When you take the plunge & dive into the deep end of blogging as a career, you’ll find that landing sponsored opportunities with brands is essential to help support your monthly income. This is a double-edge sword of a concept that (thankfully) so many big bloggers are coming clean about (finally.)
The reality is that this is one of the main ways influencers can monetize his/her content so he/she can support the longevity of a blog. That being said, it’s important to maintain authenticity and be strategic with the types of brands you partner with, as you never want to “sell out” by working with a brand that doesn’t relate to the content you’re putting out there. Your readers will see right through that and begin to not trust you, resulting in loss of readership which can be quite detrimental.
Personal example: I was once offered a sponsored deal with a brand that was willing to pay me the price of my monthly rent! But this brand was very ‘preppy’ and I’ve never worn nor planned to wear any of its products on my blog. I’m not a preppy blogger at all, so posting this type of content would’ve come out of left field and definitely have my followers questioning my authenticity. Therefore, I declined the partnership even though I really could’ve used the money because at the end of the day, my authenticity is WAY more important in the long run than a quick collab for cash with a brand I didn’t truly mesh with.
That being said, making sure you partner with brands that are relevant to your blog, your style, and the content you’re already putting out there is ESSENTIAL when landing sponsored opportunities. Once you’ve determined the brands you want to reach out to & work with, you also want to have a mission behind the content you intend to post about featuring the brand in.
Here are some Do’s & Don’ts when pitching to brands
(I’ve chosen to use Sole Society as the example brand below)
DON’T – Shoot yourself in the foot before you even start
“Hi, I’m Tilden. I know I’m a new blogger but I would love to work with Sole Society. I don’t have a large or strong following, but this opportunity to work with Sole Society would mean the world.”
DO – Emphasize that you’re a growing & credible blogger
“I’m a new blogger with a growing following of loyal readers. Although I have not yet worked with many brands, my readers will trust my opinion if given the opportunity to feature one of my favorite shoe brands such as Sole Society.”
DON’T – Straight up ask for free products
“Hi, I’m Tilden. I want to partner with Sole Society on a post I’m currently working on for the Holiday season. Here are three styles of shoes I’ve selected and I would like to receive to feature on my blog…”
DO – Turn specific demands into specific unique content
“I’ve found myself sharing the Sole Society brand name with several of my friends who are looking for cute shoes to wear this Holiday season. Noticing this specific demand for footwear, I feel this would be a great opportunity to feature Sole Society as my go-to destination to shop great styles for all Holiday occasions, from casual gatherings to cocktail parties!”
DON’T – Pitch an empty idea with zero effort
“Hi, my name is Tilden and my blog is To Be Bright. I would like to work with Sole Society. Please let me know if you are interested in working with me!”
DO – Pitch a unique & specific idea for a post with a creative approach
“I would love to share with my readers why Sole Society is my go-to destination for Holiday footwear, featuring (3) different outfit ideas each paired with (3) different shoe styles to cover all types of occasions that they can be worn during this time of year. These outfits will be professionally photographed in relevant locations that match the aesthetic of the entire look. Sole Society will have full access to use these edited images for its own promotional/re-posting choices, asking that my blog’s name be tagged/referenced if so.”
I’ve also put together a sample email template pdf available for download when you subscribe to my Newsletter!