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.

Getting Your First Collab As a Blogger

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.

Are you working on getting that first collab as a blogger? Have you recently had your first collab as a blogger? What advice would you give new bloggers?

164 Comments

  1. 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.

  2. 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.

  3. 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!

  4. 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!!
    Rosie

  5. 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.

  6. […] 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. […]

  7. 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!

    1. 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!

  8. 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

  9. 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

  10. 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

    1. 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

  11. 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

  12. 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.

  13. 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

  14. 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

    1. 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

  15. 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!

    Chloe xx
    http://www.chloechats.com

  16. I think this advice is really beneficial for new bloggers including myself. I will definitely use these tips to get my first collab.

  17. 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!