If you’ve been blogging for a while you may be thinking about connecting with other travel-related businesses. Doing so can be a great way to further grow your content whilst saving yourself some money in the process.
Just how does one go about securing complimentary services and products in exchange for reviews though?
That’s what we’re here to help with!
Do I Have Enough Followers/Hits to Start Reaching Out?
It’s easy to look around at other bloggers and think that your social following isn’t high enough or that you’re not getting enough hits to your blog.
Try to ignore that if you can. What you can offer is potentially of great value so don’t let those doubts get to you!
A limited number of views to a well-targeted, engaged audience is worth more than a great number of views made by an unengaged, un-targeted audience. The rise of the micro-influencer is real!
Think about those times you’ve seen a friend post a review on their Facebook wall and you’ve thought ‘awesome, I’ll have to check that out for myself’.
The content you create works in the same way for your followers, regardless of how many there are.
What matters more than your stats is what exactly you can offer. For any deal to make sense it has to work for both parties, but don’t worry, chances are you bring a lot more to the table than you even know. Sometimes quality does matter more than quantity.
Be Genuine – Keep your niche in mind
First of all, it’s important that the companies you reach out to are ones that you would want to promote in the first place. If you weren’t receiving a complimentary product or service would you still be interested in them? If there wasn’t a trade off, would you still want to write a feature on your blog?
As a travel blog looking at bucket-list adventures, it wouldn’t make sense, for example, for us to partner with a fitness supplement. We’re not an authority in that space and it’s not an area that either of us have a particular interest in (though for our own health, we probably should be!) By comparison though, we love connecting with brands that offer adventure activities, city exploration, memorable accommodation, tech gear and adventure clothing brands.
Seriously, look at some of the amazing companies we’ve had the pleasure of working with and places we’ve been. We love them through and through and that’s what it’s all about.
If the brand you’re thinking of approaching spins your wheels then you’re off to a great start.
It’s Not Always About the Numbers
Ignoring your statistics first of all, what is it that you’re good at?
Do you write highly engaging narrative style blog posts? Is quality research second nature to you? Can you write an informative city guide with the best of them?
Maybe you have a keen eye for photography or a knack for being in front of the video? Are you personable beyond compare, with the ability to build genuine relationships with people from any background?
If you take your audience out of the equation, you’ll be able to focus on finding your point of difference without the self-doubt that may have plagued you earlier.
I’m not suggesting for a moment that your audience doesn’t matter but let’s pretend for a second that you don’t have anyone reading your blog (though clearly that isn’t the case!)… if you create amazing content which is then shared on by the company that you’ve worked alongside, that content still has value, right?
Likewise, if you create an amazing post now that lives permanently on your site which over time grows in popularity, that post continues to reach your growing audience.
Let’s Put the Numbers Back in the Equation – Look on the bright side
Every business has a strength.
Take us for example – though we started with the blog, it was Instagram that really grew initially for us so when we first started reaching out to potential collaborative partners, we made sure to explain our key strength – social media.
We use our media kit to share the information that potential collaborative partners might need to see to make their decision but focus on what we do best in regards to statistics.
We intentionally share our key blog demographs (specifically age, gender and location) as that information can really help a business decide if our audience fits within their target market.
You’ll notice we also provide testimonials from previous collaborations and links to some of the posts we’ve written so people can see we’re the real deal. Unfortunately we’ve heard of some bloggers (though fortunately we don’t know any ourselves that fall into this category) who have a bad habit of over-promising and under-delivering – for this exact reason, we share details of some of our previous successful campaigns.
Whatever you do though, be honest in the information that you share. It’s one thing to celebrate your strengths and focus on what you do well – it’s another thing to inflate what you’re able to offer.
So, Is It Time?
Quite possibly, yes.
Regardless of where you’re at on your journey, consider what you can bring to the table. Can you offer something to a business that will potentially bring them genuine new leads? Are you able to write a review so amazing that you’ll convince people to support them (only if they deserve it of course!)?
Try not to get caught up on what you’re currently developing and instead celebrate what you can offer.
Above all, any exchange should be a fair one. Bloggers who are able to offer a lot generally require an additional payment for the services, whereas newer bloggers may still be required to make a partial payment on a high-value product or service. When you consider what your time and offering is worth it will give you an idea as to what the trade-off might be.
Businesses are out there and as long as you’re honest in the information you share and put your best foot forward, at the very least you’ll provide businesses with the information they need to make an informed decision.
Would you like our opinion? If you’d like to leave a link to your site in the comments below we’d be more than happy to share our thoughts as to whether you’re ready to start pitching. Need help working out what you point of difference is? We’d be happy to work with you to figure that out too!