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.
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?