When I first launched this blog a few months ago in May, I had no idea I would be collaborating with other brands and companies to test out their products (and promote them if I ended up liking the product) just over a month later. So far, I’ve been able to work with brands like Makeup Forever, Marc Jacobs Beauty, The Story Box, Formula X Nail, Savvy Sleepers, Real Techniques, JORD Wood Watches, Tonttu Box, and Mandy Cosmetics, to name some examples.
As I stated a few times in previous posts, I initially created this blog to provide a space where I could be transparent about past struggles and insecurities, so I could encourage and remind others that there’s hope in Christ. And that hasn’t changed one bit. That’s still my primary focus and vision in the midst of working with sponsors.
But I was surprised by how quickly I was offered the opportunity to work with some of my favorite beauty + fashion brands, because frankly, I didn’t think I had much to offer. (Keep in mind, with both my Instagram accounts combined, I currently have about 1,700 followers, which isn’t very much compared to full-time bloggers who make a substantial living due to their following.)
So as you can imagine, in the beginning, I was eager and willing to collaborate. Gradually, one opportunity followed after another. And another. And now, I’m handling several different collaborations at a time, needing to actually space them out and schedule them accordingly!
Sponsorships and product collaborations are wonderful for several reasons. Not only do you receive high-quality + free products and get paid, but you also have the ability to create more helpful content and expand your overall network. Once you determine your niche within the blogger-sphere, your sponsorships should also match that same niche. For example, this is a Christian lifestyle blog that ties in my faith, beauty products, mommy life, and weight-loss journey all together, so the brands that reach out to me are typically within the same niche.
I’ve had a few brands who have reached out to me but had nothing to do with my blog or any of my personal interests for that matter, so I ended up kindly turning down those opportunities. The whole point of sponsorships is to enhance your overall blog, not detract from it. So kindly saying no to certain opportunities with sponsors is just as important, especially if it’s not a good match.
I wanted to share a few tips on how to get sponsorships for any bloggers out there who are curious about the process, so here are my primary suggestions:
1. Quality > Quantity.
Like I mentioned earlier, I don’t have a significant social media presence or following compared to many mainstream bloggers. But I realized the numbers don’t matter as much as the content quality, staying true to myself, and an overall, consistent level of sincere engagement. I’ve come across several accounts that have thousands of followers, but very little engagement and a disorganized theme/feed.
Unless you’re a celebrity, your blog aesthetic matters. Because a huge part of blogging is inevitably about your content and how it’s presented, refining all aspects of your blog is important. Everything from the way your posts are written, how your website looks, and how your respective social media platforms are maintained does matter. While building a following is necessary, that shouldn’t be the main focus if that compromises your content quality.
I’m currently in the process of upgrading my blog aesthetic and investing in better equipment for clearer, crisper pictures. Truth be told, I’ve been using my iPhone 6+ for everything including my social media channels, so it’s definitely time to purchase a DSLR now that I’m starting to blog full-time as a brand ambassador for a few of my favorite (+ relevant) brands.
2. Discover your own voice and let it shine through.
There are so many blogs out there. And a lot of them are carbon copies of each other. What differentiates yours from others? Well, you, of course! People can tell whether or not you’re being genuine. And even if you were hypothetically fooling them, what’s the point of doing this if you’re not actually being yourself and enjoying it along the way? Finding your own voice is vital because it sets the tone for your blog and what your readers should expect. They’re getting to know you with each post that you write, so it’s crucial that you remain true to yourself if you want to build a loyal, engaging following.
3. Prepare and design a media kit.
A media kit is like a visual resume for your blog. It can come in handy if brands ask for more information from you to see if you’d be a good fit for them. If you’re interested in learning more about media kits, feel free to comment below and I’d be happy to answer any other questions in more detail.
4. Don’t overload yourself with sponsorships.
Once you get to a point where various brands are contacting you offering the opportunity to work with them, make sure to discern whether or not you’re in a place you can handle that on top of your own content aside from product ads and sponsors. You don’t want the number of sponsored posts to outnumber your actual content. Unfortunately, it’ll come off as insincere and “salesy” so ensuring the right balance is key.
5. Condense your social media platforms.
Lastly, pick which social media platforms (aside from your blog itself) that you want to focus on. Instagram made the most sense for me and has been the most helpful in directing people to my blog. I don’t have a Twitter, and rarely use my Facebook page. If you’re the jack of all trades and can manage all successfully, go for it. But for me personally, the thought of trying to handle all of that gives me a headache. Especially as a mom!
One final note, if a brand you would really love to work with doesn’t reach out to you first, try reaching out to them once you’ve refined all aspects your blog (as I mentioned in the first point) and send them your media kit. Some brands are less active on social media platforms, so it doesn’t hurt to make the first move.
I hope this post was helpful to you guys, especially if you’re just starting out and interested in taking your blog to the next level. If you have any other questions, I’d be more than happy to answer them down below and share my two cents.
Have a blessed weekend!