I am really fortunate to have turned my blog into my full time job, with an income to match. I'm often asked how I make money from blogging, and I am pleased to tell you that there are plenty of ways to make money from blogging. You might have heard about pitching to brands as a way to make money from blogging, and in this blog post I want to share with you reasons why you don't need to pitch to brands to be a successful blogger, including what I do instead.
What is pitching to brands?
One of the many ways that bloggers can make money is with sponsorships, where a brand will pay a blogger to promote them, through a blog post, video or social media.
They can add a great income source to your blog, but finding these opportunities in the first place can be really difficult.
That's where pitching comes in. Pitching is where you contact the company and pitch them the idea of working with you.
The typical process of pitching to brands
Pitching to brands can be quite time consuming, and in fact, is something that I don't do.
The process usually starts with an idea. Perhaps you want to write about a new product, or you want to team up with an energy company to create a video about saving money on your energy bills.
From there, you will need to find suitable companies to pitch to.
Then, the part that I struggle with most, is finding who to contact at that company. Sometimes it is a small company and you head straight to the director, and sometimes a company might have more than one PR agency they work with.
Once you have the relevant contact or contacts, you need to contact them with an introduction and some ideas.
Then you sit back and wait for a reply.
Sometimes that reply never comes.
So you chase. And you chase them. And still, that reply doesn't come.
If the reply does come, from there you can negotiate the specifics of your agreement.
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Why I hate pitching
Pitching works really well for some bloggers, and in fact it is something that I have taken on a freelancer to start doing for me, on a trial basis.
I really dislike pitching to brands for a number of reasons.
The first reason is how time consuming it is. That time that I spend pitching is time that I could spend working on my passive income, either by working on my affiliate marketing strategy, or creating new products or courses to sell.
The second reason is that I have never had a reply to one of my pitches. Not even a ‘sorry, no thank you'.
The third reason is that a lot of the time, PR agencies and brands already have their budgets allocated already. It is their job to spread that budget across their advertising channels, and chances are that they have already decided which bloggers and influencers they want to work with. Sure, I can introduce myself to them and hope that they keep me in mind for upcoming campaigns, but with good SEO work and a strong social media presence, they should be finding me easily enough.
The fourth reason is that I absolutely hate the process of pitching, and I have vowed to cut down the things I hate doing.
What I do instead of pitching
There are a few things that I do instead of pitching.
The first is to really focus on my affiliate marketing strategy. I have worked really hard on my affiliate marketing strategy to ensure that I earn a decent income from affiliates every month. Last year I spent so much time pitching that my income took a hit. I was working hard for no return because every other blogger was saying that you absolutely have to pitch to brands. I decided to draw a line under it and move on and focus on what I am really good at – affiliates. I took part in a 10 day sale for a product, as an affiliate, and over those 10 days I earned over £2,000 in affiliate sales. Whereas pitching had brought me nothing!
I make sure that brands can find me easily, through a combination of things. I have made a few media appearances that have led to brands getting in touch to work with me, and I make sure to update my media kit every month. I have also recently created an entire page dedicated to working with me, which gives brands an idea of the opportunities I can provide them.
I also reply to tweets and Facebook posts asking for bloggers to collaborate with. I don't class this as pitching because usually it is just a case of providing my website link and email address. I am also lucky enough that my friends and followers tag me in these sorts of posts, which I reciprocate when I can.
Of course I have FOMO because I don't pitch, so I have come up with a solution. I have outsourced my pitching on a trial basis to see if it makes a difference to the campaigns that I work on, and the income I receive from my blog.
Am I a successful blogger without pitching to brands?
We all define success differently, and I would definitely define myself as a successful blogger without pitching to brands. My blog brings in enough income that allowed me to quit my job and hire my husband. We have now expanded our business out of our home and into our own offices. Every day I get to live the life I want from blogging.
Pitching works for some bloggers
Whilst I might hate pitching, there is no denying that it works for some bloggers and forms a massive part of their business. However if anyone is telling you that you absolutely must pitch to brands to be a successful blogger, they are wrong. I have built a successful blog without pitching to brands.