7 Ways You Can Succeed Without Relying On A Blogger Network

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

I have been a blogger since 2008, and the aim of my blog back then was to share my inspirations, life events and a few rants in between. I think that's how most of the established bloggers in present times, started out.

By 2011, I 'graduated' from my teenage rant posts and started sharing useful information – most which were created on my own. Now, during these periods of time, I have been perusing Nuffnang's banner ads to try and earn a little side pocket. Maybe it's just me, but I find that I don't earn very much with banner ads.

It wasn't until 2014 when I discovered that it is possible to reach out on your own to do more – because in no way any blogger network is ever going to notice you in a sea of new bloggers (whose numbers are multiplying day-by-day), much less get you lots of endorsements or campaigns.

Here's the truth. You don't need any other blogger network to get you sponsorships, endorsements or invitations.

You can do it all on your own, seriously. If you're new to blogging or want to get into this industry, do read on.

The first thing you do to start, is to write a simple email. Pick a brand that you like. Brand contacts are always accessible via their websites – check under 'contact' or 'press'. In your email, say hello, introduce yourself and your blog (try to keep it brief and leave a link), and request for a press release of their new products. A press release usually comes in a Word document, accompanied by images of the product.

It is important to pick brands that you like, because in this industry, it works as a give-and-take. You might need to start off by giving them a good feature, which will help you strengthen the relationship. You can later on ask to do paid posts, when you feel that you have established a good bond. Also, I will advise you to create a themed feature (like a Valentines day post I did this year), instead of posting brand products post-by-post. For example, this 'beauty picks' post – see how I incorporated a few brands? That way, my blog would not look like a sell-out, and yet I manage to make it look like a proper editorial post and please these brands.

Once you get your first event invitation, don't just sit about and drink champagne. Put in some effort to network and meet more bloggers and PR contacts. The PR people will be your best friend in blogging, as your email-address will go into a PR-list that will be circulated within the PR companies, which in turn can gain you more blogger-event opportunities. Also, if you are punctual and write well, they may call you back for more events in the future.

You may see other bloggers as your competitor (which in a way, they are), but some bloggers I've met are really nice and generous. If you have an event where you are allowed to bring a plus one, invite your blogger friend to come along. That way, she can do the same for you, and you will both be introduced to more events and PR contacts. It's a win-win for both!

There are a few blogger communities on Facebook where business owners, PR people, event management people post up calls for bloggers to attend their event/launch. The thing is, not many brands out there can afford to get bloggers through an established blogger network – so they use these free Facebook groups to gather a bunch of enthusiastic bloggers for their events. I've been to a few, and they are usually very fun too. Chances are, you will see some of the same faces around in each event – which gives you more chances to make new friends too.

At some point, you would like to earn something for all the hard blogging you do, and that's okay because no one likes to work for free. Now that you have a list of good PR contacts, you can start promoting your blogger press kit (essentially, a press kit should contain short but clear info about yourself, your blog stats, social media stats and contact information. A few photos would be good too). It takes time and courage to finally receive a paid post request, but it will happen if you persevere. That way, you can definitely earn a little pocket money and satisfaction.

At some point, things may get a little too much to handle, or you will find your blog not progressing or moving fast enough. Don't be discouraged. Always blog for yourself and only do it because you like it. You have the rights to reject any brand that isn't a fit for your blog's niche. Do not pressure yourself into covering all the brands that come into your inbox. I also highly suggest you create your own original posts from time to time, lest your blog looks like a catalogue of products, rather than a real blog. Don't get too caught up in the free-products either, you don't have to review everything that is sent your way.

Working with my amazing sponsors and affiliates have given so much life to my blog, and helps pay some of the bills (shopping bills only for now *ahem*), hence keeping me motivated to march on. I still essentially keep it as my own with posts like these, or with some free downloads like this useful travel-packing printable or my free monthly calendar downloads.

My last piece of advice: make it yours, enjoy the perks and read more blogs! What are blogs for if no one reads them, especially people who are bloggers themselves. I pride myself on reading at least 5 different blogs a day, and I find Bloglovin very useful for following cool blogs.

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All images and text here are the intellectual property of Michelle Lim, owner of the blog site www.coquettishmish.com, and related third-party ownerships. Any use, reproduction or re-quoting of the materials here can only be done with expressed permission from the blog owner, and should be duly credited where necessary.