Correct me if I’m wrong, but a lot of peeps who start a blog have the intention of hopefully, maybe, doing product reviews somewhere down the line. I know I did. And I’ll be the first to admit that getting free stuff is f***ing awesome. And having brands put their products and trust in your hands is f***ing awesome. But unfortunately, with so many bajillions of bloggers all hoping and working for the same thing, products don’t always come to us at the rate we want them to.
I always find that brand work ebs and flows. I’ll have a month where I work with a variety of different brands then the next month I won’t have a single product review scheduled for my blog. Unless you’re like, Zoella, it’s not likely that you’ll have a steady stream of brand work and products being sent to you by companies that are fighting over your exposure. Specifically for bloggers of my size, who are all competing (in the loveliest way possible) against each other for publicity and the chance to move up in the blogging higherarcy and be contacted more regularly by brands wanting our services.
However, I’m not one to shy away from putting myself out there for opportunities. And rarely do I sit back and wait for things to happen. I like being proactive and making things go a bit faster for myself than what they would have done had I sat back, relaxed and had a cuppa tea whilst I waited. So today, I wanted to talk about and possibly recommend ways for bloggers like me to “put themselves out there” in the brand market a little more. I personally do all of these things that I’m about to mention so I wouldn’t recommend to you some weird af method that’s going to get you nowhere. I’m also not saying that doing these things will work for you so ya know, bare that in mind before you shout at me. They have worked for me and they may work for you, too.
Search for blogger opportunities groups
There’s some fabulous groups floating around on Facebook designed for bloggers and brands. I can’t recommend any specifically as you have to make sure you join the appropriate groups (e.g, if you’re a US blogger, don’t try to join a ‘UK bloggers’ group, duh) so just go and have a search about.
Review your own products
If I was a brand, I wouldn’t send my products to a blogger for free who hadn’t previously showcased their product reviews on their blog, with no indication of what they can do. So reviewing products that you’ve bought yourself is super helpful because brands can see what type of posts they can expect from you!
#bloggerswanted hash tag
Yes, there is often a load of complete and utter rubbish on this hash tag but occasionally you will find a hidden gem of an opportunity. Have a search of the hash tag but be committed and don’t be put off by the thousands of “GET ENTRIES FOR YOUR GIVEAWAYS” links.
Be active on Twitter
Follow brands, see what they’re up to. Engage with brands. Bought one of their products and loved it? Let them know. This way other brands can see you are active and social and like to promote products you love. Just don’t be THAT person who tweets MAC every day for a week saying, “I would love to try out this lipstick!” in the hope they will fall to your feet and send it to you. They won’t. Soz.
* personal story about Twitter engagement: I tweeted a while back asking my followers for recommendations for healthier crisp alternatives and the brand Pop Chips replied to it and said they would send me a couple of vouchers to grab some free packets with, which was super nice of them. So remember brands are everywhere, watching you…
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there. The worst they can say is no.
I cannot stress this enough and I can’t begin to tell you how annoying it is when bloggers moan about not getting opportunities but they’re afraid to contact people and seek out the opportunities themselves. It’s every man for himself out there in the cray cray blogging world. Email brands: be polite and professional. There’s no harm in asking and if they say no this time, that’s not to say another opportunity might come up later which is more suited to you.
Don’t be put off by bad experiences
Brand has said no? So what. Don’t go on a Twitter rant about it. Following on from the previous point, there could have been a whole bunch of factors as to why that certain opportunity wasn’t right for you, so don’t sweat it. I also read a really interesting post once (and can’t remember for the life of me who it was by which is really annoying because it was awesome) from a girl who was both a blogger and a PR person and she shared what the blogger / brand relationship is like from the brands point of view and stated how brands will look for at follow numbers and stats and that’s just the way of the game. If you’re a new blogger, don’t be disheartened by that. Work hard and grow your blog authentically.