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Advice for Bloggers: How To Create Ideal Partnerships With Brands

When I’m in a room full of bloggers, I’m usually the one who’s been blogging the longest, one of the very few who has made blogging my career, and usually the only one who has a practice to coach, mentor, and guide other mom bloggers in terms of making money blogging.

In my experience, many people consider blogging more of a hobby than a profession. A profession is something you get paid to do, and if you choose to monetize your blog, you can make a considerable income, and in many different ways.

One of the ways a mom can make money as a blogger is by creating partnerships with brands. What this means is to develop content in collaboration with brands that want to reach your readers, creating a win across the board for all parties.

Unfortunately, this ideal scenario is not always the case. Because a blogger/brand partnership goes beyond the talent fee and tapping into each others’ networks.There are specific steps you can follow to increase the odds of landing the brand partnership of your dreams and to avoid saying YES to agreements that don’t support your blogging voice, values, or goals.

Yesterday, Janette, one of my mentees asked in our private community for one of my virtual camps: how do you partner up with brands?” and it inspired me to write about this topic to satisfy the non-blogger curiosity of can you really make money blogging?,” and the anxiety of the aspiring or beginning blogger: how do I monetize my blog?”

advice for bloggers: how to create ideal partnerships with brands

There are five ways to lay a successful foundation to partnering with brands in a way that provides ideal outcomes for everyone. These have worked for many mom bloggers I’ve mentored.

The Positive Mom checkGet clear on your passions, your core values, and your most burning priorities. Whenever I mentor moms, whether they stay at home as full time homemakers or run a profitable enterprise, we start with The Passion Test – no, not the book, although the book is helpful, but the process! I am a Certified Passion Test Facilitator and have been trained to help others be successful in going through it.

Many people will think that reading the book is enough, but someone that has invested in two hours with a facilitator will tell you what a difference it makes and just how worth it is!

Before I design a website, create a marketing strategy for a book launch, or guide a mom in her quest to raise positive kids, I take that mom or mompreneur through The Passion Test. and through my Clarity Processes.

You must be unquestionably clear about what most matters to you so whatever it is you choose to do, be, have, or create, truly aligns with your passions and your divine purpose. Next up, you will broadcast these principles you live by, and make sure they are included in your elevator pitch or mission statement, and About Me page, Media Page, and every piece of your marketing both online and offline. 

The Positive Mom checkDetermine what you need to live a life you love. In order to give your best to a brand and, in turn, to be completely organic, authentic, and enthusiastic about your posts, you must feel that the partnership is beneficial to you.

Yes, you must get paid in money that you can use to pay your business expenses and third party suppliers, as well as real money for those things you want to buy or invest in with your salary. 

I said “real money” because while my family has had amazing experiences and received incredible gifts through my blogging, the grocery store, the utilities companies, and the landlord require dollar bills to consider themselves paid.

And speaking of landlords, I bought my house with profits from my blog – yeah, the deposit, the closing costs, and everything else – and I use my blogging income to pay my mortgage. Perks are great and I’m grateful for my perks. It’s ironic that that’s usually what people focus on when they consider me successful, but I also have to get real and understand that I can’t pay my bills with perks. 

Now that I stepped off that soap box, let’s also talk about how a fair free for your sponsored content is not enough compensation in itself. A partnership goes beyond money.

I believe that in order to create an ideal partnership with a brand, they must fill a need, or better said, they have products, services, and messages that are meaningful to you and create value for your readers.

You must be clear on your expectations and define what you want out of the partnership, what you want your readers to get out of the partnership, and what you want the sponsoring brand to get out of your partnership. It all starts with what I call “a brand partnership wish list.”

How do you get started with your brand wishlist? 

Think about your top three topics, your top 5 passions, and your top 5 values, and start matching them up with brands you know.

For example, if you are someone who loves travel and will create content around a lifestyle that includes travel, you will include airlines, hotels, car services, and destinations that you may want to reach out to. These categories will get you started and some brand names may even come to mind.

Many of us won’t write a list of brands we want to collaborate with because the inner bully will start the chatter telling you how you’re not qualified or they wouldn’t work with you or what if they say no, or you don’t have enough followers, or blah blah blah. Ignore it all and write.

The Positive Mom checkResearch brands that share your passions, values, and priorities.  Now that you know what brand categories you want to partner with, it’s time to research actual companies and figure out what they stand for. 

This step is critical because so many times I’ve seen a blogger who regrets a partnership because they did not know enough about the company or the campaign before they said “I do.”

I have had some horrific experiences with brands over the years and they have taught me a thing or two about research, and yeah, sometimes you don’t find out until you’re deep into the relationship, but much can be avoided.

Be proactive and dig deep so you can be genuinely excited [and know what to say] when spreading the word about those brands. Life is just happier when you partner with your favorite brands (big and small) and you write about what you love.

For example, one of my Top 5 Passions includes “to equip, empower, and encourage moms to create JOY, MEANING, and FREEDOM” [this is actually the purpose of my blog, too!], so it is no surprise or a coincidence that many of the brands I collaborate with provide messages and resources that do just that.

We must be very intentional in only seeking collaborations and saying YES to collaborations that would align with our purpose. The great news is that we live in a blessed time, which I am so grateful for, and most of the information we need is just a Google search away.

The Positive Mom checkCreate useful, helpful, valuable content that aligns with those values.  You’ve heard it over and over, right? Content is king. If you want to create a successful blog, whether that means monetization, traffic, engagement, perks, or all of the above, your content must be compelling and crafted to fill your focus audience’s needs. 

The brands that are truly ideal aren’t looking for someone with xyz number of followers or that look a certain way – they are looking to partner with bloggers who are inspiring storytellers, have a defined focus and overarching theme and strategy, and bloggers who show a track record of consistency. 

Why does this matter? It’s simple: these blogs tend to be the most successful in moving people to action. Brands want to work with bloggers who are true digital influencers who effectively and creatively communicate with the audience they want to reach and help.

The Positive Mom checkLet your ideal brands know you are open to partnering. When you are ready to present a solid proposal that will excite the brand you want to partner with (because of the tremendous value it will add to their marketing goals), proximity is power.

A lot of people think of this step as “pitching,” because presenting your information with the hope of a signing a contract is much like a sales pitch. However, it is simply the possible start of a relationship. You are exploring to see how good of a fit you are for one another and whether a collaboration can be a win-win and help your audience in the process. 

10 tips to help you land ideal brand collaborations

The Positive Mom check

Have your contact information in a very prominent place on your website. Many bloggers miss out on opportunities because it’s hard to contact them!

The Positive Mom check

Customize your WordPress theme to look credible and to reflect your values, passions, and personality, so you can position yourself in a clear way that will attract brands who are seeking someone with your story and expertise.

The Positive Mom checkInstall Google Analytics to measure your traffic and traffic sources. Statistics are not everything; however, you will benefit from measuring your growth, and you’ll need to report your metrics so the brand can look at the overall exposure they received. 

The Positive Mom checkBroadcast your purpose! When your blog categories reflect the activities, people, places, products, services, causes, and concepts you are passionate about, it’s easy for brands to know whether they can find a way to partner with you.

The Positive Mom checkPost your intention to connect with brands. You can add a tab with information about your business purpose, business model, and a professional and brief media kit to outline the amazing benefits of partnering with you.

The Positive Mom checkClearly specify HOW you are willing to partner with brands: long term or short term, doing reviews, hosting giveaways, hosting Twitter parties or live events, creating sponsored content (and what type: copy, audio, video, social posts…). 

The Positive Mom checkIt is equally important to clearly specify what you are unwilling to do and to set boundaries for yourself. 

The Positive Mom checkConnect with your favorite brands online: like their Facebook page, follow them on Twitter, RT the content, repin, and repost the grams that resonates with you and will resonate with your audience.

The Positive Mom check

You can do brand discovery by joining blogger networks that work with those brands or going to blogger conferences where your favorite brands are sponsoring, exhibiting, or attending.

The Positive Mom checkFind out the point of contact or PR agent for the brand and contact them directly to share your best idea (one that that supports THEM, your audience, and your purpose). Twitter, LinkedIn, and press releases are great ways to find them!

Remember, when you focus on how much value you can deliver to the brands you love and are an ideal fit for your readers who trust you to be transparent, and how your collaboration will impact your audience, you will attract fantastic results. These outcomes will increase as you learn to more clearly articulate your value.

Brands and bloggers can make beautiful music together when it is profitable for everyone involved. As you start taking these steps and not only getting the YESes! you want to hear, but also attract partnerships that will just show up and you’ll be compensated to promote what you love.

How do you create long lasting partnerships with brands or any type of partnerships in your work or life? I am looking forward to your comments!


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Elisha Fernandez

Friday 30th of August 2019

I need to re-evaluate my own brand wish list and get specific on the how I want to partner with them. I need to list out demographics - how my audience and theirs aligns and what we can do together that’ll be beneficial to both. Building a relationship is the same as partnering. It takes time to build trust, but it is worth it!

Elyssa Fernandez

Friday 30th of August 2019

I haven't pitched a brand in a while, so I'm glad I have this to look back on and implement. My favorite thing that you say here is to thoroughly research brands, and find ones that share our values and priorities, because these brands will usually also share our audience.

I love your emphasis on being clear with what we are willing to do, and what we are not. I've seen too many partnership disasters because they did not have a clear agreement.

As for creating valuable content around the values the brand represents, you are an excellent example of that. You seamlessly weave the brand's messaging into your story-telling, and the brand reps and your readers adore you for it. It's my goal to do that with my own partnerships.

Rebecca Bryant

Sunday 25th of August 2019

Wow, this really lay sit out as to how to make sure a partnership is right. I would say out of most of my partnership only a couple have truly matched my passion for kindness, strength, confidence, and joy. I definitely need to be more aware of who I am working with and how it will become a long term relationship.