Yay we are at month four (well technically the start of month 5!) I love writing these posts; I know that they are different to my main content but I love showing how many opportunities there are in the blogging world and sharing my tips with others. Before we begin, make sure you’ve read my previous blogging as a business monthly updates posts.
So let’s have chat about month 4 shall we!
As I mentioned in month 3, I decided to leave my permanent teaching job and go supply. A month or so on and I am beyond happy with my decision. Although I know going freelance or self-employed means no sick pay and holiday pay, I feel like I am completely in control of my income and job. A few weeks ago I was unwell so I went home and told the head just to pay me half a day. Now you might be thinking, hang on you lost the money; this is a terrible moral? But what I gained was a sense of freedom- I didn’t feel guilty, worried or panicked I was letting anyone down. I just felt like I’d made the decision so I just needed to make sure I picked up some more work down the line. As an anxious person, this makes such a big difference to my day to day life!
My stats stayed consistent over the last few months which I am happy with- I also know I could be doing a lot more in terms of social sharing. So much of my traffic can come from Pinterest that I get lazy with the other methods (more on this Pinterest traffic in month 2 update). I have started making more of an effort with my facebook page– doing little videos which I really enjoyed. I am not sure if to go down the youtube road but hate the thought of starting all over again! Any advice on this? I am also using Archie sporadically (aka whenever I remember to use it) and if you haven’t already tried it, have a read of this post.
I am still finding blogging can bring in a regular income and am really happy with how the blog is developing. I have been pitching very regularly since December- in fact, I started a facebook group just for bloggers who want to help each other with pitching and it’s grown into a lovely community: celebrating successes and encouraging each other along the way. Can I just make it clear that pitching is basically the opposite of begging for freebies! With pitching, it is not about asking for stuff but making clear what you can offer brands- it’s about sharing your stats and basically getting out there. My top tips on pitching would be:
- Pick two or three brands a week. Send a quick emailing introducing yourself and what you do with a copy of your media kit. I have secured two sponsored posts this week using that method!
- Use the twitter hashtags #prrequest and #bloggerswanted hashtag to look for ops- but don’t spam those hashtag with requests (well you can, but it’s annoying)
- Be super specific– words like ‘connect’ ‘collaborate’ ‘work together’ can be unclear and PRs don’t know what you are expecting. Instead outline what you’re looking for and what you can offer, e.g.: I am looking for x, in return for x.
- Adapt prices. This doesn’t mean dropping to rock bottom prices but offer different packages to suit brands. Does the brands want lots of social shares or are links more important? Think about adding value. If they’ve only got a limited budget, could they be part of a round-up post or social shares? You’ll only think resentful if you take on a project for less money than you feel it’s worth.
- Remember- only about 1/10 pitches actually lead to something so be optimistic.
- Don’t waste time on pitches that are clearly going nowhere– we all have planned in our head’s the perfect sarcastic reply to brands who don’t value us (Here’s mine: Hi x, Thanks for getting in touch but unfortunately your 23 twitter followers is not much of an incentive to spend hours writing for free. Given your passion for working without pay, I can only assume you too have shunned a paid role and pay your mortgage in excited exclamation marks…) But you’ve already spent 19 emails trying to establish there is a budget, so why waste more time!
- Keep track of who you’ve pitched to and brands you’ve worked for in the past. It might also be worth revisiting brands you’ve worked with before to introduce yourself again (got this tip from another blogger in the Facebook forum!) and see if any new work is available.
If you’ve found this blog post helpful but need more info on the technicalities, you’re not sure exactly how to send your first email or the rates you should be charging, well you’re in luck! I detail all of the steps I take in my new ‘Pitching Toolkit.
If you’re a UK blogger looking for ways to approach brands but aren’t sure what to say and how sponsored posts work- then go find out more about my Pitching Toolkit now! It guides you through every step of reaching out to brands and collaborating with them.
I hope these tips help and do let me know if there’s anything you’d like me to cover in my month 5 reflection!