Affiliate links | Most bloggers (okay, all bloggers, don’t lie) dream of working with brands. Even now, 7 years into blogging, I still get a buzz when I work with a particularly cool brand or get a really good collaboration offer. It can be frustrating as a new blogger when you’re waiting for that first collab to get the ball rolling. But there are some things you can do to make that ball roll a bit faster.
Photo by Corinne Kutz on Unsplash
Brand collabs don’t just land in your lap. Trust me. I wish they did. You really do have to put the work in and when you’re just getting started with wanting to work with brands, it can seem like so much work for nothing in return.
Getting your first collab as a blogger takes time, patience and most importantly… effort.
There’s no getting around that bit… sorry. But there are plenty of things you can be doing in the mean time to really boost your chances of getting that first collab sooner and make sure your blog is as squeaky clean as possible! So enough rambling, let’s get into it.
Want some tips on getting that first collab as a blogger? Here are 8 important things you should work on and take note of. Grab a cuppa, a bit of cake, a sandwich – it’s a long one!
Educate yourself on brand collabs first
Knowledge is power my friend. And when you’re a new blogger, it can be SO EASY to say yes anything and everything. BUT, not all collaborations are worth it. Not all collaborations are fair. And not all collaborations deserve your time. Educate yourself and do a bit of a research on the different TYPES of collaborations you might be offered – perhaps even ask around for some advice.
And definitely check out this post I wrote last year on things to look out for as a new blogger when working with brands. It covers some of the real nitty gritty things that you’re really going to need to keep an eye out for so you don’t fall into the same naive trap that so many of us have.
Have a media kit ready for getting your first collab as a blogger
I saw a tweet the other day from some gal who said she’d just been contacted by a brand wanting to work with her and they asked for her media kit and she didn’t have one and I just felt like going GIRLLLLL what you playing at? Its so handy to have your media kit ready to go. Even if you won’t need it for a while, who cares. Get on that, pronto.
A media kit is a like a CV for your blog. It allows you to show off a bit and showcase what your blog is all about, your stats and any brands you’ve worked with previous (which obviously might not apply if you’re reading this post). You can make a banging media kit on Canva for absolutely NOTHING. And I wrote a post here, explaining how to make a free media kit and exactly what you should be including in your media kit too.
Learn how to pitch to brands early
Wish I’d taken my own advice with this one, to be honest. Pitching wasn’t something that entered my vocabulary until like, a year or two ago. Shame on me. Pitching might seem super scary, ESPECIALLY if you’re a new blogger. But the sooner you get learning how to pitch and get used to it, the better. Because it only gets easier. Trust me.
The best resource I’d recommend if you want to learn exactly how to pitch to brands is the eBook from Jenna Farmer, (aff) Blog To Business: Your Pitching Toolkit. It’s well worth the money and you’ll learn such valuable tips from someone who’s had the successes from pitching to brands herself.
Oh and you also get 10% off using the code JENNY! Grab your copy here!
Work on your blog views and engagement
Different brands will want different things from their collaborations. So the best thing to do is work on your blog as a whole package (which you should be doing anyway) rather than one small area. Blog views are important because that means your post is being seen by more people. Engagement is important because it means the people who are reading your post are well, engaged. Obviously.
I know it’s rubbish to hear but most brands won’t work with bloggers who are getting 20 blog views a month. It’s just not worth their time, effort and money. So setting yourself up with a good foundation before you start thinking about getting your first collab as a blogger is a sensible idea.
Pinterest is excellent for accelerating those blog views. I’ve not quite mastered Pinterest yet but I’m getting there, after taking a lot of time to learn and practice. Check out the (aff) Pinterest With Ell course for everything you need to know about making Pinterest work for your blog!
Related: A Beginners Guide To Growing Your Blog Following
SEO the sh*t out of your blog
I’m not going to get into DA too much as I have a WHOLE blog post about domain authority but just to summerize, a domain authority is a number given to any blog with it’s own domain which indicates how it ranks on Google. A blog will probably have a DA between 5-55. Only websites like Wikipedia or Facebook will have anything close to 100.
But the truth of the matter is, most brands want to work with bloggers with a specific DA score. So when it comes to getting your first collab as a blogger, it’s worth working on your domain authority to get it to at least 20. Websites like Get Blogged, which I use regularly, work on a DA basis. The higher the DA, the more you get paid.
Now, SEO. This is where it gets real juicy. SEO can TRANSFORM your blog views. So this point ties in nicely with the one above. It’s well worth getting clued up on SEO early and making your blog as SEO friendly as possible, as early as possible. Good SEO practices = more blog views = better stats = more brand collaborations.
Keyword research is one of the key components of having a good SEO practice. It sounds complicated but when it’s broken down, it makes a lot of sense. I’d recommend checking out the (aff) Keyword Research eBook by Nele van Hout, as that girl knows her stuff.
Refine your “voice” and USP
Look, there are a LOT of bloggers out there. A lot. There’s room for everyone of course but when it comes to getting your first collab as a blogger, you need to stand out. You need to have something that a brand will look at and think “oooh, I want to contact them”, over say 50 other bloggers they might be looking at too. Your niche is important but what’s even MORE important is your USP (unique selling point) and your unique voice.
Are you particularly funny and can you put a funny spin on your blog content? Are you a particularly talented photographer? Or are you super knowledgeable about a certain subject? All these things matter when it comes to finding your voice and your USP. And the more refined that is, the more brands will know if they want to work with you.
Don’t sleep on social media
Social media is a brands paradise. You can find a ton of blogging opportunities on Twitter, Facebook groups to join and handy advice on Pinterest which will all help you on your way to getting your first collab as a blogger. First things first, making sure your social media platforms are set up correctly. Make sure your:
- Branding is consistent
- Your usernames are consistent
- Your blog URL and EMAIL ADDRESS is in your bio
- Not causing drama all over the place and putting brands off wanting to come near you
- And make sure you’re active!
And when it comes to actually finding blogging opportunities and brands to work with, social media can be a goldmine. I’d recommend starting with the #bloggerswanted hash tag on Twitter. You can find more about how and where to look for blogging opportunities in this post!
And lastly, be patient
It can be super frustrating, especially as a new blogger, when you see other bloggers getting brand collaborations. Heck even now, after 7 years of this gig, I still get a bit green with envy when I see other bloggers working with brands I could only dream of being contacted by. But hey, it’s okay. It’s human nature to feel these things.
My advice for a blogger waiting on their first collab, is just be patient. It will come, as long as you’re putting the time, effort and work in. Blogging is hard work – that much is obvious. But hard work pays off, trust me. A little bit of self belief never hurt anyone.
[…] Getting Your First Collab As a Blogger: 8 Things To Do […]
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Really great advice and tips in this post! I’d love to pitch to brands, but I just don’t feel I’m there yet! Need to do a little work before I can collaborate with brands! Thank you so much for posting this incredibly useful info!
Well all this is there for you when you need it!
[…] How To Land Your First Collab As a Blogger […]
This is such a lovely message, and I’m bookmarking it for sure! You were wondering where to begin and how to start getting collabs, so thank you so much for these helpful tips!
Glad this helped!
I needed this also read your post on how to make media kit, i feel I first need to work on my blog views and interaction, then approach brands but clearly, need to make a media kit and be ready. Thanks for sharing these inputs.
A media kit is always helpful to have! So glad you found these posts helpful 🙂
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Hi Jenny, thanks for this super informative read. Getting that first col-lab is always hard!
You’re welcome 🙂
[…] Getting Your First Collab As a Blogger – 8 Things You Should Do […]
WOW! Lots of great information here. I am a newbie and will be referring back to this and the others you linked in. I am doing the investigation portion of brand collaboration right now, this piece was perfectly timed for me. Thanks for sharing.
You’re welcome and glad you found it helpful!
Hey Jenny, thanks for these tips! I’m very new to blogging and I haven’t gotten round to working with brands yet. I do not think I am quite there yet either, but I see the value of preparing a media kit and having it ready to go. I worked on mine for a bit and I kinda left it half complete. I probably should finish it up soon. Thanks once again for sharing these tips!
Definitely get it finished! You never know when you might need it! 🙂
[…] Getting Your First Collab As a Blogger: 8 Things To Do […]
[…] Getting Your First Brand Collab: 8 Things You Should Do […]
I have been blogging for a while and found this post useful. I think it is good to read posts like this to remind yourself of little things that you may have let slip.
Glad you found it helpful!
As always, there’s some great tips and courses here! I have been lucky enough to have had a handful of collabs in my 3 years of blogging but hopefully this year, I’ll be able to land that elusive paid collab!
Abi | https://whatabigailsays.co.uk/
Ah you can definitely do it!
[…] Will AI kill keyword gurus in 2020? SEO can transform your blog views, it’s well worth getting clued up on SEO early and making your blog as SEO friendly as […]
Great article! These tips on getting the first brand collab is very useful and informative. Thanks for sharing.
I’m definitely saving this, so many useful information
This is such a lovely post and I’m definitely bookmarking this! Been wondering where to start and how to start getting collabs so thank you so much for these helpful tips! 😊
You’re welcome! 😌
Great article. This is great advice to think about before trying to work with brands.
There are so many amazing tips in this blog post! Even as a blogger that’s been doing this for years, it’s so important to peel things back and go back to basics too!! I hope this post is shared and shared!!
Thanks. I’ll definitely come back to this post for the book and the kit. As someone who’s worked with brands before, I know how important having traffic is.
[…] Notes: I love creating brands, following brands and learning from brands. First you should be aware of the importance of developing a personal brand. Whether you are branding yourself, your blog or your business, branding helps you create a memorable connection with your audience. I still get a buzz when I work with a particularly cool brand or get a really cool collaboration offer. […]
I need to get working on a proper media kit
Yesss! Always worth having!
Thank you! I’m just kinda learning the perks of being a blogger.
As always, you are a fountain of knowledge! I find the whole idea of collabs scary nowadays – in 2018 my DA was 24 and I was being paid to write posts, now I’m sitting at 16 (thanks Moz) and too scared to even try and get gifted collab work. I just don’t feel like my blog has anything to offer anyone really. But you have definitely given me some things to think about so that I can flip that mindset and put some real effort in. Thank you for constantly motivating me to be better!
Girl I want to SLAP YOU for saying that! Your blog is amazing – has always been amazing. You should start applying again because brands would be lucky to work with you! Moz is a nuisance – so many people’s DA dropped after the last update!
A media kit Is really important! x
Brilliant advice. I MUST MAKE A MEDIA KIT! I actually can’t believe I have been so slow on this one. I’ve not yet got in to pitching, I was so sure this would be my year but it’s kinda kicking my ass! And everyone else! I have 3 weeks until I am going back to work, I will be making my media kit before then and following your advice x
Yay for the media kit! 2020 has been an arse kicking year for sure!
Amazing tips on here!!! I need to learn more about SEO and how to gain more subscribers. Ill definitely check out your other posts!!! X
Hope they help!
Hope they help! My eBook might be handy for that!
This is so helpful!, I really need to read up more on SEO & improve my DA score. Thankyou for sharing.
You’re welcome! Glad it helped! x
This was the blog post I needed right now! I’ve only worked with one brand in the past, but a week or two ago I received several emails from companies asking to work with me. I thought this was amazing but as soon as I sent them my media kit, I never heard a single thing back. It’s been quite disheartening because I’ve been working so hard and I really hope to go freelance someday soon. I’ve done a lot of research but I’ve began to question my worth in terms of price and wonder if I should just keep accepting gifted items and essentially working for free.
Thanks for your advice Jenny! I’m off of work all of next week so I’m going to knuckle down and do more homework.
Kate | thelittlecrunch.co.uk
No absolutely don’t accept less than you’re worth! Unless it’s a gifted opportunity you really want, of course! If you ever need any advice, drop me a DM on Twitter as I’m always happy to help. Perseverence is key. Brands get so many emails and only have a limited budget on who to work with – they can’t work with everyone – so try not take it personally and keep going. You’ll get there! xxx
Wow, lots of great info here. I will check out your links and –try– to be patient! Thanks.
I’ve just started getting into blogging again so need to start working on my SEO and DA score!
Hope this helped!
Good tips, thank you! I’m getting back into blogging after a few years away so keen to see how I can get a few placements. Plan for today: put together my media kit!
This is super helpful! I’ve been blogging less than a year and I’ve only been in contact with a couple of brands to get some partnerships on a gifted basis, still far too scared to pitch though! I’ve sent a couple and never heard back so I’ve been put off a little bit haha xxx
Don’t be put off! Brands get so many emails and pitches, don’t take it personally! Perseverance is key, too! 🙂
This is a pretty helpful post even for those of us who aren’t new bloggers. It’s always great to see other bloggers perspectives, especially from someone you know gives great and honest advice. Blogging is a continuous learning curve for most of us so I love this post. I’m still scared to pitch and have done the bare minimum in that regard but I’m definitely working on it.
Don’t be scared lovely! If you need help, check out Jenna’s eBook that I linked! xxx
This was super helpful, thank you! My dream is to be able to blog full time one day so I am definitely going to be using these tips 🙂 x
– charlotte / charlottesspace.com
You’re welcome! 🙂 x
Such a useful post! Very good points.
I’ve grown so frustrated with following my DA, though. Moz seems to change their ‘measuring tools’ constantly, and when I finally see my number going up, the next week it’s come 2 notches down. And it really pisses me off because there’s literally nothing more I could do. So, I stopped checking it 😀 Because my SEO is working really well and my stats overall are good enough to reach out to brands with.
But it’s the BEST feeling when your hard work finally pay off and you bag that first collab!
Teresa Maria | Outlandish Blog
It’s really annoying that they change their measuring tool etc so often. A lot of opps I see on Twitter do need a certain DA score for you to be able to apply so it’s always worth working on, even if it is frustrating x
Really helpful tips, thank you for sharing! I remember when I decided to go for it and pitch to brands and it was definitely scary, but I managed to get some great collabs which was super exciting. I have slowed down a lot now as I have just got back from a long break, but I am working through a general tidy up of my blog and trying to work on my SEO!
It’s such a great feeling, isn’t it!
I think this advice is really beneficial for new bloggers including myself. I will definitely use these tips to get my first collab.
Hope they help!
I’ve bookmarked this as I do with all of your tip posts! Haha! I’m always surprised when a brand either gets in touch with me or reply. I guess being a small blogger makes me think I’m not worth it!
Small bloggers are more than worth it! xxx
Thanks for this! I never thought about media kit.
It’s such an important thing to have!
Amazing tips! It definitely takes time to get your first blogging collaboration (I know it did for me anyway!) but I think that makes it even more exciting when it does happen. Patience is the key like you said. And I love that you mentioned finding your voice. That’s something that also takes time but when you’ve figured it out it definitely makes you stand out 🙂 x
Totally agree 🙂 xx
I love this – you gave great insight! I haven’t worked with the brands I want to yet, but these have helped me look forward to it! I just relaunched my website after abandoning it for a couple of years, so there are no stats for me to put together a media kit T_T But soon!
Thank you for the advice ! We’re currently working more on the SEO side and trying to get an audience. Maybe one day we’ll have the chance to be good enough to work with some brands of our industry!
Great tips! My first few opportunities did just land in my inbox when I thought I was far too small to get anything which was soooo exciting at the time. But that meant that it took me a while to figure out the rest of the stuff you’re talking about like media kits and I felt like I was playing catch up a bit. To this day I still get scared of pitching. I definitely need to work on that! I love that you spoke about the importance of improving your views and SEO too rather than just talking about the brand side x
Great post! There are is a lot of info here for new bloggers! That being said, I need to redo my media kit! >.<
Love this!! All such great information for someone who is just starting out like myself… Love referring back to all your posts about blogging! Thanks for sharing! xx
This post is really helpful! I was lucky enough to be contacted by one brand last year, but I definitely need to up my game to get more collaborations. I admit that I don’t have a media kit so I will get on that! I’d never heard of Get Blogged before so I’m going to check that out.
Get Blogged are a really good place to start!
Thank you for the tips Jenny! I’m bookmarking this one for when I’m a little further down the road on my blogging journey.
Hope you find it helpful when the time comes!
Thank you so much for all the information😊😊It is really helpful..
I’m glad 🙂
Getting an offer for a collaboration always feel great. Totally agree with you about how not all collabs are the same. Some make you go through too many hoops for such a low pay. YESSS on refining your voice!! Thanks for sharing all of these tips!
Nancy ♥ exquisitely.me
I agree. They’re just not worth it, some of them!
This was really helpful thank you! I am going to get started on a media kit right away, I need to start building myself more! Definitely going to be referring back to these tips though, thank you so much ☺️🤍
You’re very welcome!
I’m looking for a guide to help me do my first collab post and this is helpful. I’m going to follow it, thank you for sharing it!
You are right in saying pitching is scary for people like me who have never reached out with themselves before. It is so easy to feel you are not good enough, and sometimes it is true that you need to put in a little extra work, as I learned when I queried my novel a couple years back.
Once you reach out, though, it gets easier every time. It is about finding the people that make me say “yes!”
Thanks for sharing!
It sure does get easier every time! All it takes is practice!
Great tips! I’ve been lucky to have a couple of brand opportunities where brands came to me but would really love to get to a place where I’m pitching brands professionally and often. I’ve been meaning to make a media kit forever and keep putting it off. Time to finally do it!
Yessss, hope you get around to it soon!
This was so interesting !!
This is a great and informative post!
Thanks so much 🙂 Gives me lots of things to work on!
I’m glad you found it helpful 🙂
Love all these tips, especially about making your socials consistent and finding your voice. I bloody wish SEO wasn’t on the list as we all know what a pain in the arse that is haha! Thanks for the useful post lovely. Hannah | http://www.hannahshappyhour.com
Haha don’t mention it! I hate SEO and anything like that but sadly it DOES help!
I love that buzz when you get a really awesome brand working with you! I definitely didn’t create my media kit early enough (though I do have one now, which has been so useful) and I really wish I’d done a lot more research at first, as I turned into a bit of a Yes (wo)Man which wasn’t good! Learnt my lesson though, and now working with brands feels a lot less stressful.
Same, I don’t think that buzz ever really goes!
Such a helpful post. I didn’t even know what’s the media kit so will be reading that next. Thank you Jenny
Hope you found it helpful!
This is great advice! I have been blogging since 2017, but never really took it that seriously until last year. I have been lucky enough to have been paid for one collab with the others being gifted, but that is ok with me. Definitely gives you experience with working with brands. Also, shamed to admit that my media kit is well out of date, really must update it! Oh, and DA is another ball game, will deffo be checking out your post on that! 😂
Thanks for sharing!
Hope you find my DA post helpful!
Such great advice. You really know your stuff. As a new blogger this is very helpful.
Thank you very much!
Great post! Am definitely taking notes from this guide.
Glad you found it helpful!
Ooh this is so inspiring. I’ve never really taken that leap, mainly because I’m still on a free plan so things like DA is something I’ve never looked up (am I being totally oblivious here – you can’t do that on a free one, right?) but I do still get really excited when I get a new review request land in my inbox. But this is full of such good tips – thanks!
Yeah if you don’t have your own domain then DA won’t apply to you yet! 🙂
Glad I had that right. One day I’ll make that leap…
Great post! Am taking notes from this guide.
This has really inspired me to make a media kit. Just started blogging again but this way I can use it to motivate myself to stay consistent. loved the post 🙂
Brynn I Brynnie.com
I love this! This is so useful! Bookmarking this post of yours and also subscribed! Didn’t know there is a thing called media kit before I came across your post! Thanks 😊
Glad you found it helpful!
These are great tips! Perfect for new bloggers, sharing this on Pinterest for my followers!!
Thanks very much!
You always give such amazing, helpful advice! I’m working on DA and views at the moment as I’d like to start pitching soon.
I definitely need to get my media kit sorted next.
Thanks for the great advice! ❤️
You’re welcome! Glad you found it helpful!
What a fab post! This is so useful and something I’ve been needing to read recently. Thanks so much for sharing your advice about this! ☺️
These are very great tips for new bloggers. I started my blog just 3 months ago and am still learning something new about it everyday. Your blog is really informative. Thanks for sharing!
Some amazing advice Jenny! So many new bloggers can learn from this! x
Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk
I hope so! 🙂
Great tips, thank you. Now I’m off to make my media kit as I don’t have one.
Glad to hear it!
This is so helpful thank you! I’ve worked with brands on instagram but technically not on my blog yet, and I definitely need to make a new media kit!
I’d love to work with brands on Instagram!
Would you believe that although I’ve been blogging for just over 3 years, I still don’t pitch to brands! Well, that’s not strictly true, I’ve cold pitched twice and both times I got to work with the brands in question. So I don’t know why I don’t do it more often, nerves I guess, which is so stupid. The worst that could happen is they say no! Great tips as always, Jenny, so helpful even for those of us who’ve had collabs before 🙂 xxx
Lisa | http://www.lisasnotebook.com
Absolutely! You should totally pitch more! Brands would be mad not to work with you! xxx
Thank you so much for your advice and for sharing, it’s much appreciated! I also had a look at the media kit and that was also very helpful. Thank you!
Fab advice, thank you for sharing 🙂 I’ve done one collab after a brand contacted me but I’m now working on building my confidence to start reaching out to a few! xx
That’s great to hear!
thank you for the valuable input ! love it ;D
Thank you x
This is such a great and informative post! I’ve only done a few collars so far so I am definitely looking to do more. Thanks for sharing all these tips and tricks! I will have to implement them for sure!
Glad you found it helpful 🙂
Hey Jenny such an informative post useful to all bloggers not just those starting out! So thank you! I will definitely take this into account next time I work with a brand 😊
Thank you 🙂
This is great! As a new blogger this is really useful.
Love all of these tips! So helpful for any newer bloggers. Totally agree with the media kit. I didn’t have one for ages but it makes pitching to brands so much easier and it’s a handy way to keep note of your stats xx
Tiffany x http://www.foodandotherloves.co.uk
It sure does make it so much easier!
These are such amazing tips! And you’ve reminded me to get on with my media kit so thank you aha!
You’re welcome! 😉
These are some really great tips. I agree you have to be patient – it took me ages until I got my first collab, but it felt great when all my hard work finally paid off.
Absolutely! That’s great to hear 🙂
I always fall behind with engaging! Partly because I find it so full on and sometimes just need to step back. I need to create a better system.
Mollie | https://mollieclarke.co.uk
It definitely is full on, I agree!
I’m a relatively new at thewhole blogging scene and thing it’s great that you’re sharing tips like this to help out people who aren’y entirely sure of how to make it. I’d never even heard of a media kit before this post and didn’t realise how important SEO was, so thank you for enlightening me. I’ll be doing lots of reaearch today!
Glad you found this helpful!
Thank you so much for this invaluable information.
Awesome advice. I actually do SEO as part of my job. Although at times it can be a slight pain, the results of what you do becomes so apparent. It isn’t something that just miraculously works overnight but with time and effort, you have something good to show.
Absolutely! Some people think it’s an overnight job but it’s far from it!
Very good tips! I’ve still yet to venture into the world of collabs and it scares me a little to be honest haha. I get a lot of emails from brands who want me to work for nothing but that’s obviously not something I want.
Eww, no! These brands need to p*ss off!
Thanks so much for sharing – an amazing article with some great advice! I’m v new to blogging so I’ve been looking at and digesting loads of information. But I have to say, I really like how you’ve laid it out really simply and straight forward! Thanks so much ☺️
I’m so glad you found it helpful!
Aaah this is making me so excited to do more blog collaborations! The thing I am most scared of is pitching.. I am just awful at selling myself haha! Thanks so much for these tips and for linking helpful guides.
Check out Jenna’s eBook! It’s SO helpful!
I only recently made a media kit and so glad I did as lots of people ask for one nowadays xx
They sure do x
Some great tips here! Thinking more about my social media usage has helped so much in terms of working with brands and also having a media kit seems more necessary now than it has done before. I was talking to someone about this just the other day!
A media kit is really useful! Thank you 🙂
Fantastic advice thank you, especially for reasonably new bloggers like myself and many others 😊
You’re welcome 🙂
Although I’ve been blogging for 8 years, I don’t have a kit ready either. You know why? Because very often the requirements of those eager to collaborate are different, so I prefer to prepare a personalized kit for each one, depending on their interests and needs.