Sho 'em whatcha got

Today we are going to talk about different ways of collaborating with brands and monetizing your blog. We will not be rediscovering the fire, just giving it a twist.
“But first, my lady, what else can you do?”. Do not fear this question and ask yourself: what services can my blog offer a brand? How can I sell them? Are they profitable?
Yes, getting paid for banners is OK. Organizing giveaways will maintain your blog busy for a couple of weeks and feed your numbers with followers who are not actually interested in you -but in the prize-. And obviously getting to keep free products to review is like the best(est)[est] on earth. But how do your readers react to ONLY that?
Here are a few ideas that you can develop and implement in your blog and, obviously, add to your mediakit.

MASTERING ADS

Advertisement in your blog, in your newsletter or social media channels: locate the spaces you’d like to dedicate to advertisement in all these platforms and measure them. Draw them on your draft mediakit and include the dimension details. Think about an advertorial calendar as well: how often are you willing to change these ads? How many different brands would you like to introduce at once?
(Wondering where you can locate an ad space in your Facebook? Sell your header image space! What about Twitter? Sell the background space! But better read “Brand Ambassadorships” first).

BOOSTING GIVEAWAYS

Boost your Giveaways: how would you like to promote the giveaway and what exactly can you offer a brand in terms of image? Be original in this part and show the brand that you care about your readers (and that they care about you as a media outlet). Giveaways are used by everybody nowadays, so if you’re going to go for one, you’d better stand out from the crowd. Oh, and a personal suggestion: do not spam people asking them to follow you in your 20 different social media accounts if they want a Bobbi Brown lipstick.

SPONSORING CONTENTS

Sponsored editorial content and product reviews: fancy getting paid for trying on a skirt or talking about how awesome ASOS is (even if you prefer Topshop)? Wonderful. But in order to get those benefits, first of all you have to prove you can actually review a skirt or write about ASOS. Include an example or two of previous reviews or sponsored editorial content you have published. Try to create a summary that includes all the things you usually mention when reviewing a product or describing a collection, so that the brand will be aware of how good you can promote their things.

HOSTING GUESTPOSTS

Guestposts: Opening the doors to strangers is always a risk, but it can also turn into an opportunity. Are you ok with sharing the stage with somebody else? How are you going to introduce it to your readers to make it sound “real”? Is it a punctual guestpost or is it going to become a weekly column? Are you going to charge for this or is it just a matter of prestige and image? Consider all the advantages and disadvantages of hosting somebody in your blog and do include under which conditions you are able to permit it.

BRAND AMBASSADORSHIPS

Brand Ambassadorships: Are you willing to sell your soul to a brand and offer your blog’s space and readership as an oblation? Ok, maybe this sounds a little bit satanic… but the heart of the matter is that it’s exactly what’s going to happen if you say YES. So simply measure the consequences and avoid a catastrophe.
Just place yourself in your reader’s shoes for a minute. Imagine that you visit your favourite blog on a Wednesday morning looking for your daily dose of inspiration. Then you realize that EVERYTHING -from header to bottom- has been taken by a lingerie brand: your fav blogger is wearing a bra in her welcome page where she also says she LOVES lingerie all of the sudden, the brand name is everywhere on the site, there are several panties hanging on the side banners, there is an animated gif where you can click to try Brazilian knickers to a cartoon… That’s gross, huh?
Well. If you are going to sell brand ambassadorships, then this is something you SHOULDN’T do. Be creative, but put some limits.

SPEAKING ENGAGEMENTS

Speaking engagements: Do not offer yourself as a speaker if you do not have the skills and/or the experience that are necessary to accomplish a speaking engagement. Remember that your words are supposed to inspire and instruct others and should satisfy determinate needs! Do you think you’ve got style and you love mixing up a Zara blouse with some Topshop leggins? Then you shouldn’t include “speaking engagements” in your media kit since this is NOT relevant to anybody, UNLESS you are a professional stylist. Are you considered an expert in something very specific like baking Cuba Libre flavoured cupcakes? Then you should include it, why not?

I could come out with some more ideas like suggesting brands to sponsor your eBook or offer yourself as an online personal shopper, but I would love to hear some ideas from you too!
Now that your drafted media kit is ready, it’s time for you to look for somebody who is very talented at graphic design (if you are not) to work on your media kit layout. Remember to give the text a marketing allure and to sound businessy at all times. You want to be taken seriously and boost your Fashion Blogger job to the next level.

Am I missing anything? Do you have any questions? Need personalized advice about this subject? Do not hesitate to contact me!

Picture credits: Mark Pillai has photographed Hanna Verhees and Solveig Mørk hansen for Elle Italia (May 2013).