About a year ago I started really internalizing the idea that if you want to grow, you need to be willing to constantly learn new things. Every industry is constantly evolving, and these days, faster than ever!
As a blogger, I enjoy learning about how to improve this or that via posts I read or courses I take, as every blogger seems to have different tips and tricks for what works best for them. I’m in a group with a couple girls I adore who blog in different niches than I do, and all three of us do things so differently based on our unique experiences. It’s fun to learn from/with them!
A couple weeks ago as I was killing time waiting for Jamie to fly in from overseas, I mentioned on my IG stories that I’d be happy to answer blogging questions if you had any along with a survey question about if you’d like to see a post like this. 96% of you said that you’d be interested in seeing this post, so here goes.
For bloggers, I hope it’s helpful in one way or another. For readers, I hope it’s an entertaining read into some of the “behind-the-scenes” of this bizarre, amazing opportunity to blab about everything and anything online.
6 Questions about Blogging: Answered!
How do you go about working with brands?
I prefer for brands to reach out to me via email because then I know they’ve done their research and want to work with me. I don’t have to convince them of what I’ll deliver because they’ve seen my previous work and they like it. With that being said, most of the brands that email me aren’t brands that I genuinely like or use (meaning I’m not going to write about them), so waiting for brands to email me isn’t admittedly a great plan. I’m working on building my confidence to pitch brands that I adore, so we’ll see how that goes. 🙂 I also find sponsored posts via third-party sites. Influence Central is my personal favorite, but I’ve worked with about five others as well.
How much do you charge for a sponsored post?
Ah, this varies. I like to think about how much time a sponsored post will take me. I have to write it, do all the pictures, links, social media, and occasionally much more. I then figure how much I want to make per hour, and then go from there.
I did my first sponsored giveaway after rebranding as Whimsical September at the 6 month mark. I purchased Scarlet and Gold products to review, and then they excitedly threw in some products to give away. I’ll never forget getting the email that they wanted to do a giveaway with me. I was driving to Tucson with Jamie for a date night, and I almost cried; I was so excited!
I received my first paid offer in June 2015 after blogging consistently for 15 months. I got paid $125 to do a post with Smithfield Pork, and I received this offer through a third-party site. I was in disbelief that I was about to make real money from my little hobby blog. I couldn’t believe it. My rate is higher now that I’ve been blogging consistently for almost three years.
Do I have to wait for my blog to get bigger to be able to work with brands?
The textbook answer is no, you don’t have to wait for your blog to get bigger to work with brands. Big bloggers will tell you over and over again that brands are looking to work with smaller and newer bloggers too. While I’m sure there’s truth to that, those brands are going to be tough to find. I did my Scarlet and Gold giveaway when I had roughly 4.2k page views per month, but I paid for the products to review myself, only receiving giveaway items for “free”. I got accepted to do the Smithfield Pork sponsored post with 8.2k page views per month, if that helps gauge where I was at.
How do you go about staging to take photos of your recipes?
I finally started taking recipe posting a bit more seriously about two months ago, and my recipe posts are doing much better because of it! We eat 95% of our meals at home, so sharing what we’re cooking is a natural fit for this blog. A lot of my readers are moms too, so people are interested in what’s going on the table in our home.
So about staging the photos:
- I take the pictures in my sun room around 2pm when the natural light is best.
- I shoot with my Canon T6 camera and 50mm lens.
- I use this $19 tripod, and it’s been a game changer. If you post recipes and aren’t using a tripod, get. one. now. That was the advice given to me by two big food bloggers back in September during the corn tour, and wow… they were so right.
- I find ideas online of how I’d like my pictures to look, and then I gather or purchase similar props.
How do you approach companies about working with them?
Still working on this one! The advice given to me was interact with them on social media and then pitch them via email, perhaps with an attached media kit.
Do you have a media kit? If so, how do you put one together?
Yes, I do have a media kit. Information to include:
- short paragraph of who you are
- short paragraph about your blog
- site stats
- social media stats
- a few pictures that show off your photography skills
- brands that you’ve worked with in the past (if any) and what they had to say about working with you
If you have any additional questions, feel free to shoot them to me!