Ep. 009: How to Rock Sponsored Posts
Sponsored posts are excellent ways to earn income as a blogger, but it's often difficult to establish a healthy working relationship with a brand. Carly Anderson of Lipgloss & Crayons has no secret sauce, but she's built a significant part of her business around working with brands. She knows how to foster relationships with them and create killer content that leaves them hungry for more (and willing to pay for it), and she shares all of that with us in this week's episode of Blog Fuel.
HOW TO ROCK SPONSORED POSTS
- Her blog began as a hobby, but after her daughter was born, she started writing about different brands and things she used for her daughter, and connected to her readers in a different way.
- The way brands work with bloggers has changed a lot in the 4 years since she started her blog.
- How to start? Write posts about products or services WITHOUT getting paid for them first.
- Brands want to see a brand resume. You have to have some posts on your blog first to show brands how you would write about their products.
- She spent about a year writing her blog before trying to do sponsored posts in order to figure out who her readers were, what her voice is, etc.
- Most people would prefer to hear about a product from an influencer rather than a celebrity or ad.
- Carly did her first “real” sponsored post with Collective Bias because they have a stellar support system, which she felt she needed in the beginning.
- Structure a sponsored post so that it looks organic.
- If it is not a great fit, my answer is “no”. Sponsored posts that don’t fit your brand feel inauthentic and cause more stress.
- Recommend a few other people who might be a good fit. Refer your friends while maintaining a brand contact.
- You’re not doing the brand any favors, either, if the content doesn’t fit your brand.
- The brand rep that you talk to for one product is also in the office with other brand reps for other products, and your name gets passed around.
- On working for free: Be polite because it allows the brand to come back to you later when the budget changes.
- If you pitch a brand and get a no, file those emails away and pitch them again after your brand grows, and when their budget may have changed.
- Ask the brand for feedback as to why they gave you a no.
- A good pitch email:
- If you can find a name, use it. The head of PR, or whomever. If no name can be found, greet the PR team.
- Talk about why you love the brand, that you already talk about it.
- Introduce yourself and tell them who your target audience is. Tell them where you live and what your blog is.
- Be so specific that you have done the brand rep’s job for them, so tell them exactly what you want to do.
- Carly never puts pricing in the initial email but attaches her media kit and says she can’t wait to discuss options.
- Her goal with the initial email is to get a response - sell herself.
- Getting started:
- Brands are active on Twitter & Instagram, so make connections there.
- Join blogging networks in your area and take advantage of events to talk to brands in person, like blog conferences.
- Start with a list of brands, large & small, that you’d like to work with.
- Brands are looking for traction, so be great at one or two things than mediocre at everything.
- Rocking a sponsored posts means honoring what your readers actually want.
- Photography is hugely important, particularly with sponsored posts, so be willing to invest, or trade services, in order to get professional photographs.
- On pricing: If you're getting a lot of opportunities, your price needs to go up.
To get an idea of some of Carly's sponsored posts and all that she offers to the brands she works with, here are a few links to some of her favorite posts:
- Athleisure (aka how to look cute in sweats)
- Ducks, Evening Playdates, Athleisure and a giveaway
- Find Your Fun: Summer Activities for Kids
- How to Raise Strong Women