In the 50+ Ways to Make Money Blogging post, we mentioned sponsored posts. Going out and finding your own sponsored posts is a great way to make money on your blog. It’s not easy though – you basically have to pitch yourself to companies.
I used to reach out to companies on an almost weekly basis to gauge their interest in working with me on my blog.
The nice (and sometimes overwhelming) thing about having a blog with a lot of traffic and a large social media following, is that companies contact me now. While I do get requests that I cannot honor, I also get some really great offers this way.
That being said, sometimes I go through a period where I don’t have many leads, so I have to go out and get them myself. Also, if we are interested in a product from a company, we often pitch them and see if they want to work with us.
Now, let’s get specific here.
If I want a product from a company, I snoop a little on their online activity. If I see they are active on social media, I usually reach out on Twitter and simply ask for a good PR contact email or just send them a DM on Instagram. 9 times out of 10, this works.
Then, once I have that contact, I send an email (let’s assume I am pitching Under Armour) that goes something like this:
My name is Katie and I run the lifestyle blog at KatieDidWhat.com. I am a mom constantly on the go who is trying to maintain a healthy lifestyle. I blog often about working out and trying to stay fit, in addition to being comfortable and having great workout gear. I would love to feature Under Armour products in a post on my blog. I have attached my media kit so you can see my blog’s reach.
I am happy to discuss promotions on my blog further and look forward to your reply.”
Put it All Out There
Something like that will do just fine. What you’re doing in the initial email is identifying yourself, stating what you want and what you offer in return. I like to get a lot out there in the first email. I don’t have time to go back and forth with emails like, “Hi, I was wondering if you work with bloggers” then waiting for a reply. Just put it out there.
If you don’t have a media kit, you can say something like “my blog reaches 10,000 unique visitors every month and my Instagram following tops 5,000.”
Of course, you are going to want to craft your emails based on what your rates are.
So, if you charge $30 for a full sponsored post and are pitching a clothing company with products valued at $30+, make sure they know they will be getting a full sponsored post for working with you.
On the other hand, if you charge $250 for a sponsored post and are pitching a company with a $30 product, make sure they know that you will mention their product in a post – and that it won’t be a full sponsored post dedicated to their product only unless they have the budget to pay you as well.
Example Pitch and Response
Here’s an example of a pitch that would not include a full post:
“Hi, my name is Katie and I blog at KatieDidWhat.com. I am working on a roundup of baby products that I wished I had registered for and would love to feature your product. I would be happy to include your product with an original image of me using it, in addition to a link to your product’s page. Let me know if you are interested in working together. I look forward to your reply.”
If a company is not willing to meet you at or around your price, it’s up to you whether or not you want to walk. If I’m having a slower month, the price for sponsored content is much more flexible. However, if I am getting more offers than I can even take, I keep the price more firm. Simple supply and demand applies here.
You can use strategies similar to those described above to respond to companies who contact you first. If a company sends a pitch and the numbers don’t quite add up, I’ll respond with something like:
“I would love to work with you and think your product is great, however I generally charge between $200-$300 in product or payment for a full sponsored post. For what you are offering, I can mention your product in a post on my blog, I just can’t provide a dedicated sponsored post. Thanks and I look forward to working with you!”
The above example would be a response for a company who wanted to send me a sweatshirt for a blog post. I respond with something very similar to what is above and 8 times out of 10, the company happily takes the mention in a post. The other 2 times? Well, I’d say one out of the 10 reject both offers, but another 1 out of the 10 agrees to pay my asking rate for a full post.
Visualize Before You Accept
Just be sure that you are willing to do a full post for the product they are sending before you agree to it. Envision that sponsoed post on your blog, and picture your audience reading it. Is it natural?
Sometimes, we get pitches for products that would work great when being mentioned as part of a post (lotion, baby wipes), but would be cheesy and awkward as a full sponsored post dedicated to that product. In that case, we simply respond saying that we can do a mention in a blog post, but we won’t be able to offer a dedicated post for that product.
Okay, almost 1000 words later, I hope you have some insights on how to pitch companies and handle pitches from companies. It all comes down to offering and accepting what you are comfortable with and what will fit with your blog’s message.