This is the kick off to our annual January Blog Challenge: 31 Days To Clean Up Your Blog. What better time than January to sit down and review your blog? Over the 31 days we'll be sharing 31 tips, ideas, and strategies for you to deal with all those pesky maintenance tasks, take steps to grow in the new year and make blogging easier. This is Day 11.
Yesterday you updated your media kit. Now for Day 11 it's time to take that kit and make a pitch! Are you ready?
If you want to do sponsored work, you can sit and wait for a brand or a restaurant to come knock on your door (while grumbling quietly about all the other bloggers on instagram who get to do all the cool projects) or, you can do something about it and make the first move.
Yes, if you've never pitched before, it can be scary. But it's also a great way to make things happen for yourself.
Now, if doing sponsored content is not something you're interested in, that's ok. But, you can still do the task - we'll show you how to modify it for yourself further down the article.
You're Going to Hear Some Nos
You're going to hear the word "no" way more than you want to but that's ok and totally normal. Don't let it deter you. Understand that there could be a hundred reasons a brand says no and none of them are personal attacks on your character. They're business decisions.
Getting Prepared to Pitch
If one of your goals this year is to work with brands or restaurants it's going to require some planning:
1. Identify who you'd like to work with and why. Perhaps you love a specific product and think you'd make a great ambassador for it. Or maybe you're a fan of a particular restaurant and would like to be the first to showcase their seasonal menus on your blog.
2. Research who the right people to contact are - this can take some work but google and LinkedIn are packed with information to help you out
3. Don't want to do the same thing as every other blogger? Come up with your own ideas of how you can work with a specific brand or restaurant. Remember, it has to benefit both you AND the brand. You know your readers best - you know what kind of content they'd like to see!
4. Put together a proposal - make it professional and ensure it clearly states your idea, how you will execute it and what the benefits of it will be to your client. Remember that your pitch should never sound like it's just about you.
For more tips check out this article on 5 Things Bloggers Should Do Before Pitching
How To Find Some Pitching Leads
Look at the press releases you receive - they're usually full of product information as well as offers of interviews and perhaps even free product. A lot of bloggers toss these aside thinking there's no value in them because there's no mention of paid opportunities. That's a big mistake!
Review those press releases and evaluate them based on what type of content your audience would like to see. If you're a meal prep blogger and they're letting you know about a brand new, eco friendly, lightweight container system, reach out and make a pitch!
It never hurts to think big but sometimes, thinking small can be just as beneficial. Smaller niche brands can give you unique content and differentiate you from other blogs.
For more help working with brands, check out our articles on how bloggers and PR pros work together, creating a stellar sponsorship pitch and ten tips to help bloggers and brands work together.
And don't forget our PR Desk section - it is absolutely packed with tips and tricks for pitching and working with brands - all written by PR professional Heather Travis
I Just Can't Get a Yes - My Numbers Must Suck
Yes, numbers matter. But not nearly as much as you may think. There are lots of small (by traffic standards) bloggers out there who do very well. If you're struggling to get work, check out this article on 5 Reasons You're Not Getting Blogger Campaigns That Have Nothing to Do With Traffic.
And you'll also want to visit this article written by Heather on why small traffic numbers are no big deal.
I Don't Want to Do Sponsored Content
No problem! You can approach pitching from a more journalistic angle. For example, if you focus on local food, contact local growers or your local farmer's market and ask if you can interview them for your blog. Introduce your readers to where their food comes from.
Pitching doesn't have to be about content for your blog or social media either. You can pitch a magazine (more on that later in the 31 Day Blog Challenge), pitch another blogger with a collaboration idea. Pitch your local school district about teaching cooking classes for night school or reach out to your local farmer's market about doing live demos using product available at the market.
If you're a restaurant blogger, maybe you can interview local chefs about their approach to their menus. Or ask to tour the local culinary institute and write about where tomorrow's chefs are learning their craft.
The opportunities are endless - you just need to think differently. And moving away from where the crowds are gives you the opportunity to stand out. Take the time to sit down and really think about some different things you can do (see the Day 9 task on brainstorming!)
- The PR Desk: How to Find the Right PR Contact
- The PR Desk: Think Global, Blog Local
- The PR Desk: A Guide To the Essentials of a Good Pitch