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Bloggers & Brands: Working Together by Beth Mahoney

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One of the best ways to get your blog noticed is through working with brands. Not only that, but it’s also one of the easiest ways to start making an income through your site – that’s the dream isn’t it? The problem is that when it comes to working with brands it can be seriously intimidating, especially if you’re somewhat new to the blogosphere. With so many ‘big bloggers’ it can feel impossible to get your little corner of the internet out there.

 There’s so much to think about; from knowing the best ways to connect with brands to creating the perfect pitch message. It’s true that there’s a lot to working with brands, but that doesn’t mean it has to be intimidating. Once you know how to approach and connect with them, I promise you, it gets much easier. (I’m saying that as a beauty blogger – I’m all too familliar with the struggle of collaborating with brands.)


bloggers and brandsHow important is connecting with brands?

Even brands that you’re not ready to work with just yet, it’s still worth connecting with. If you want to get your name and site out there, connecting with suitable brands is essential, and, best of all, much easier than you would think. Use social media to connect with different companies. Don’t just like their posts, share and retweet them. It’s also worth being an active member of any social media chats they run – you may not realise it, but if you constantly pop up, brands will start to notice you.

 Should you approach brands?

Of course you should! Think of it like a career opportunity; if there’s somewhere you want to work you contact them to find out about any openings. Contacting a brand about a collaboration opportunity is exactly the same thing. There’s nothing wrong with approaching a company that you want to work with, instead of waiting for them to get in touch with you. It’s just a case of ensuring that you go about it in the right way.

If I want to work with a certain brand, I do three things. Firstly, I write a review of one of their products. Then I email the review to them and ask about any collaboration opportunities. I always make sure to draft a friendly and professional email with a subject line that stands out – this is VERY important. I write a review of a product of theirs before asking to collaborate, to show them what I can do. I also believe that doing this shows that I have a genuine interest in their brand and their products. Lastly, I make sure to follow them on all social media channels and always make an effort to engage with them.


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Numbers aren’t everything

When it comes to blogging, numbers aren’t everything. It’s easy to think that unless you have 10,000 followers you’re not going to get anywhere, but that’s not true in the slightest. I have under 2000 followers on my social media channels, and you know what, I’ve worked with lots of brands. Some have approached me and others I’ve approached. Honestly, numbers aren’t the be all and end all or being a successful blogger.

 It’s not all about the numbers, it’s about the value that you and your site offer. Of course, brands do favour bloggers with more followers because that means more exposure, but that doesn’t mean if you’re a newer blogger you have little chance of success. If you offer high-quality content, smart, professional looking images, and a unique voice, you’ll go far. My trump card when it comes to working with brands is the fact that I’m a degree trained journalist – find yours and use it!

 Don’t rule out smaller companies

Small companies can be just as great to work with as larger companies. The bigger the company the more bloggers they’ll have contacting them for opportunities. That why it’s a good idea to go for smaller brands, as this means less competition. Plus, if you work with a small company and they love your review, they’ll most likely continue to work with you as they grow. I’m a major fan of small companies simply because they’re a lot of fun to work with. Just like you, they’re still finding their feet and offer a much closer working relationship than larger brands.

 Don’t forget PR companies

Instead of focusing on just one brand, PR companies can be a great tool for working with various companies. Keep an eye out of social media for PR companies looking for bloggers to add to their databases or to work with. Once a blogger is on a PR database, as long as they produce high quality and timely work, they’ll be used again and again. So connecting with PR companies is well worth the effort.

What I’ve learned, working as a PR Executive at FP Comms, is that when we find bloggers who offer high-quality work, we use them again and again. It’s not all about numbers, we look for people with their own voice. As a blogger, I’ve found that PR companies are a great contact to have as they offer so much. Not just review opportunities, but also chances to interview brands, attend events, and trial new products.

Don’t let the idea of working with brands intimidate you. Big or small, you can build fantastic connections with brands and PR companies. Blogging is all about making your own chances, so go out there and make them!

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