Welcome back to week three of our six week Blogging Tips series! This week our topic is affiliate programs and sponsored posts.
Brands have moved away from traditional advertising and use bloggers more and more to help promote their products and connect with their target audience. Working with brands not only provides you with courtesy products or sometimes a little income, it’s a fun way to share the things you love and believe in with your readers. If you are just starting out, you might be thinking that your pageviews are not high enough. Brands are not necessarily looking for a specific number of pageviews. They are more interested in the engagement level of your readers and followers on social media. My pageviews were less than 4000/month the first time I was contacted about a product review. The brand was interested in me because my posts had a high level of engagement.
There are lots of companies out there that offer affiliate programs and almost anyone can sign up. Once you join, you are given a referral tracking link so they know you are the one referring customers and you earn a small commission. Some companies offer a commission only if the customer purchases the product and some will give you a small commission everytime someone clicks on your link.
I’m part of the ShopStyle Collective which combines hundreds of brands under one site. You can create links, widgets and lists through their program to share with your readers. Everytime someone clicks on one of those links I earn a few cents commission. It doesn’t seem like much but it’s an easy way to start earning money by sharing the products you are featuring in your blog posts.
Over the past two years I’ve worked with a handful of brands that have offered free products in exchange for a review. I always research the company first; 1). to make sure it’s a fit for my blog, 2). to read reviews and confirm they are a reputable company and 3). to make sure their product is something that I would purchase myself.
I’ve recently started reaching out directly to brands I’m interested in partnering with. There are several ways you can go about finding out who their marketing rep is. Sending a direct message via Instagram or Twitter and letting them know you are interested in a collaboration is one way. What’s worked for me is to network with other bloggers who have featured a brand I’m interested in on their blog and ask if they would share their marketing rep’s contact info. Be sure to offer the favor in return.
Here’s what I include in my initial email to a brand:
- A brief introduction including who you are and what your blog is about
- Why you love their brand and/or products
- What type of collaboration you are interested in and why it would be a good fit for your blog
- Share your blog and social media statistics or attach your media kit.
Keep it brief and to the point in a few sentences.
One of my blogging goals this year is to create a media kit. A media kit is your blog’s “resume” and it includes what your blog is about, key analytics, social media stats, brands you’ve worked with in the past and collaboration ideas. Rachel from Garay Treasures has a great media kit template here.
My response rate has been 50/50 and I don’t take it personally if I don’t hear back. If you do get a positive response, make sure you are clear on their terms and the timeline for the post and then have fun with it!
My most important piece of advice is that sponsored posts and affiliate links should fit your blog and blend into your writing style so that you do not sound like an advertisement and turn your readers off.
I hope you will come back next week for Tip #5 Blogging Help!
Click here if you missed week 1, What to Know Before Starting a Blog
Here for week 2, WordPress vs. Blogger Platforms
Here for week 3, Social Media
Thank you for visiting today!
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