7 Things Brands Look for Before Working with a Blogger / Carmen Varner // Travel Influencer, Blogging Coach, Social Media Consultant


7 Things Brands Look for Before Working with a Blogger

As a social media coordinator & marketer as well as a lifestyle blogger, I've done my fair share of blog writing, publicity, press, events, & pretty much everything under the social media sun. I've been on both the giving & receiving end of social media marketing, so I have first-hand perspective on what brands look for before working with a blogger.

I've managed social channels for brands who focus on timeshares, sewing & embroidery designs, vegan energy bars, & more. Blogger outreach is the ideal way to get brands in touch with modern influencers. Whether you're a California lifestyle blogger or an organic mommy blogger, make sure your blog is on a brand's radar. If you want to receive more inquiries from brands, read up on these seven things brands look for before working with a blogger.

Other posts from my social media series:

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1. Quality Content & Photography

Before a brand even gets around to reaching out to you, we scour your blog to look at your content, your writing, & your photography. We browse your content & photos to judge if a possible brand collaboration would work. We want good spelling & grammar. We want clear & interesting photos. We want to see your personality shine through your words & content. We view your past posts as a reflection of what a collaboration would look like.

2. Social Media Following

We actively look at all of your social media channels to determine if your blog is a good fit for us. After all, we are providing a service, product, or financial compensation to you & your service is exposure, website clicks, & potential sales for us. You don't have to have an enormous social media following. Count up your followers on all your social media platforms: Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Instagram, Tumblr, etc. My tip: sometimes it's more powerful to say, "I have 3,000+ followers across my social media channels," rather than "I have 907 Facebook followers, 750 Twitter followers, 824 Instagram followers, 500 Tumblr followers, etc."

3. Activity on Social Media Channels

What good is a social media following if you never Tweet, update, or post? We're looking to see if you're active on social media channels by updating relevant & regular information to what we're selling. For example, a vegetarian jerky brand reached out to me because I Tweeted several times about being vegetarian.

4. Engaged Readers

Engagement is extremely important! You can have a huge social media following but no engagement. You're more valuable to us if you have 100 daily views & 2 clicks to our website versus 10,000 daily views & 2 clicks. If you're lacking in followers, your engagement level may save you. If you have both a decent social media following & engagement that makes a wonderful mixture.

5. Demographics

All the above are great & everything, but are your readers who we are targeting? Your blog readers, their age, their location, & their habits, affect whether or not our brand is a good match for your blog. If we're selling candy bars but your blog focuses on healthy recipes, we're probably not a good pair. If you're a single woman in your early 20s, you may not be a good fit for our family-oriented timeshare rentals.

6. Reliability

Did you know that when brands send free stuff or pay for a sponsored post, that costs money? It usually comes from a yearly or quarterly budget set aside specifically for marketing, social media, or influencer outreach. Blogger outreach is costly & brands only have a certain amount of budget & inventory to give out, so we want to ensure that you will be a reliable blogger should we decide to work with you. How long does it take you to respond to emails? How often do you update your blog? What's your turnaround time for collaborative or sponsored posts? Do you have past examples?

7. Media Kit, About Me, or Sponsor Page

After we determine that everything about your blog is a good match for us, we look at your media kit, about me page, &/or sponsor page to find out more about you. We're trying to find your contact information, other brands you've worked with, your page statistics, & any readily available information. This is the final touch before we gather all the content we've accrued & either take it to a superior for approval or begin reaching out to you.

You heard it from me everybody! This is a step-by-step guide in what brands look for before working with a blogger or pursuing blogger outreach. It's a tedious & time intensive process to find the perfect match for the brand, but if we are a good team it's well worth it.

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Catch up on previous posts from my social media series:
How To Create Authentic Social Brand Mentions + Why They're Important

Were these tips useful? Let me know if you have any other questions! :]

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  1. Thank you so much for these valuable tips and sharing them!
    xo Julia

  2. that reminds me, need to update my about me page! :D
    Pam xo/ Pam Scalfi♥

  3. Some really good tips, thanks so much! It's great to hear it from someone who has really experienced it all!



  4. This is such a helpful post, Carmen! As one who does blogging as a hobby, I really don't quite bother with working with brands and such, but I'll definitely use these tips if I decide to go professional. Thank you!


  5. These are great tips...thanks so much for sharing!


  6. This was such a great read, have recommended it! So so good and thank you for sharing! Will surely come back to it! Hooe you're having a lovely week! Xx


  7. Great article Carmen! All such good info.

    xo Heather

  8. This is such a great way to break things down! All mostly attainable and this helps to make everything easy to understand.

    Heidi || Wishes & Reality

  9. These are great tips, thanks for sharing! :) Although my blog is just a hobby I've had a few brands reach out to me via email so it's good to have this list to see what I need to be doing on my blog to make them happy :)

    Hope you're having a great week :)

    Away From The Blue Blog

  10. Oh, thanks for sharing these things! I'm convinced it is absolutely true what you wrote here. I think brands are indeed conscious in the choice of blogs :)
    xx from Bavaria/Germany, Rena

  11. This was such a helpful post, thanks Carmen!

  12. So good to know what brands and PR's look for, as I do sometimes get disappointed if a brand hasn't gone through a project with me like I had expected, thinking maybe I have done something wrong but it was probably that I didn't meet their criteria x

    Beauty with charm

  13. It's good to find out what brands are looking for, very helpful.


  14. I really liked reading this. I always wondered what brands go through to actually decide if they want to work with any blogger. We just get one perspective and can maybe gather a tiny bit of extra information, so this was very helpful for me!
    xx Lisa | Following Lisa

  15. These are great points! It's a great reminder to look at things through a brand's point of view every once in awhile and not just the reader's viewpoint!

  16. It's always great to work with brands. It usually feels so great. I am so grateful for the tips. Thank you for sharing.

  17. Great tips! I haven't worked with a brand yet but these tips/points are very helpful.


  18. Thanks for these tips! I've heard about media kits before but I wasn't completely sure what information they should have.

  19. Loved reading this. Please check out my London Fashion Week style diary!

    Kisses xo | From Aliona With Love

    Instagram @alionawithlove

    Twitter @alionawithlove

  20. Very interesting insight! Beth x

  21. Great post.... Very useful. Thanks for sharing...


  22. Do it! You should update it every three month. Simply make sure it's up-to-date or add anything fun or new. :]

  23. Yep, I've experience all aspects of it. :]

  24. At least you have the information should you ever want to use it. :]

  25. Everything is attainable, but it does time time & effort for sure. :]

  26. Brands are very conscious. In fact, each blogger is hand-picked & approved by several people within one company. :]

  27. No worries, Alina. Sometimes a person isn't chosen due to a small detail that the brand wasn't at liberty to disclose. For instance, you may have hit every qualification they said they were looking for (age, location audience, social following), but they might not have mentioned they're specifically looking for someone who has children under 5, or for someone who blogs but still has full time job.

  28. Absolutely, it's always beneficial to see how things are done from the other side. :]

  29. Definitely. They're a business too, so it helps to understand their needs. :]

  30. Every single media kit I've seen has been different. Media kits range from person to person, but companies are usually looking for: your social following stats, your blog stats, your demographic, your overall blog theme, examples of past successful campaigns, & more details about you as a blogger. :]

  31. This is a really great post. Thank you for the reminder, sometimes I get a bit nervous reaching out to brand knowing I don't have 10K IG followers, but you're right -- engagement is also pretty critical! X

    - Dara || www.peoniesandhoneybees.com

  32. Great tips!! I find this really useful just as an idea into how companies reach out to bloggers and how everything works x

    Jenny | Krystel Couture

  33. Great and helpful tips. Thanks for sharing!

  34. Dear Carmen, thank you for this article. It's very helpful. :)
    Meg from Paris @ www.its.meg-ramsay.com

  35. Hi great tips! 😀 Thank you! I have one persona/brand I have good numbers for, but with my new blog, is it ok to do a media kit when your stats aren't that high yet? Advice?

  36. Hi Carmen! Thank you so much for your tips. It's really interesting to read all of your blog posts about blogging! I graduated in May with a communications degree and started blogging as a hobby because I love to write. You do such a great job explaining the qualities of good blogging and the processes of branding and engagement! SO helpful for those of us just starting out!

    Love, Madi @ madlymadi.com


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