A Blogger's Guide to Finding Brand Work

It may seem scary at first, but if you're interested in monetising your blog, at some point you're going to have to put yourself out there and approach brands and PRs.

There are a few different ways you can collaborate with a company. These include sponsored posts, product reviews (paid or on a gifting basis), affiliate links and ads. There are also many different ways you can find this work. If you're not sure where to start, here are a few ways I've tried and had success with when seeking out collaborations:

Follow a few PRs and PR companies relevant to your niche - they often tweet about looking for bloggers to work with on a project. You should also browse the #BloggerRequest and  #BloggersWanted hashtags regularly for opportunities - I've found quite a few collabs this way. Make sure your Twitter bio says that you're a blogger and clearly displays your email address for brands to get in contact with you if they wish. You could also try just being bold and sending a company a tweet or DM asking if they'd like to work with you...the worst they can do is ignore you or say no.

Facebook Groups
There are loads of groups on FB for bloggers to look for brand work. I'm not on Facebook anymore so don't use these but I've heard of a few groups that bloggers have success with. If you're in the United Kingdom, Official UK Bloggers and UK Blogger Opportunities are probably two of the best to try, at least to start off with. I'm sure there are similar groups for bloggers in other countries, too.

In an ideal world, emails from brands begging you to collab with them would land in your inbox every day. This probably won't happen as soon as you start blogging, though. The longer you've been at it and the more established you are, the more people are going to want to work with you. It's always great to be approached first, but don't just sit around waiting for this to happen. (To make it easier for potential collaborators to find you, though, make sure you put your email address in your bio of all your social media sites and easily visible on your blog. Also make sure you have a Work with Me page and/or a Contact Me page on your site - if someone can't easily find a way to get in touch with you, they probably won't bother).

Take the initiative and email a few brands yourself. It's usually better to contact the PR company which represents the brand (you can find this by googling "PR company for XXX") as you're more likely to receive a response. Find the relevant email address from the company's website and try as hard as possible to find out he name of the person you're writing to - this shows that you've made an effort and are interested in working with them specifically, rather than sending a generic email out to loads of different places. I love this post by Beth Sandland about how to pitch to brands, including writing the perfect email.

I've also had some success by emailing PRs I've previously worked with, asking whether they'd like to collaborate again. You never know, they may have a new product or be working with another client they'd like you to promote. Always be professional when dealing with PRs, fulfil your obligations on time and be polite and friendly. That way they'll be more likely to want to work with you again in the future.
You may not have thought of this one, but LinkedIn is a great resource for freelancers (yes, that includes bloggers) to connect with potential clients. I am by no means an expert on LinkedIn - I'm still learning it myself - so here's a link to one of the best blog posts I've found on how to get started (it's aimed at 'mommy bloggers' but it really doesn't matter what niche you are; the information and tips are still valid). 

This list is obviously not exhaustive and there are many ways to approach a brand or PR company for work. But if you're just starting out as a blogger, or are only starting to think about monetising your site, these are some of the best places to start. Remember: don't be afraid of rejection. You won't be successful all the time, but it's really no big deal. It doesn't define your worth as a blogger (or a person) if a brand doesn't want to work with you. Just shrug it off and try again with someone else.

Do you have anything to add to this? What are your best tips for securing brand work?

If you enjoyed this post, you'll love my blogging ebook The Blogger's Survival Guide: My Tips and Advice from Over 12 Years of Blogging full of industry knowledge and strategies for both new and seasoned bloggers.

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