Feature Friday: Writing an Authentic Sponsored Post

Blogging tips and tricks and advice

One of the most difficult things about being a blogger is providing quality content on a consistent basis. The challenge typically isn’t in coming up with great ideas, but maintaining quality when writing sponsored posts.

Today’s guest Alissa is talking about how to maintain the balance by writing a great sponsored brand post.

rags to stitches

Writing an Authentic Sponsored Post

Hi everyone, my name is Alissa and I’m the editor of Rags to Stitches, a lifestyle blog about enjoying life’s perfect imperfections. Along with being a blogger I’m also a wife to one amazing man, momma to two littles and I’m the Co-Founder of Pollinate Media Group.

I’m excited to be popping by the SNAP blog today to share some of my tips and tricks for working with brands. This seems to be a very popular question, and it’s very rare that I have a Sowing Seeds session that doesn’t begin or end with the big question: what are brands looking for when they work with bloggers? Here are my 5 KNOWS for writing an Authentic Post for a brand.

1. KNOW Your Niche

One of the biggest things I tell people is to know your blogs niche. What do you write about the most that gets your readers engaged in what you’re saying? Is it recipes? DIY? Home decor? Often times you hear people say, write about what you know and the readers will come + it’s so true. Does this mean that I’m telling you that your blog must fall into one category? Nope, absolutely not! My blog focuses on family, fashion, faith and community building so when I’m reaching out to a brand or a brand contacts me, I automatically know whether or not their product fits into my blog niche. Brands are beginning to shy away from working with any blogger that reaches to them + are looking to work with bloggers who know who they are and how that product will fit well with their readership. Be willing to ask yourself if you’re the right fit for the brand.

2. KNOW How to Get Creative

When you find a brand you really want to work with, it’s important to have a game plan. Don’t just reach out to the brand, introduce yourself, give them you stats and then ask for free product, go the extra mile. Give them a game plan. Be willing to spend a little time in the email mapping out how you would represent their brand in a real + authentic way and most importantly, why you believe your readers would also love their brand. While the brand, I’m sure, will be impressed by your stats, they will be even more impressed by your plan for how you’ll best showcase their brand. Don’t be afraid to get creative! Tell them how you would represent their brand in a unique and fun way.

Little Miss Momma via Pollinate Media on Pinterest

3. KNOW How to Set it Up

You’ve build that relationship with the brand you’ve been dying to work with, they’ve sent you product to share with your readers and now the ball is in your court to get that game plan and put it into action. Be detail oriented, make sure that the set up reflects who you are as a person + a blogger, but also reflects the brand in a way that will make your readers want to also own that product. Don’t just photograph the product on your floor or table, but show it in use. In fact, I highly recommend taking lots of pictures of that product and how you’re using it in your home to use in your post. If you can show your readers how that product fits into your every day life, then they are more likely to purchase it. If you’re able to create that call to action, you’re more likely to have the opportunity to work with that brand again in the future.

Your Homebased Mom via Pollinate Media on Pinterest

4. KNOW How to Tell a Story

When working with a brand I always recommend telling a story that brings the reader back to why the product is so great. I truly believe the biggest disservice you can do to a brand is to start your post with, “I got free product”, or “I was sent a $75 gift card to go shopping at…” What this does is it tells you’re reader, right from the beginning of your post, that you got the product for free, but they should go buy it. When you begin your post with a story or anecdote, then share pictures of the product in a creative way, giving honest feedback about the product and it’s uses, the reader is more likely to express a need or desire for the product in their home as well. What this also does is generate great content that the brand is more likely to share through their social media outlets as well.

Nook and Sea via Pollinate Media on Pinterest

5. Know How to Find Way to Work with Brands

There are many ways to begin working with brands, but here are just a few to get you started:

  • Affiliate banner ads: Do more than just have these ads on your side bar. Share deals + promotions happening with your readers. When brands see that you’re generating an authentic buzz about them, it can open the door for you to work together in other ways.
  • PR Agencies: Many times you can find the PR Agency contact for a brand via their website. PR Agencies serve as a buffer for the brand and they will often vet each email as it comes through to determine if you’re the right fit for the brand. This goes back to #2, be creative in your approach, go the extra mile and tell them how you plan to showcase that brand and why you’re readers will connect with that product as well.
  • Blogging or Social Shopper Marketing Agencies: There are many agencies that exist to help pair brands with bloggers that will represent them in a truly authentic way. This is done through blogger campaign initiatives that are often tied into specific promotions that the brand is running. This is what we do at Pollinate Media + there are some other fantastic agencies that do this as well, providing lots of opportunities for bloggers to be exposed to great brands.

Whew! I know that was probably a lot for one day, but hopefully you’ve found this helpful as you reach out to work with brands on your blog.

Thanks for having me today! If you have any questions, please feel free to find me on Twitter or Facebook 

Tauni
Tauni is a former public relations executive who spent 12+ years handling communications and events for an array of clients, from the NBA and Olympics to numerous high ranking politicians. Today, she handles social media for a local agency and hosts SNAP!, an annual social media conference for bloggers focused on entertaining, craft and home DIY.
Tauni
Tauni

Comments

  1. Great post Alissa!

    What do you do when I brand contacts you, but doesn’t fit in your niche… but still sounds interesting?

    • Hi Christine,
      My best advice is when a brand contacts you with an interesting product that is outside your niche, think about how your readers would respond. Would this be a product that they might find interesting to know about? If so, then I would explore working with that brand. I would reach back to the brand and tell them how you would write about their product and if they agree with your 30 second pitch, go for it!

      xo
      Alissa

  2. Love your tips! I think that there are so many bloggers out there looking for a payday and working with anyone they can that it takes the value of the bloggers time and reputation away when the post comes across as just a sales pitch. It really is sad because I skim over a lot of these when I dont see a story or a connection there. I think knowing your niche and knowing your own readers is key, if its not authentic we can tell. The bloggers that can look pass the compensation and really promote from the heart are the ones that usually convince me I need this product, so your tips are so helpful and I hope more people see this! xo

  3. if i am not as big as LMM or you how do i get brands to notice me?

  4. That’s the way – uh huh uh huh I like it! Alissa- Spot dang on girl with this post! Perfect advice right here- Thank you!

  5. This is a great post! Thanks so much for the helpful tips. I’ve just gotten accepted to Martha’s Circle and am beginning to work with brands. I don’t want my sponsored posts to sound like drivel so this is great advice!

  6. Great post!

Trackbacks

  1. [...] super honored and excited to be guest posting over at the SNAP! Conference blog talking about my 5 KNOWS for Writing Authentic Posts for Brands. I’d love to hear your feedback, so be sure to pop by + check it [...]

  2. [...] Alissa, our chief strategy officer and the editor of Rags to Stitches blog recently wrote a wonderful post over at SNAP! Conference blog about Writing an Authentic Sponsored Post. [...]

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