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How to Work with Brands

As you get further into you blogging journey, you might start to become interested in working with brands.  Maybe you fancy doing the odd product review or perhaps even work towards life as a professional blogger.  Working with brands is one of the main ways of earning from your blog.

work with brands

work with brands

Bloggers need to know their worth.  As a blogger, chances are you have an engaged and trusting audience.  Your readers feel as if they know you.  They have read stories about your family’s happy and sad times; maybe even watched your children grow up.  They trust you and value your opinion.  This is a lot more appealing to brands than you think and so brands are looking more and more towards bloggers to promote their business/products.

I have been blogging for 18 months, but only really properly for 11 months.  In this time I have been exceptionally lucky with the opportunities my family and I have had.  We have been on holiday, had days out, been for lovely meals, received fantastic goods, worked as brand ambassadors, earned cold hard cash and have built many fantastic relationships with wonderful companies.

Here are some of my thoughts on how to work with brands;

  • You can work with brands even if your stats aren’t amazing.  What matters is that your audience is engaged.  Also, if you blog is in a narrow niche, then you can afford your stats to be lower.
  • Be truthful to what fits you/family.  Don’t just accept every offer put your way.  Otherwise you may lose respect of your readers.
  • Create a Media Kit and know your numbers.  When talking to PR’s and brands, it is a good idea to know your monthly page views and unique visitors off the top of your head (roughly will do).
  • Be flexible and think outside the box in terms of what you can offer.  If a company or a PR emails you, think of ways you can work together. For example, if they are not offering enough money for you to create a post, offer to do some social media promotion instead.
  • Don’t delete press releases – I have lost count of the amount of times I hear people saying they just delete the press releases sent to them. DON’T!  I know they are sent out in a blanket fashion, but you can still use them as a conversation starter.  Email back and ask the PR if they are looking for sponsored content or reviews.  You never know what it might lead to.
  • Be professional.  This should go without saying, but if you want to represent brands, then you have to act in a professional manner.
  • Create great content.  Try to be original, think of how to get the story over in a different way. I still want my content to be interesting, even if it includes a sponsored link.  For example, my Tired Mummy Bingo post.
  • Add value –This ties in with the previous point.  Don’t just take the money and print the link, but think how you can add value to the post.  The link will be clicked by more people if your post is interesting or useful.  So create a great post, regardless of the fact that you have to include a certain link.
  • Don’t be too literal with the content/link connection – I am not advocating that you are abstract, but if you are writing a post that has to include, for example, a link to a technological product, it doesn’t have to be a detailed post about that product.  Think outside the box, take this post for example.
  • Use attractive and large images.  Show the brand that you can show off their product.
  • Make sure it is worth it to YOU.  It is up to you what you work for and if you decide to have a minimum product value for reviews.  Whatever your limits are, just make sure it it worth your time.  It will take time to test a product, photograph it, edit the photos, write up the review and promote on social media.  Make sure what you get in return covers your time.
  • Ask other bloggers for advice.  Blogging is such a helpful and supportive community and so if you need help, ask another blogger.  Tweet them, email them or join one of the many Facebook groups for bloggers.
  • Keep your social media feeds professional – Many brands will check your timelines before hiring you or agreeing to work with you.  I have heard about people who have lost good projects, due to the brand checking their feeds.
  • Don’t work for free, unless YOU want to, not because you are made to feel is if you should. The offer of high res images or perhaps they have written a wonderful post that you can use for free…. does not mean you SHOULD post it.  It is your blog, know your worth and you should post what you want to.
  • Make it easy for PRs to work with you.  Make sure you have a search bar on your blog (so they can quickly find out if you have worked with a particular brand before).  Include an email address, not contact form.  Have your social media links on the front page.  Include a picture of you on your sidebar (not your dog or your baby!).  Tell them where are you located.  If you are an ambassador for a brand, put badge in your sidebar. That way they can avoid any conflict with brands.
  • Make your blog represent you, while remaining professionally laid out.  Proof read, use clear text, don’t use music or moving backgrounds.
  • Work with me page – A ‘Work With Me’ page can be a great place to summarise the brands you have worked with, how you work with brands and any other relevant details.
  • Be confident and pitch to THEM – Confidence does comes with a bit of experience. However, if you want to be successful, you need to give the impression of confidence to brands.  If you want to work with a particular brand, then pitch to THEM.  Don’t wait until they come to you. Chances are they might never come across your blog.  A prime example of this for me is my collaboration with Diet Chef.  I wanted to work with a weight loss brand and so I pitched to them.  I laid out why I would be a great person to work with their brand, why it would be good for them and what exactly I could offer them in return.  This resulted in the longest blogger collaboration they have ever had.
  • Keep in contact with brands/PRs you have worked with.  Every month to two months, give all your PR contacts a quick email.  Remind them of you and your blog and ask if they have any suitable opportunities.
  • Search FB groups and Hashtags – For blogger opportunities.  On Facebook try BlogPR (UK), Twitter #BloggersRequired, #PRRequest, #BloggersWanted.
  • Join the Networks – Britmums, Mumsnet, Social Fabric, Nuffnag, Tots100 to name a few.  All these networks offer opportunities to bloggers.

 

So there you have it, my whistle stop tour of working with brands.  There is obviously so much more that can be said on all of these points, but I hope this will give you some ideas.

 

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Showing 103 comments
  • Mum in a nutshell
    Reply

    This is fantastic Aby, thanks for taking the time to put all this advice together.

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      My pleasure, I hope it helps x

  • Suz
    Reply

    Great tips for anyone, either it be a newbie or someone that’s been blogging for years! Suz xo
    http://www.beauisblue.com

  • Kath S {isitwineoclock}
    Reply

    Fab post Aby. Shared & liked 🙂 x

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Thanks so much x

  • rachel
    Reply

    Aby this post is full of useful information. I am taking notes down! thank you for sharing 🙂

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Hope it helps x

  • Rachel Kowalski
    Reply

    Really enjoying this series. It is really helping me. Thank you 🙂

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Really glad to hear that huni xx

  • Brighton Mama
    Reply

    Wonderful advice and tips!! So useful for any blogger wanting to work with brands 🙂

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Thank you. Hope something there helps x

  • Joanna
    Reply

    Great post Aby! I am really glad you have created your Blog Club xx
    (pinned and tweeted!)

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Thanks. So glad it is useful xx

  • Becky
    Reply

    Thank you for sharing all these fab tips, I hadn’t though of contacting brands I have worked with before..fab idea!
    xx

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      I hope it helps huni x

  • Jenna
    Reply

    This is really helpful, Aby. I’ve just started getting a bit braver at approaching and pitching to companies. 🙂

    Jenna at http://www.tinyfootsteps.co.uk&gt; xx

  • Sophie
    Reply

    Thank you..that is a really helpful post! Some great tips! I can’t believe you haven’t been going that long, yet you are so established!! Well done you 🙂 xx

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Ah thank you so much xx

  • Katy {What Katy Said}
    Reply

    You are so lovely sharing all these tips! You always inspire me to try harder. xx

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Ah that is such a kind thing to say xx

  • Tracey Williams
    Reply

    What a great post this is. I have been blogging for around 18 months and I need to take the plunge into working with more brands. I shall definitely be using some of the tips. Thank you so much x

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Thank you. Glad it helps x

  • ArtStreetLife
    Reply

    I think most brands throw their arms up in horror at us! Seriously though I can’t understand companies who still work with bloggers (who think they are writers!) but yet those bloggers don’t know the basics when it comes to spelling, grammar and punctuation. I keep coming across blogs where the contraction of ‘you are’ is written as ‘your’ and they think a pural needs an apostrophe such as ‘photo’s’ rather than the correct version ‘photos’.

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      I think for every blogger that is as you describe, there are 10 who do a great job, work hard, invest in their blogs and have an engaged audience. That is what brands want.

  • Life with Six Kids
    Reply

    Thank you for this. Only been blogging properly since December 2014 so still a newbie but just done my first review and hoping to work with more brands in the future so am going to favourite this page as love the tips x

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      My pleasure, hope it helps x

  • fashion-mommy
    Reply

    Lovely post with lots of good help and advice for those who want to blog professionally.

    #MMWBH

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Thanks, hope it helps x

  • Jenny
    Reply

    As always Aby you have such great advice and so much for me to take notes. This newbie here really needs to learn more. lol Thank you so much for linking up to Share With Me #sharewithme

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Thank you huni. Hope it helps someone, I am sure you are doing just fine by yourself 🙂 x

  • Reply

    Another fantastic and helpful post. It’s such a scary thing I think, to put yourself (and your blog) out there and up for potential rejection, but this advice is great!

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Thanks so much. Glad you like it. What’s the worst that can happen, they say no and you move on x

  • Mim
    Reply

    These are brilliant tips, thanks Aby! I really love your Blogging series – such helpful advice 🙂 🙂 #MMWBH

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Thanks so much huni, I am so glad you like it x

  • Laura Evelyn Bee
    Reply

    As always I find your ‘how tos’ great, easy to follow and they are really helping me. I was writing a blog post the other day and something you had said about links in your text popped into my head. Thank you so much! I haven’t work with brands yet but I will be bookmarking this page, one day hopefully will have the opportunity to! x
    #MMWBH

  • The DADventurer (Dave)
    Reply

    Good advice as always and agree with a lot of what you’ve written 🙂

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Hope it helps x

  • hannah mum's days
    Reply

    Great tips as always my darling!! There’s so much on here I should be doing but haven’t. One for the old book mark 😉

    #Brilliantblogposts

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Thanks lovely! I am sure you do just fine! 🙂 xxx

  • Morna piper
    Reply

    Thanks for a great post. I love the fact that the blogging community seems so inclusive and that help is freely given. I have a lot to learn but what better way to learn than reading blogs?

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Thanks so much, I am glad you enjoyed it and found it useful x

  • al
    Reply

    This is so useful and I’m going to go straight back and read over it again. Gave me a couple of things to think about. Thanks for this 🙂

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      I am so glad it will be helpful x

  • Carol My Bored Toddler
    Reply

    Another great and useful article. Thanks!

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Thanks! Glad you enjoyed it x

  • Suzy Walker-Toye
    Reply

    This is a great post. I’m not new to blogging but certainly new to any monetisation (free wordpress doesn’t allow it). Really interesting. Thx

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Glad you enjoyed it x

  • Little Treasures
    Reply

    Thanks for writing this list, I’m definitely going to work on some of these. Blogging is still a hobby for me at the moment and I’m still finding the time to make sure I post regularly but I got to work with my first brand this month and ran a competition which I loved so it’s definitely something I’d like to do more of soon! #thelist
    On a side note- I’ve linked a post but couldn’t copy the badge code on my iPad sorry xx

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      I am glad you found it helpful. If you could pop a text link in that would be awesome, thanks! xx

  • sarah christie
    Reply

    Great post Aby, I have contacted brands myself and it has really paid off, I think it is also so important to be true to yourself and I want my bog to stay that way x

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Thanks huni, hope something helps x

  • North East Family Fun
    Reply

    You have summarised working with brands really well here. Fantastic tips as always x

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Thanks huni x

  • Annabel Woolmer
    Reply

    A helpful and clear post. Thanks Aby.

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Thanks, hope it helps x

  • Louise
    Reply

    Great tips as always Aby – thank you for sharing them. Have pinned and will be referring back to this! 🙂

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      My pleasure, hope it helps x

  • Lindsay
    Reply

    Great post as always, i have never even thought of approaching a brand i want to work with before or e-mailing pr’s i have worked with xx

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Thanks huni. Most of my stuff is still inbound (due to a lack of time) but once every 6 weeks or so I go through my Pr inbox and message most of them to see what’s about xx

  • Laura
    Reply

    some really fab tips that I need to look into more as I get more and more into this blogging. Also probably need to look into Dubai specific! But a great platform base for me to jump into!

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Thanks, glad it helps x

  • Tin Box Traveller
    Reply

    This is so useful. I totally agree with being true to your blog and not feeling pressurised into posting something that isn’t releavent to you. This is ultimately going to devalue your blog, turning off readers and brands. Great post! #thelist

  • bettyallonby
    Reply

    I’ve sometimes thought I should approach brands because most of the emails I get are for products that are good but not really right for me? But I never get emails from fashion or beauty brands, so maybe I should be more proactive? Great advice.

    x

    #thelist

  • Julie
    Reply

    These are really awesome tips. The ones I like the most are to make it easy for them to find your contact information and that you shouldn’t feel you have to work for free. I’m just starting growing my blog and I’ve turned down a bunch of free offers because my time is limited (new baby and working full time and all) and I need to respect my own time. Plus, I feel like if we’re asked to work for free a lot the quality of the post may suffer.

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Thank you, I am glad you enjoyed it, I hope it will be useful x

  • Kat
    Reply

    Some great tips there as always. Being professional, kind, truthful and polite are all high up there for me. People buy from people and you wouldn’t want to work with someone who is rude hey? Hence why you are always busy gorgeous, one of the nicest people anyone will meet. Xxxx

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Oh bless you, thank you so much huni. You are a star xxx

  • Leigh - Headspace Perspective
    Reply

    Good for you, Aby. I’m not terribly interested in working with brands at the moment, but you offer excellent advice. I have a PR background and it is about seeing yourself as a brand – so being mindful of how you project your image on social media as well as through your blog. Brilliant to see what you’ve achieved as the result of proactive pitches xx #TheList

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Thank you huni. I hope it helps people, even if it is just to give them a little more confidence xx

  • Katie / Pouting In Heels
    Reply

    Incredible tips! As someone who’s just turned pro as a blogger because of managing to secure much work with brands for the past 5-6 months or so, I agree with them all.

    I do pretty much most if not all of these because as you say, they work. Thanks for being so generous and sharing with others. This will help SO many bloggers.

    Confidence & self belief are the key. As you say know your worth and never be afraid to reach out and pitch to a brand. The worst they can say is no which is no bad thing at all. (And it gets much easier the more you try!)

    x

    #thelist
    #thelist

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Thank you, I love writing these posts and don’t profess to be the most experienced blogger but I am always happy to share what I know x

  • Mel
    Reply

    Hun, the more posts I read, the more you amaze me. I can’t believe you have only been blogging ‘properly’ for 11 months! You seem to know everything you need to know. I feel so clueless sometimes. Your posts are always really clear, informative, brilliant!

    You are so right about the blogging community being supportive. When I feel I have no idea what I should be doing, I ask someone and I have always had a detailed answer to every question I have emailed a blogging friend.

    I did spot your Diet Chef pics on Instagram, so you are certainly worth their money! xxx

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Ah thank you huni, what a lovely comment, it means a lot to me as I still feel like I am floundering around some days. The friendships is the best thing about blogging xxx

  • Steph
    Reply

    Aby, you are FANTASTIC!
    Your posts are inspirational, challenging and FULL of great information 🙂

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Ah thank you huni. You are so kind, such a fab comment, much appreciated xx

  • WPamplify
    Reply

    You make an excellent point about reading all press releases as you never know where they can lead. Sometimes they open the doors to new and exciting opportunities.

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      It doesn’t do any harm to just do a quick response x

  • Lyn Bown
    Reply

    Some really useful points. I’m not quite at that point with my blog yet. I will reeremember them when I am. X

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Hope they help at some point x

  • Heather Griffiths
    Reply

    Great advice thanks for sharing! I will definitely try and put some of these features on my blog x

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Hope it helps! x

  • Mini Travellers
    Reply

    You are very very good at this Aby and there are some great tips in there, particularly like the abstract ideas. #sundaystars

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Oh bless you, hope they help x

  • Eimear
    Reply

    Another awesome post! #sundaystars

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Thank you, glad you like it x

  • Heledd
    Reply

    This post has to be one of the most useful ones I’ve ever read!!! I’ll be booking marking this one as I know I’ll be coming back to it again and again. There’s so much to do but I now have a list! Thanks for sharing this Aby, great work. #sundaystars xxx

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Ah thank you my lovely, what a nice thing to say xxx

  • Tarana Khan
    Reply

    Great tips! I’ve always found that press releases are a great way to connect with the right people for a brand you’re interested in working with.

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Thanks, it is a foot in the door! x

  • Cheryl
    Reply

    These are great tips. Been blogging for a while, but only just tip toeing in to monetizing my blog. Hadn’t thought to follow up the blanket press releases. Get so many, but just reply with a “Thank you, but no”. Need to think out of the box. Food for thought, for sure. Thanks for sharing.

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Thanks, glad it will be useful to you. It is a great way to make a connection, even if nothing comes of it initially x

  • Stacey Lewis
    Reply

    This is a brilliant post with some great advice, I feel like I have so much to learn still! I’m a week in and have already made lots of changes bur still think I have lots to do.

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Thanks, I am so glad you enjoyed it. Good luck with your blog x

  • Fun with the Family
    Reply

    Brilliant post, I am so shy at promoting myself, it is hopefully a goal of mine this year to take my blog to another level. Thank you for sharing your wonderful tips, I will take them all on board

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Thank you, I am so glad it is helpful. Good luck with your blog x

  • Harps
    Reply

    Another fab post! I’ve been thinking about working with brands and how to go about it – this is really useful in ensuring my foundation is right x

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Thanks huni, hope it helps x

  • Penny Pincher
    Reply

    Brilliant tips! You are fast becoming one of my favourite bloggers, your website is so useful thank you!

  • Katie
    Reply

    Very helpful post
    Thank you

  • Amelia
    Reply

    Fantastic post- I got some great ideas from reading this! Thank you for sharing your insights x

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Glad it was helpful x

  • Midwife and Life (Jenny)
    Reply

    Thank you for the info, I am getting there! Done 1 review but had to pay for product (cost price) but they are very pleased with it so hope to do some more. Have looked into the networks too.

    • You Baby Me Mummy
      Reply

      Hun, just be careful paying for things. You are giving them exposure, however new you are. They really should have given you the product for free xx

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