You’ve decided that you want to monetize your blog. You then decided that you wanted to collaborate with brands to discuss advertising, product reviews, or sponsored posts. While you may be approached by brands wanting to work with you, most likely it will be you doing the reaching out.
The first thing to do is to assemble a draft email. Make sure it highlights who you are, what you blog about, and what your intentions are for working with the company. If you have a media kit, include it! (Don’t worry, we’ll be doing a feature on media kits really soon!) Your email should be clear, concise, and to the point. It should be formal, but not stiff. You should be personable, without being too casual. Think of it like you are going for an interview; you want to be presentable, courteous, and professional.
Always keep your draft emails on hand. It will be a good reference when approaching different brands. However, do not send out the same email to every brand. How would you feel as a blogger if you got a generic pitch form? I’m guessing not happy. Make sure your approach really talks to the brand and shows excitement! While it still is a business move, your enthusiasm is a great way to stand out.
Let’s take a look at a basic draft email to get an idea of tone and writing style.
Dear ____ (It’s best to work with PR department. Try to find their names),
I wanted to reach out and share my excitement about your company. I have been a long-time fan/customer/follower and I love(d) your _____ (Be specific. For instance, I loved your last holiday campaign or Valentine’s Day email). My name is _____ and I write a blog on ______(Feel free to elaborate on your vision, mission, or content). My readers and I have a strong passion for _____ and I would love to partner with you to __________ (This is where you can explain your intention).
I currently engage ____ readers on my blog, twitter, and facebook. (Feel free to include other platforms and measurement devices, such as Klout score.) My readers are highly involved with an average _____ comments per post. I believe that by _______ (your intended action), it can __________ (Put the benefit for the company, such as increased marketing, improved revenue). In the past, I have ___________ (List your credentials here about working with other brands. If you have none, just exclude).
I hope you share the same excitement in a potential partnership. Thank you for taking the time to consider this opportunity and I look forward to hearing from you.
From the mock email, you can see that you should market yourself, your accomplishments, and detailed blog metrics. While the company may enjoy your blog or like who you are, this is still a business venture. You need to benefit them in some way.
From there, you should follow up within a week and thank them again. Regardless of whether you get a response, a deal, or a project, you should take it as a learning experience. As with anything else, practice makes perfect. As a last side note, make sure you are contacting brands/companies for the right reasons. It should stem from your genuine interest in the brand. Approaching someone simply for free product, a paycheck, or notariety, won’t get you far and will definitely not help you or your blog grow. If this is the case, it will generally be transparent in the outcome. Reach for brands that represent who you are and what you genuinely enjoy!