Blogging 101 | How to Land Brand Partnerships (Like a Boss)


How bloggers can land brand partnerships Erica Stoleman of Fashionlush sharing tips for bloggers: How to land brand partnerships

Yesterday I shared on Instagram that I will going on Insta live w/ my bff, miss Lauryn Evarts from The Skinny Confidential, to discuss all things blogging. I asked for you guys to start submitting your questions, & the main one I got was…

“how do you start working with brands & making money as a blogger”

SO…. I figured, we should probably talk this one out.

There are some bloggers out there solely blogging for hobby, which is GREAT, but I think it’s safe to say that most budding bloggers would love to turn it into a full time gig. I don’t blame you- if you’re blogging about something you are passionate about, it’s pretty much the dream job!!

The question is though, how do you get to that money making place?

I can’t tell you I’ve got the secret sauce for making it happen overnight, because it takes WORK (although are the RARE/ODD exceptions), I do have some tips to help you get on the road to landing your dream brand collaborations & making that paper.

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How to Land Brand Partnerships

1. First & foremost: develop your brand, grow your blog, & focus on building an authentic + engaged audience. I LOVE an ambitious blogger who wants to hit the ground running & I appreciate that tremendously, that’s the kind passion needed to be a blogger, but when you’re just starting out- your only focus should be building a strong brand & growing a devoted/loyal audience… atleast for the first 3-6 months!

Brands love numbers, but even more so, they love CONVERSION.

Once you are at a place in your blogging career where you have numbers that can back up WHY you are someone a brand would want to partner with, you’re ready to start to reaching out. OR- brands will see what you have to offer & start reaching out to you, which is very exciting, but you still need some pointers on dealing with brands. Let’s continue…

2. Create a one sheet: lots of people say this is where you would create a media kit, but I have recently ditched my 5 page media kit for a condensed one sheet version. It’s quick, to the point, & easy to read.

Include a quick bio about yourself, your sites demographics, your following across all social networks, average conversion rates across the board, monthly unique views, & contact information.

Also- make sure the design of your one sheet reflects your brand. Include your logo & use the same fonts/colors as you do on your site.

3. Make a list of companies/brands that you think align well with your target audience: open up Google docs, create a spreadsheet, & start adding brands to it that catch your eye. Bookmark this spreadsheet & add to it regularly.

When you find a brand you like, search the site for a press or PR contact (or you can Google “brand name + press contact”), & add it to your growing “brand wishlist”.

Create a tab for any ideas you want to pitch to the brand, & also create a tab that says “reached out” & “status” so you know where you stand with each brand. You definitely don’t want to accidentally pitch a brand twice or worse- pitch a brand a day after they already responded.

Basically, just stay organized.

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4. The reach out: yay- now for the the fun part! Time to start reaching out. My main tips here are to be professional but personable, get to the point, & be specific to the brand.

Start with a quick intro- share your name, your blog, & what you blog about it.

Next, talk about them! How did you find their brand, what do you love about the brand as a whole or the specific product you are interested in promoting, & how/why your audience would translate well for their brand.

Now, time for your quick pitch. Tell them WHY you think it would be beneficial on both ends & a general idea of what you are envisioning in terms of a collaboration (don’t get to specific- when they bite, you still need to talk rates so save some details for that point in time!).

Wrap it up with a “talk soon” before you sign your name- just a little basic human psychology for ya, saying “talk soon” makes the company feel obliged to talk with you… soon.

5. The response: I like to give brands a week to respond before following up, yet typically brands/PR companies have someone whose job is solely to respond to these pitch emails, so I usually get a message back within 5 days.

Responses usually look something like the below, & you can find how I’d *loosely* respond in italics!

+ Unfortunately we aren’t working with influencers at this time

Thank you so much for getting back to me! I would love to work together in the future so please stay in touch! **I would personally reach back out a few months down the road to “check in” & maybe send them an updated one sheet to show how I’ve grown since we last talked!**

+ We don’t have a budget, but are open to gifting!: Now- this one is totally up to your own discretion. On the one hand, your time is money, so sometimes trade isn’t enough… but there are some cases where trade could be great for a beginner blogger.

If you love the brand & want to try to work with them regularly- this could be a good way for you to “get your foot in the door”. Before accepting trade always consider the value of the product along with the value of working with this client.

Also, for trade deals, you should always try to barter a regram with the company to help increase your exposure & guarantee a return on your time investment.

+ Love your vibe! Let’s hear more:

DING DING DING. Time to give the FULL pitch. Be polite & show your passion. Give examples of work you’ve done in the past that is similar to what you plan to do for them & give them a breakdown of what you plan to offer them in full detail. 

This is also where the rate conversation comes into play. Rates are tricky & kind of a post of their own, but I suggest that in the meantime you do some research on what other bloggers similar to you are charging (Google + Pinterest are great for finding this 411) & whip up a little rate sheet of your own. Create packages & know your value- you can also put together blogging packages to help kind of upsell what you’re offering (i.e. one blog post with 3 instagrams + a Facebook & Twitter share!).

OKAY- that’s all for now, I could expand this conversation in 500 different ways for 500 different days, but I’m gonna be late to spin class so I gotta end it here! If you have any questions or ideas for future blogging 101 posts, comment below & I’ll add it to the content calendar ;).

Check out my blogging 101 section for even more helpful bossy blogger tips!

x, E

p.s. be sure to follow me on Instagram as I will announce the time for our Insta live q&a 24 hours in advance!

fashionlush, blogging 101, How to Land Brand Partnerships

wearing:FRAME Le Original skinny jeans (best jeans ever!!!) | pinstripe wrap crop top | white ankle boots (similar style here | budget version here) | Quay x Shay ‘Jinx’ white sunnies | Fawnstar ‘Higher Cred’ choker | layered gold anklet

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  • Kelsey Frey

    TY SO MUCH FOR THIS! So helpful. Thanks for being one of those bloggers that’s totally transparent and helpful about these things, it is much appreciated :) Can’t wait to put these tips to good use!

  • OH MAN! I have had so many bloggers ask me that question before they are even slightly established & I feel so bad bursting their bubble- but they just gotta put in more work than that!

  • Tara Creel

    It might be worth adding to this post that Social Blue Book helps influencers back up their worth. It basically takes your statistics from each platform (watch time, views, engagement,etc.) and gives you the appropriate rate for each, from minimum to maximum, for each type of post (sponsorship, ad placement, etc.)

    I use this when working with companies and they respect that I have professional, efficient, respected way of setting my rates as opposed to just coming up with a random number :)