I surveyed you all about which blog post you wanted to see, and this one won by a landslide. If you’re looking for paid blog partnerships, I hope this post helps you!
1. Establish Your Personal Brand
I’m a bit of a broken record when it comes to personal branding, but it’s for a good reason. Who is your audience, and what do you offer brands? When I pitch myself, I’m not just a Florida fashion and lifestyle blogger with female followers — I’m a former journalist with a strong understanding of digital marketing, public relations and how to create effective content. My audience is primarily women in the U.S. between 25 and 34 years old. See the difference there? (My friend Kahlea is a master at this, and I recommend following her for in-depth branding tips.)
2. Work On Your SEO
Hint: Brands aren’t using magic when they’re searching for bloggers to work with. Sure, some may use paid outreach tools, but a lot of the companies that find me discover my blog through Google. Wanna know how? I’m in the top 30 results for “Tampa blogger” and featured on a listicle that’s in the top three results. If you’re frustrated with the Instagram algorithm, you can spend your energy on your blog instead — and make it easy for paid blog partnerships to find you.
3. Create Great Content
There’s no way around this: You can have all the followers and engagement your heart desires, but if you aren’t creating pictures and posts that people find interesting, you aren’t going to hear from brands. Get out of your comfort zone and try new things — some of my best pictures come from me acting silly in front of a camera. I also try really hard with sponsored posts, and you’ll never see me taking a mirror selfie holding a product. I integrate products and services into my life in natural ways so that people don’t ever feel like my blog is one long commercial.
4. Know WHY You Deserve To Be Paid
It’s gauche to discuss how much you make, but y’all know I overshare. I currently charge $175 to $250 per static Instagram post, but I didn’t pull that number out of my hiney. When I’m negotiating with a brand, I factor in the cost of photography (I take my own pictures and don’t pay a photographer, but my gear wasn’t free!), my time, the cost of props/gas to take the picture, and anything else that’s relevant. I used to charge way less because I was afraid of people turning me down, but I’d rather do one campaign a month that pays me well than share a bunch of sponsored posts. I’ve been off my blogging game because of pregnancy and loss, but in March, I took on four Instagram sponsorships and made $1,600 — or roughly $400 per campaign. I promise you that I’m not overcharging, because there are companies who are more than willing to pay!
5. Join Influencer Networks
My favorite influencer network is, by far, CLEVER — the pay is more than fair and the deliverables are never ridiculous. It is incredibly competitive to get selected for campaigns, though, so I’d recommend checking out InfluenceHer Collective, Activate, Ahalogy and Aspire IQ as well. Also, my friend Amanda just did an incredible breakdown of her favorite networks — check it out!
6. Pitch Yourself To Companies
Before I built up the following I have now, I found campaigns almost exclusively from pitching myself to brands. If you’re just starting out and unsure where to begin, find a local restaurant or store that you genuinely love and ask them about a partnership. Or reach out to a brand that you already love to see whether they work with influencers! Search LinkedIn for PR and influencer marketing contacts, and you’re good to go. Before my blog gained traction, it was almost all local partnerships, and those set me up for success. I also carefully followed (read: stalked) other micro-influencers with similar followings and pitched brands that they’d worked with.
7. Talk To Other Bloggers
I’m going to be honest here — when people message me and ask me who they should pitch for partnerships, I don’t always respond. You can scroll through my Instagram or blog to see who I worked with when I had fewer followers. I’m not going to do your homework for ya. 😉 If you have genuine questions about whether a brand is good to work with, though, I’ll always give you an honest answer. Having friends who are open about their paid blog partnerships has made me more successful, and I’m sure they’d say the same.
This isn’t a definitive guide, but it is a launching point! Did I forget a tip that’s worked well for you? Let me know in the comments!