*AD – paid collaboration: this post is written in collaboration with Get Blogged. I was financially compensated for this post. All opinions and views are my own.
Right from the beginning of starting my blog, it has never been about views, making money or getting sent free stuff. However, it’s definitely nice to feel that people enjoy reading your content and will consistently come back to read more. It’s also a great feeling knowing that a brand likes your work enough to collaborate with you. Unfortunately, it can be quite tricky to secure brand work as micro blogger* because realistically, the industry seems to be dominantly about follower counts and big numbers. Since becoming a blogger almost two years ago, I’ve worked with over 30 different brands and have established some great brand relationships. I thought I would share some of my tips for anyone who is looking to make genuine connections within the blogging world and develop their blog further. I’m absolutely by no means any kind of expert, this is just what I’ve learnt from experience!
Join Groups & Mailing Lists
There are a lot of different places all around the Internet where you can join things like groups, pages and mailing lists that consistently provide you with new blogging opportunities. I have two particular go-to websites for this, the first being Get Blogged*. This is a blogger outreach service* and it’s a great way to establish relationships with different brands as well as earn some money through your hard work. There are lots of different opportunities available depending on your DA (Domain Authority) so there’s something for everyone, no matter what DA bracket you fall into. All you do is create a profile on their website which is really quick and easy, providing your blog and social media links so they can see your current stats and provide you with opportunities that fit your blog. I have my email notifications turned on so that whenever a new job comes up, I can read through it straight away and apply for it if I’m interested. You’re not bound into any sort of contract so you can just pick up whatever jobs you feel are suitable for you. Everything is stated clearly in each job brief including the fee you will be paid, any key words or links you will need to provide and any other relevant guidelines so you know exactly what you’re applying for. I’ve already had a fair few opportunities from Get Blogged so far and I would definitely recommend to any bloggers looking to establish brand relationships.
Another go-to for me has got to be Facebook, there are so many different groups you can join where new opportunities are posted on their feeds regularly. There are different groups depending on what area you live in so you can be aware of opportunities or events local to you or there are just generic groups targeted at bloggers and brands to allow them to connect with each other. Again, I’ve picked up many of my brand work through these pages and it’s another perfect way to establish relationships within the industry. Two of my most-used groups are UK Influencer Opportunities and Birmingham Bloggers UK as these are both updated very regularly and always have a lot of relevant opportunities that are suitable for my type of content.
It’s incredibly important to properly disclose anything you work on, whether it be a paid collaboration, gifted items, a free event or something else. Not only is it now against the law to not disclose brand work but it’s also really dishonest to your readers. I think one of the greatest things about micro influencers is that for the majority, we’re seen as a credible source of information by our readers. This is not to say that big influencers are all vicious liars because there are plenty of successful and trustworthy people in the industry. However, I do think it’s really beneficial for brands to work with a mix of bigger and less well-known bloggers to meet their marketing objectives as although we are only small, we can definitely be mighty. Although my blog is only small, I know plenty of people who have bought products because of my reviews as they have learnt to trust my judgement through my (sometimes brutal) honestly.
Create A Media Kit & Pitch to Brands
One of the biggest things I had to learn about pitching to brands is not to be afraid of being ignored or rejected. It’s important when looking for brands to work with that you’re not afraid to put yourself out there and talk yourself up. One of the most professional ways to do this is by creating or buying a media kit; I made my own using Canva but there are also a wide range of people who can create one for you for a small fee. A media kit usually includes all of your relevant stats such as views and follower counts, social media platforms, previous work and anything else you think might look impressive. I like to include a couple of my favourite photos I’ve taken of products or make-up looks just to give an example of what I can do. Again, don’t be afraid to talk yourself up and write a little ‘about me’ section where you can talk about your relevant skills.
Once you have your media kit, you can search for contact emails which are usually just available on their website. Alternatively, you can try reaching out through any social media platforms the brands may have. Don’t be scared of rejection, just bite the bullet and get your name out there – you never know who might be interested!
Know Your Worth
Although it’s obviously amazing to be offered opportunities, it’s also okay to say no. You must remember your worth, even if you only have a small following you’re still a reliable source. At the end of the day, you’re providing a service and this is always worth something. Unfortunately, there’s a number of people who take advantage of creative individuals and try to get free work out of them. Just remember that you’re putting your own time and efforts into this so you deserve to be reimbursed for this just as you would in any other job.
You also don’t need to take up every single opportunity, if it’s not relevant to your content or you’re not enjoying producing something then don’t feel obliged to post it if you’re not happy. If you’re sent products to review but aren’t happy with them, let the brand know in a constructive way – more often than not, your honesty will be appreciated and actually strengthen your relationship with the brand as you’re communicating clearly with them.
Do you have any of your own tips for micro bloggers?