How to Pitch a Brand: A Step-by-Step Guide + A Free Worksheet!


I know, I know - pitching a brand is such a controversial subject! Bloggers begging for free stuff or living off sponsored products is a popular stereotype after all. However, it shouldn't be like that!

Bloggers often get a bad name for publishing sponsored content, while brands easily get away with using a bunch of bloggers to improve their SEO, only providing them an overpriced product, which actually didn't cost them much at all. Or even worse, giving bloggers a discount on these overpriced products, therefore not really spending anything at all!

If you've been following my blog, you've probably read my June 2016 Blog Income Report, and know that last month I managed to succesfully monetize my blog by pitching brands myself. Jess from The Indigo Hours then kindly requested a post on how I pitched those brands, however I ended up taking this idea way too far, creating a free worksheet for you and everything.

In this post, I'd like to encourage bloggers all over the world, to step out of their comfort zone, stop accepting free products as a payment and pitch a brand that actually values all the hard work we put into our blog posts! (And hopefully, having a worksheet to go with it will also make it more fun for you.)

What do you need to complete this guide?

- A blog: one that is frequently updated and has at least some sort of following. Having your own domain would also be a plus as it automatically makes your blog look more professional.

If you don't already have a domain, but have decided to take blogging seriously, you should get one now. I mean it! Domains aren't expensive. I got my new domain from GoDaddy paying £11.21 for 2 years! (Affiliate link.)

- FREE worksheet (optional).


Step 1: Decide what you want to promote. 

Do some research and choose 5 brands to approach. These don't necessarily have to be brands you've tried before, but brands that sell products you love, use and often write about on your blog would be a great place to start from.

Write down their names, URLs and contact information using my worksheet or a simple text document, so you can copy the emails once you start sending your pitches. The URLs can come in handy too, if you want to do more research on the brand later.

Step 2: Come up with post ideas. 

Any brand you approach will definitely be more happy to receive a mail that is clearly tailored for their products and niche, not just something you copy-paste to every store you find online. Write down how you'd like to promote each brand and try to come up with something more original than a review. For example: a how-to post, a recipe, etc.

Step 3: Create a sponsorship package (or two).

This is the key difference between simply receiving a free product or getting paid to feature that free product! Your pitch should come with specific details about what the brand will receive for the price you ask.

If you've never been paid to feature a product before, it might be a good idea to start at a lower price point first and see how it goes. If you want to see the sponsorship packages I offered, these are included in my brand pitch template, which is the exact proposal I sent out.

Step 4: Write Your Pitch

I don't actually have a media kit that I send out, because I find that it's often not specific enough and needs to be updated constantly, so I decided to create a "sponsorship proposal" instead.

I simply used Google Docs to create 5 documents which included an introduction of my blog + the sponsorship packages I offer. The structure for each proposal was the same, but I did change a few things here and there to bring out certain strengths that could possibly appeal to that specific brand.

By the way, using Google Docs is also a great option, because once you send out the link to your file, not the file itself, you can still make last minute edits to it. Totally took advantage of that.

The actual e-mail that I sent out was rather simple:


Title: Sponsorship Proposal

Hello,

My name is Lona and I'm the owner of a beauty and lifestyle blog called Lona-Jasmiin at www.lonajasmiin.com. I've always been a huge fan of Japanese cosmetics, so I've decided to put together a "sponsorship package" specifically tailored for your brand.

-Link to Google Docs file- 

 Please have a look and let me know if you're interested in advertising with me.

All the best,

Lona Pampa
http://lonajasmiin.com


And the anwser was yes!

PS! If you filled out the worksheet I created, your proposal should be ready in no time. This also includes an example summary of the proposal I sent out + suggestions what to include in your sponsorship package.

And if that's not enough, you can download the exact proposal I used here. I do want to help other bloggers & share my pitch, however I decided to put a small price on it, just to ensure that brands won't receive 100 pitches that look exactly the same in the future . Imagine how strange that would be!

Step 5: Send it out! (Obviously.)

In my opinion, the hardest part is actually waiting for the replies. However, once you secure a brand partnership, remember to also keep them updated regularly: let them know when you are planning to publish your post(s) and how things are going!

And that's it. Before you go, I'd really appreaciate some feedback! Did you try out the worksheet I created and was it any help? :)

EDIT: If you feel like this is something you'd like to do, but think your blog is not quite there to start asking money from brands, I also offer blog consulting to get you all ready!

Lastly, if you don't have time to do this all right now, pin this post for later!



14 comments

  1. I agree, bloggers should stop to receive free products as payment and let brands or companies enjoy their improved SEO. I have subscribed you :D Thank you for always bringing interesting topics!
    Pls kindly check out my blog as well... www.xiaovee.com :) Thank you

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    1. I'm glad you liked the post! I think lots of bloggers (including me in the past) accept free products way too easily not realizing we should actually get paid for both our time AND the advertising space we offer - the free product is often not worth enough.

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  2. Awesome post Lona!! You have a great point when you mention that companies are making profit off these bloggers, I usually accept these free products without asking for payment (i'm usually afraid to do so) but your post really puts up a new perspective. Thank you!!


    http://toomanybiases.blogspot.pt

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    1. Hi Claudia! It's good to see you back here and I'm glad you liked the post! :)

      I also find that a lot of these companies that contact you first are rarely interested in paying any extra, so asking for payment can be quite difficult haha.

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  3. Oi kui hea postitus!

    Olen nii nõus, et peaks lõpetama niisama asjade reklaamimise!

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    1. Rõõm kuulda, et meeldis! Ma saan aru, et see oleneb muidugi ka natuke lugejate arvust jne, aga ma uurisin ja leidsin et SEO-ga tegelevad firmad küsivad ühe backlingi eest (ilma igasuguse lisa reklaamita) u $40, so why should we charge less? :D

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  4. Thank you so much for this! :) I'm so excited to give this a try this week, the resource is so useful! I have followed you on bloglovin' as I'm so excited about all of your content :) xx

    Alice | Whiskey Jars Blog

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    1. Hi Alice! I'm happy to hear you found it useful and I'd love to hear back from you once you try it out! :)

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  5. I've already tweet this post and you know how much I love it! So useful xx

    _Aishettina_

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  6. This was so helpful and I will definitely be downloading the worksheet you created.

    Thank you,

    Lauren | laurmatthews.blogspot.com

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    1. Thank you! I'm happy you found it helpful and I'd love to hear back from you once you finish the worksheet! :)

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  7. absolutely love this post!! so helpful and thoughtful! the worksheet is definitely going to help my confidence when approaching brands! xxx

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    1. Hi Lorna! I'm so glad to hear you liked the post! :)

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