When you decide to start approaching brands—or if a brand approaches you—it’s good to know ahead of time what your brand strategy is going to be.
Know ahead of time what your USPs (unique selling points) are, and what makes you the ideal brand partner. Prepare your pitch ahead of time so that you won’t be thrown off when it comes time to talk to brands.
Above all else, know what you and your blog stand for, and what aligns with your brand. There’s nothing more off-putting than blogs who do strange brand partnerships!
Remaining genuine and true to your brand will only help build trust and reliability.
Collaborations can mean many different things, and can cover projects that are both short-term and long-term.
With this kind of work, the blogger and the brand will work together to come up with a campaign or strategy that works for everyone involved.
One of the major benefits of this is that the blogger will have input into what this involves.
Be aware that sometimes people will say “collaboration” when they actually mean that they want something from you for nothing in return. This all comes back to aligning yourself with the right brands.
Sponsored posts can be a great form of collaboration with a brand with a fantastic return for you.
Often, the brand will have their own message they would like you to display and promote on your blog and social media. They’ll pay you for this and will usually take care of the copy.
Sometimes, you’ll be asked to prepare the copy and/or accompanying high-quality photographs. If this is the case, you are well within your rights to ask for higher compensation (within reason).
Be aware that when working with sponsored posts you should always disclose this to your audience, as you have a monetary gain by promoting it.
This comes back to the issue of being genuine and ensuring that all collaborations are a fit with your personal brand and blog message!
Make sure that you set your terms when working with sponsored posts. Editing power, what you both expect to deliver and achieve, and content sign-off are all important things to set out clearly at the start.
The last thing you want is a poorly written or jarringly different piece of content on your blog or social channels, as it’ll devalue your brand.
Offering Unique Advertising
Unique advertising opportunities will only be applicable to you if you aren’t using an advertising network which requires you to display only the ads they offer you.
Things to take into account with unique advertising are the volume of traffic your blog receives, ad placement and type (banners, pop-ups, in-text links, etc), and if you have a history of proven conversion rates on click-throughs. All of these will affect how much you can charge and earn.
If you have organic traffic, your blog will have more value to advertisers! Play your cards right, and this could be a handy passive income stream.
Giveaways are great for you and your blog audience, as it requires minimal effort on your part and offers something tangible for your audience.
It’s usually up to you how you want to market the giveaway, but a standard procedure is typically to leave a comment, tag a friend, and to make sure they’re following both your’s and the brand’s social media.
Sometimes, instead of a giveaway or in addition to, there may be a discount offered by the brand for followers of your blog.
You’ll often see this on YouTube with vloggers offering a certain percentage off a particular product if you use a certain keyword or code.
Usually the brand will approach you for a giveaway, rather than the other way around. This, however, can be an excellent way to grow your audience and followers.
Niche vs. Broad
Niche bloggers may have a slightly easier time partnering with brands than broad spectrum bloggers.
With a niche blog, you can really find brands to partner with who expertly fit your brand and focus. Just be sure to get to grips with all of your pitching tools you’ll need in order to successfully partner with a brand.
This includes understanding what the common practices, lingo, and challenges of your particular niche are.
With a broad spectrum blog, you may want to consider affiliating yourself with a network partner. They can pair you up with brands that will fit your blog and audience, taking the hard work away from you.
Just be sure that who you partner with is a good match for your brand ethos and blog messaging!
Influencers vs. Micro Influencers
While you may think that in order to have a successful blog, you need to have thousands, if not millions, or followers, this isn’t always true. As long as you have a dedicated audience who engage, you can bring value to a brand.
Micro influencers (those with followers of less than 1,000) can sometimes be more effective than influencers.
A smaller audience who engages more (through comments, shares, likes, etc) shows that they trust you.
Trust is key for brands, as this will show that you’re likely to have more influence and thus more conversions for them.