Day 21: Working With Brands: Approaching Them and Not-Selling Out To Your Readers --25 Days To A Better Beauty and Fashion Blog Challenge #SBBC / by Erin Baynham

This post is part of the Scandalous Beauty 25 Days To A Better Beauty And Fashion Blog Challenge! For even more tips, be sure to check out Erin's Guide to Better Beauty Blogging. One of the most frequent blogging questions that I get is about working with brands...aka getting freebies. Here's the bottom line, PR people are inundated with these requests all the time. There are also a lot of bloggers that have ruined it for us. They've openly talked about blogging for free products, trips and money. With that said, I think pitching brands is a trickier situation. Getting free products doesn't happen the day after your blog begins, and it shouldn't be your main reason for blogging, in my opinion.

  • Learn about the brands on your own first. Personally, I don't like to pitch brands unless I've already done my fair share of reviews. Buy the products before you ask. Review them ahead of time. Show the PR people that you're not just looking for freebies.
  • Many brands will want to know how far your blog reach will be. If they "invest" products/time/money on you, they want to make sure it isn't a waste. Never lie about your statistics. They will find out.
  • Have your media kit ready. If you don't have one, make one. It shows that you really take blogging seriously.
  • Don't take it personally. I've been turned down by companies over the years. Remember, brands are working with national press, celebrities, bloggers and probably more that I'm not even aware of. Ask yourself this question: "Why would this company take the time to work with me, and how will I be a benefit to them?"
  • Make your brand stand out and try to make it irresistible for people to work with you. With that being said, don't tell the companies that they have to work with you (I'm in PR, I've seen it. Many times.)

Be Honest

If a PR company sends you something that you hate, do not sell-out to your readers just to please the brand. I can't even tell you how many crappy products I've bought/have been sent to me over the years. I usually tell the rep that I really dislike the products and I won't feature them on my blog. I don't love bashing products, although I've done it before. This usually leads to a twitter rant or quick review.

Finish the Deal

After you've featured/reviewed the products, be sure to send the rep your blog post link. Continue to build the relationship by following up with anything that may show how effective your blog post really was.