How bloggers work with brands

If you are new to blogging, you may start asking yourself "when does the free stuff and money start rolling in?" I have been blogging for almost four years now, and honestly, I didn't even think about money until this year- I just wasn't in it for the money I guess. Anyways, bloggers can make money blogging three ways- 1) affiliate sales, 2) selling courses/ebooks/etc, and 3) working with brands. The third one is the easiest and today is all about it. 

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Why do brands work with bloggers?
Brands love bloggers for one reason: bloggers are the best outlet for advertising. By using bloggers to promote a product, brands get a real-world account/review of how someone feels about a certain product, but they will do it with a twist. Bloggers have the ability to take a product and tell a story detailing why the product fits into their life. AND bloggers are 110% honest and to tell the truth- if a blogger is not satisfied with a brand, then they will tell you (in the nicest way possible).

How can bloggers work with brands?
When working with brands, bloggers will get either money or product in payment for blog posts and/or social media shares. I have been working with brands since the beginning of 2016 and it has been very fruitful. I have mostly received free product, but I have also been paid money.

Bloggers make money and get free products by three different means:

1 // Working with a 3rd party
Working with a 3rd party company is undoubtedly the easiest way to go. Basically, a brand reaches out to a company and asks for bloggers to promote a product and then bloggers who are members of the company "apply" for the opportunity to work with the brand. 

I could actually write a whole blog post about 3rd party companies bloggers SHOULD work with, but the two companies that I work a lot with is Social Fabric/Collective Bias and BrandBacker.

  • Social Fabric has Shoppertunities and through those, they will pay you a small amount to buy and try the product and then pay for one blog post and 4 social shares. Each Shoppertunity has a set monetary amount and that amount is paid 30 days after the blog post and social shares are accepted. 
  • BrandBacker has campaigns and is exclusively for product reviews. There has been some campaigns that I have done and there was a chance to make money, but they are far and few between.  

I have worked with each company for about a year and I have been satisfied thus far. 

2 // Pitching a brand directly
Pitching is blogger lingo for essentially sending an email to a brand, telling them what you can offer, and then asking for compensation (either product or money) in exchange for reviewing and/or promoting the company/product. For pitching, a blogger NEEDS a media kit- a resume for your blog. A media kit provides a screen shot of who the blogger is, what the blog is about, the blog's stats (page views, etc), social media reach, and lists the brands previously worked with. Pitching a brand is easy once you get used to it, but until that point, it can be devastating to hear a "no" from a brand. If you want to learn more about pitching, I highly recommend joining "That Pitch Life" on Facebook

3 // Brands contacting for collabs
One of the most important things that bloggers need to display on their blogs is a way to contact them, ie. email address. Why? Because if a brand likes you, then they will contact you- trust me. I have had brands directly reach out to me and ask if I am interested in reviewing their products. Of course, I will research the product and find out if it's the right fit for my audience- I mean, if I was primarily a beauty blogger, I wouldn't review a power tool, ya know. On the other hand, I would be down for some hair, makeup, or beauty products. But since I also incorporate lifestyle, parenting, dogs, etc... yeah, you know where I am going with this.

In a nutshell, free product can be enticing, BUT, you need to be a bit picky & You don't have to say "yes" to every brand that pitches you.

If you are just starting out and want to make money with your blog or social following, I recommend joining a 3rd party company like Social Fabric. They make things easier. Also, if you are interested in working with brands via pitching, then I would suggest taking a look at Erica's (from Coming Up Roses) BossPitch. #notsponsored

Have you ever worked with a brand? What was your method?

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