Wednesday, January 28, 2015

blogger collaboration 101: part two

last week, i talked about how to get started collaborating with other bloggers. to read that post, click here!

collaborating with businesses is not always as intuitive as working with fellow bloggers can be. and honestly, it can be intimidating. i remember not having the slightest clue about how to work with a business. i learned the ropes gradually, and now, i'm a lot more confident. this post is mostly going to be about approaching businesses you'd like to work with.

  • identify who you want to work with. start small. start local. is there a new local restaurant in town? is there a fabulous candle company owned by a friend of a friend? i fully believe in giving a voice to smaller, locally owned businesses. working with larger companies is ok too. just don't forget your local friends.
  • have your list (yes, make a list!) of companies? get the right contact. it is so imperative to do your best to locate the name of someone at the company you can chat with. if it's a small company, odds are the person answering your emails is the owner themselves. find this information and address your emails accordingly. if you search to the ends of the earth and can't find this, double check your email and make sure you sound absolutely sincere in your pitch. when i receive emails that don't use my name, i tend to automatically assume it's spam/someone who did no research. add details to your email that assure the recipient you actually viewed their site and understand their business.
  • here's the most important tip i have to offer: this collaboration is not about begging for products or asking to be recognized. initially, this collaboration is about how you can help benefit this business. keep this in mind. that's what you're here for. you're the voice. bloggers are the new media. do not ask what this business can do for you - ask what you can do for this business. i get it. you want the free eyeshadow. and while many companies are practically throwing samples out the window, a lot aren't. you need to build trust first.
  • the initial email is not the time to play hardball. you're coming out of the dark, introducing yourself and establishing a conversation. wait until you receive an interested response from the company before getting explicit about what you want. once you've got a company's interest, this email is also the time to talk numbers if they ask - your blog stats, traffic and what sort of reach you feel you can provide. be honest. talk about your social media following as well, or any important roles you play in your local community that bring activity to your blog. stats aren't the only thing you have to offer.
  • some businesses don't, well, "get it". many have not worked with bloggers or similar methods of promotion before. this is where you have to get blunt. ask for what you want after a few initial emails. "i am very interested in sharing _____ with my readers. could i try a sample so that i can adequately express my thoughts in a post?

ready? here's a sample "cold call" pitch email with an imaginary company.

dear ______,

my name is meredith davis and i blog over at www.meredithnoelle.com. i just discovered alabama candle company and have really enjoyed reading about your products on your website. as an alabama native, i am passionate about supporting all things local, and as a candle collector, you've kind of already got me sold.

my blog has a loyal readership of both alabama natives and other bloggers across the country. i would love the opportunity to help y'all get the word out about your endeavors, and would be happy to chat with you about promoting alabama candle company on my blog and social media. please let me know how i can help.

looking forward to hearing from you!

collaborating with other bloggers + businesses are two imperative skills for a seasoned blogger. do you have any other topics in this series you'd like to see?

further reading:


  1. These are good tips! I have only worked with brands through networks (BlogHer, Clever Girls, etc.). I haven't approached any brands directly (yet), but it is something I want to explore. Thanks for posting!

  2. This is wonderful! I need to share this with all of the people who email me asking for freebies to review/share with their 12 followers haha

  3. You're so right about all of this, Meredith! I agree that collaborations should be mutually beneficial for both parties. I really appreciate you including my blog party sponsorship guide, as well.

    1. Thanks Susannah! Of course I had to include your link, it helped me immensely regarding learning how to approach sponsors!


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