Don’t rush it and really put as much effort into it as you can. You will use this post in your future portfolio when showing other brands who you have worked with so make it count. Once the post is complete and live on your blog there’s just one more thing you need to do.
Step 8: Show it Off
You now want to email the brand letting them know the post is live and give them the direct link to the post. When emailing brands back I always end my email with ‘Let me know your thoughts’, this is a great way to see what they think of the post and to make sure you get a reply back off them. You also want to show off your post on all your social media accounts and don’t forget to @ tag the brand in it! Sometimes the PR you have been speaking to doesn’t run the Twitter or Instagram account as well so if you @ tag the brand they may retweet the post for you driving more traffic back to your blog.
Remember if you are contacting brands always deliver the work you have promised! It may feel a little daunting at first but think about it, the worst they can say is no. Don’t be disheartened if you don’t hear back from a brand and try again with another one. Work hard and you will be rewarded.
Pin It For Later
I hope you have found this post helpful and I would love to hear if you have success with it. If you have found this post useful you might be interested in my other Blog Tutorials – How to Use Pinterest to Promote your Blog and How I Organise my Blog with Spreadsheets.