Utilizing sponsored content & working with brands

I absolutely love working with brands on my blog; it’s something that I never thought I’d see happen for me but alas, after years of hard work, it did and now it’s one of my favourite aspects of blogging! Of course it doesn’t come without it’s stresses, like invoices not being paid on time, rude PR people and products which don’t quite live up to expectations but on the whole, I’ve had a hugely positive experience working with brands on product reviews and sponsored content over the last year or so. 

I also love doing what I can to help other bloggers on their journey to working with brands. I’m a far cry from being an expert but I totally don’t understand bloggers who are really secretive about how and where they find their sponsored work. There’s enough to go around, blogging is becoming one of the leading and most popular forms of marketing and advertising and bloggers are being trusted more and more with sponsored content and brand work. So let’s work together on bigger and better brand and blogger partnerships which are mutually beneficial!

Whilst brand work is fab, what I’ve been learning and practicing over the year is how to fully utilize that work to benefit me and the brand in the future. I think we know all to well the high of getting a fab sponsored post and then absolutely nothing for another month; just when things felt like they were picking up, we’re right back to where we started. Although sometimes, admittedly, this hasn’t got anything to do with us as individuals. Some periods of the year are generally just quieter for a lot of bloggers.

But today I wanted to share some ways to utilize that sponsored work which will hopefully help you keep the jig up all year round, rather than for a week every now and again. Sponsored content doesn’t come easy and it certainly doesn’t come without a butt ton of hard work!

Build a good relationship with PR’s

PR’s are usually the main source when it comes to sponsored content so if you can, building a good relationship with PR people can be super helpful!

End on a good note

Once a sponsored post / product review is done and dusted, it’s good to end on a good note and leave them with a good, lasting impression of you. Ask them to keep you in mind for any future collaborations which might suit your blog – they may even come back straight away and say they have one! Which has happened to me before, bingo!

Keep their email & email them if things are quiet

Sometimes when things are a bit on the slow side, I’ll drop some PR’s I’ve worked with in the past on successful collaborations an email and ask if there’s anything in the pipeline that I might be suitable for. The worst they can say is no.

Don’t half-ass sponsored posts

I’ve really upped my game with my sponsored content lately and taken much more time and effort into every aspect of them. I think it’s important to treat sponsored posts the same as you would any other post or maybe even as an even higher priority. Seeing super high quality sponsored content will never be a bad thing.

Share them as you would a normal post

I’ve certainly felt like sometimes, sponsored posts don’t get promoted or shared as much as “normal” posts on some blogs. But you’ve worked hard on the post and you should be proud of it and want to share it just as much as a “normal” post. Again, PR’s will see that you’re efficient in sharing your sponsored content.

Consider branching out

I’m sure you would have heard bloggers moan about other bloggers taking on sponsored content which doesn’t fit their blog in any way, shape or form. And yes, fair enough, if you’re a beauty blogger and suddenly start talking about oil rigs, some eyebrows might get raised. But if you’re a lifestyle blogger, like me, who talks about almost anything on their blog, it’s definitely worth keeping your eyes peels for collaborations about a topic you maybe haven’t spoken about before. If it’s something you’re interested in and can adapt well into a post then go for it!

Apply, apply, apply

Continuing on from the point above, if you see an opportunity that you think you might like – just apply for it. If you’re not sure, ask for more information. If they want someone with a following just slightly higher than yours, ask anyway. Apply for as many opportunities as you’re interested in!

I hope this post was helpful; if you have any other advice to add, please leave me a comment!

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100 thoughts on “Utilizing sponsored content & working with brands

  1. Jenny, you are one of the most helpful and supportive bloggers I’ve ever met. Can I just say a massive thank you for all the parenting and gardening opps you’ve tagged me in, I’m very grateful 🙂 This is such a brilliant post, you’re absolutely right about treating sponsored content properly both in terms of effort and promotion. And I’d never thought about emailing PRs I’ve worked with during quieter periods but I will now. Another great tip, thank you again xx

    Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com

    1. You’re so very welcome! I’ve found flagging all the PR’s I’ve worked with in my emails is a good way to keep them all in one place so I can go back to them if need be 🙂 and you’re very welcome, in regards to the blogging ops! Just because I can’t apply doesn’t mean others can’t and you’re one of the fabbiest Mum / gardening bloggers I know so obviously you’ll be first on my list 🙂 xxx

  2. I completely agree with you Jenny! People are weirdly cagey about sponsored and gifting opportunities, even if they aren’t right for their own blogs. I’ve always appreciated your help in sharing the knowledge and passing on my details – it’s so kind and you are awesome for doing it! I actually love the opportunity sponsored posts give me to talk about things I wouldn’t normally. Having lots of variety on your blog shouldn’t be seen as a negative in my opinion. We, as a community, also need to stop looking down our noses at people taking sponsored opportunities – considering how much FREE content we make, a few paid-for ads is hardly unreasonable!
    Beth x Adventure & Anxiety

    1. Oh I totally agree with everything you’ve said, you’ve hit the nail on the head! I have NO idea why people are so negative about people making money through advertising other brands on their blog. If you worked in ADVERTISING that’s literally what you do every day haha! xxx

  3. Thank you for the advice on how to deal with sponsored posts, I for one am glad you spoke about this because it is really hard to find information or people who what to talk about how they gained the opportunity. I think I’m going to start building the confidence to apply for things I’d like to be a part of, as you said the worst they can say is No.
    Kate x
    http://www.katesbeautyhome.blog

    1. You’re more than welcome! I have another few posts which you might find helpful “sponsored posts, earning money and blogging as a business – tips and tricks” and “great resources for blogger outreach” where there’s a bunch of info on places to go to find these things 🙂 xxx

  4. This is such a great post Jenny with so much helpful advice! I love the suggestion of emailing PRs to enquire if there are any suitable opportunities in the pipeline. That’s really proactive and shows you are keen to work with them again. You are right, the worst they can say is no. This has encouraged me to reach out a bit more so thank you for the inspiration! 💖 xx

    Bexa | http://www.hellobexa.com

    1. Awh you’re very welcome! Yeah I find that super useful and I’ve had a couple come back to me to say they have and they’ll drop me an email when the campaign is starting 🙂 xxx

  5. Really great advice there. I know I could do more to put myself out there but a lot of the time just don’t have the energy due to being constantly ill. x

  6. This is a super helpful post! I’m currently in a conversation with a brand at the moment but I’m a little stuck on how to reply 😅 it’s the first time I’ve reached out to a brand, so it’s all very new to me – but very exciting!
    Loved this post, as always 😊

  7. Great post! I’ve not stepped out into sponsored posts yet (bit scared tbh!) but it’s defintely something I’m workin towards. These tips were super comforting and motivational, thanks for sharing!

  8. This is such a helpful post! I just recently started to work with brands and thankfully all of the collaborations were amazing. I try not to jump on every sponsored opportunity I get. Although I don’t get a lot of them I like to only accept the ones that fit well with my blog and that I’m willing to share with my readers. x

    Antonia || Sweet Passions

  9. Although I’ve been blogging for a while now, I’ve never worked with brands before on a sponsored post. I’m not really good at putting myself out there! This is a really helpful post for when I do branch out with my blog, so thank you! ☺

    Ashleigh | ashleighwrites.co.uk

  10. I am still growing my blog but I think your tips are really useful and have bookmarked this for the future! I am currently working in marketing and if I am working with a particular person, I am always making sure I reply to all their emails on time so the company can be seen as an approachable brand!

    Ellyn x | Life Of A Beauty Nerd

  11. Jenny, you’re always so helpful! I totally get it though, I don’t know why some people are so hush hush about it. This was really interesting for me. As I’ve still been blogging less than a year it felt like I spent half of the post nodding away and the other half wanting to take notes. I totally agree about being professional with putting them together and sharing as you would any other post x

    Sophie
    http://www.glowsteady.co.uk

  12. This was such a useful post! I’m fairly new to blogging so I haven’t had any experience with brands yet, but I can always tell when some bloggers half-ass sponsored posts. It’s not fair for the brand at the end of the day. Loved this!

    Evie x | https://eviejayne.co.uk

  13. Regarding the not putting as much effort into sponsored posts – I will NEVER understand bloggers who do this! When I get a sponsored opportunity I make sure I plan the post just as much as I would any other and write about something that I am passionate about and think my readers will wanna see! Otherwise it ends up non-believable and just kind of forced which isn’t good. And it’s like you said – it puts you in good steed for future work with the same or even other brands as they can see you’ve put the effort in to create good content for them! I don’t think it’s any less important than a normal post. Working with brands can be bloody frustrating but its almost always worth it!
    Alice Xx
    http://www.blacktulipbeauty.co.uk

  14. This post was definitely super helpful, thanks tips and tricks for sponsored posts, Jenny. I really appreciate how much you help out other bloggers like myself. I’d love to do a sponsored post some day.

  15. Those are some really helpful tips. I was never sure if I could be the one to write PRs when I had the time, I am glad to read that is an okay thing to do. I am sure to keep the other tips in mind as well and hope for the best. Xx

  16. This is such an incredibly helpful post! I’ve recently asked to be considered for any future opportunities after working with a few PRs and it’s resulted in something else straight away so that really is such a useful tip! I’ve not thought to reach out to brands and prs I’ve worked with before to see it there are any new opportunities so I’ll definitely be doing that now. Thanks so much for sharing all of these helpful ideas xx

    Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk

  17. Thanks for this post! I’m just starting out with looking for brand collaborations and have been struggling with how to go about it! Think I might just start emailing haha 😂 x

  18. Thanks for this very informative post, Jenny. I haven’t done any sponsored content because I don’t think I’m ready yet (I went self hosted just last month, so there’s no rush), but it’s definitely something I’d like to do in the foreseeable future. My question might be very basic, but how do you start exactly? Do you email companies? Which companies? How do you get the emails of the right people?
    Sorry if these are silly questions 🙂

    1. You can email companies if you like, what companies is up to you depending on who/what you want to put on your blog. I don’t really email companies though, all mine come from either them contacting me or responding to blogger opportunities on Twitter / Facebook. There’s some fab Facebook groups you can join where I’ve had a fair few from!

      1. If you just search in the search bar they should come up, the ones I’m a part of are:

        Blogger Assignments & Opportunities
        Blogger Opportunities
        Bloggertunity – Blogger Opportunities
        Connecting Brands, Bloggers and Influencers: Sponsored Opportunities

  19. This was such a useful post! I’m still trying to grow my blog at the moment so am nowhere near the point of working on brand collaborations but this post is bookmarked. I really love how much you help other bloggers with your advice based posts it’s so kind and such a useful tool for others

    beesytimes.co.uk

  20. I love this advice! It’s so useful. I’m currently on break from uni so been looking for sponsored posts, didn’t think of getting in touch with PRs I’ve worked with before so will definitely do that now!! Thank you xx

  21. Thanks for sharing this incredibly helpful post Jenny. I am still trying to build my blog and I have never done sponsored posts and have no idea where to start. Could you please suggest some places where I should apply? I know sounds silly but I have no idea how to or where to approach a brand or PR to work with. 🙂

    Via | http://glossnglitters.com

  22. This is really helpful! Thanks for sharing Jenny, ice been slowly working with brands and PRs lately, and never thought to get in touch with ones I’ve worked with previously.

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