In the last four weekly training modules of my Niche Success Blueprint series, I've been going into great detail about how to attract brands and sponsors, and form (very!) profitable relationships with advertisers in your niche.
This is a great source of additional revenue for almost any blog or niche site, and one I use myself of course, so I've been teaching the step-by-step practical application of this monetization strategy to NSB readers.
By sheer luck, coincidence, or perhaps the stars being perfectly aligned with the freckles in my eyes, I ran across Shannon Acheson's book titled Bloggers & Brands: The Blogger’s Guide to Pitching and Working with Brands.
To clarify, I'm not talking about selling banner ads in your sidebar for $30/month (or even $300/month) or being "a total sellout". In fact I advise against that, and recommend much more profitable methods of working with advertisers & sponsors... that your readers will actually LOVE! Plus it will give your credibility a *serious* boost...
I mentioned Bloggers & Brands to my NSB group already, and I had said that the guide (which is an "instant download" PDF file) is 113 pages long.
I realized after digging into it myself that was a bit misleading. It is 113 pages, but only because of the formatting and spacing - which made it harder to read zoomed in on a larger screen. (Tip: Zoom out when reading it and it's much better.)
I ended up reading it on my mobile device though, and the formatting was actually perfect for a quick thumb-scroll read on a phone or tablet!
I was out & about this weekend and decided to plop down and take a rest, which is when I read the Bloggers & Brands guide.
That's the iBlog Magazine in my lap, by the way. I'll tell you more about it in an upcoming post.
I really liked the writing style.
Shannon is very conversational with the topic, and I loved how she gave lessons at the end of each chapter with an assignment - which also referenced the 7 worksheets included at the end of the guide.
There are 14 lessons, an example email and an example pitch you can model, and 7 bonus worksheets that make it all super easy.
There are lots of real life examples, great tips for how to contact brands you want to work with (that was my favorite part!), and a whole section on figuring out what to charge and how to structure your offers and your pricing.
Bloggers & Brands is very step-by-step. You could literally start working with brands in the same week after studying this guide.
On that note, here's an email from one of my Niche Success Blueprint readers on the topic of working with sponsors and brands:
"I've been working like crazy at the media kit modules and so after reading module 20 yesterday and polishing my media kit I emailed my first target brand.
I've just heard back that they are potentially interested and we'll discuss their requirements in a few weeks, which is a great result and they are a really tight fit.
The great thing about this is that I'm going through the course with a website I have always found difficult to monetize.
I'd never even considered working with brands for some reason and now see what I've been missing out on.
Keep up the great work, as I said before I'm not sure I'm actually enjoying Niche Success Blueprint as it requires so much work but it is pushing me in directions I'd never considered before." -David Leigh
(David gave me permission to share that with you.)
There's definitely good money to be made working with brands and sponsors, and there are so many more options now than just "traditional online advertising" models.
Like I said, we've been discussing this in great detail in the Niche Success Blueprint weekly training modules lately. If you already have those modules, Bloggers & Brands is a great addition to your library. The section on how to find and contact the right people that represent Brands was invaluable, and I really loved the worksheets.
I also loved her ideas on creating "pitches" (which is much cooler than it sounds!) as well as the live examples on both that and the "first contact" emails to send.
The guide is only $19.95. The worksheets alone are worth that, just to make things super easy on you, but the live examples and tips are worth far more in terms of what you can earn (long term!) with this information.
That's my referral link of course. I can tell you that it's geared toward beginners in regards to "working with brands", but not necessarily beginner bloggers. You should have a blog or website already, and be actively working on building your traffic & readership, to get the most out of this guide.
If that's you, and you want to learn how to find the right contacts, how to create a killer one-page pitch for brands you love, learn how to land great blogging jobs that pay well, and understand the ins & outs - including contracts & agreements - then this guide is ideal for you!
I really enjoyed it, and I'm sure you will as well.
Next, see: Make More Money With Your Blog!
p.s. Just for fun... Bonus points if you know the source of the "freckles in my eyes" reference. Leave a comment below!