Okay girls, let's form an honesty circle and talk openly about the blogging world of freebies, and what you can do to get noticed by brands.
I remember when I first started blogging (5 years ago, what a granny) and I was just like 'YAY blog, blog about my cats, blog about food, blog about my cats again', and there was actually zero thought about making myself 'marketable'. I didn't really give that much of a shit about free stuff purely because I never thought a PR company would care what some girl in South Shields was buying.
Anyway, blog world exploded and before you know it there was loads of opportunities along with it. So much so that they are whole jobs dedicated to scouting at bloggers to work with brands which is exactly what I do nowadays.
Have a media kit
What the hell is a media kit, you might ask? It basically is just a snazzy document where you list your stats, services offered and how a brand can contact you. It's really handy for an agency to have all these deets easily accessible and gives you the chance to really sell yourself. Now I'm no design maverick (I still have no clue what I'm doing on a Mac) but as long as it's easy to read and has everything you need then you're golden. If you'd like to see one in action you can view a large version of mine here.
I recommend having a page on your blog with this on, or you can always attach it when you are first in contact with an agency to give them an idea of what you offer.
Make friends with brands/the organisers at events
Okay, so you're at an event and you're all excited to finally be chatting to someone who really understands the intricate differences in your nude polish collection. I get it, it's cool to meet people who don't go dead at the eyes when you talk about your favourite Mac lipsticks, but don't miss the opportunity to make friends with the organisers and not just the bloggers.
The people running the events will no doubt get called upon when it comes to putting names forward for new campaigns. They will also probably have some say when it comes to suggesting bloggers they think are good to reach out to, so make sure they don't forget you.
Have a signature on your email
Having all the links to where you can be found at the end of every email will make you like gold dust to a PR agency. When working in PR there was always three millions things that need to be done with a super tight deadline, sothe easier it is to find what we need the better.
Quite often a client will need a specific thing: 'oh does x blogger have a good following on Instagram?' or 'are they on Pinterest so we can see if they're right for this campaign?' etc. This is made super easy if we can just see all your platforms at the end of every single email.
Okay, so you got a snazzy campaign/product but you wont be able to actually post for a month for whatever reason and before you know it that same brand is ready to come to your house and break your fingers then make you type out the post for them...
A lot of companies have quick turnovers for their client and need to give results within a week, so like the day after you receive the product they can be like 'hey girl you want to write that thorough review of our product now?'. Always manage their expectations by stating clearly beforehand when you expect to get up a post, and that way you'll avoid tarnishing your rep for future campaigns.
For me personally, if it's a product review I will only review it after I've used it very intensely and know what it can do (because readers always come first), which takes a bit more time so I will always let that be known beforehand. On the other hand, some companies expect positive reviews in return for a product, so if that's not your jam let them know. If you don't manage expectations at best they will be reluctant to work with you again, at worst, they might hunt you down and hold you hostage.
Use social media
Why are we talking about social media when even our pets and grannys have social media now? Well, because you might be on Twitter and all the rest of it but if you're not using it in the right way you could be missing out on a trick.
Make yourself visible to brands and networks on social media by making sure you're not just passively following, but you're engaging. Get involved in discussions (#JBtalks, #Bbloggers #Lbloggers etc.) and volunteer to host. This will put you right in their radar, and will help you to build familiarity with their brand. If you post about a brand always try to include their twitter handle as you never know, they might ask to work with you, or RT you to their audience.
Let them know where you live...
As in where in the country you are situated. I can't emphasise how important putting your general location is. Make sure it's on all platforms, on your main page, and even in your 'about me'. That's because a lot of companies will find new bloggers by searching 'blogger + (desired location)' as this is usually a main spec in their criteria.
For example when I was based in the North of England my clients wanted bloggers in the local area. To find them I'd search 'North England bloggers', but a blogger wouldn't be picked up if that wasn't written anywhere on their blog. I also searched 'UK bloggers' or whatever niche I needed, so make sure you have a summary using key words associated with your niche that will get picked up in your SEO.
Also, make sure your email address is available very easily, as brands don't have time to find your email and will quite happily move onto another blog if they look in all the obvious places and it's not there. It is amazing how many people don't have it on their main home page but I want you guys to be all like HI I'M EMMA HERE'S MY EMAIL, OH YOU MOVED TO ANOTHER PAGE HERE'S MY EMAIL, OH YOU'RE ON MY TWITTER WELL HERE'S MY EMAIL.
Get an idea of your DA rating
All the massive huge blogger outreach networks (Joe Bloggers, Talented Talkers) will use your DA rating as one of the main factors in considering what campaigns they will ask you to work on. Usually they ask for a DA rating of 20+ (mine recently dropped below that and my opportunity to work with brands went with it). You can check your own rating here.
So these are all my tips on how to promote your blog to brands! If you know any extra please add them to the comments below so we can all be high fiving eachother and swimming in mountains of campaign work in the near future...
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