It's no secret that becoming a blogger can have some perks. It's hard to avoid bloggers in your Instagram feed showcasing brands and businesses. You know your favorite fashion bloggers who are always wearing the cutest outfits or the beauty bloggers who are always sent new products to try? Don't forget the lifestyle bloggers who always seem to get invited to the coolest events! Brand partnerships aren't just benefitting the bloggers either, influencer marketing has become a top priority for brands because it's a great way to get in front of a dedicated and niche audience. Readers often feel like they have a more personal connection with the blogs they follow vs major publications too so it can feel like more authentic content.
Not only are brand partnerships a great way to monetize your blog, but it's also a great way to network and grow your audience. So that's all great, but the real question though is, how the heck do you capture the interest of brands so that they'll want to work with you? Today we're chatting about just that! Lucky for you I have some inside scoop too because, in addition to being a Co-founder at Bold & Pop, I also write a NYC lifestyle blog! I've been blogging for nearly 7 years and in that time I've been lucky enough to partner up with some really awesome brands including HGTV, Martha Stewart, Michaels, LuLu*s, Warby Parker, Brooklyn Bedding and ANEW Wines, just to name a few. Plus, working in the PR industry I've learned a thing or two about being on both sides of the fence. So whether you've been a long-time blogger or are just starting out here are 4 ways you can increase your brand partnerships for your blog.
Streamline Your Content
One of the best things you can do as a blogger to attract brands is to streamline your content! We talk about this in branding a lot, but what do you want to be known for? Focus on a handful of categories or topics that you want to focus on and stick to those. You know that phrase, if you're marketing to everyone, you're marketing to no one? That stands true for your blog as well. Zero in on the key topics and audience you want to talk to. Your content may evolve over time but having a focus will make it easier for brands to see if they would fit into your content.
From a PR perspective, having a niche will also allow their teams to pitch you ideas or products/events that would naturally fit into the things you're already writing about. I will say from experience brand partnerships can also have a bit of a snowball effect. Both in that PR teams may have multiple clients to pitch with you, and also once you have published sponsored content you'll often be pitched by brands in a similar industry. For example, I did a sponsored post on a mattress from Brooklyn Bedding (which is amazing btw!) and then further down the road I was pitched and included Living Comfortably's bedding products into a post. I was also approached by another mattress company and by the PR team at Bloomingdales to be featured as a bedding expert in their flagship store in NYC. All of which received interest stemming from that first Brooklyn Bedding post. Because I had written that previous review, similar brands were able to preview how I might also feature their products and then showed interest in how they could also work with me. Helloooo snowball!
That being said, I will also say it's important to make sure any brand partnerships fit within your content in someway so that everything stays streamlined. I certainly don't say yes to everyone and am pretty selective. This is because, one, I want to stay on topic for my audience. They come to my blog because they want an authentic look at what it's like living in the city with a touch of home decor, entertaining, and DIY posts. Reviewing random products that don't align will likely turn them off, and it's not much fun having a blog with no readers. Two, while I certainly get perks and monetary compensation for some of these posts, they're time-consuming. For me, my blog is my side-hustle to my business so I want to make sure things are really on-point with what I cover. So definitely keep that in mind when you start getting approached!
Showcase Partnership Opportunities
Something that can definitely increase your appeal to brands is to have a "work with me" or "partnership/collaborations" page on your blog. By doing so, you're giving brands a clear call-to-action to let them know you partner with brands. Below is an example of how I've formatted my page to highlight some of the different opportunities I offer.
Along with having a work with me page, I'd also suggest having a media kit or rate card ready. Some brands will request one to see if a partnership is a good fit. There's a lot of different ways you can create them but I suggest including the following:
Key metrics (page views and social media audience)
Overview of you and your blog
List of topics you cover
Overview of partnership/sponsored post/advertising options and pricing
Having this on hand adds to your professional appeal and can be an easy way to give someone who inquires more info without having to go through a series of emails or calls. Kind of similar to creating a welcome kit for your business! We also offer one-page media kit templates in the Bold Boss Resource Library if you need a little help getting that set up.
Register your Blog on Influencer Websites and Media Databases
If you want to get your blog directly in front of PR firms a sure bet is to register directly with media databases. One of the most popular ones used is called Cision and they have an option to submit your blog as a media outlet to be added to their database. This will add your blog to the different categories it's applicable for (why that niche is important) and is a top resource that teams looking to get coverage for their clients use.
You can also take the route of registering for various influencer programs that will present you with potential partnerships such as The BlogHer Influencer Network and Influence Central -- just to name a few. Usually with these platforms they will present you with different opportunities and then you can submit an application to be considered for the campaigns. These can be great options when you're just getting started too to get a few sponsored posts in your portfolio too.
Be Clear in Communication and Build Relationships
Last but not least.. make it easy to connect! This may sound SO simple but make sure you have a contact feature on your blog. Make it as simple process! I also suggest including an email in your Instagram and other social media account profiles. I've had so many brands reach out directly from Instagram so I highly recommend this. The easier you make it for people to find your contact info, the better. Another tip I have is to be quick with your communication. If you get an interesting inquiry, try and respond in a timely manner. Some of the partnerships will take a little bit of time to get rolling so this will help speed up the process. I know working on both ends of the fence I always remember people who can turn thing around quickly too. Being quick, clear and concise and easy to work with are all traits that will make contacts want to work with you again. Try and make an impression and build a relationship with those who reach out so that they'll keep you in mind for future opportunities or other clients.
Hope this has been helpful and be sure to drop any questions you have in the comments below!