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Let’s talk sponsored posts:
How can you get your first brand collaboration?
If you’re a blogger or someone who regularly scrolls social media, you probably know about sponsored posts.
A sponsored post is an exchange between a blogger, YouTuber or any other kind of content creator where the creator gets paid for featuring a service or product of a brand.
I’d only recently gotten my first sponsorship, and I am going to be explaining how that came about.
Before I start, I do want to stress that I’m no expert- this was literally my first sponsored post ever, so please do more research on how brands can work with you if that’s something you’re interested in.
I will, however, be including some helpful resources for you below that can get you started with approaching brands for sponsorships.
If you’re a beginner blogger or want to start your blog but are unsure how to do that, sign up for my free 7-day email course for beginner bloggers!
How to work with brands on sponsored posts
Finding the right brands
The first thing I did was make a list of brands I use regularly. I definitely want to work with brands I know and use.
This is because then I can vouch for them properly without having to guess about how they perform, and I don’t have to spend any time testing their products or services. I already know I like them.
I suggest that when you first start out with sponsored posts, you do the same. If anything, it will make it easier for you to pitch these brands because you will already know about their products or services.
When I finished making my list of brands I’d like to work with, I started to then email a few. I emailed 4 brands one afternoon, and one got back to me right away.
How to pitch to brands
There are two things to keep in mind here: finding the right email address and writing a proper pitch.
To find the correct email address of each brand, I Googled the name of the company along with the words “PR” or “press”. That gave me the emails of people within those companies who deal with sponsorships and who work with influencers and bloggers.
Creating a pitch, to be honest, was foreign to me. I’d never done that before, so I knew I needed some help.
I also attached my media kit to the email to show my stats and demographics. Make sure you have a media kit ready when you approach a brand.
Also, I think that wherever in the world your traffic is coming from most should probably where the brand you’re pitching to is located.
Over 60% of my traffic comes from North America. It wouldn’t be very profitable for a Middle Eastern company to work with me since I barely get any traffic from there.
So all the companies who I reached out to are located in North America.
And lo and behold, not even a day later, one company said they’d like to collaborate with me on a post.
I highly recommend that if you haven’t pitched to brands yet you get Styling Social’s pitching template. Again, it’s free, and it definitely worked for me.
Negotiating your payment
When I got word that one of the companies I’d pitched to wanted to work with me, they also wanted to know what my rates are.
This is something I thought of on the spot. Don’t do this.
I later found out that I undercharged them for the amount of traffic I bring in across all my social media platforms, so make sure you think about how much you want to charge before starting to pitch to brands.
When thinking about how much you will charge for sponsored posts, consider these (I’m adding my stats from May 2020 for reference):
- What is your current blog traffic a month? 65K+
- How many email subscribers do you have? 1800+
- What is your current DA? 15
- How many Pinterest views do you have monthly? 4.8M
- How many Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest followers do you have combined? 8K+
I charged $130 for the post.
I definitely don’t regret charging this little, money is money, but I will be charging more next time because, well, I deserve more.
What I didn’t think about before was that sure, my post might have taken me a few hours to prepare, but it will be on my site forever. That means that the company I worked with will be benefitting from my post for years to come. $130 was, therefore, a bargain for them.
And that brings me to another point…
Lately, I’ve been getting emails from brands wanting me to write content for them and linking to them in my posts for pennies. $10-30, to be precise. If you get the same emails as I’ve been getting, please don’t accept those deals.
Again, you’d be giving them promotion for life (or as long as your site is up) for $30. It doesn’t make sense, and it definitely isn’t fair for brands to request this of bloggers.
Writing the post
Writing the sponsored post was no different to me than any other post, other than the fact that I mentioned their product in one of the sections, put in their link, and added my discount code to it.
I asked them if they wanted me to touch on anything in specific in the post, but all the wording was mine.
I also made sure to disclose in the introduction that this was a sponsored post. That’s something all bloggers, big and small, must do if they’re getting paid or getting gifted in exchange for a post. If you don’t, you might get in serious trouble.
If you’d like to read the sponsored post I wrote, this is it.
Useful resources that might help you with sponsorships
As I mentioned before, I highly recommend the free pitching template I used. Get it here.
Styling Social also just launched a course that will help you secure brand deals with way more help than any blog post. If you think that is something that will benefit you, check it out here.
My friend and blogger Kayleigh Zara just recently wrote a post on how to work with brands, and I recommend giving it a read. She has been at this game WAY longer than I have and has worked with many brands. She knows her sponsored stuff.
This was just my first experience collaborating with a brand, and I wanted to share it with you all since I got asked a lot about it on Twitter.
If you have any advice on how to find brands, how much to charge, how to write pitches, or anything else to do with sponsored posts, please leave it in the comments for others to learn from!
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