So You Want To Work With Brands?

I haven’t been blogging for very long at all, just over a year in fact but I am very lucky that I have been given opportunities to work with amazing brands. People have come to me and asked whether I have any tips so they too can get to that stage. I am by no means an expert and there are plenty more established bloggers out there, but I can tell you my experience and hopefully you can take something away with you.

working with brands

I can quite clearly remember wishing that brands would find me. Not that I came into blogging for that reason at all but when you see other bloggers getting what you perceive to be ‘free stuff’ you wonder why you aren’t getting emailed about different opportunities.

Now before I go any further let me tell you something- it is most definitely not free stuff. All of those bloggers you see doing product reviews work really hard. If you have read my ‘life as a blogger’ post you will know I work anything up to 5 hours a night, not to mention the time spent taking photos or replying to tweets throughout the day.

If the idea of hard work doesn’t phase you then read on. Working with brands can be so rewarding, a real nod to all the work you put in to your blog day in day out. To make sure you get noticed there are a few things you must do.

DESIGN I wish I had taken this seriously from the very beginning. I feel like I wasted 11 months of my blogging career by having a badly designed blog. I always had it in my mind that once I made some money I would buy a better theme. However, just over a month ago I decided to take a leap of faith and invest in my blog. It is true what they say- you have to speculate to accumulate.

HISTORY When brands arrive at your blog they want to see examples of your work. If you haven’t worked with anyone before then write about things you already own. Showcase your talents and show them what your style is- do you write in an inspiring way that will make others want to rush out and buy the product? Also, make sure you have all of those reviews in a place that companies will be able to find easily!

MANNERS When brands approach you, always always be polite. Even if they come to you with something that doesn’t appeal to you, be nice and reply with a simple no thank you. With that in mind you should also note- always reply! No matter what they send over, always reply as you never know what may come of it. Many a time I have replied with a no thank you and the pr has replied with an alternative product that is a perfect fit for my family.

STANDARDS I see lots of people asking how much they should charge or what sort of product they should accept. I also see lots of bloggers telling them that they should set a minimum fee. I agree with this to an extent- if bloggers work for peanuts then pr people will never take us seriously. Know your worth and don’t be afraid to aim high- you can always negotiate down if needs be. However, money has different worth to different people so if you are happy to work for less then do what is right for you.

CONFIDENCE When brands first started approaching me I would bite their hand off! I was so excited to be sent something I didn’t care what it was (I do get excited by free pencils at events so it isn’t difficult to please me!). A year in and I am gaining my confidence, I will say no and even go back with an alternative idea and suggest a fee. If you don’t ask you don’t get!

PATIENCE If you work hard, write well and have a positive demeanour about you then brands will find you. Time is the one thing you have to just have faith in and believe me, you will get there. Just keep doing what you are doing and keep believing in yourself.

Hopefully these tips are helpful, I know not everyone wants to work with brands but most of these points can be applied to readership too and that is something every blogger wants to improve. I am not perfect, I have made mistakes and kicked myself afterwards but I take each moment as a learning opportunity and I never make the same mistake twice.

Do you have any tips for working with brands?

Mami 2 Five

Find Katy on Facebook, Twitter, Youtube, Pinterest and Instagram for more!


Katy is a wife, mum of three and professional blogger. Her blog, What Katy Said, aims to inspire other mums to get organised and make the best out of every day.

51 Comments

  1. I agree with all of the above, especially be polite. I bit the bullet on a premium theme s couple of months ago and I’m so glad I did. The difference is marked but also they’re so much more customisable. Thanks Katy 🙂

  2. Great tips Katy, and I totally agree with the be polite bit too. And always remember brands are always watching. Don’t get into huge twitter spats! Thanks for linking up to #sundaystars

  3. Great tips, thank you. I’ve only been blogging for a month but there are so many things here that I can start to think about. I can’t wait to get back to a laptop and camera to work on my design!

  4. Fab tips hun. The only thing I would add is to think of different ways you can present the post. I had some pet food & pet items to review but knew simply reviewing dog food wouldn’t make a great post or get many views so I incorporated it into a post about owning pets. The PR & company loved it and I’ve worked with them several times since x #SundayStars

  5. Great advice. Already following some of it but I have a lot to learn! I’m still scared to go self hosted but one day I am sure I will make the leap! Great blog – wishing you every success. 🙂

  6. brilliant tips, it’s nice to see that even though you’re not a seasoned blogger yet you’re hard work is getting recognised. I’m so glad you mentioned about it not being free stuff, I’m always having to defend us bloggers in that respect oh and I’m a sucker for free pencils too! #SundaysStars

    1. Unless someone is a blogger they just don’t get how it works. I mean to be fair I still am amazed that I get some pretty amazing stuff in return for a post. Best job ever! x

  7. Great tips post Katy! It’s also useful to remember that it’s not just “free stuff” (we all know it’s not free!) for bloggers but that the deal’s gotta work for both parties. So having a clear, easy to navigate blog and being a thoughtful, friendly and talkative person really helps. – N x

    1. Thank you Lisa 🙂 I searched and searched for a theme I liked but in the end I looked to other blogs and sought out their themes. x

  8. Great tips lovely, I have found that you also don’t get if you don’t ask – some of my best brand relations are from those that I have made the first step with. #SundayStars

  9. This is great advice. I was asked to do some work in return for a discount! However I was not the slightest interested in the product and it had nothing to do with the theme of my blog. I had to politely decline!
    This was a good read Angela

  10. Fab post. I just wanted to thank you for sharing because it encouraged me not to wait before buying a new blog template (that was the initial plan before reading this post) and I’m over the moon with how my blog looks now! I feel like my little corner of the Internet is ‘proper’ now and it represents me and my family perfectly.

    Thanks again 🙂

  11. Great points here Katy. I agree, having been lucky enough to be gifted a couple of beautiful items recently they are definitely NOT free, as a lot of work goes in to the post. Manners first and always – people remember, and the PR world is a small one. There’s also no harm in asking, the worst a PR can say is ‘no’, but you’ll never know if you don’t try xxx

  12. Great post 🙂 I’ve just been searching the web wondering what I should charge for product reviews, it’s so hard to put a number on it, I don’t want to be too cheap or work for free but thinking up that number is hard! Do you charge an hourly fee or just decide what you think each review is worth? TIA 🙂

    1. At the moment I go to the brand with a set amount that I think is fair for the time and effort I would put in. However, if they cannot get to that figure then I am always happy to negotiate as some reviews are worth more than the money in terms of experience etc.. x

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