Hey Bloggers, Here’s How to Get More Brands to Pay You
Bloggers and Influencers – pat yourself on the back. In the changing world of media, you have earned your spot as a serious player. Now it’s time to get paid like one.
The old media model depended on ad revenue, but that is a dying model. Today, brands engage with bloggers to get media attention and readers trust their favorite bloggers to stand by their recommendations.
But it can be grueling to pitch yourself to each and every brand and there’s no guarantee a brand will ever reach out to you. What should you do?
Pitch yourself to PR firms! Publicists already work with multiple brands and can connect you with the brands where your blog makes the most sense with their PR strategy. This way you only need to pitch yourself to the one publicist to be considered for all of their clients.
Look for the contact information listed in press releases of brands you would like to work with. Send that publicist an email letting them know you are looking for paid opportunities and get ready.
5 Things to Think About Before Reaching Out to PR Firms
1. Highlight Who Your Audience Is
When you talk to PR firms, they’re going to want to know who makes up your audience. Don’t make the mistake of just listing how big of a following you have. Page views, likes, and subscribers are only valuable if they’re the brand’s target audience.
So, while it’s good to say you have a 10k following, make sure you also highlight the detailed information about who makes up your audience. Show the PR firm that you have successfully garnered an audience of moms, tweens, city dwellers, industry hawks, or whatever. This way, the PR firm can connect you with brands that are relevant to your following.
Basic demographic information is not hard to find. Google analytics is a free source to find out the age, location, and gender of your audience. Social media platforms offer analytics for business accounts. And of course, you can always conduct your own survey to find out more details.
2. Focus on Quality Content
Content is king.
When you are pitching yourself to a PR firm, show them you have the skillset to professionally represent their clients in quality content. I’m always cautious to pitch a blogger too soon. I advise people to follow the blogger for a while to make sure they are posting good content, consistently, and that they aren’t just running giveaway after giveaway to artificially inflate their following.
If you want PR firms to partner and refer their clients to you, you will need to consistently demonstrate that you publish engaging content.
3. Think About What You Will Say “Yes” and “No” To
Ideally, you would get paid exactly what you ask for in cold hard cash, every time. But as someone who works with a lot of small businesses, I can tell you that it isn’t always possible. I try not to work with brands who refuse to compensate the blogger in some way, your time is valuable, but bloggers should have some flexibility too.
If not cold hard cash, a common alternative is to offer some media coverage in exchange for free products. If you publish in exchange for products, and the content performs well, the brand is likely to be more comfortable and able to pay you next time.
And let’s say you have been talking about a product that you love just because you love it IRL. When the content performs well, bring it to the brand’s attention and ask for future consideration and, of course, future compensation.
4. Make a Media Kit
Media kits make my life so much easier. If I’m going to recommend that my client work with you, it is easier to send your information to them if you have already collected it in a single document. This info will be passed from me, to them, and through their chain of command until it gets final approval.
Include information about the blog, your biography, views and engagement numbers, and maybe even case studies from other brand partners. Show who you are and how you can help them. Most important, include your packages and prices. Put all of this information in a pdf or shareable Google Doc.
5. Write a Killer Email
When you finally get around to pitching yourself to a PR firm, send a killer concise email. Keep it short. Explain who you are and what your blog is about. If you are already working on a story or have one in mind, include that too.
Having a story in mind will create a sense of urgency. If you are writing a story about Father’s Day or a trip you are going on, inform the publicist that you have a deadline to encourage them to act. Don’t be shy about pointing out brands you think would be a good fit. This gets them to visualize how you can help them.
That’s what this is all about, helping. To introduce yourself, you only need to convince them you can help them achieve their goals. Keep it short and sweet.