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Alt Summit Recap: Brand Collaborations 101

posted on February 2, 2016 | by Amanda Holstein

Alt Summit Recap: Brand Collaborations 101

Brand Collaborations 101 roundtable at Alt Summit 2016

At this year’s Altitude Summit (my first!), I was lucky enough to partner with Collectively to host a round table all about Brand Collaborations. Since I know most of you weren’t able to attend, I wanted to make sure you didn’t miss a beat! Below you’ll find the most common questions asked on the subject and some (hopefully) helpful answers. Take a look!

How soon can you start working with brands?

Most attendees were curious to know how soon they could start working with brands after launching their blogs. Of course, the answer to this varies, but it typically depends on two things: (1) the size of your audience, and (2) the quality of your content. To get to a point where you’ve grown a decent-sized, engaged following and consistently high-quality content, it can take anywhere from 6 months to 1 year, depending on your dedication.

What is the minimum size audience you can have to begin working with brands?

Different brands will have different answers for this, but I would generally aim to have a total digital audience (monthly unique visitors + total social following) of over 5k. I’d say a good first goal to aim for is 5k monthly uniques and 500 on each social channel. From there, try for 10k monthly uniques, and 1k on each social channel, etc. At this size, you could begin working with smaller brands in exchange for product or larger brands for $100 or so depending on the project.

Brand Collaborations 101 roundtable at Alt Summit 2016

What are brands looking for in a blogger?

Generally, brands are looking for two things: (1) a highly engaged audience, and (2) high-quality content. While brands in the past may have been more focused on large followings, they’re starting to realize how much more important engagement is than size.

In order to increase the engagement of your audience, there are many things you can do. Be sure you are interacting with your readers on a regular basis, responding to comments and answering questions as if you’re conversing in person. You can feature other bloggers on your site, start a hashtag, ask your readers questions, and create content directly geared towards what they want (your Google Analytics can help with this!). Your social channels are a great place to build a genuine relationship with your readers and interact with them regularly.

Brand Collaborations 101 roundtable at Alt Summit 2016 with Collectively

How do you start working with brands?

In order to even begin working with brands, you have two options. You can reach out to brands directly via social media or email, or you can work with a blog network (like Collectively), which already has relationships with hundreds of brands.

If you can find the contact information for the marketing, social media, or influencer department, send them an email with information about your blog, some stats about your audience, and a few ideas on how you’d like to work with them. Remember to make it clear what they can get out of this partnership and why it would worthwhile for both you and the brand. (They’ll get their brand in front of a highly engaged audience as well as their products represented in high-quality content).

Joining a few blog networks is a great way to start working with brands quickly because they already have the connections to relevant clients. Just take a look at some of my favorite blog networks and apply directly. Check out my post on working with blog networks for more info!

Sherwin Williams room decorated by Wayfair at Alt Summit 2016

What kinds of brand partnerships are there?

There are a variety of ways you can work with a brand. The most standard opportunity is a sponsored blog post or social post, but you could also host an event, run a giveaway, contribute content to their blog, and more. In general, brands are pretty open to different types of collaborations, so don’t be afraid to offer ideas that are outside of the box or that you haven’t seen before! As long as it achieves their goals of reaching an engaged community and representing their brand accurately, then they’ll typically be up for anything!

Minted Home pillows display room at Alt Summit 2016

What are some other questions you have about Brand Collaborations?