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Jenna Farmer is a freelancer writer and professional blogger. She blogs all about freelance life and making money from your blog over on The Bloglancer. She also commissions bloggers on behalf of brands and has published an in-depth ebook on working with brands: The Pitching Toolkit. Here she shares 10 tips for pitching to brands.
Before You pitch
1. Weigh up whether you’re actually ready
One of the things I get asked the most is when to start pitching to brands. My advice is always the same: when you feel you have something to offer!
For some, that might be a few months after starting out, for others a few years. Take a look at your stats and content. Can you offer a readership? Good engagement? If not, it’s time to focus on your blog first and foremost.
2. Gather evidence
So you’re confident you can offer something – now is the time to prove it! Gather info before you press send. This could be testimonials from brands you’ve worked with before or just a few links to past blog posts that have done really well.
3. Do your research
Avoid generic emails (such as info@…) if you can help it. Do a little digging to find the best PR or marketing contact before you get pitching.
4. Only pitch brands that naturally fit your blog
Don’t blanket pitch! It’s exciting to think about all the brands you could work with. However, there’s nothing more obvious than a blogger pitching because they want the product rather than because it actually fits with their blog. So, consider your blog content and only pitch to brands that naturally fit!
Writing your pitch
5. Focus on what you can offer before listing what you want
Many bloggers jump straight into what they’re looking for. However, spell out why a brand should work with you. What can you offer? Here’s the time to use your research, but make sure you include a brief overview of your key stats too!
6. Avoid vague language
Avoid vague terms like ‘I’d love to collaborate’ or ‘can you add me to your PR list?’ Make your proposal super specific: what are you actually looking for from the brand? (Review items? Giveaway items? Payment?) And what can you offer in return? (Blog posts? Social media coverage?)
7. Explain why it’s the perfect match
If you’ve used and featured the product before, that’s ideal! Link to any previous coverage you’ve naturally given them to show you’re passionate about the product. Otherwise, explain why the product is relevant to you and your audience.
After you’ve pitched
8. Don’t expect instant responses
It’s tempting to check your inbox every five seconds, but these things take time. A brand could be bowled over by your email, but they need to check with the marketing team or take a closer look at their budget. Don’t take it personally if you don’t hear back straight away.
9. Chasing is OK! (Within reason!)
PRs are busy people, so a polite follow-up email a week or so after your initial contact is fine. However, don’t hound a brand on multiple different platforms. Keep to email, rather than social media DMs, if you can.
10. Don’t take it personally
You might feel you were PERFECT for a campaign and never get a reply. Sometimes it can feel like there are days where you get nothing but rejection. It’s easy to say, but it really isn’t personal.
Brands and PRs are (like you!) running a business. They have targets to meet and briefs to deliver on and sometimes you just don’t fit in. Hopefully they’ll be in touch down the line, but whatever happens, focus on you and your blog. And be warned that for most emails you send – you will get rejected. But the ‘YES’ emails make it all worth it!
For more tips, pitch templates and planning sheets; you can purchase Jenna’s book The Pitching Toolkit
- How to get freelance blogging work
- How do blogs make money?
- How to work with brands (and get paid!) – a guide for bloggers and influencers
- How bloggers can best work with PRs and brands: What the PRs professional say
- 21 reasons why bloggers should stop working for free
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