Are you a blogger looking to monetize some of your (awesome) hard work? Good news, you’re not alone. Bad news, you’re not alone. One of the most lucrative ways to make money and open new opportunities when you’re starting out is to work with brands that you love, and that are aligned with your blog and reader’s values.
However, these opportunities don’t always come flowing through your inbox. Often, the most successful bloggers will be proactive about which companies they work with. This is great for a couple of reasons. First, you already know the brand, and second, you already know they’re a great fit for your blog.
I wanted to break down what you should include in a brand pitch letter, because I’m in the unique position where not only do I blog and use these techniques, but I’m also on the receiving end of a lot of pitches.
More good news for you is that 90% of these pitches are pretty awful, which means you have a huge opportunity to stand out. But something that’s so key, which many people often forget, is that it’s not about you. Nope. Not you. It’s about them. How can you make their brand sparkle? How can you deliver value to them? You offer the solution, but at the end of the day, this is a business transaction and both parties should come away having benefited. If you make it about them I promise you’ll be way ahead of the curve when it comes to pitching (see what I did there).
Before you start your pitch:
Have your media kit ready
Your media kit doesn’t need to be a 30 page dissertation of the million reasons you’re amazing. Think of it as your blog’s resume. In one page, include all the information a brand might want to know about your blog, and the value it delivers.
From the brand side I always look for:
Blog name, URL, contact info, blog description, sample photography, brands worked with, pageviews, sessions (UMV) & social following, and brownie points if you’ve included reader demographics and psychographics which you can pull from Google Analytics.
Do your research
You know how you hate getting those spammy emails that don’t even address you? Yeah. Brands hate that, too. If it’s obviously a copy and paste mass email we’ll hit delete real quick.
It doesn’t take much time to do a little research and figure out what makes that company tick. In fact, just go to their website and find their vision or ‘about us’ pages. There’s probably a great story you can latch onto. That kind of thoughtfulness is a great indicator that you’ll be a thoughtful partner moving forward.
What you need to include in your pitch
Explain why you love their brand
Don’t forget that behind every email is a human. Humans love flattery. And if they’re working for a great brand, they’re probably proud of their work. No, you don’t want to go crazy over-the-top, but when you start your email, start it about them. Tell them why you love the product, why you feel they’re unique and compliment them on something they’ve done well on social media lately or in-store.
Next step is to introduce yourself in no more than 3 sentences. Just like you, these people are busy and want to get a snapshot of you quickly. My intro looks like this: “My name is Georgie and I’m the blogger and ‘grammer behind In it 4 the Long Run and @init4thelongrunblog. I’m passionate about sharing vegetarian recipes and busting the myths of “one-size-fits-all” health advice to help young women build a healthy life for the long run.” Real quick they know the content I share and the people I share it with, which helps them understand what’s in it for them.
Include Your Links
This is going to sound crazy obvious, but you’d be surprised by the number of blogger pitches we see that include zero links to the blogger’s site. If you’re not going to take the time to include you’re link, you can’t expect the person reading your email to go hunting for your site.
Explain why your blog and your audience is the right fit
You don’t have to go crazy, but a brief sentence about your audience and how they respond to your work is really important. Reach is great, but engagement is king. Brands want to see that action was taken as a result of a partnership so if you can prove or quantify that in your pitch you’re winning.
Include examples of your best work
Make life easy for them by including your best sponsored posts (or if you don’t have any yet include your favorite posts) that are relevant to the kind of work you’d want to do with them. This way they can see what they’re getting for their money.
End on an excited note
Finally, end on an excited note. This is an old sales adage but “assume the sale.” If you write and share your knowledge with the confidence of already working together (without being presumptuous or arrogant) the brand will know you mean business and are a professional.
I always close my pitches with “Thank you so much for your time I’m so excited to hear from you” – this assumes that they’ll get back to me and it’s so much more powerful than “Thank you – Georgie”
Again, every brand is different so I can’t say this will work 100% of the time but these techniques have been very effective for me both from a blogging and brand perspective.
Georgie Morley is the veggie-loving, Instagram-obsessed, coffee snob behind the blog In it 4 the Long Run. She shares easy-to-make vegetarian recipes and inspires young women to bust out of the “one-size-fits-all” health fallacy.