Blogging Advice

Getting Your First Collab As a Blogger: 8 Things You Should Do

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?

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151 Comments

  1. 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!

    1. You’re welcome!

  2. Some amazing advice Jenny! So many new bloggers can learn from this! x

    Lucy | http://www.lucymary.co.uk

    1. I hope so! 🙂

  3. adamjnew85 says:

    Great tips, thank you. Now I’m off to make my media kit as I don’t have one.

    1. Glad to hear it!

  4. 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!

    1. I’d love to work with brands on Instagram!

  5. 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

    1. Absolutely! You should totally pitch more! Brands would be mad not to work with you! xxx

  6. 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!

    1. You’re welcome!

  7. 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

    1. That’s great to hear!

  8. thank you for the valuable input ! love it ;D

    1. Thank you x

  9. nortoncharity says:

    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!

    1. Glad you found it helpful 🙂

  10. 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 😊

    1. Thank you 🙂

  11. This is great! As a new blogger this is really useful.

    1. I’m glad!

  12. 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

    1. It sure does make it so much easier!

  13. These are such amazing tips! And you’ve reminded me to get on with my media kit so thank you aha!

    1. You’re welcome! 😉

  14. 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.

    1. Absolutely! That’s great to hear 🙂

  15. 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

    1. It definitely is full on, I agree!

  16. 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!

    1. Glad you found this helpful!

  17. Thank you so much for this invaluable information.

    1. You’re welcome!

  18. 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.

    1. Absolutely! Some people think it’s an overnight job but it’s far from it!

  19. Boss Babe Chronicles says:

    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.

    1. Eww, no! These brands need to p*ss off!

  20. Toni Pomfret says:

    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 ☺️

    Toni

    1. I’m so glad you found it helpful!

  21. 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.

    1. Check out Jenna’s eBook! It’s SO helpful!

  22. Sarah says:

    I only recently made a media kit and so glad I did as lots of people ask for one nowadays xx

    1. They sure do x

  23. 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!
    http://www.piedbypiper.com

    1. A media kit is really useful! Thank you 🙂

  24. Fantastic advice thank you, especially for reasonably new bloggers like myself and many others 😊

    1. You’re welcome 🙂

  25. 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.
    Great article!

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