Wondering how it was possible that I made over 10k in sponsored income per month on my lifestyle site, The Melrose Family? I didn’t have hundreds of thousands of pageviews or followers on social media and my email size is average at best. I was able to make 10k in sponsored posts because I pitched brands directly and I created long term relationships that resulted in long term contracts.
Benefits of Pitching Brands Directly
Do you have any idea how many blogs are out there? The number is extremely difficult to estimate because some lie dormant while others pop up within seconds. It is said that well over 2 million blog posts get published per day though! That’s just insanity.
You’re probably wondering how in the world could you ever possibly stand out to brand with so many blogs out there. You have to remember that you are uniquely you and you bring a different perspective to your audience with each new interaction. Therefore, brands want to work with bloggers and influencers that are interacting and cultivating engagement amongst their audience members.
When you reach out to brands directly you come out from the shadows and become a person with influence. You need to be able to get the brand’s attention all while introducing yourself and your site and showing them where your influence lies. With a well written initial pitch you go from obscurity to their next possible influencer with the simple click of a button to open their email. It’s that simple.
Play to Your Strengths
Each of us were put on this Earth with specific strengths. This is also true when it comes to the blogging world. Some of us may love Instagram while others of despise it. Knowing what you love and what will gain the most traction with your readers is key when you put together a proposal for a brand.
You want to be able to deliver everything that you offering and then some. The purpose of working with a brand is so that it’s not a matter of one post and you’re done with them. It’s about creating a relationship so that long term partnerships can be cultivated. You want two and three post contracts and this is only possible when you work directly with the brands and create a contract for this.
No More Middle Men
I am not saying to never use networks again. I still love working with some of the networks like TapInfluence and Ahalogy. At the end of the day though they are the middle men. They provide influencers with a forum to be found and then we are given very specific expectations with no consideration for our strengths. I regularly work with TapInfluence because they pay decent and they do their absolute best to allow communication between the influencer and the brand. This way edits come back in a timely manner and we still get paid regularly.
By working directly with a brand you forego all of the pigeon holing characteristics that are laid by the networks. You can play to your strengths and when there’s an edit you work with one person rather than two to three.
Full Editorial Calendar
Nothing used to stress me out more than not knowing if I was going to have any sponsored posts coming in the upcoming month. I was stressed for two reasons. One, if I got a post and the turn around was quick then I was rearranging my calendar and life to get the post done in time. Second, my sponsored post income was part of my income. It was helping to pay the bills and I used to dread when my husband would ask, “So what does next month look like?” I’d have no idea!
When you work directly with a brand you are reaching out at least three months in advance to when you want to work with them. This is because they work like we do on our social media scheduling. So think of it this way, what were you pinning November 1st? Christmas right? You woke up from sugar shock the day after Halloween and you started pinning the crap out of your Christmas content. If you didn’t, well, you should have. The brands are already planning their February content and it’s just December!
The advantage to this is that you will have a calendar planned well in advance. Especially if you start to land multiple post contracts and that is the goal.
Nothing kills me more when I see a sponsored post that is written as if the person is shooting one of those old mattress commercials. Do you know the ones I’m talking about? You need to authentically create sponsored content, which means that you still need to tell your story, solve a problem or hit a pain point.
Every post that you write should be written with your ideal reader or avatar in mind. My avatar is a mid to late thirties mom with one little girl that works in NYC, but lives in the suburbs in NJ. She wants quick and easy meals that are also healthy. She also wants to create special moments with her daughter through projects, but as a working mama she has limited time on her hands. Knowing who you are writing your content for is key because if that person wouldn’t like then you shouldn’t be writing it.
Be authentic! Be you!