Lately, we’ve been chatting a lot about working with brands and brand collaborations because if you want to become a full-time blogger, these are the things every blogger needs to know. I’d bet that the majority of bloggers think sponsored posts from luxury brands is the only way to collaborate with them, get featured, and make money.
So, in turn, micro-bloggers get down on themselves and think they don’t even have a shot.
While, yes, sponsored posts of any kind (blog, Instagram, Snapchat) are important in generating an income and gaining exposure from blogging, so are the countless other ways that bloggers don’t talk about. Here are other ways to collaborate with brands if you’re a micro-bogger.
Paid Sponsored Content
Let’s get this one out of the way first…
We all know that when bloggers post a picture of them “casually” using a product, a. it was scrupulously planned, and b. they were paid to do so. We also know the really big bloggers were most likely paid lump sum, meanwhile we’re over here struggling to get featured on @ootdmagazine.
The misconception we always seem to come back to is if brands will actually spend money on micro-bloggers to promote their products and the answer is YES. You just have to price yourself appropriately and according to your following.
Think about it… Facebook ads is the other most popular form of advertising and they went from $1/day, to a minimum of $5/day and that may only get you a reach of 1,000 people. So if brands were thinking about building a long-term, trusted awareness, a micro-blogger would be a much smarter investment than Facebook ads, (if you disagree tell me in the comments below).
If you really want to work with brands, but you’re afraid of scaring them away by asking for payment, try using the other options below.
Blog Posts in Exchange for Exposure
Speaking from experience, I’ve noticed the new thing brands are trying to do to get around paying you to promote their products: running “contests”. These contests are mainly geared toward micro-bloggers and usually go something like this, “Post a picture of your best selfie using the hashtag #brandname and get a chance to be featured on our website!”.
This is an effective way to get you to promote their brand for free, which is fine. But as a blogger trying to turn her side hustle into a business, you could be doing other things like working with brands who will guarantee you exposure in exchange for a blog post. Now if you happen to get featured, that’s a totally different story.
You have to start somewhere, especially if you’re a newb, and this isn’t a bad place to be. If you’re working with a brand who is fashion related, odds are their audience will be fashion lovers too; thus you have the potential to increase your following by being exposed on their social media platforms or website.
Gifts in Exchange for Blog Posts
Sometimes it’s easier (and cheaper) to give a blogger a product (aka gift) in exchange for a promotional post. This is one of my favorite forms of collaborations – who wouldn’t want free stuff? Of course, money is preferred, but sometimes brands can’t or won’t meet your financial requirements in which case you may have to settle for gifts instead.
After all, hopefully you’re working with brands you believe in and in that case, gifts in exchange for a post works better because it’s less money you have to spend on new products.
Be grateful, be patient, and the money will come.
You can turn any situation into a positive. And if that means “sucking it up” and accepting gifts instead, deal with it until you’ve built up your credibility.
If brands aren’t willing to gift you with items to blog about, they might be open to hosting a giveaway with you. This way your followers are not only aware, but they get their friends of friends of friends involved and that’s a lot of PR!
A lot of bloggers do giveaways and they’re becoming less and less extensive, which is good for you if you’re entering them. Before it used to be, “Go here, sign up, go there, comment on this, follow her and you’re done!”. Now giveaways are as simple as “Tag 2 friends below”, which quite frankly is more effective anyway. So now both you and the brand are gaining exposure to new followers.
Blog Tip Bonus: If you’re getting too many free gifts (apparently there is such a thing), you can host your own giveaways where you have your followers tag friends, repost the image, or sign up for your email to win. This exposes your blog without having the hassle of meeting certain brand requirements.
What has been your best brand collaboration experience? Tell us in the comments!