How to work with brands as a new blogger – tips on how to start making money from your blog

How to work with brands as a new blogger – tips on how to start making money from your blog

It is not very often you will find posts about blogging here on Naptime Natter. It is not that I don’t enjoy writing about my favourite hobby ever, it is just that I feel there are so many more experienced bloggers out there who can offer you much more valuable advice and tips than I ever could. You see, when it comes to stats and all that stuff, my blog is still pretty small. Although I may be a very small fish in the overflowing pond of parent bloggers, this hasn’t stopped me from working with brands.

I have decided to start a new mini series all about my experience of working with brands, including my top tips and lessons I have learnt. If you are writing a little blog like me and are interested in working with brands, I am here to tell you it is possible! Don’t be discouraged by slow growing followers, if you are committed to your blog, are honest and write in a style people enjoy then you deserve those work opportunities just as much as those at the top of the blogging leader boards.

So for any other little fish out there who are struggling to swim and make themselves heard amongst the thousands of others splashing along beside them, I thought I would share my experience of working with brands with you and show you it is possible, you have just as much worth as those big names out there.

Working with brands – my experience so far.

If you want to work with brands but are concerned your blog isn’t big enough, don’t be. You’re amazing. Here is my story.

I started my blog in March 2015, it was not until the November that I first received an email from a company offering me my first ever sponsored post. I was so excited, I had been blogging for 8 whole months and with Twitter followers still dwindling around 300 I really wasn’t expecting any work opportunities to be coming my way any time soon. I eagerly wrote the post, the company loved it and it actually performed really well, it was one of my top 10 most popular posts for months.

After this I didn’t receive any emails for a few months. I was blogging along quite happily, enjoying all the other things blogging has to offer, creativity, inspiration and friendship and then one day, amongst all the newsletters, another job opportunity appeared in my inbox. Again, I was super excited, more so this time as this was a brand I had actually heard of and had seen advertised on the TV. This post also did really well and is still one of my most viewed posts.

By March this year, a year after I started blogging, I was reviewing various different products fairly regularly, at least once a month and had a handful of sponsored posts proudly living on my blog. Fast forward a few months to now, July 2016, I am receiving several emails a week from PR agencies and brands, some are relevant and some aren’t but I am grateful for each and every one. I am earning money regularly from my blog, nowhere near a full time wage but enough for me and more than the £0 I expected to earn from blogging.

I know I still have a lot to learn when it comes to this side of blogging, but I definitely know a hell of a lot more now than I did 12 months ago. So, if you are a little blog or are a newbie and are interested in working with brands, here are my top tips – from one little fish to another..

working with brands

Top tips for working with brands.

Always reply to emails, even if it is a no. Just because you are not interested this time, doesn’t mean you might not want to work on a future campaign with the company. No one likes to be ignored.

Write regular content and get your posts out there. Brands like to see some return on the posts you write for them, make sure you share all your posts as much as you can, the more comments you get the better as it shows people are actually reading your blog and enjoy what you have to say. My stats may not be through the roof but people do read my  blog and comment lots, I have regulars as well as new readers and I am so grateful to all of them for taking the time not only to read, but write a comment as well. I can not recommend linkys enough for sharing your posts and building your regular readership.

Be honest, whether a brand is looking for you to advertise a product, review their service or help spread the word of their cause, they will appreciate your honesty, as will your readers. If you want to be sent things to review, build up a portfolio of reviews you haven written just for fun. Prove yourself to be an honest and fair reviewer that your readers trust. By doing this you will have lots of examples of your work to send to brands, with (hopefully) good reader interaction and it’s a great way to show off what you can do.

Don’t stress about a media kit, in my experience, they are not as essential as others may imply. I don’t have one, in fact, no brand I have ever worked with has asked for details of blog stats or my following. I haven’t made a media kit because if I were to send that out I doubt brands would pick me to work with. Instead of doing this I send lovely emails, explaining why I want to work with them, my ideas for a post and links to similar posts I have written before. Sometimes this works and sometimes it doesn’t, but I think being more personal and showing them my creativity and ideas works better for little bloggers like me than a list of not very impressive numbers and stats.

Make a work with me page, I can’t stress the importance of this enough. If you are interested in working with brands then you need to let them know. A small paragraph in your side bar with your contact details or a whole separate work with me page on your blog, if you want to earn money from your writing make sure it is easy for PR agencies and brands to get in touch with you. It may also be a good idea to add your blog and contact details to blogger directories that work alongside brands. Since I updated my work with me page I have had more job opportunities sent my way than ever.

Don’t be too fussy. I am not saying work with anyone and everyone as you want to keep your integrity and not be a sell out (I assume!) but you can’t expect to work with the big brands  straight away. I personally like working with smaller companies and helping to spread the word for new businesses, their budgets may not be big but they are always so grateful for the support and I always get a good feeling when writing posts for brands who really need the exposure. However, I was very shocked when earlier this year I was asked to review something for a very well known outdoor clothing brand, I was so amazed that my little blog had attracted the attention of a high street store, it just shows the big names will come knocking but you just need to put in some hard work first. If you feel a brand is not a good fit for you or your blog then it is important to say no, yes building up a portfolio of review/sponsored posts is great but it is not worth writing about things you are not passionate about or reviewing items you don’t actually want.

Don’t be discouraged and be you. Not every brand you approach will want to work with you, that’s a fact. Some of the bigger companies really do care about the numbers and will only work with the big names, that doesn’t mean you should give up though. Approach brands you love and see what happens, the worst they can do is say no. Yes you may not have 50,000 page views a month or twitter followers growing in the hundreds every day but that doesn’t mean you don’t have value or have nothing to offer. There may be thousands of other bloggers out there but there is only one of you. Show off you personality, your creativity and your talent, some brands who may never have considered working with you based on your stats may actually end up loving your voice and your enthusiasm. With so many voices shouting to be heard, make sure yours is authentic and interesting and if you are not heard at first, take a big breath and try again.

Keep working hard. If you really want to earn from your blog and want to collaborate with brands then you need to be committed to your blog and work hard. We all know you don’t get anything for free in this world. Keep trying to grow your social media following, keep writing awesome content and get your words seen by as many eyes as possible. I know this isn’t easy and is really something I need to spend time working on myself but with growing numbers comes a boost in confidence. You may never be one of those big fish but there is no harm in fattening yourself up a little bit. As I have said, it is not all about stats but boosting your numbers can’t do you any harm. All those big fish I keep talking about? The ones reviewing the cars, the holidays and earning a monthly wage from their blog, they didn’t get that successful over night. Those bloggers have spent hours working hard and it is really important to remember that, once upon a time, they were writing a little blog just like you.

To all the newbie bloggers and people with slow growing stats, I hope you find this post useful. If you are interested in working with brands then just go for it, you deserve the opportunities just as much as anyone.

If you enjoyed this post, please check back next week for part 2 in this series – Working with brands, 10 things I have learnt.

Do you work with brands? What tips do you have to offer? Are you a new blogger and interested in earning money from your blog, have you found this post useful? I hope I have shown you not to be put off by your low stats and that working with brands is possible however big your blog is. I would love to know your thoughts.

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  1. July 25, 2016 / 9:06 am

    This is a FANTASTIC post! And has come at just the right time for me – I have been blogging for a few months now and am beginning to turn my mind to working with brands but didn’t have a clue where to start. This is such an encouraging post and packed full of useful info too. Thank you so much for helping out us smaller fish 🙂
    Lucy (@Lucy_at_home) recently posted…20 Life Hacks For ParentsMy Profile

    • Wendy
      July 28, 2016 / 1:24 pm

      Aww so glad you have found it useful Lucy :). I hope you get to work with some brands soon xx

    • Wendy
      July 28, 2016 / 1:24 pm

      You’re welcome 🙂 xx

    • Wendy
      July 28, 2016 / 1:25 pm

      Woho, well done on bagging yourself lots of work in only 6months, that’s amazing 🙂 xx

    • Wendy
      July 28, 2016 / 1:26 pm

      I totally agree Emma, it always makes me happy too xx

  2. Jenny | Jenny on a Plate
    July 25, 2016 / 10:46 am

    This is a really helpful post – I would love to work with brands and make more out of my blog but I honestly have no idea what I am doing when it comes to taking my blog out there professionally, so it’s really helpful to read your tips. Thank you! #AnythingGoes

    • Wendy
      July 28, 2016 / 1:27 pm

      Thank you, I am glad you have found it helpful. It is hard to know how to start but I think if making money out of your blog is something you want to do then you may as well just go for it and see what happens xx

  3. Sharon Rivers
    July 25, 2016 / 2:04 pm

    Thank you for posting this, it is really helpful! I am another tiny little new fish and figuring this all out still. So thanks, from one fish to another 😉 #bigpinklink

  4. July 25, 2016 / 3:19 pm

    Very informative post. I’m only doing this for 2 months and I’m all about my content and getting it out there. Can’t imagine ever making money doing blogging and that’s ok as I just love it! Well done on your success and it’s very good of you to share all those tips. #fartglitter
    Lisa recently posted…Mammy Profile – NicolaMy Profile

  5. July 25, 2016 / 7:32 pm

    I like your positive experience here, I’ve been approached by several companies but to be honest it scares me a little! More by the fact I’m worried my blog will lose its way if I go off topic. Never the less if the situation arises I’ll go for it! Yay. #mg

  6. July 25, 2016 / 8:15 pm

    Ahh Wendy this is great, some brilliant tips here thank you and I love the way you’ve written about it so positively and encouragingly. I’ve not yet worked with any brands (I’m a very little fish!) but it would be great to do so and this is so useful. #BigPinkLink xx
    Cheryl @ Tea or Wine recently posted…41 Things I’ve Learnt in 41 YearsMy Profile

  7. July 25, 2016 / 9:05 pm

    Great tips. I’ve only just started working with small companiesand brands and am finding the whole process very interesting! #mg

  8. July 26, 2016 / 3:12 am

    Some things I would add is to be sure that you understand exactly what the brand expects from you so that there is no confusion and be sure to exceed whatever it is that you think they are looking for from you #anythinggoes

  9. Lou
    July 26, 2016 / 9:40 am

    please add #mg to my comment- apologies X

  10. July 26, 2016 / 2:25 pm

    I found this post a great read and looking forward to part too. I would love to start working with brands just didn’t know how #bigpinklink

  11. Hannah (tuesdayschildblog)
    July 26, 2016 / 3:28 pm

    A brilliant post, thank you so much. I am most definitly a ‘little fish’ but it would be nice to work with brands at some point if possible; you’ve given me hope! Your blog is beautifully designed by the way 🙂 thanks for sharing x #fartglitter

  12. July 26, 2016 / 9:24 pm

    I love this post! I don’t think of you as a little fish but I do know what you mean. I get loads of emails now but it’s taken a year and like you say, not all of them are relevant, I still try my best to reply to everyone and everything though, as I like being polite plus I’m so excited they have found me! Great tip about the work with me page too, adding it to my to do list! Thanks for joining us at the #bigpinklink
    Louise Pink Pear Bear recently posted…Wicked Uncle ReviewMy Profile

  13. July 26, 2016 / 9:51 pm

    Great post. I have never worked with brands, principally because I have a full time job, I am a single mum and I just don’t think I have the time to do give any brands the commitment and product promotion they require.

    If you fancy adding a third post to your working with brands series I would really welcome a post on how much time it takes to work with brands. What do you do to promote each post? How long does it take you? thanks Pen x #mg
    Pen recently posted…Recovering from my Brexit depressionMy Profile

  14. July 26, 2016 / 9:54 pm

    Really interesting post. I haven’t worked with many brands as it’s not something I’ve ever set out to do, but I may think about including a work with me page. Can’t hurt! #bigpinkpink

  15. July 27, 2016 / 8:23 am

    Great post. Very helpful and great to hear your journey. I look forward to reading the next in the series. I’m getting approached a lot more by brands now but, as you say, it does take time. I would also say, be bold and have confidence in your blog. If you want to review something, send them an email and set out your reasons why. #bloggerclubuk

  16. July 27, 2016 / 8:55 am

    Great post, lots of really useful information. Thanks for sharing. #bloggerclubuk

  17. July 27, 2016 / 9:19 am

    Great tips – and you’re right that often brands are looking for engaged readers and not always big numbers. Writing great content and being professional means the brands will come. #bloggerclubuk
    Cathy (MummyTravels) recently posted…City Tripping #37My Profile

  18. July 27, 2016 / 10:26 am

    This is a great post! really good to hear about what peoples experiences are around brands as it can feel like everyone is getting approached all the time and are fighting off the offers. This is a good insight and advice based post on working at it all and just being ourselves.

    mainy x
    mainy – myrealfairy recently posted…Dorset Facts & Trivia – A myrealfairy infographicMy Profile

  19. July 27, 2016 / 10:48 am

    These are brilliant tips Wendy! I couldn’t agree with them more. I like what you’ve said about a media kit – I’ve been meaning to do one for ages, but honestly have never actually been asked for one so it just keeps getting put on the back burner. I’ve only been asked for my stats twice in 18 months…x #BloggerClubUK

  20. July 27, 2016 / 11:32 am

    Brilliant tips! I’ve been blogging 7 months and amazed by the opportunities that pop in my inbox. I’ve never been asked for my stats either, it’s true about it not always being a numbers game X #bloggerclubuk
    Laura – dear bear and beany recently posted…Creating the Perfect Kitchen…My Profile

  21. July 27, 2016 / 12:09 pm

    Really love these tips! I’m a very small blog just started and got my first event invite. It didn’t fit it with my blog but really shows that numbers aren’t everything. It’s you write that matters!!
    The Unsung Mum recently posted…When Mould Meets Family: A Birth AnnouncementMy Profile

  22. July 27, 2016 / 2:12 pm

    What a great post! I am a new-ish blogger (recently moved from Blogger to WP and rebranded a bit) and I would love to find some sponsored posts to do! Your tips are excellent. I am doing a few reviews but nothing paid as yet. Your post is refreshing!
    Jessica Foley recently posted…Bedtime Routines In Our HouseMy Profile

  23. July 27, 2016 / 6:31 pm

    I love this, and it gives a small blogger like me hope! I have been blogging for about 10 months and received my first review last month.

    My stats are still quite low but I think may think about starting to approach some of my favourite brands because as you said the worst they can say is no!! #bloggerclubuk

  24. July 28, 2016 / 12:30 am

    ‘Being you’ is perhaps the most important tip of all, both in terms of the content you produce and which brands you choose to work with. If it feels wrong, it probably is wrong. I am very selective about what I choose to do – working with brands and sponsored posts simply isn’t a priority for me – and I’m always happy to wait for the right opportunity to come along, even if that means saying no to everything for 4 months.

    Being polite and replying to all emails is also a good idea. I often fail at this – there are weeks when I receive 20-30 approaches and I just don’t have time to say no but I do try to reply politely as much as I can. You never know where a ‘no’ today might lead down the line. I’ve had PRs I’ve politely declined 2 or 3 times come back to me with great collaborations later. #BloggerClubUK

  25. July 28, 2016 / 7:07 am

    Absolutely love this post as I am a newbie and really interested in working with brands soon. I will come back next week, please link your next post so that I remember to see it lol. #ablogginggoodtime
    the frenchie mummy recently posted…Summer holiday in Norfolk – Day 1My Profile

  26. July 28, 2016 / 8:01 am

    Thank you definitely good to read. I’m in the early stages of blogging and looking for ways to build my following and review for brands. It will take time but I’m committed to following your advice! Thanks and well done @mumurmarvellous

  27. July 28, 2016 / 10:32 am

    This does give me a little hope! I definitely have days when I am cramming my blogging into any spare moment I can muster and I sometimes wonder whether it is worth it. I’ve had a couple of emails recently where PR have said they want to work with me as they like my content etc and then come back and say – “oh, we’ve checked your DA and it needs to be over 25, sorry”. I know a lot of my back links aren’t even showing on Moz and apparently that is normal, not all pages get crawled and noticed so I it makes me wonder why it is so cut and dry sometimes! I am going to try and join some sites that link bloggers and brands together 🙂 #fartglitter
    Sarah – Arthurwears recently posted…My husband steals my toothbrush…My Profile

  28. July 28, 2016 / 5:49 pm

    Loved reading this post, as a newbie blogger it can be a minefield trying to get your blog ‘out there’ we contacted a company after only 6 weeks for sponsorship for BritMums this year, not only did they sponsor us we now have a great working relationship with them. Just goes to show being honest and yourself is what people want to see. Looking forward to reading your next post.

  29. Catherine
    July 28, 2016 / 7:09 pm

    This is brilliant! I’ve only just started my blog and am pretty clueless! Lol! Learnt a lot in the first week or so though ans really excited to see what happens! Great to know that things can come from it! X #ablogginggoodtime

  30. July 28, 2016 / 8:00 pm

    This is so encouraging. I have been blogging for 6 months now, and my stats are not the best, but it’s so good to hear your tips. I think a personal touch and being honest is a great way to go. I also need a work with me page, some things for me to think about. Thanks for sharing. x #ablogginggoodtime
    Let your light shine Mummy recently posted…I Hate SlugsMy Profile

  31. July 28, 2016 / 8:45 pm

    Money is really tight for me and this is what I am aiming for to have something extra! Thanks for sharing! Really helpful! #ablogginggoodtime
    Merlinda Little (Glimmer of Hope) recently posted…Who’s Bad?My Profile

  32. July 29, 2016 / 8:33 am

    Great tips! Sounds like you’re doing great – most of the brands I’ve worked with I’ve had to approach them so be really proud that they are contacting you 🙂 #anythinggoes
    Laura recently posted…Miscarriage after PNDMy Profile

  33. July 29, 2016 / 3:59 pm

    Thanks for the post – I just got my first sponsored opp and have done a few reviews, so this is perfect timing! #ablogginggoodtime

  34. July 29, 2016 / 5:57 pm

    Fab post for a newbie like me, I am slowly growing followers etc but with working don’t have loads of time in between that and chasing after my Leo! But this gives me hope that is not all about super stats just being consistent and enjoying what you do. Thank you for linking with #ablogginggoodtime xx
    Jade The Parenting Jungle recently posted…Sebamed Uk Baby Range Review And Giveaway #pHerfectMy Profile

  35. July 29, 2016 / 9:47 pm

    Some good tips. I think a lot of it is just keep doing what you’re doing and don’t assume it’ll be easy. Some bloggers do have their blogs take off really quckly and attractng the big opportunities but others it takes longer. #ablogginggoodtime
    Emma T recently posted…The easiest (and delicious) pear and chocolate tart everMy Profile

  36. Jaylan - Diapers at Dawn
    July 30, 2016 / 8:26 am

    Thanks for the great tips, I was wondering whether to put together a media kit, because like you’ve mentioned a lot of bloggers have stressed the importance of one, but now I think I’ll hold out. Will be checking back for tips in part 2! x #BloggerClubUK

  37. August 1, 2016 / 9:37 am

    Your two posts on working with brands are super helpful, thank you! How cool to hear from a new-ish blogger who’s working with brands and hasn’t been around for years! You’re positive posts give us all hope ha ha. I’ll be following some of your tips. Agree it’s hard when a brand asks you to set the fee especially when we all know they have budgets to work to! Sunita at
    Sunita recently posted…Lucky Things Baby: 7 tips for managing visitors after baby’s arrivalMy Profile

  38. December 21, 2016 / 11:18 pm

    Very useful thanks Wendy 🙂 Some great tips in here, mostly based on being courteous which is important in any situation. I will be returning to this post, thanks! 🙂

  39. April 16, 2017 / 6:51 pm

    I really love this post, and I love the way you write! So reassuring for a newish blogger like me…and true honest kindness shines through. Keep up the good work

  40. April 8, 2018 / 5:11 pm

    Really interesting, thanks Wendy. I’ve only just started with a couple of brands and was also very surprised when the first email came in! I am hoping to earn a small income eventually so this has been very encouraging. I like your advice about writing some emails, I think I need to work on that next.

  41. June 13, 2019 / 4:24 am

    Just getting started on my pregnancy/parenting blog! I loved reading these tips and it is really encouraging to hear that companies are willing to work with smaller bloggers, even if it takes a while. Looking forward to reading part 2!