How You Can Connect With Brands For Sponsored Posts

how to connect with brands, how to make money blogging, sponsored blogging, how to get stuff for free, work with brands as blogger influencer, influencer marketing

This post contains affiliate links and was originally published on May 18th, 2017.


*Ask Rachel* ICYMI You can submit any question on any topic via the contact form on my site. My advice back to you will likely get featured on the blog in this series!


One reader asks:

For Ask Rachel, I was wondering how you got involved with companies and products for sponsored posts and ads like Walmart for your Instagram and blog posts?

Thanks so much for your question! I think as bloggers it can feel confusing when trying to connect with brands for collaborations. Below I am going to break down four ways to connect with brands for sponsored posts.  At the end of the post, I share how to get a one-on-one “pick my brain” session with me for FREE!

 

 

How To Connect With Brands For Sponsored Posts:

1) Blog Networks.

Blog networks are a great place when starting out. Basically you join them and the network acts as the middleman between you and the brand. You submit pitches for their open campaigns and then get a notice if you’ve been selected. Some networks require you to have a certain number of followers or page views, and those usually pay better.

Networks will save you time when working with brands. However, you’ll ultimately make less money as they take their cut of the budget.

* A lot of bloggers I talk to set their rates comparable to what networks offer for campaigns – DON’T DO THIS! Typically, networks will take around 50% of the allotted budget for their work as the middleman. Meaning brands were actually willing to pay you double the number you’re seeing! Personally, when I first started out, I set my rates at $250 which is what most networks paid out… little did I know brands were actually willing to pay $500 (hence why it’s better to work with them directly).

Some networks I love include: Clever Girls, Social Fabric, and Pollinate. – but there are tons out there, so explore to find ones you like!

2) They Contact Me.

Have a media kit ready to send off for press inquiries at a moments notice! Also make sure it’s easy for brands to contact you through your site. I would also recommend having a contract ready to send brands to sign when moving forward with the agreement; it simply keeps things clear down the road. Be professional and punctual with your responses.

3) Referrals.

Okay, truth, I am typically the one doing the referring… Not too many bloggers are keen on this which I am super surprised about. Maybe it’s the coach/therapist in me, but I believe in making appropriate referrals when I can’t serve someone. Several companies have reached out to me for campaigns which didn’t work out for one reason or another and I offered to introduce them to fellow bloggers that might better serve them. In fact, it’s happened so often now that I’ve decided to create a little database for myself. To be added, simply click here and fill out the form (no stats are taken, just your blog/instagram, location, age, niche, etc.). If you’re a good blogger, you won’t work with brands on campaigns that don’t align. Use those moments as an opportunity to build a relationship with the PR person. Make his/her life easier by referring them to someone whose audience would better align. Not only will you get brownie points for helping them, hopefully other bloggers will keep you in mind and return the favor.

>>> Submit your info to be added to my referral list! <<<

4) Pitch them.

Working directly with brands is the key to making real money as a blogger. Aside from the money, it’s also a major key in maintaining your authenticity and credibility with your audience! There are two major resources I recommend if you’re thinking about pitching brands or working with them directly: BossPitch and Slightly Savvy Summer Camp!

Summer Camp was started by a Katherine from Slightly Savvy. She’s worked in PR managing influencer campaigns for global brands before starting her own firm. She understands collaborations from both perspectives. Seriously, just read one of her posts on working with brands and you will see just how valuable her insights are! She decided to launch “Summer Camp” to share insider “fireside” chats if you will, about what PR people are really looking for from bloggers and how you as a blogger can stand out! Over the course of 5 days, she is interviewing other PR professionals to answer our questions as influencers and how we can position ourselves as the dream blogger to work with!

>>> Sign Up For Summer Camp Here <<<

Next up is Bosspitch. Truth, before taking it, I never pitched a single brand. I thought I was too small to work with brands directly, and felt self conscious. I would constantly write down brands I wanted to work with, then just stare blankly at my computer screen when it came time to take action.

Through BossPitch, I realized I was leaving money on the table! With a newfound confidence, I increased my rates. Based on the difference (of my increased rates), the course more than paid for itself after just two campaigns! In other words, my rates were high enough that I didn’t “double them” right off the bat, but I was able to pay for the course in less than two campaigns based off the difference from what I did increase them to!

I continue to see the investment pay off. In fact, in just a couple of months I more than doubled my rates; which were already 4x higher than friends who had been blogging for over 4 years! I’ve also gotten over $5,000 in furniture for my new house and continue to work on some big deals. Here’s a little video testimonial I put together for the course (sorry in advance for my frazzled look and rough edits, I was working on a deadline and kept getting really excited about the course that I would go on long tangents ?):

 

If you sign up for BossPitch using my affiliate code, then you will also get a 60 minute one-on-one session with me for free! 

This session can be used to talk about pitching, or ANYTHING blog/business related! Whether you want to talk about pitching, a blog audit, graphic design, content strategy, social media strategy, or a little bit of everything! That’s right, a $275 value, 60 minute “pick my brain” session for FREE.

If you still want more info on BossPitch, visit this post and if you scroll down to the bottom there is a video Q&A with some past students about there experience!

I’ve linked the my exact dress from Heartloom (first) as well as some cheaper options(affiliate links):

RELATED READS:

How To Price Yourself & Ask For Payment When Getting Started

How To Grow Your Email List With 3 Creative Lead Generators

5 Things To Do When Feeling Defeated & Depleted 

7 Of The Biggest Blogging Mistakes

10 Lessons From My First Year Blogging

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  • Harmony at Momma To Go
    May 18, 2017 at 8:10 am

    I need to sign up w a network. I imagine it’s a good way to get your feet wet even if it pays less

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 18, 2017 at 9:41 am

      For sure! That’s where I started!

  • Lecy | A Simpler Grace
    May 18, 2017 at 8:19 am

    Great tips, Rachel! It can be scary for a new blogger to take the leap into working with brands. I love your practice of referring brands to other bloggers if you aren’t the right fit for them. That’s a great idea!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 18, 2017 at 9:41 am

      For sure! I waited 6 months before I would let myself think about it because i wanted a strong foundation and not to get distracted. And thank you! I wish referrals would become more of an industry standard instead of all those cloak and dagger, close to the chest shenanigans haha

  • Johanne
    May 18, 2017 at 8:30 am

    Sooo interesting! Do you know any blog networks that have international (or European) opportunities? I think I’m not ready yet to be working with brands (views, readers, amount of blog posts etc), but I’m interested in knowing all about it.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 18, 2017 at 9:40 am

      Not off of the top of my head – but I do know for sure they exist! I was in one when I firsssttttt started blogging that was just for products (not compensation – which I don’t recommend) that had US and EU opportunities! So I am sure there are paid ones out there too!

  • Nancy Powell
    May 18, 2017 at 8:59 am

    This is good info. We are considering starting this at my blog.

  • Anmaria Djong
    May 18, 2017 at 10:06 am

    Wow..I didn’t know there is such course, it seems like really great course from what you describe. I wish the price could be a little cheaper, but I do consider it once I save up for it. Thanks for sharing this.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:24 am

      It’s such a game changer! It’s really worth every penny! Every person I’ve talked to made there money back within the first 2-3 campaigns and then it just keeps paying for itself over and over!

  • Claire Lee
    May 18, 2017 at 10:39 am

    I actually read this thoroughly because this post is informative & I really want to connect with more brands!! Thank you Rachel for this information <3

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:24 am

      You’re welcome! Definitely check out BossPitch if you want to kick up your brand connections! It’s a total game changer for taking your future into your own hands!

  • Individually Chic
    May 18, 2017 at 11:27 am

    This is awesome! I’ve opened the blog networks in other tabs that you suggested. About to check it out! This was super informative and helpful.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:25 am

      Glad it was helpful! Definitely don’t rely on networks though! They could shut down, not pay you, and a bunch of other horror stories I’ve heard! Pitching the brands yourself is really how you take control of your income!

  • Valerie Hansen
    May 18, 2017 at 11:29 am

    wow I have been blogging for 3 years…and still not making much …this is an area I struggle in ..is sponsored posts! I cant wait to dig into this info later and will use your code if I sign up

    xo

    Valerie

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:30 am

      The course will definitely help then! Let me know if you have any questions about it at all!

  • Ivanna
    May 18, 2017 at 11:33 am

    Great info Rachel. I’ve used networks myself, they seem to be the best bet. I also get contacted through Instagram a lot.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 18, 2017 at 11:49 am

      I actually do best with pitching them directly! Wayyyy better than networks! More money, better opportunities, better relationship, less rules/hoops!

  • ZestyOlive
    May 18, 2017 at 11:43 am

    Great tips! This is an area that I know very little about so your tips are wonderful! Also, love your dress!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:31 am

      Thank you!!! I would definitely check out BossPitch for more info too! It really is a game changer in working with brands and taking the control back into your own hands!

  • mckenna bleu
    May 18, 2017 at 11:53 am

    A media kit is SO important to have for Brands! Im also making sure I am updating it also

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:32 am

      Same! You have to take yourself seriously if you want others to!

  • Jeni
    May 18, 2017 at 12:12 pm

    This is interesting. I’m a new food blogger and interested in trying out a few sponsored posts, but I haven’t reached out to any brands yet. I love your point about not under selling yourself though. I think as women and beginners we are way too apt to do that!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:32 am

      For sure! It’s so easy to see the super low rates thrown out in networks, and think that’s what we’re worth #SMH

  • fairyprincessjord
    May 18, 2017 at 1:24 pm

    I think working with brands can be super confusing especially for a newbie blogger. Your point about charing more than you make with a blogging network is a GREAT tip. Now that you said it it seems SO obvious but I never thought about the cut a network takes before. Thanks for all the valuable blogging info <3

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:33 am

      For sure! Haha I was always surprised when I had friends with 4x pageviews than mine who had been blogging for 4 years and charging network rates, I was like why?!

  • Clarissa
    May 18, 2017 at 1:42 pm

    Thank you! This is extremely helpful for someone getting started with monetizing!

    -Clarissa @ The View From Here

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:35 am

      You’re welcome! Let me know if you have any questions about BossPitch! It really is a game changer for taking control of your future when working with brands!

  • Larissa Joassaint
    May 18, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    I love that you refer brands to other bloggers if they don’t happen to align with your vision. Writing a sponsored post has crossed my minds so many times, but I’m at that self-conscious stage, so I’m attempting to grow my blog a bit before I pitch to my first brand. Thanks for sharing your tips! I’m definitely going to have to keep them in mind ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:35 am

      Thank you!! I am so surprised it’s not more common practice!

  • Ellie Augustin
    May 18, 2017 at 2:04 pm

    Thanks so much for this. I took notes because I really need to get brave about it all! Thanks so much for sharing.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:36 am

      You’re welcome!! If you’re looking to get brave, definitely check out BossPitch! It’s SUPER encouraging and the FB group is super responsive and self esteem building!

  • Brittany Daoud
    May 18, 2017 at 2:12 pm

    This is great info Rachel! Thanks so much for sharing, BossPitch sounds like a really great program too!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:36 am

      It is! Let me know if you have any questions about it!

  • Leah Hall
    May 18, 2017 at 2:57 pm

    These are great tips, and I learn so much from other bloggers! The blogging community is so important to get together with other brands! Thanks for sharing this!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:36 am

      For sure! Happy it was helpful! Let me know if you have any questions about BossPitch!

  • Kristen
    May 18, 2017 at 3:54 pm

    these are great tips! I’ve never heard of pollinate before, but I’m gonna check them out!

  • [email protected]
    May 18, 2017 at 4:56 pm

    You must be in my brain hahah. Yesterday, while I was driving to one of the workshops for my organization (which is the org that my blog was built around), I was literally thinking that I needed to start working with sponsors for both events and my blog… and you came to mind… and then I see this. Thank you so much!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:37 am

      Haha! No way!! I would definitely check out BossPitch too then! It breaks it down in so much detail when dealing with brands, and there’s a fb group for more personalized info! I’ll be getting to your email hopefully later today or by Monday btw!

  • Linda Luke
    May 18, 2017 at 5:17 pm

    This is very interesting. I will check out the sites you recommended. I don’t usually do things like products, but have some ideas how this can work on my blog.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:38 am

      Nice! You can use BossPitch to work with brands for travel and experiences too! not just products!

  • Kuleigh
    May 18, 2017 at 5:24 pm

    I’m really interested in seeing where my blog can take me over the next year. I appreciate you sharing all these tips! Especially the networks.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:39 am

      No problem! If you are looking to see where your blog can take you though, do not rely solely on networks! It’s WAY hit or miss and will hold you down! I would highly recommend checking out BossPitch if you’re trying to turn your blog into your business and travel, get products, furniture, etc. Networks are SUPER limiting on the possibilities!

  • Maggie
    May 18, 2017 at 5:30 pm

    This information is amazing, I am going to have to save this for future use!

  • Ola Broom
    May 18, 2017 at 5:36 pm

    Thank you for this post. I know that I should be pitching more, but like you, I think I’m just too small. I can say that my very first sponsored post came as a result of a referral from a blogger who remembered me asking her about it. She actually reached out to me! I was so moved by that, as many people would not have done that. Should I land more sponsored posts, I will be sure to pay it forward.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:40 am

      That’s so awesome to hear! I haven’t heard of any bloggers referring to others yet! And girl, if you are stuck in that “small” mindset check out BossPitch! For real, it’ll get you so motivated and pumped and ready to tackle the world!

  • Logan Cantrell
    May 18, 2017 at 6:23 pm

    I did not even start pitching to brands until the beginning of this year, and it has been so amazing! I’ve grown and learned so much from it! It’s definitely worth it and gets way easier with practice and once you figure out what works! ๐Ÿ˜‰

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:41 am

      Exactly! How long have you been blogging btw?

  • Jordan | Read. Eat. Repeat.
    May 18, 2017 at 7:13 pm

    This something I have been thinking about a lot lately as my blog is finally starting to grow a little. There’s a lot of confusing information out there. Thanks for the great advice!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:43 am

      There really is!! That’s why I liked taking BossPitch (a) I’ve known Erica for a long time and she’s a Wharton Grad who worked in PR, (b) she breaks it down in such an easy to understand digestable way, (c) the community in the fb group really helps you think things through and gives great suggestions! — wayyy better than trying to figure it out on my own with contradictory info on line that I dk if i can even trust!

  • She's Not So Basic
    May 18, 2017 at 7:27 pm

    These are all such helpful tips butttt IMO one-on-ones will always be the most helpful! ๐Ÿ™‚ Also, with referrals do you ask the other bloggers if they mind being contacted first or just go ahead and do the referral?

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 18, 2017 at 8:18 pm

      Always ask first, in case they wouldn’t be a match too!

  • Kristen @ TheSophisticatedGal
    May 18, 2017 at 7:59 pm

    So many great tips and this is something that I’ve been looking into more lately but just didn’t know where to start. Now I feel much more confident in how I should start connecting with brands ๐Ÿ™‚ I do have one question though, when is a good time to start connecting with brands for sponsored posts? I’m still somewhat new to blogging so I just don’t know when I should start trying to work with brands!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 18, 2017 at 8:18 pm

      I think it’s generally up to you! I knew myself pretty well (read: get hyperfocused, crazy, type-a, and lose my passion at times) – so forced myself to wait 6 months from launch. It was SUPER hard because I really wanted to jump out the gate, but I resisted. The general thing I’ve heard is 1k across everything (1k fb, 1k twitter, 1k pinterest, 1k monthly pageviews, etc.) again, it’s just a general rule of thumb, but you can do it with less!

      • Kristen @ TheSophisticatedGal
        May 18, 2017 at 9:07 pm

        Thank you Rachel! Your advice is so helpful ๐Ÿ™‚ I think the 1k is a good general rule of thumb!

  • Jennifer Schmidt
    May 18, 2017 at 8:00 pm

    Great tips and this is something that I’ve been looking into more lately but just didn’t know where to start. I have been trying to build my site check it out @ joyfuliowan.com
    Jenn

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:45 am

      I’ve been a few times actually! you are doing great! I would totally recommend checking out BossPitch! It will really help you get into the right practices out the gate and give you a community to ask questions to!

  • Alissa Carpenter
    May 18, 2017 at 8:15 pm

    I loved your testimonial and your honesty about underselling yourself. I’m so there with you and it’s so hard as a newer blogger to gain the confidence to get paid what you’re worth. Congrats on all of your success!!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:46 am

      Thank you! Are you trying to work with brands?

  • Rachel @ STCL
    May 18, 2017 at 8:33 pm

    Great insight! It’s crazy how much the blogging world has changed with brand partnerships even just in the past couple years. And I agree, BossPitch is a great course!

  • Mar
    May 18, 2017 at 8:57 pm

    Great tips! My plan is to spend all day tomorrow pitching brands. Look forward to reading more of your posts!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:46 am

      Thank you! Good luck pitching!

  • Neelofar
    May 18, 2017 at 9:17 pm

    This is such a helpful post! I’ve really had no idea how to start this process, so I appreciate this! Do you have any tips on what to include in a media kit/contracts to have ready??

    Thank so much!
    Neelofar | The Loveliest Lily
    http://Www.theloveliestlily.com

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:47 am

      That’s all covered in BossPitch!! I would highly recommend if you’re new to the process checking it out!

  • Cameron
    May 18, 2017 at 10:34 pm

    This is super helpful! Definitely bookmarking this for later – and will definitely think about taking that course. I was thinking about taking Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing though – would you suggest it or know anything about it?

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:50 am

      I’ve heard of it! Personally I am super skeptical on 99% of courses. And I don’t actually know the people who put that together, but see it pushed by a lot of affiliates. When BossPitch launched the first time I immediately signed up because I’m friends with Erica and know how much she knows (she graduated from Wharton and studied this for heaven sake) – I really only buy from people I know now since I’ve had bad experiences/investments from others pushing me or from peer pressure – For me, I don’t like affiliate marketing (I know it can be super lucrative but why am I going to build my business around someone else’s which could either a) suck (thereby ruining my rep) or b) shut down (thereby closing my revenue stream)). I prefer to take control of my future and income by creating my own revenue streams through pitching (again, brands could shut down but there are so many more and your income is based off your efforts) and coaching!

      • Cameron
        May 19, 2017 at 12:44 pm

        And that’s the thing – I see a ton of people promoting it and saying how it’s helped them, but I can’t find anything more than that. I get the person who made it has to make money off it, but maybe offer a better description about your program other than “It helped this blogger make $xxxxx more dollars this month in affiliate sales!”. That doesn’t help me at all to get an idea of if it’s worth anything to me. I’ll definitely check out this course then – especially if you know Erica and know she’s the real deal! Pitching really seems like the way to go – that way I can pursue brands I like and use rather than try and find stuff through multiple networks. Thanks for the help Rachel!

        • Rachel Ritlop
          May 19, 2017 at 5:26 pm

          Haha she is! She’s one of my closet friends through blogging (I seriously talk to her more than I talk to my own family & friends combined haha)! Let me know if you have any more questions about it! Hope to see ya in a 1-1 ?

          • Cameron
            May 22, 2017 at 5:50 pm

            I actually signed up last night haha. I caught the replay of Erica’s BrandOut, and just decided to go for it. Glad I did too – it won’t be this price ever again! So thank you (and thank you Erica if you’re reading this), for suggesting the course and providing a ton of info about it and what exactly it will help me do. I’m SUPER excited!

          • Rachel Ritlop
            May 24, 2017 at 8:30 am

            Yay! I saw! I’ll be sending out all the prep details for our 1-1 in the next couple of weeks! Right now, just start a running list of questions in the notes section of your phone or something, as they come up, I find this helps a lot (people’s minds have a tendency to go blank when filling out the questionnaire or during the session, so better to start getting organized asap)! looking forward to it!

  • Kim
    May 18, 2017 at 10:50 pm

    This is so helpful. The blogging community in Dubai is still fairly new so a lot of brands don’t really know what to do with us yet but I’m determined to get in on the ground floor!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:51 am

      Oh nice!!! Then definitely check out BossPitch!! Erica teaches you a lot about how to educate brands when pitching them (since influencer marketing is so new across the globe, I also spend a lot of time teaching brands about how we can work together and the power of me!)

  • Elizabeth Johnson
    May 18, 2017 at 11:02 pm

    This is a really great post! I have been wanting to do that course but the timing is off. I really feel empowered after reading this. You have a way with words! ๐Ÿ™‚ Thank for this information!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:52 am

      Awe thank you!! I really hope you decide to take the course! I know we were talking about it and about a session with me, so this is going to be the cheapest way to get it all in one!

      • Elizabeth Johnson
        May 20, 2017 at 5:44 pm

        Yes, I’ve been talking about it with my husband and seeing if the finances line up. I know it would all be invaluable information and I need to just do it. Hopefully I can do it!

      • Elizabeth Johnson
        May 20, 2017 at 6:19 pm

        So I was telling my husband about the course and the one on one with you and he was looking at the course and all of a sudden shows me that I’m enrolled in it. I of course started crying. Haha ? so I am taking the plunge and actually buying my first course. I am excited to be pushing forward!

        • Rachel Ritlop
          May 21, 2017 at 8:54 am

          Haha YAY!!!! SO excited!! Wait so you are enrolled now? You aren’t showing up on my affiliate page :- We’ll have to talk to Erica about that so you can get your 1-1!

  • Elise Cohen Ho
    May 18, 2017 at 11:10 pm

    I love the tip about what brands are willing to pay and how much of that the blogger gets.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:53 am

      #Mindblowing! Haha bloggers are leaving so much money on the table by sticking solely to networks!

  • The-How-to-Guru.com
    May 19, 2017 at 1:04 am

    Wow. Lots of helpful information here. Thanks!

  • Chelsie Carr
    May 19, 2017 at 1:05 am

    BossPitch totally changed the way I approach brands and how I monetize my blog. It’s been so empowering to take complete control of my blog and monetization strategies and not rely on what campaigns are available through SoFab!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:53 am

      For sure! It’s so nice to have control of our futures!

  • Jenny
    May 19, 2017 at 1:59 am

    I totally need to start pitching to brands more often! I have before but I need to make it a habit.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:54 am

      Definitely! Have you taken BossPitch?!?

  • Sharon Glascoe
    May 19, 2017 at 5:49 am

    Woah that’s so awesome that you got your furniture for free! I’ve heard of bloggers getting a whole new set of kitchen appliances, too. So awesome! Thanks for sharing your tips!

  • A Life of Love and Joy
    May 19, 2017 at 6:16 am

    I love this, thanks for sharing. As a blogger, I struggle with sponsored posts because my following is lower than what is usually required!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:54 am

      That’s why it’s awesome to work directly with the brand! The standards are often quite different than in networks!

  • Renee || Getting Fit Fab
    May 19, 2017 at 7:06 am

    These are great tips! It took me so long to feel comfortable pitching to brands, and sometimes I still feel weird. But I do know that I’ll get comfortable and getting comfortable means doing something I need to do. I like brand networks but working with brands directly usually equals a higher payout.

  • Kristin Cook
    May 19, 2017 at 7:28 am

    This is a great post and I really appreciate those tips! I do plan on taking Erica’s course eventually, but I can’t right now. Hubby has one more semester to pay for and then we will be back on our feet! ๐Ÿ˜€

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 8:55 am

      Awe :- I know we’ve talked about it and that you’ve been wanting to! But it’s good you’re doing the financially responsible thing, proud of you!

      • Kristin Cook
        May 22, 2017 at 7:01 am

        Thanks so much! It’s hard, but I know it’s right ๐Ÿ™‚ We will get there!

  • Caroline
    May 19, 2017 at 8:27 am

    As a new blogger, so many great tips here!

  • Melanie Lifessweetwords
    May 19, 2017 at 9:49 am

    Thank you for sharing this! I have recently started drafting letters to reach out to some brands I would like to work with, but I always stop myself before I hit send. Mostly for the same reasons you shared. I just get in my head to much!! This has been super helpful to give me the push to just reach out, the most that could happen is that they say “no”. Thank you for the encouragement and tips!!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 11:19 am

      You’re welcome! Happy pitching!

  • Marissa Pedersen
    May 19, 2017 at 10:34 am

    Having a contract is such a smart idea! I’ve started to work with brands more, but usually rely on them to send a contract. I’m making one this weekend.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 11:19 am

      Oh be careful with that! Remember, they are in favor of the brand. I’ve heard night mare stories where brands would make it all one sided and really harm the blogger!

  • Delona Benitez
    May 19, 2017 at 10:44 am

    Insightful! Great advice and ideas. How often does BossPitch do this course?

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 11:18 am

      This is only her second time launching it, but the last launch was November! – I don’t know how often she plans to open and close the cart though and the price will probably go up the next launch!

  • Karin Rambo
    May 19, 2017 at 10:56 am

    I’ve also found that following and engaging with brands on Instagram has also helped lead to collaborations!

  • karyl henry
    May 19, 2017 at 11:08 am

    Thank you for these tips! I’m just getting into doing sponsored posts, and these are really helpful

  • Sarah Jean
    May 19, 2017 at 11:30 am

    woohoo loved your video! (And bosspitch!) It was definitely super helpful because prior to it I hadn’t pitched to a single company either and now have a few under my belt.

  • Miss ALK
    May 19, 2017 at 11:44 am

    I always refer other bloggers when a sponsored post isn’t a good fit for myself or if I can’t attend an event… you make a good point, why don’t more bloggers do that?

    xoxo A
    http://www.southernbelleintraining.com

  • thesofieyahdiaries
    May 19, 2017 at 11:49 am

    Oh, thanks for sharing!! I am probably too small to be thinking about this, but the day I feel ready, I will come back to this post and all your other tips <3

    http://thesophiadiaries.com/personalstyle/casual-coral

  • Leslie Soto
    May 19, 2017 at 12:47 pm

    This is such great information. I’ve been pitching to brands since the start of the year (it was one of my goals for my blog) and I’ve gotten quiet a few that way but I definitely want to learn how to reach out even more. I had no idea blogging networks were even a thing so i’ll be looking into that asap. Thank you for sharing.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 21, 2017 at 8:57 am

      You’re welcome! If you are looking to reach out to even more brands, definitely check out BossPitch!!

  • Taylor Mead
    May 19, 2017 at 12:58 pm

    Wow! Thank you so much for sharing this, it is so helpful and I have been searching for a post like this. You’re THE MVP ๐Ÿ™‚

    xx, Taylor (thesprinkle.tayloramead.com)

  • Anna Hubbard
    May 19, 2017 at 1:27 pm

    This is very interesting, Rachel! Especially the part about pitching higher rates than the networks. I definitely want to start pitching to brands more.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 5:34 pm

      Do it!! You’re leaving money on the table girl!

  • Victoria
    May 19, 2017 at 1:46 pm

    Really loved this! I need to look into bosspitch! seems like it would be a great resource to grow my brand. Thanks so much.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 5:34 pm

      You’re welcome! Let me know if I can answer any more questions about the course for you!

  • Jessica Lam
    May 19, 2017 at 2:07 pm

    This is such a helpful guide Rachel!! I’m always too afraid to pitch to brands but I really want to try it!

  • Nellwyn
    May 19, 2017 at 2:45 pm

    This is really great advice. I’ve done a few brand collaborations but I really need to start pitching more!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 5:33 pm

      Definitely do it! BossPitch is the perfect crash course to learn all the ins and outs!

  • Amanda | Maple Alps
    May 19, 2017 at 3:31 pm

    Great post! Definitely saving this for later. Love reading through your blog and learning new things ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 5:33 pm

      Thank you! Let me know if you ever want a question answered for “Ask Rachel” ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Neely
    May 19, 2017 at 3:34 pm

    I agree on referrals! I refer brands to other bloggers all the time when a post doesn’t suit me. I also find that a lot of networks you can actually negotiate with ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 5:33 pm

      YES! Why don’t more people do it?!? And I had no idea about that!

  • Sydney Power
    May 19, 2017 at 3:36 pm

    oh my goodness, this course sounds amazing, I would definitely benefit. I’m so glad I read your post today!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 5:32 pm

      Haha yay!! Let me know if you have any questions about it!! Hope to see you for a 1-1 ?

  • Allison Lancaster
    May 19, 2017 at 3:40 pm

    This is great information! I love connecting with new brands for partnerships!

  • Nathalie
    May 19, 2017 at 4:26 pm

    What does your media kit look like? I’ve seen so many suggestions on having one but I don’t have the slightest idea on what to include in it.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 5:31 pm

      E breaks this down in BossPitch with a great template!! – but the exact details of mine I usually only share with clients as it’s super detailed/laid out in a certain way; with that said, I would say make sure you have the basics: pageviews, UMVs and demographics, social stats, etc.

  • andreajesus10
    May 19, 2017 at 4:27 pm

    and be you while you’re doing it – if you’re a Christian and it’s Victoria’s Secret…… ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Jessica Devlin
    May 19, 2017 at 4:40 pm

    the hardest thing for me about brands is knowing when you have enough views to even approach a brand.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 5:28 pm

      I think it truly depends on your engagement, the brand, what you’re offering/looking for – but with that said a general rule of thumb I hear a lot of people use is 1k across all platforms (1k followers on social, 1k views on blog) — personally I waited until I was 6 months old on the blog before I started (just because I wanted to lay a strong foundation and not get $$$ obsessed). Let me know if you have any more questions!

      • Jessica Devlin
        May 19, 2017 at 7:37 pm

        Thank so for answering Rachel! Do you mean 1k views a day, a week or a month?

        I have 10 k a month but never considered approaching brands.

  • Audrey Knizek
    May 19, 2017 at 5:20 pm

    The whole concept of working with brands still confuses me! Thanks for the great tips ๐Ÿ™‚

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 19, 2017 at 5:27 pm

      You’re welcome!! IF you’re looking to have it all demystified and broken down for you, definitely check out the course! It comes with templates and everything!

  • Theresa Bailey
    May 19, 2017 at 6:16 pm

    I’m new to all of this so I’m bookmarking this!

  • Domestically Blissful
    May 19, 2017 at 8:07 pm

    This course sounds amazing!!
    Outside of networks I’ve worked with brands that have contacted me & I have worked with hotels & resorts that I have contacted, but for some reason contacting brands myself scares me.
    Unfortunately, I just spent my allotted blog money for May & June for something I really needed done or I would totally jump on this wonderful opportunity! Is it only offered once a year? Is there a way to be put on a list for the next time it is available?
    Thank you for sharing!! <3

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 22, 2017 at 2:46 pm

      Awe man! I know she will be relaunching again, but she told me she will be increasing the price on next launch! My guess is another 4-6 months! And I’ll touch base with her and get the link for the waitlist!

  • Jade Doolittle
    May 19, 2017 at 8:09 pm

    Thanks so much for sharing! I’ve been trying for so long to figure this out on my own, its awesome to have advice like this! This was super helpful!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 20, 2017 at 9:16 am

      Happy it was helpful Jade!! If you’ve been struggling, I highly recommend BossPitch! She breaks it down so seamlessly and gives you step by step processes on how to do things and templates! I really recommend checking it out if you want to uplevel your blog!

  • Sondra Barker
    May 19, 2017 at 9:56 pm

    These were amazing tips. I think making sure you really get your pitch across is super important.

  • Danielle Greco
    May 19, 2017 at 10:41 pm

    Interesting, I’ll have to look into that more. I rarely pitch companies, but I’m sure that program helps a ton.

    http://www.accordingtod.com

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 20, 2017 at 9:13 am

      It totally does! Let me know if you have any questions on it! It really uplevels you as a blogger/business!

  • Shelly
    May 19, 2017 at 11:50 pm

    This was very helpful! I’m not confident in pitching brands yet, but in my limited attempts have been surprised about what I could secure as part of it! I’ll keep this course in mind.

  • Silvia Marquez
    May 20, 2017 at 1:27 am

    This is so cool! Thank you for sharing you tips and I loved your video! This would be great for all bloggers!

  • The Swirl
    May 20, 2017 at 1:30 am

    Gosh, I always feel super intimidated by the idea of pitching brands, and every time I get a positive response, I am stunned! I don’t know why, but I find that bloggers always undervalue themselves! There was some great advice packed in there; I might just have to look into the BossPitch course. I’ve heard several people talk about how much it’s helped them.
    xo, G
    theswirlblog.com

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 20, 2017 at 9:13 am

      Haha! isn’t it the best feeling? They really do! It really is helpful and it’s SO nice to have a group of people to speak openly and honestly with after the course when pitching! Since you guys are all on the same page, it is super encouraging too! Hope you do it and I can finallyyy meet you in a 1-1!

    • Erica @ Coming up Roses
      May 22, 2017 at 10:20 am

      I’d definitely recommend it! ๐Ÿ˜‰ If you have any Q’s on it, I’m sure Rachel is a FABULOUS resource to ask since she’s just a baller, but you’re also more than welcome to reach out to me directly with questions, too! My email is [email protected]. So feel free to get Rachel’s and my thoughts on it for you specifically if you’re on the fence.

  • Danielle @ A Sprinkle of Joy
    May 20, 2017 at 6:49 am

    Thanks for the tips!! Pinning this for later!

  • Jessica Rose
    May 20, 2017 at 9:06 am

    How small is too small to get sponsored posts? I’ve got about 500 page views per month and I just started blogging a few months ago. Thoughts? Thank you!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 20, 2017 at 9:12 am

      Personally, I waited until I crossed the 6 month mark because I wanted to focus on building a foundational relationship with my audience rather than getting paid — but a general rule of thumb is 1k across everything (1k on all social, and 1k pageviews per month) – but you can really start whenever! It just depends on what your pitching for!

      • Jessica Rose
        May 20, 2017 at 9:14 am

        Thank you!! Just hit 500 on FB and Pinterest! And growing on Insta!! ๐Ÿ™‚

  • Kate Minor
    May 20, 2017 at 11:14 am

    So much good information here! I pinned this for later. I feel like I am ready for the next stage of growth with my blog and need guidance!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 20, 2017 at 1:34 pm

      Definitely consider bosspitch then!! Not only do you get the course, I think the fast acting bonuses are still up too, and you get a session with me (in a blog coach in case it’s your first time around here ?)

  • Liz
    May 20, 2017 at 11:25 am

    Thank you so much for these tips!! I love your posts and I’ve found them so helpful!!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 20, 2017 at 1:34 pm

      You’re welcome! So happy they’ve been helpful ?

  • Alix Maza
    May 20, 2017 at 12:02 pm

    I really want to take BossPitch-it sounds perfect for me!

    -Alix

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 20, 2017 at 1:35 pm

      Do it!! Next time she relaunched the price is going up! And you still can get the early bird price and bonuses rn I think! Even if you miss her bonuses everyone who buys through my link gets a sales free 60 minute strategy session with me!

    • Erica @ Coming up Roses
      May 22, 2017 at 10:19 am

      DO IT! ๐Ÿ˜‰

  • Dia
    May 20, 2017 at 12:32 pm

    I love clever girls. I have thought of reaching out to brands directly because I feel like I do a better job of displaying my value than a form on a website. I didn’t think about the fact that they are taking a cut by being the middle man. Kind of a duh moment lol

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 21, 2017 at 8:52 am

      That one is my favorite! And yeah, when I realized that too, I was like, “oh duh” haha! let me know if you have any questions about BossPitch! It really helps to jump in with both feet on pitching brands, otherwise I find people drag their feet and get discouraged!

  • Summer @ Coffee With Summer
    May 20, 2017 at 2:48 pm

    Girl, I need to find out who you pitched for furniture. I am having zero luck in that department haha. Every brand I reach out to, they offer me like $15 off an item lol. Pitching brands is really hard – definitely not easy as pie!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 21, 2017 at 8:50 am

      Haha the $5k was just 3 companies! I am in talks with 3 others and 2 said no! But that’s a 50% close rate (for the ones with definite responses), so I’m happy!

  • Courtney
    May 20, 2017 at 2:50 pm

    These are amazing tips for connecting with brands! Thank you so much for sharing! xx

  • Gennifer Rose
    May 20, 2017 at 3:14 pm

    Great tips! I’ve had some great sponsored blog posts using these techniques. They can be very effective ๐Ÿ™‚

    Gennifer Rose | http://www.GenniferRose.com

  • Joy Lynn
    May 20, 2017 at 7:32 pm

    This is great info! I struggle with landing gigs that align with my blog, and I’m insanely picky, but I think pitching might offer better results for me. It’s scary, at first though! I just need to bite the bullet!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 21, 2017 at 8:49 am

      Glad it was helpful! It sounds like the perfect solution! Definitely do it!

  • Tuyet
    May 20, 2017 at 10:02 pm

    This is so good to know! Thanks so much for sharing. kimballandkedzie.com

  • Ellie Chan
    May 21, 2017 at 1:03 pm

    This is the post I needed to read. I’ve had my blog for 2 years and it has never earned me a cent. I have a miniscule following and I’m nervous about approaching brands as I am afraid they’d just laugh in my face. I will have to check out some of those blogger networks and see what I can find.

    Ellie | http://www.scotchandstilettos.com

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 22, 2017 at 2:45 pm

      Do it! I just checked out your site and social stats, and you should definitely be monetizing!

  • Shani Ogden
    May 21, 2017 at 7:19 pm

    I’ve been trying to get involved with networks, but I’ve never been selected to participate yet. I’ve actually had better luck pitching directly to companies, but still need to work on getting paid rather than trade.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 22, 2017 at 9:51 am

      Yes!! Definitely don’t work for free! they have budgets and you’re offering a valuable service! It’s not like they would higher a PR, marketer, or photographer and ask them to work on trade!

  • vriley85
    May 21, 2017 at 9:21 pm

    Sounds like an amazing course!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 22, 2017 at 2:44 pm

      It really is! Let me know if you have any questions!

  • Alexis
    May 22, 2017 at 7:00 am

    Ugh, I’m so mad, I wish I would’ve seen your post earlier. I signed up for Boss Pitch on Friday night. I’m so excited to take the class and can’t wait to learn. I’ve had little to no luck with networks so I’ve been pitching to brands.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 22, 2017 at 9:51 am

      Awe man! But the course is still going to be helpful!

  • mckenna bleu
    May 22, 2017 at 9:08 am

    connecting with brands can be hard some times, but this post is super helpful for bloggers that are trying to connect!

  • Erica @ Coming up Roses
    May 22, 2017 at 10:21 am

    I’m so stinking PROUD of you, Rach. You are literally the perfect example of someone doing everything exactly as they should and reaping the rewards accordingly! You should be an inspiration to everyone considering BossPitch. You’re the real deal!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 22, 2017 at 2:43 pm

      Aweeee thank you!!! <3 <3 <3

  • Alex Carreno
    May 22, 2017 at 11:09 am

    Super interesting! I used to be in PR out of college for a few years so I know how to pitch, but it’s honing it for this industry that’s been a little difficult for me!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 22, 2017 at 2:43 pm

      I hear that! That’s why I loved BossPitch, because it wasnt just about pitching brands, it was great to learn how to educate brands about the power of influencer marketing!

  • Maegan Clark
    May 22, 2017 at 11:59 am

    Oh cool!!! I’ve actually been pitching brands lately with good results!

  • Veronika
    May 22, 2017 at 3:28 pm

    Definitely saving this for later. So much useful information! I really should create a media kit for myself to make myself look more professional and prepared.

  • Kate Simpson
    May 23, 2017 at 7:18 am

    Saving this for later! I really want to start working on this, as soon as I get my views up a little!

  • Jazzmine Woodard
    May 23, 2017 at 10:49 am

    Great post, Rachel! I didn’t know about 50% going to networks.

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 24, 2017 at 8:26 am

      Its a rough number! Some may take 30 some 40 some 50 some 60 and even some 70! you can usually tell if a network always offers $50 per post versus networks paying $450 per post

  • Oksana | FOXYOXIE.com
    May 23, 2017 at 2:40 pm

    Always enjoy hearing another blogger’s take on working with brands. My most successful partnerships have been ones where either I directly reached out to the company or vice versa.

  • Kaitlyn Fickle Killebrew
    May 24, 2017 at 8:24 am

    I actually found this post organically on Pinterest and loved it! I think this is so helpful to fairly new bloggers like me who are wondering how to step out there and get started!

    • Rachel Ritlop
      May 24, 2017 at 8:27 am

      That’s awesome!! Let me know if you have any questions!

  • Glaiza Binayas
    September 13, 2017 at 10:22 am

    Very helpful! Even though I’m currently getting collaborations and sponsorship from brands, I still want to learn about this ?

  • Chelsea
    November 9, 2017 at 7:29 am

    Referrals are such a great way to connect brands with bloggers! I think word of mouth is one of the oldest tricks in the bag.

  • Linh Vo
    November 9, 2017 at 10:01 am

    These are awesome tips! I’ve been blogging for a few years and am always learning new things. Just pinned this to my board for future reference.

  • [email protected] Confused Millennial
    November 9, 2017 at 11:10 am

    ITS OUT NOW!! Cart closes in less than a week!

  • Lorna
    November 9, 2017 at 12:20 pm

    I just did my first sponsored post. I’ll be following your advice for more opportunities going forward. And thanks for the info on BossPitch.

  • Tiffany Stein Staples
    November 9, 2017 at 1:19 pm

    These are such wonderful tips! I’m heading over to BossPitch now! Thank you!

  • Kristen Jones
    November 9, 2017 at 4:21 pm

    Working with and reaching out to brands was so intimidating at first. It took a little practice, but it’s the best. I also love working with different networks! Thanks for these tips!!

  • Jenny
    November 9, 2017 at 4:32 pm

    I loved BossPitch! Such a helpful course. I totally need to get refocused and start pitching myself again.

  • Sami Mast
    November 9, 2017 at 4:39 pm

    These are awesome tips!! I love working with brands, but definitely feel like I’m not working with enough of them (and definitely not for enough money!) I really want to sign up for Boss Pitch, but I also have to get the funds for that too lol.

  • Kaycee
    November 9, 2017 at 5:44 pm

    I really want to sign up and do Boss Pitch, but I just don’t think I’m at a good place with my blog to sign up (plus money is a bit tight). I’m hoping at this time next year, I can take this course (and I really hope Erica offers it again!!)

  • Elizabeth Johnson
    November 9, 2017 at 5:52 pm

    These are really great ideas! I am going to keep in mind the referrals. I have not gotten a paid gig yet but we gotta share the love!! ๐Ÿ™‚

    • [email protected] Confused Millennial
      November 10, 2017 at 7:36 am

      girl! When are we chatting?!?

      • Elizabeth Johnson
        November 10, 2017 at 7:45 am

        I am going to look at your availability today ๐Ÿ˜Š๐Ÿ‘๐Ÿผ

  • Helen @ Hel On Heels
    November 9, 2017 at 10:35 pm

    Yeahhh! BossPitch whoo! Changed my life and my blog, for real. These are great tips and it makes all the difference actually pitching and reaching out to brands.

    • [email protected] Confused Millennial
      November 10, 2017 at 7:34 am

      YES!! Did you get my emails or DM? you still have a one-on-one with me!

      • Helen @ Hel On Heels
        November 10, 2017 at 9:18 am

        Yes! I just suck haha. I will fill out the form this weekend ๐Ÿ™‚

        • [email protected] Confused Millennial
          November 10, 2017 at 9:28 am

          Haha okay! Seriously there is no rush! I had a hosting issue and like half my emails were going to spam so I just wanted to touch base and make sure you saw it and didn’t think I forgot!

  • Larissa Joassaint
    November 9, 2017 at 11:31 pm

    I’m currently in the process of thinking about working with brands. It’s definitely an overwhelming feeling to think about if brands would want to work with you. But I think once I take that first step, it will be easier to take the next. I also love how you refer other bloggers when you aren’t able to help out the brand with their specific request. I think that’s pretty cool!

  • My Veteran Woman Life
    November 10, 2017 at 7:30 am

    I’ve been wanting to explore working with brands. I’m currently using Clever and a couple of others but never seem to get selected for the campaigns I apply for.

    • [email protected] Confused Millennial
      November 10, 2017 at 7:33 am

      This course can totally help with that! Since pitching yourself directly to brands or via a network is a similar process! I started landing SO many more in networks after taking it and actually outgrew them really quickly because how much they typically underpay!

  • Jasmine Maria
    November 10, 2017 at 7:51 am

    Pitching to brands is a great way to get your business name out there. I like to do this every once in a while.

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