Once you get into your blogging groove it's always nice to work with other bloggers and businesses. This helps expand your reach, learn from one another, and gain a new perspective. A fellow blogger recently asked: “How can I reach out to other businesses and bloggers?” I'll try to answer this today.
When you combine efforts with other bloggers you're not only putting yourself and your brand in front of others, you're also brainstorming and coming up with new ways of expressing yourself. By seeing through another blogger's eyes, it increases your impact online. You get a feel for what they like or dislike and how they establish their own blogging process.
The same applies to working with brands. You have the opportunity to expand your reach, and in addition, you can be paid and recognized for your work. I keep a list of people I've worked with in my “Events and Press” section. I'm proud of my work and I enjoy working with brands to help engage my readers in new ways. It also shows brand leaders what I'm capable of and provides insight into the type of projects I've worked on.
How can you collaborate with bloggers and business owners?
Here are a few collaboration ideas:
1. Guest Post
2. Write a post together
3. Host a Pinterest Party
4. Answer Questions/Interview Style (I do this with my sponsors from time to time)
5. Review a product or review something a blogger offers
6. Instagram Challenge (see #MyHolidaySpark)
7. Recommendations – refer your readers to something new
8. Webinar (host one together!)
10. Create a Facebook group community
11. Host a giveaway together
12. Do a Periscope with each other
13. Snapchat stories – you could specify a time that the two of you will be on Snapchat, answering questions and talking to one another
14. Link up – host a link-up together on a specific topic
15. YouTube exchange or review
16. Newsletter – talk about each other in your newsletter
17. Affiliates – become an affiliate of a product or service
18. Twitter Chats
How to get started:
Compile your list of potential bloggers and brands you'd like to work with. You could use an excel spreadsheet to write down their name, blog or website address, how to contact them, and maybe why you'd like to work with them.
Next, compose your email. When reaching out to the business or blogger always be specific. Have a clear idea of WHY you're contacting them. Speak to them directly, and by name. Offer a solution to their problem. Make it personal. Make it obvious that you've read their blog or are interested in their product. Showcase why you and your audience are unique to them.
Make sure your email includes:
- A subject line that makes sense. Avoid sounding disingenuous.
- If you can, call them by name. I'm more likely to pay attention when someone starts an email with “Hey Helene” instead of “Dear blogger.”
- Note why you're contacting them. Be upfront and realistic.
- Explain why you want to work with them and how you think this would benefit them. Use a direct approach.
- Lay out your idea for the collaboration. You don't need to include EVERY detail, but you should provide a rough outline of what you have in mind.
- *Your media kit! (Click here to download your media kit template)
- Make it clear how they can contact you
If you don't hear back immediately, wait a few days. Don't feel bad about shooting them a follow up email.
Once you hear back, talk about terms.
Here are some questions to ask:
Will they be sharing info about you on social media or vice versa?
Are you getting paid – if so when?
How many times should you tweet?
What links need to be included?
When does the above need to happen?
Setting up clearly defined terms helps you establish exactly what you need to do and leaves no room for error. Everyone involved knows why they're working together. It makes for smoother relationship.
Here's an example of a great email, sent to me recently from Travis at Project Pivital.
The above email is the PERFECT example of how to reach out someone, make them care, and want to work with you.
When Reaching out to bloggers:
If you're a blogger reaching out to a blogger the tone can be more friendly and less professional. You are peers in the game (even if he or she has way more or less followers than you.) You both speak the same language and are generally after a common goal. I always find it odd when a blogger reaches out to me and is SUPER formal. Keep the tone light, but still include all of the above.
If you're a company or business reaching out to a blogger the tone can be more professional. I usually scan emails first to see if they are actually going to make a point. I get emails all the time, so make yours stand out by being personal and direct. Be very clear about what you have in mind.
If you're a blogger reaching out to a business you should keep the tone professional. This is a company, and just like you want to be treated with professionalism, so do they. It's always a good idea to include a media kit that directly explains what you're all about.
Which brings me to my next point. It's essential to have a media kit. This is your go-to “blog resume” that gives a run-down of your facts and figures in a clear, easy way. A media kit is a tool used to brand yourself. It's a way for you to prove (and sell) yourself to advertisers or anyone interested in working with you. Whenever a company emails me, I provide media kit to give them an idea of what I've done in the past, my stats, and why they should work with me.
What to include in your media kit:
° Introduce yourself – your unique web presence, what you blog about, where you're located, etc.
° Stats- Pageviews, social media followers (as well as how to find you on each).
° Previous work experience – this is optional, but can definitely be beneficial to those wanting to work with you.
° What you offer – do you do reviews, giveaways, social media shares? Spell it out. (You can include rates here as well.)
I've created a media kit you can use and edit. You can even change up the colors to match your brand! Download your free media kit here!
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