Getting Sponsored: How To Make Brands Come To You!

I am all about pitching brands to make collaborations happen, but it feels good to feel wanted. Today on the blog I am going to share a couple of ways to create an online presence so that brands want to contact YOU, not the other way around.

When brands contact you, it feels like the ball is in your court. You can feel comfortable to ask for the sponsored post rate that you want without feeling guilty. Don't sit around and wait, obviously, be proactive! But, you can do these simple things that will make more brands want to come to you.

Getting Sponsored: How To Make Brands Come To You | How do you get brands to notice your existence? This is a question that many bloggers ask. Today I am going to share a few simple ways that you can grab a brands attention through SEO, networking, and being an open book.

1. Work On Your SEO

Search engine optimization is key for getting people to your website. Even Pinterest feels and acts like a search engine with how much work you can put into optimizing things like board names and the keywords you put in your descriptions.

When people want to look for something, they go to Google or they hop over to Pinterest. Companies do the same thing when they want to find new and interesting people to pitch their sponsored post ideas to.

So, you need to make sure that you are clear about who you are, what you do, and who you help. Then, once you have that down, you need to focus on how to say that with search engine optimization.

Over the summer I did a huge four post series all about search engine optimization that I feel you will find helpful. Check out all of them down below:

2. Put Your Email Address Everywhere On Social Media

It's hard for people to contact you if they can't find your email address.

For many big companies, a direct message just isn't going to cut it. They need to be able to chat with you over email so they can send you links, attachments, and just have a paper trail. Social media is great, but it's not the most professional place to discuss payments, contracts, and post ideas.

So, you need to have a way for brands to contact you when they want to.

Many bloggers don't want to put down their email address because they feel it will lead to spam or unwanted emails, but some brands are not going to go the extra mile to DM you and find your contact information from there.

You could be consistently missing out on brands all because you don't have a way from them to contact you.

This is an easy fix that you can implement today so what are you waiting for?!

3. Create A Work With Me/Contact Page On Your Site

In my opinion a contact or work with me page is an essential part of your site.

On my blog The Happy Arkansan I have both a Contact and a Work With Me page.

I think they both serve different purposes.

  • My Contact page is for general inquires. I get most of my contacts from that page and it serves as kind of a general way for a variety of people to contact me.
  • My Work With Me page is geared towards brands and them having a way to see my rates, see other brands I have worked with, see my stats, and see some of the pictures I have produced.

Essentially, I treat my Work With Me page as a media kit that companies can look at and I can update every couple of weeks as I work with new brands and create new photo shoots.

When you have these pages on your blog, you can entice people who might be interested in learning more about your services. You also make it easier for them to contact you.

4. Create Great Content For Your Readers Involving Other Brands

You don't have to have a collaboration to discuss brands.

You obviously want to be careful of this because you don't want to end up stopping a future collaboration because you talked about a competitor brand in the last couple months, but when brands start seeing the type of content you can create, they will feel more inclined to sponsor you.

So, think about what you already have at your house. What brands do you love? Think up a story that you could tell that may involve that brand, and share that story with your readers.

Brands nowadays are looking for more than just a product review. As a small blogger, a product review won't be in your wheelhouse more than likely because it's hard to get people to click on just a product review unless you have a huge audience.

So, you need to hone your storytelling capabilities. I used to think I was awful at this, but after having multiple sponsorships under my belt, I have come to realize that it is a skill you can learn and get better at daily.

Here are a few examples of how you could take your favorite products and make something brand worthy out of it.

  • Your Favorite Lipstick: Write up a blog post, featuring that lipstick, talking about the power of makeup (specifically lipstick) and how you feel when you put on your favorite lipstick brand. To monetize this post, you can include some affiliate links to some of your favorite lipsticks so that your readers can get their makeup on!
  • Your Favorite Drink: How can you transform your favorite drink? Well, recipe posts are pretty popular on Pinterest. You could use that drink to create a few different party perfect punch recipes. Then along with that post you can share some advice on how to create the perfect party drink. You can monetize this post through affiliate links for the drink you used, the ingredients, and even what you served the punch in for the pictures.
  • Your Favorite Yoga Mat: Share your favorite yoga poses for stress relief or something of that nature. People love to see new things to add to their workout routine, and it could be a great way to mention your favorite yoga mat and of course monetize the post by adding an affiliate link for the yoga mat throughout your post.

When you create this content, brands see that, and they are intrigued by what you could potentially do for them.

Even better, these posts could land you actual sponsorships with your favorite brands. If the posts do well, you have some affiliate income to back it up, and social shares to boot you could definitely pitch these companies with your ideas for future content featuring them and get paid money for it. Brands want to see results, and if you can prove that their products have resonated with your readers before, they are likely to want to work on an actual collaboration in the future.

5. Network With Other bloggers

I have been able to connect with so many brands because my blog friends have connected me to them. Brands are often looking for other bloggers to connect with on sponsored content so they may ask the people they are working with if they know of any bloggers who might be interested in a sponsored post as well. You want your name to be top of mind to other bloggers.

You do this through networking and connecting with other bloggers in your niche.

When you make those connections and those bloggers see you creating great content, they are likely to refer you to the brands they are working with.

So, are you in a bubble or have you made connections with other bloggers? Either way, keep connecting, keep learning, and keep growing your inner circle of blogging buddies.

Conclusion

So, there you have it! Today we discussed five ways that you can make brands come to you. This is so important because it gives you the home field advantage. You can create collaborations on your terms, not the other way around. 

What will you do today to start getting noticed by brands?

How To Pick Your Perfect Lead Magnet

People need more than a simple join my list prompt these days. As a blogger, you should strive to provide value for your readers so they have a reason to enter their email address and click subscribe. 

You entice people to sign up to your email list with a lead magnet. Lead magnets are a simple way to make a connection with your readers, offer them valuable information, and move them up your sales funnel. 

So, how do you pick the perfect lead magnet for your blog? Let's work on that today!

How To Pick Your Perfect Lead Magnet | Creating a great lead magnet can lead you to a blossoming list, but how do you even do that? Today on the blog I am going to be sharing 5+ tips on how to pick your perfect lead magnet so you can focus on the opt-in that will get you the most quality opt-ins!

1. Think About All The Different Lead magnet Options

Before you begin thinking about lead magnets, you may want to consider all the options there are for lead magnet creation. People learn in different ways and certain content just performs better in different formats. When you think of the big picture and see all the lead magnet options out there, you can easily pick the options that work best for you.

I am listing a ton of different lead magnet options, but you have to do one thing for me, make sure that your lead magnet makes sense. We will cover this more in-depth later on, but this is so important for any blogger. If you are a mom blog, stock photos won't really make sense unless your mom blog is geared toward mommy bloggers or people who would benefit from having access to free stock photos. Make your lead magnets work for your brand, not the other way around!

  • Quizzes: Quizzes can be an easy and quick way to generate leads for your website. Learn more about using my favorite quiz lead generation website Interact!
  • Workbooks & Worksheets: Help people take action by providing a number of worksheets or a workbook that helps them achieve something like creating goals or planning a passive income product!
  • Toolkits: Toolkits are SO fun and easy to create. They require very little work on your part, but can be extremely valuable for your readers. Click here to download my guide to creating toolkits.
  • Swipe Files: Do you have an email that works really well and has gotten you hundreds of dollars in sponsorships? Use that as a lead magnet! Do you have an affiliate email series that blows your readers minds every time they read it? Use that too! Swipe files help people create better proposals and emails for their readers, clients, etc. so they are inherently valuable to your ideal audience. 
  • Email Courses: Take my email course New Blogger Motivation so you can see how I structured and made my email course!
  • Webinars: People love informative webinars! Even if you just share a pre-recorded webinar, people will find the opportunity to learn from you valuable. Of course your topic needs to be interesting, but this can be a great way to generate leads.
  • Checklists: This is another lead magnet that is simple and easy to create. You can create checklists on all sorts of topics like: fall closet essentials, what to do after you publish a blog post, pantry staples, etc. Checklists are simple yet valuable because they allow your readers to take action and check things off as they go.
  • Free Consultations: When you are just starting and you have a lot of time on your hands with your business, offering free consultations or free customized advice can be really valuable. When you set up this as a lead magnet, you need to have a very specific set of instructions. These instructions may include: the length of the consultation sessions, the amount of free sessions a person can book, how these free sessions will take place (Skype, phone, email), and more. These free consultation sessions can prove to be extremely valuable though, as they allow you to connect with your ideal audience and understand what questions they have.
  • Stock Photos: Whenever I see stock photos, I never pass them down. If your audience may like stock photos because they are bloggers or business owners, offer them! You don't even have to shoot them, you just have to have permission to share them. For me, I spent some money with the awesome Color U Bold on custom stock photography. With that, I had slightly more photos than I was expecting so I packaged a few up on Dropbox and they are one of my many lead magnets.

2. Consider What Your (potential) Audience needs

Okay, this is the time where you need to do a little internet sleuthing.

What is something that you can provide your audience (or potential audience) that will help them with a problem they are having?

This may be something you keep hearing about in Facebook groups or it may be something that people in your own audience have come to you with questions about. Whatever that thing is, it's important!

Keep a running tab of important questions you see in Facebook groups or get asked about by your audience often. Pay particular attention to the ones that you think you can add the most value to.

Then, you can use one of the many examples of lead magnets I share above (or something completely different) to offer relief for those common questions you keep seeing.

3. Think About What You Have Time To Create

When you are first starting your email list, it can be difficult to focus hard on creating an extreme lead magnet In fact, you may want to start with something very simple like a checklist, a worksheet, a toolkit, or a quiz.

You don't want to spend a tens of hours working diligently on a lead magnet that you aren't even sure if people will want to sign up for.

So, as you are crafting your first or even third lead magnet, really focus on the time aspect.

What lead magnet will get you the best quality leads in the shortest amount of time?

4. Focus On The Bigger Picture First

Your first lead magnets should be able to be used EVERYWHERE on your site. Lead magnets take some time to craft and create, so your first few shouldn't be highly targeted to one specific post. You should create a few quintessential lead magnets that encompass as much of what you want to be known for as they can.

For example, if you are a college blogger, you may focus on many different aspects of college, but what do you want to be known for? Maybe it's your study and organizational tricks. In which case, how can you create a lead magnet that can be used on a wide variety of your content. You may want to put together a checklist to help people have more organized study sessions, or you may want to put together a quiz that helps people analyze how they should change their study or organizational routine.

When your first few lead magnets can be used everywhere, you have a default way to collect leads everywhere. So many people have those boring join my list pop-ups as their main email collection strategy because they don't have a simple lead magnet that they can place everywhere.

Once you create that lead magnet, you can change the entire game!

5. Consider What You Sell (Or Want To Sell)

The truth is, when you are just starting your email list it can seem like you are just trying to shoot in the dark. What can I do to provide value that would get people on my list? Well, that's okay for a couple of your lead magnets, but eventually you need to set your sights on something.

That could be affiliate sales, course sales, e-book sales, whatever, but it's important that at least some of your lead magnets, lead somewhere.

What is the next step that you would like your readers to take after they get on your list?

That could mean using your thank you page to your advantage to discuss a related personal product, including affiliate links in your first email, etc.

Whatever that looks like for you, pick a way to monetize your email list because email lists are not cheap to maintain, and you should be making money back from building yours out.

Bonus: Don't Forget To promote Your Lead Magnet!

Before we say goodbye, I want to share a quick note--don't forget to promote your lead magnet! So many people get frustrated with their lead magnets because they don't take the time to actually promote the lead magnets that they create.

If you don't promote your lead magnet, you can't expect people to find it and sign up for it.

So, use things like Facebook groups, LinkedIn, Twitter, your blog posts, etc. to your advantage. You should be including your preferred lead magnet multiple times throughout your posts, and you should be sharing your lead magnet on social media for people to opt-in.

Focus on where your ideal audience hangs out. My ideal audience often hangs out in Facebook groups, so I make it a point to share my lead magnets in threads when I can so that people know they exists.

When you promote your lead magnet consistently, you can begin to see consistent returns!

How To Create Lengthier Content That You Are Proud Of

Today I am sharing a piece on Krista's blog Blog Beautifully about elements you can add to your blog to make it more robust. I am so excited for that post to go live, and I wanted to offer an extension of that post today.

If you want to create long-form content, but you aren't sure where to begin, this blog will hopefully allow you to see where you can extend your content. This process will allow you to see all the ways that you can create longer content without sacrificing the quality of your content. After all: long-form, quality content is key!

For more on how to create long-form content, check out my article 10 Tips For Creating Remarkable Long-Form Content where I go in more detail on this process.

How To Create Lengthier Content That You Are Proud Of | If you know my blog, you know that I am all about creating long-form content, but it's not always easy to do so. Today on the blog I am sharing my secrets to creating long-form content that you are actually proud of. Click through to learn more about creating blog post standards, evaluating your content, and more.

Create Blog Post Standards

When you create a standard for what you will and will not publish on your blog, you get yourself into the mindset of that standard. Then you can continuously churn out similar, amazing content according to brand standards.

So, what might you include in your blog post standards?

  • Length of blog posts
  • Type of blog posts (think educational vs. inspirational)
  • Who the blog posts should be geared toward (beginner, intermediate, advanced?)

Basically, anything you might include on your Guest Post page, you should also have to follow. If you wouldn't allow a guest poster to submit the blog, you shouldn't publish it under your own name.

Write As Much Content As You Can

When you get ready to create your long-form content, the first thing you should do is write a blog post how you normally would. My process is normally as so:

Brainstorm the idea -> Create An Outline -> Load The Outline Into My Website -> Skip around the outline writing the parts that excite me until I have a first draft

This may take several hours or several days for me. In my eyes, there is no one way of creating content. 

Creating your content, though, is the first step to creating long-form content.

Why I Like To Create Outlines

I love the outline method to creating my blog posts because it allows me to skip around. Once I have the bones of an article done, I can start wherever I would like to start. So, if that means writing the first paragraph first, or even skipping around to the middle paragraph, I can do that.

I also like to create outlines because I am particularly word-y when I don't have an outline to go off of. I LOVE to create long-form content, but I don't like to create content without a cause. When I have a "strict" outline to go off of, I can rein in my words. I put strict in quotation marks here because I do adjust my outline by taking away and adding parts to it after its initial creation.

Evaluate Your Content

After you have written your content to the best of your ability, it's time to evaluate it. Run through this list of questions as you are reading your content out loud. Jot down any places throughout where you think you can improve. You must write it down, because chances are you will forget if you don't.

Am I Rushing Through Any Parts Of This Article?

When I get tired, I rush. I try not to, but at the same time, I know this is true about my writing. So, when I am evaluating my content, I like to mark down where I see myself rushing. Then I go back in later to expand on that part of the blog post so that it gets an equal amount of attention.

Am I Making Assumptions About Your Reader?

Usually when you create a blog you are talking "down" in some capacity. That seems like an awful thing to say, but it's true. You are talking to someone who doesn't know as much as you do about a topic. So, you may be making some assumptions about your readers ability. Obviously, you don't want to break it down like your readers are in pre-school, but you need to be able to see the assumptions you may be making about your readers.

Have I Explained All Concepts Thoroughly?

One of the easiest ways to add content to your articles is to explain concepts. This goes to the making assumptions points, if you assume that your readers know the basics of a certain topic, that can confuse them. So, with certain topics, you may want to make sure you have thoroughly explain the associated concepts.

For example, if you are a parenting blogger, you may know about a lot of different parenting styles. If you are teaching your audience about a new parenting style, you may assume that they know the basics or they can Google it, but don't do that. Yes, your audience can just Google a topic, but why should they have to? Create a section of your article where you discuss the basics of that parenting style instead!

Is It Organized In The Best Way Possible?

Next, how does your organization look? Is it all over the place, or do you have a steady flow? I am a header and subheader lover. All of my content provides my audience with clear headers so that my readers know what's happening and what's to come. When you organize your work, you can also easily find gaps in your work. When you have a lengthy post that's just one long article, it can be easy to write a lot without actually saying anything. So, section off your work so you can see the bigger picture.

Is My Content Actionable?

Last, but not least, is your content actionable? If not, you may want to add a section of your article that is, that way you can add content to your blog, and make it easier to use. If you are creating educational content, you want your readers to be able to use every blog post you share online.

Walk Away From Your Content

In my opinion, one of the best things that you can do for your content is to walk away from it. Take a quick break and let your content breathe for a bit. This is helpful because it allows you to see your content for what it is, instead of what you want it to be.

You Should Never Publish Content You Have worked on one time.

In my humble opinion, you cannot create the best content if you have only worked on it once. That separation allows you to do things like:

  • Catch typos
  • Research the topic
  • Fill in the content gaps that you left the first time
  • Create content in a new state of mind

and so much more! Overall, your content increases in quality just by stepping away for a while.

For Example

When I created the original outline for this article, the header Create Blog Post Standards was not a part of the outline. I went in later and I added that section after a night of sleep, as well as this section to explain that section further. You never know what you might be able to come up with if you leave your blog post for a while.

Add Extra Resources

Your content's long-form nature doesn't have to come in terms of words in your article. The resources that you add with your article can also make a huge impact. Today on Blog Beautifully I shared 10 extra things you can add to any blog post like expert quotes and worksheets that will help expand your article and make it more robust. You will love this article because I provide a ton of ideas on how you can make your article go from good to great!

Conclusion

Today on the blog we discussed how you can create lengthier content that you are actually proud of. It is so important in today's age that the content that we put out is not only lengthy, but content that is well-organized, helpful, and work that we are proud of. Anyone can create content that drones on for days and call it long-form content, but the important thing is that the content you create makes sense. I hope this article has helped you figure out what that content looks like for you!