03 Jun 3 Things you need before approaching brands
On Saturday, I was invited to speak at the annual EC Meetup hosted by Eleanor from Just Ella Bella and Luchae from My Spreadsheet Brain. I was honoured to be asked to speak for the second time and was most impressed that the attendance had more than doubled since my first time speaking 3 years ago. As always, the event was impressively organized, featured lots of time to meet and network with our peers and brands and included an abundance of spoils, good eats, and lots of friendly faces.
Over the next week I will be sharing a series of blog posts that covers everything I said at the Meet Up, where I tried my best to really dig deep into the fundamentals of working with brands, covering everything from what you need to get started, how to find contact information, approach a brand, how to establish a relationship, etiquette and how to make money from your blog.
Before you start reaching out to brands, here are a few things you need:
Your own Domain:
Even back when I was using old-school Blogspot, I had my own domain. It’s not only easier for your audience to remember, but it says to brands, “listen, I am serious about my platform and willing to invest in it, and so should you.” It also unlocks a world of potential, allows you to install plugins that will improve your blog, improves your SEO, and you can install Google Analytics using the plugin.
Guys, I can’t stress this enough; WordPress Stats are not reliable; they do not remove bot or spam traffic, which means your stats are not reflecting your true audience – use Google Analytics every time.
A User-Friendly Blog:
By now you know that D and I own our own digital marketing company called DR. Design. The problem is that I have become a snob and get angry when a website isn’t user-friendly. So, what does that mean?
When I visit blogs, I want to know WHO is writing the content and WHAT are you writing about? Can I easily read and navigate your site? Are there headings and menus that make it simple for me to find my way around? What about the font – is it clear? And the links – do they work? Go and check whether your social media buttons are all linked correctly! Better yet, make sure you actually have social media buttons to begin with. And an important one; one that is often forgotten, does your site display properly and is it optimized for phones?
Ultimately, when a brand chooses to partner with you, they are trusting you with their brand’s reputation. So, make sure your blog reflects a genuine message, looks neat and approachable while giving your audience a reason to stay.
So, you have the blog, things are growing steadily, you are investing in your blog by buying products, services or going places that you want to feature but now you want to get on to a brand’s radar. This is when you focus on creating a media kit.
A media kit is a 1-2 page document that serves as your blog’s CV and tells brands who you are, what you do, your experiences, what you offer and what they can expect if they were to partner with you. I am not going to go too much into detail because there are hundreds, if not thousands of posts available that tell you exactly what goes into a media kit, and even offer free samples and templates.
But roughly speaking, this is my layout:
- Hi, I am…
- My blog is…
- Here are my contact details…
- These are the services I offer (reviews, giveaways, product features, events, that sort of thing)
- These are my stats…
- This is who my audience is…
- And this is who I have worked with before…
Next, I will be chatting more about reaching out to brands. In the meantime, do you have these 3 things checked off your list? If not, why not start working on them now.
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I have great news! After so many messages, emails and requests, I have finally decided to launch my own online blogging workshop. Over the next month, I will be sharing the details, how you can sign up, and what I will be covering. Everything will be available online so that no matter where you are in the world, you can access it. In the meantime, sign up for the newsletter to get updates and follow @bloggingworkshop on Instagram.