Writing sponsored blog posts has a ton of advantages.
Not only is it a chance to make great business connections…
But it’s the ideal way to basically get paid for writing your own blog posts!
The part that trips up most people?
How to find brands to work with.
Here’s how I find an endless stream of potential clients…
That my audience will love and I’ll enjoy writing about!
Why Be Selective About the Brands You Work With?
You can pitch anyone and everyone.
If you really want to!
Or you can say yes to every article opportunity that comes your way.
But there are some issues with this method.
- Not all brands are appropriate for your audience
- Some brands don’t have stuff worth writing about
If you write anything and everything (just because you’re getting paid for it)…
Your credibility may suffer.
Your audience may get bored or annoyed.
And you’re wasting time and energy writing a post that probably won’t get great traffic or conversions.
Put some research into brands you REALLY want to work with. Brands that:
- You have some knowledge on.
- You like and respect.
- Have products you’ve used/would like to try.
- Are valuable for your audience.
- Are changing the game in your niche.
Reaching out to these kinds of brands means that if you get the job…
- You’ll be getting paid to write something worthwhile.
- It will fit in with your other content.
- Your audience will find value in your post.
- The client may get some new leads.
- Everyone’s happy—you, them, your readers!
How to Find Brands to Work With
So how do you even choose brands to potentially work with?
Putting together a list of prospects is tough if you aren’t really sure who to look for.
Here are some things that can help you pick brands to pitch to!
Consider these things:
Is It Valuable For Your Audience?
This should underlie everything else on this list.
Every brand you pitch needs to be appropriate for your audience.
If you’re a wholesome mom blog, you’re not going to pitch a whisky brand that uses cursey words and half-nude pictures.
Unless, of course…
Your mom blog is aimed at moms who curse and are a little rough around the edges.
Before pitching anyone, consider if your audience would like them.
That’s what it comes down to.
Search for Brands In…
Your Favourite Blogs
You know those blogs you turn to for inspiration?
Those ones you secretly read and wish you’d written?
They’re excellent places to start pitching.
If you like them, chances are your audience will too.
Keep in mind that sponsored blog posts work best to promote quite specific things.
You CAN write a general post about how much you love the blog…
But it will be much more effective (and the blogger is more likely to say yes)
If you pick one of their products to review.
I recommend actually buying the product (or giving the blogger a lower price in return for receiving the product).
You have to show sincere interest in the product.
Otherwise the blogger may sense that you’re just there for the money…
And you aren’t actually interested in their stuff.
Note: This may work best if you already have a loyal fan base and don’t have similar products to the one you’re reviewing. You don’t want to chase your traffic to the “competition”!
Your Favourite Tools and Products
What tools do you use on a daily or weekly basis?
What products can’t you live without?
For example, here are some tools I absolutely love and use often:
Just to name a few!
These are business tools that I can easily write about on my blog.
My audience would be interested and it’s relevant for business.
Some of these tools will overlap into any niche, but others may be quite specific to the niche.
For example, a music blog may use a particular software to:
- Compose music
- Find rhyming lyrics
- Record music
And so on.
A pet care blog may choose to go for products rather than software.
- Pet shampoo
- Brushes, clippers, etc
The tools you use (and love) are excellent ways to start a conversation with a brand.
Things That Make Your Life Easier
If you’re a mom blog, you’re most likely always looking for things that make your life easier.
And other busy moms would most likely appreciate you sharing your experience.
What makes your life easier every day?
Maybe it’s a trash compactor.
Maybe it’s meditation music.
Or perhaps it’s those CBD drops that take the edge off.
Whatever makes your life easier…
Will most likely resonate with your audience.
This is true for every niche, of course.
- Business: Content management systems, invoicing tools, productivity tools.
- Sports: Things to keep your kit clean, discount equipment.
- Pets: Grooming tools, pick-up-after-your-pet tools, keeping your house clean tools.
- Content Marketing: AI writing tools, content scheduling tools, video creation tools.
Whatever niche you’re in, chances are you can find a bunch of stuff that makes your life easier.
Reach out to these brands and see if you can get a post.
Things Other People Like
There’s a ton of ideas in the people around you.
- Your kids
- Your spouse
- Even competition!
Remember, your audience is surrounded by people too.
Keep it relevant for them, though.
- Business blogs: find out what tools your colleagues use that you don’t.
- Mom blogs: ask your kids what their favourite toys are!
- Food blogs: ask your partner what food brands they love.
Provide Value to Your Audience First
It’s worth mentioning again, because it’s so important!
Don’t go all-in on a sponsored blog post for a new brand of menthol cigarette…
(no matter how much YOU love it)
If your audience is health-oriented fitness buffs.
Make sure the topic and brand fit your audience.
This might mean leaving some of your favourite brands off the table.
But it beats the alternative…
Confusing or annoying your audience.
Test the Product or Tool Before Starting
I advise never writing a post on a tool or product you haven’t actually tried yet.
Writing from experience always conveys more genuine excitement for the product.
And you get a much better feel for the true nature of it.
Plus, you can take original photos or screenshots!
Find Out the Client’s Requirements
Don’t grab it and run with it before you find out what the client wants.
You may have a great idea for a blog post…
But they just want a plain old, step-by-step review.
Find out your client’s requirements and wants before you really get into it.
You don’t want to submit something they aren’t happy with.
Brand/Sponsored Post Checklist:
Tick these boxes before you go ahead and pitch!
- Does the brand provide value to YOUR audience?
- Is the client a reputable brand/blogger/influencer?
- Are you familiar with the tool/product or can you learn?
- Do you genuinely have good things to say about it?
- Do you have time to write a great post for them?
Once you’ve found brands that are worth pitching, it’s time to reach out.
It’s not hard.
“Hi, I’m X and I run a blog about dogs.
I use your [product] every day and it’s changed my German Shepherd’s life!
Are you open to sponsoring a blog post about it?”
Check out this article for a more detailed description of how to craft the ideal pitch!