I started my blogging journey just a couple of years ago towards the end of 2016.
I was a beauty blogger. And I shared product reviews, subscription box reviews, makeup looks, and tons of lifestyle content. It was incredible!
I’ve always had an obsession with makeup and although my blog has shifted its focus since then, I am STILL just as obsessed with makeup as I was back then. It has always been a part of who I am.
And then I landed my first ever brand collaboration 9 months after starting my blog! From there on out, I started working with brands for products in exchange for a review & then for actual money.
YES, ACTUAL MONEY!
That’s where the turning point was for me and I began to periodically do sponsored posts for brands on both my Instagram and website. I honestly couldn’t believe I was being paid to promote my favorite brands.
And if you consume any type of content online, you know that sponsored posts are just about everywhere you go. They are a big part of the blogging and influencer community. And it was the very first way I monetized my blog.
I made my first dollar blogging from a brand collaboration!
And while I’ve toned down how many I do because I have diversified my income stream to focus on my services, I still do a brand collaboration from time to time. They’re a really great revenue stream when you’re just starting out.
If you have that BIG dream of one day turning your blog into a business — there are multiple ways to start getting a blogger paycheck: brand collaborations, services, products, affiliate marketing, and much more!
I started off with sponsored posts & collaborations and now two years later, I work full-time for myself.
So if you’re new to the blogging scene or you’re just feeling SO ready to make some money, you might be wondering how you can land a brand collaboration.
BUT, before we dive in — I do want to say that finding collaborations and sponsored posts are not easy. You have to be willing to put in the work, put yourself out there, and not be afraid of rejection.
It is tough finding networks, brands, and opportunities but once you get the hang of it, you’ll be pitching like a boss babe in no time. So let’s chat about a few things you should be doing in order to secure these brand collaborations.
Create an epic Media Kit
Media kits are basically like your resume and the way you show who you are and what your blog is about to brands. You can use media kits to show the kind of following and stats your blog and social media accounts receive.
They usually list packages or options for collaborations & pricing. This is basically the kind of services you offer. If you’re a little unsure of what that means — there are a few ways to collaborate with brands: sponsored posts, sidebar ads, giveaways, product reviews, posting on social media, etc.
So think about what you want to offer brands (you don’t have to offer ALL of these options) and at what pricing.
You can usually make your own on Canva or Photoshop.
Join influencer networks
INFLUENCER NETWORKS! Girl, these are SO helpful.
Influencer networks are specifically there to get you in touch with brands with the purpose of creating sponsored content. They are like the middleman to help you land these collabs. So if you have no clue what you’re doing or where to even start, definitely definitely DEFINITELY find influencer networks.
They are there to help you.
What you can do with these networks is usually they will let you know about specific opportunities to work with brands and you have the chance to apply to them (and make yourself SHINE on the application!)
Some of my favorite influencer networks are Social Fabric, Social Native, Linqia, and Collectively.
If you’re specifically looking to land sponsored posts for Instagram, I recommend reading my post all about Instagram brand collaborations with Social Native.
Tag, mention, and engage with brands
You never know who could see your content on social media. But how can they find it if you don’t tag & mention them?
If you’re wearing something or using a fav product of a brand you’re just dying to land a brand collaboration with — TAG THEM in the post! Seriously tag everything.
It could lead to amazing opportunities, reposts, etc. And besides tagging them, you should be engaging with their content. If they start seeing you around a lot in the online space, they might be inclined to reach out to you.
Freakin’ dream come true, right? But you’d never know if you never tried & interacted with them.
Directly reach out
If you’ve got the GUTS to put yourself completely out there, you could directly reach out to the brands on your hit list. This means you may need to do some major sleuthing.
For some brands, it could be pretty easy and others could take a lot of guesswork. But if you’re dedicated, it’s definitely worth a shot. One thing to remember is that PR people for brands are mega busy — you may not always get a reply.
DO NOT get discouraged! They are quite busy and we might not always be the perfect fit for a brand. Just keep trying. They could reply to you — you never know. Or they could reply to you months from now. It’s still worth a shot.
Now that you know the harsh realities of facing possible rejection… and you’re still down to give it a try (woo-freakin’-hoo! THAT’S AWESOME) — let’s talk about HOW you can get in contact with brands.
So reaching out to brands and contacts directly will require you to have at least their email address. And you can’t just email anyone at the company, you need to email someone relevant (PR, social media, etc.)
You can search around for their email address on Google or LinkedIn. If you find a name, but no email, you can try to guess the email address with different variations like firstname.lastname@example.org, email@example.com, you get the picture.Want to start working with your favorite brands? Learn how to land your first brand collab as a new blogger! Click To Tweet
What to email them
Girl, you need to wow them so you need to write an incredible & professional email. Let them know who you are, what you do, how much you love their work, and include relevant social media & blog links. Include your best, most impressive stats.
If you’ve got a small following or a small number of page views, don’t feel discouraged. Instead of talking about how many page views you have, you could mention the percentage of growth you’ve seen in the last month or something along those lines.
You really want to knock their socks off and impress them… BUT don’t write a novel. Keep it quick and concise while still showing off your personality.
And don’t forget to create a pretty, eye-catching & professional email signature — you want to include your contact information and maybe even a headshot!
Then, muster up the courage to hit send!
And those are some steps you can take to land your very first brand collaboration & start making money from your blog! Good luck!