OK first up, with blogging there’s not set time structure as to when you’ll get your first free product or even your first PAID sponsored post.
I’m going to assume you’ve got all the basics sorted, a blog, social media platforms and you’ve got several good quality posts on your blog. If you haven’t done all of this then go read the other posts first > Blag Your Blog
Once you’ve got into the swing of this blogging malarkey and you’ve decided you want to start putting yourself forward for brand work, then there are a few places to look to see what’s about…
For your first brand work it’s more realistic to look at receiving products in return for a blog post review than it is to seek out paid opportunities. This is simply because brands are more likely to dish out a few free goodies than pay actual cash to a fairly new blogger/platform who is likely to have a relatively small following to begin with.
Response Source is the best service I’ve used for putting the word out that you’re after products to review. You fill in a form with your details and a description of what it is your after ‘Mothers Day Gift Guide’ products for example and sit back and wait for the emails to roll in. The form does include sections where you give as many details as possible as to why brands should collaborate with you and you have to enter some numbers to back up your claim.
Don’t be shy to use your real numbers, there are many smaller and start-up brands that specifically target micro-influencers in specific niche’s so don’t add extra 0’s on, it could come back to bite you in the arse in future.
When it comes to gift guides Response Source is my go-to place. I’ve had anything from a £7.99 men’s gift set to a £150 kids BMX. Oh, it’s free to use too!
As you go along your blogging journey you will sniff out which Facebook groups work for you, there are literally hundreds and most of them have so many rules it can take a full day figuring out what you’re allowed to post and end up never posting anyway!
Luckily for you I’ve taken some of the work off your plate and here’s a couple of links to groups that I find extremely helpful, specifically for blogging work/opportunities.
I’ve had a fair few opportunities from these Facebook Groups and Pages. There’s some awesome bloggers that actively seek out and share opportunities with others in these groups, generally a great environment to be involved with.
Twitter is fast paced and it’s easy to miss out on opportunities suited to you. Here’s a list of #Hashtags to search specifically so you don’t miss out on anything – Thanks to Sarah Anguish from Boo Roo and Tigger Too for bombarding me with these #Hashtags 🙂
#ParentBloggers – Change this to your niche as required, #BeautyBloggers etc.
Another useful tip for Twitter is to follow the PR accounts that are tweeting about opportunities using these hashtags. You’re more likely to see their tweets obviously and could even make a start building a relationship with them. There’s more tips in the next bit about Instagram that you can relate to Twitter too.
Instagram is heavily #Hashtag run, much like Twitter. Using the #Hashtags above from Twitter can also work for Instagram. Searching for #BrandAmbassador seems to pop up a lot on Instagram too.
What I find best with Instagram though, is searching for new/smaller businesses and brands that are building their online presence on the Instagram platform. There’s no doubt that as I write this in March 2018 Instagram is by far the No.1 platform in terms of popularity and brands are utilising this. My natural instinct when looking for products such as clothing or gift type products, is to start searching on Instagram. There are endless amounts of smaller businesses that are looking for a help in hand getting their brand noticed and many are up for collaborating with bloggers in return for free products.
I see Instagram collaborations on grids and stories every single day. A little start up business making bath boards that hold your glass of wine and tablet etc. Get them DM’d and start up a conversation. Search for brands that have a message you like or products that look great, send them a DM, there is the saying it’s all going down in the DM’s… Because it is!
Direct Pitching To Brands
This is something that can seem daunting at first, contacting a brand directly to ask them if they’d like to collaborate with you.
There are a couple of things I’d do before going ahead with this approach, otherwise you can risk being embarrassed. There’s a post coming up shortly about Pitching To Brands so I won’t go into details here, but in short…
- Research the brand first. Are they up with social media and the world of blogging? What’s their online presence like, does it fit with your type of content? How big is their following already, you don’t want to pitch your 2K Insta followers when they already have 200K, in particular if their followers are within the same niche as yourself.
- Think about what you can offer them. Even if you have a smaller following than the brand, you may have the exact demographic they’d be looking for.
- Make sure you have good quality content published already, you can refer to this so they can see exactly what you have to offer. Remember your content is your CV within the blogging world.
More of this to come soon.
I’ve found that researching businesses and brands within your local area is a good start. You have an automatic ‘in’ with them as you start off revealing you’re from the same area. Make a list of brands you’d like to work with in your area and start researching and reaching out. Take a free meal at a local restaurant, get your nails done at the salon in town or review products by a local small business to help raise their profile. Look for WINWIN situations.
Recently there seems a surge in the amount of Blogger Outreach programs to sign up with but I’ve not had enough from any of them in particular to recommend them specifically. Basically they want you to register your details with them, then when brands go to them looking for bloggers to collaborate with they have your details on file. I’ve signed up with loads of them so I can tell you about them from first hand experience, but I’ve had minimal work so far.
There you go, I hope one of these methods will help you land your first branded work or increase the work you’re currently getting. Please do share anything in addition to these that you know of in the comments and spread the knowledge.
I’m continually creating as many posts in this Blag Your Blog section of the DadvWorld website as I can to help you understand, figure out and achieve your blogging goals. I’d love your feedback and/or further questions to help me create the content you need.
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