At the beginning of May, I shared a post called Working with Brands as a Blogger and it got quite a bit of attention. In that post, I included everything from what type of PR collaborations are out there to creating the perfect e-mail pitch! Because that post got so much attention, I also got plenty of questions from bloggers who wanted to start doing PR work but didn't really know how. I decided to take these questions and answer them in a more detailed manner in today's blog post.
I don't want to ramble too much because there is a lot of information I want to pump into this post. So let's just get started:
Do you recommend waiting until I get a certain number of visitors before I approach a brand?
NO! If you love your blog and love what you do then why not just go for it. The worst a brand can say is that at this time they don't want to do any PR work! Another thing I want to point out is that while some companies focus on the number of followers you have or page views you have, many companies also see the content first. If you have killer content with amazing grammar and high-quality images and only 100 follower chances are you are going to get a collaboration. Versus if you have 10,000 followers but your content is poor with spelling mistakes and low-quality imagery.
How many page views/unique visitors should you have before reaching out to brands?
There really isn't a magic number out there. Of course, pageviews play an important role in your blog but they really aren't the only thing to focus on. Like my previous answer, content is a huge part of being a blogger and if your content is attractive, well laid out and beautifully done chances are the brand you're wanting to work with is going to notice that first. When I did my first brand collaboration I had well under 100 followers and well under 50 page views PER day. That just goes to show it isn't all about the numbers sometimes.
Do brands prefer a specific method for tracking traffic?
Google Analytics! Most brands and many bloggers now are using Google Analytics which is currently the industry standard. While tracking methods like Blogger, Wordpress or Squarespace can be effective for you, they aren't 100% accurate.
For example, Blogger picks up on all bot traffic that is coming to your website to help index it for SEO. These really aren't page views and shouldn't be counted. Whereas Google Analytic's doesn't track these sort of bots and only tracks people and readers coming to your blog.
Another thing I want to mention with this is that it's also a good idea to add a filter to your Google Analytic's to remove your IP address from tracking. You visiting your blog 100 times a day isn't an accurate representation of your page views either.
Could you share a guide on reaching out to brands perhaps?
I talked a lot about reaching out to brands in my Working with Brands as Blogger post. But I'm going to share it once again here. There are two ways to reach out: social media and e-mail. Obviously, it is completely up to you which method you want to use and it will depend on your own wants and needs. Social media is a great place to say hello and share previous content with them that you might have published on their brand. E-mail is my favorite way and it's perfect for doing a more formal introduction, sending your Media Kit along and the overall start to building a relationship. E-mail is the ONLY method I use to request a collaboration. However, I will use social media to grab the contact e-mail of the PR department so that I'm not just sending a random e-mail in a form on the brands website.
Feel free to read more on reaching out to brands in the previous post, Working with Brands as a Blogger!
What should you include in your introductory e-mail?
Once again, I touched on this in my previous post, but I really want to hit the idea home by sharing it once again. There are FOUR main things that I like to include in my introductory e-mail and these four things leave the conversation open to have even more correspondence:
- Introduce myself and my blog
- Redirect the brand to view my Media Kit for more information
- Keep things short, simple and professional - under two paragraphs is best
- Provide the brand a call to action - EX: "I look forward to discussing further opportunities with you soon"
These are pretty basic items to include in an introductory e-mail. Remember that the more you customize your e-mails and fill them with your personality the more you are going to stand out to the brand (or person) you're talking with.
What should you include in your Media Kit?
This is a fantastic question and one that I could (and probably should) write an entire post on. Media Kit's are a very important piece of working with brand and because of this, there should be important information in this document. For those of you who don't know what a Media Kit is, they are a document that provides promotional material to the press to brief them especially about services or products. In easier terms, they are a document used to promote your blog!
Here are some important things I like to place in my Media Kit and that I think you should be sharing in yours. Remember that your Media Kit is like your resume and you should place things in this that are going to make your blog shine.
- Following - both blog and social media
- Pageviews - per month and a total
- Brief description of you and your blog
- Services that you offer - ex: reviews, giveaways, etc
- Contact information
- Images of previous work
What form of payment will a brand want in exchange for working together?
Each brand is different and each blogger is different. For me, I generally reach out to companies for free product for my beauty blog. As Studio Krystal grows, I might start reaching out for sponsored (or paid) content. It really just depends on what you are looking for and what the brand is wanting to give you.
Most brands do a combination of both based on what you are wanting to do on your blog. For example, if you are wanting to review a product they will send you a product as payment but if you are wanting to do a wishlist they might decide to pay you money for doing so.
Am I really going to get any new followers/sales from a PR collaboration?
This is a question I've really not thought that much about. For me, I do PR collaboration because it gives me more content for my blog which in turns hopefully brings me new views and hopefully new followers. You can use Google Analytic's to track page view growth but other than that there really is no means to tracking. However, if you have low engagement on a PR post you've shared then you might want to discontinue with that brand, or that type or product or even the collaboration altogether. Each blog has a unique set of viewers and if you aren't seeing growth it might mean that you're viewers just don't appreciate that type of content.
Are the brands going to like my website or products?
Brands are getting hundreds to thousands of requests per week and each one of those they are probably manually going through and looking at your website or blog. This takes time and money. So yes, your website or blog needs to be appealing, beautiful and clean. Once again, each brand is looking for something different and your style and blog isn't going to fit every brand but you do want to make it your mission to have a user-friendly and clean website or blog for anyone to visit.
What is a no-follow link?
The easiest way I can put this is that if you are writing a post about a product or service that you DID NOT pay for you have to include what is called a no-follow link. These links make sure that Google doesn't index that link because Google wants organic and natural traffic. Once again I could (and should) spend an entire post writing about this but my friend Fran has a great post called The Bloggers Guide to No-Follow Links which talks all about what they are, why they matter and when/why you should use them!
I know today's post was another long one but I hope that the questions and answers help clear up some of the confusion behind working with brands. Of course, I could probably spend 100 posts on this topic and still not provide all of the information you need or want. So if you have any questions leave them down in the comments and I will reply and answer them all there.
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