Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Having trouble getting sponsors for your blog? Read my advice! Part 1

In this post I'd like to discuss how to be successful at attracting sponsors to your blog.  I've been a sponsor and in many ways, through my clients, I still work with bloggers and sponsor giveaways, reviews and more.

I know if you're a new blogger or just wanting to get into the market of hosting reviews/giveaways on your blog it can seem like daunting work trying to get a sponsor.  You send numerous emails and you probably get very few responses, even just to say no.

What you need to remember is that sposnors/retailers/manufacturers get tons of emails a week requesting to do a giveaway or review.  If I had to guess I'd estimate 20-30 emails a week and that's being conservative, for the really popular brands/stores it's probably much more.

So you have a lot of other bloggers to compete with.  This means that the sponsors have to be super selective and try to determine which blogs would be more beneficial.

Things that sponsors take into consideration...
  • Number #1, how was your email to them written?  Make it as personal as possible.  I can't tell you how many times I've gotten an email and it's obviously generic, the blogger even forgot to change my sites name or product name out with the last person they sent the email to.
  • If you make it past number one...They check out how many blog followers you have. Which means you need to make sure that information can be found on your blog or you need to include it in your emails.
  • They look at your FaceBook Page if you have one and see if you promote your giveaways there, how many fans you have, etc.
  • They look at your blogs content besides just giveaways and sales announcements.  Remember they want to know that people trust your opinion and will read your reviews, possibly even click through and buy their product because you recommended it.  No quality content means that your followers might not actually be reading your posts and might just be there for the free stuff.
  • They check out your design.  It's not just all about who has a nicer design but a nice presentation for their product or store is important.
  • They look at your past giveaways and reviews.  Did you thoroughly review products or just post a couple sentences and get on with the giveaway.  Did you include your own personal photos of the products you review? This is very important.  Or did you just grab stock photos and descriptions from the sponsors site?  Did you promote the sponsors throughout the post with links and make sure that you're sponsors are promoted in the various ways to enter the giveaways?
  • How many entries did you get for your previous giveaways?  If a blogger has a thousand followers but their giveaways are only yielding 50-100 entries then something is wrong.  Either it wasn't promoted properly or was too complicated to enter.

 What to do if you don't have enough experience or are a new blogger?
  • Practice reviewing products on your blog by reviewing things you already have!  It's free and it will make your blog look good.  Review a cloth diaper you already have, or your favorite laundry detergent, blender, book, etc.  
  • Take nice photos of the products you review, don't just use generic pics you grabbed off the internet.
  • Consider doing a video review for your blog and share it on youtube! Sponsors love this.
  • Hold some giveaways on your own! You don't always need someone to sponsor.  If you got a Buy 1 Get 1 of your favorite lotion then write a review and host a giveaway.  Get some practice under your belt and have giveaways for future sponsors to take a look at.
  • Offer benefits to your sponsors.  In addition to a giveaway, which benefits you just as much or more than it does them, offer to advertise their site on your blog free for a month when they sponsor.
  • You don't always need one product for yourself.  Sometimes sponsors are way more inclined to sponsor your giveaway when they hear "I love your XYZ product and will be reviewing it, I was wondering if you'd like to sponsor a giveaway?"  Keep in mind that having a giveaway gets you new followers and often the manufacturer or store promotes YOU on their FaceBook Page, Blog or Website.  Take one for the team!  To get some experience under your belt consider skipping the part where you ask for something for yourself.
  • Be creative!  There has been quite a boom in the review/giveaway business. You need to find ways to set yourself apart from the rest and make sponsors stand up and take notice of what you have to offer them that others don't.
So that's it in a nutshell. A quick rundown of what I think works and where I think a lot of bloggers go wrong.

I'd love to know what you think of this post. Please share your comments here and also become a Fan of SheThinksMedia  on FaceBook!

10 comments:

Shairbearg said...

Some great advice!! I get tons of people asking me how to get started, and I think a lot of people don't know where. I have been working on my blog, and have actually started having sponsors find me! That was very exciting to me LOL
www.theknitwitbyshair.blogspot.com

Shairbearg said...

fyi I am became a gfc follower, and had a suggestion for you, if that's ok. You should get a tweet this, share this button for the bottom of your posts to make it easier to share. I did tweet, and will post on my fan page, but makes it a little easier :)

Tiffany said...

Thanks for the advice! My newer blog is less than three months old and we've been wondering how to solicit giveaway products to help gain traffic.

It's not something I did on my personal blog, so I'm in untested waters.

Julie said...

Thanks for the feedback guys! I'll get some share buttons up asap, as soon as I get my crazy kids to bed...

Gingermommy said...

great advice!

luvs2smile said...

This is fabulous information. I've been a blogger for three years, but have just recently taken it more seriously. I'm having a difficult time finding sponsors, etc. However, I know it's going to take time and gain more followers. Thanks again!!!!

Leyna

Lindsay's Family Reviews and Giveaways said...

Wow. Thanks! I am a new blogger, less than a month now, and have been wondering how to get sponsors. I did my own giveaway to gain followers and it worked!

I can't wait for Part 2!

Jenn said...

I am a retailer and I have a couple of extra tips.

1) Pay for a domain name. SO your name.com instead of name.blogspot.com. It costs about $10 a year and you look a LOT more serious.
2) Having an email that is name@domain.com instead of name@gmail.com also shows an additional level of seriousness.
3) As a retailer who doesn't make our own products, I don't like to do a review/giveaway of a product because the review highlights a product that you can get anywhere, not my store. I don't mind giving away a product or gift certificate though. Gift certificates are awesome because they really highlight my store. Offering to just do a giveaway or getting store credit or a discount to review the store and shopping experience itself may be another alternative to reviewing a product. Reviewing the types of products we sell, our shipping, customer service and our unique qualities that would make someone shop with us instead of someone else really highlights our strengths as a store. Also as a small retailer I may be able to afford to give away a product for a giveaway but I can't necessarily afford to give away a product or Store credit for reviews.

Maria said...

This is great advice! When I first started, I sent a long "generic" type pitch with all my stats. Eventually, I kept it very short, with who I am, why I wanted to review their product,a nd a link to my page, nothing more. I get better responses that way They can ask for stats or more info if they want it!

Heather - CDO said...

As another retailer, let me stress one thing...make sure you include your blog name! I am one who gets 30+ blog requests a week and it's amazing how many bloggers forget to include a link to their blog. That's an automatic "delete" for me.

Oh, and don't dictate what will be given away. I had a blogger recently who told me how much the product "was required" to be worth, that she would not be responsible for shipping or any other fees, etc. She had about 10 requirements. The saddest part was that she's a brand new blogger with fewer than 30 readers. That email was also an automatic "delete". If you're asking for free things, accept whatever is given graciously.

All of the advice here is spot on.