Collaborating with brands is the most obvious way to earn money from your blog. But most bloggers don’t know where to start. Now you've built your brand, increased your following and readership and have a good engagement rate, it's time to take the next step. 

Make a list of all the brands you would like to work with and could approach. Stay realistic - but dare to dream!

Consider things like their overall feel and the type of products they have; think about how they fit within your personal brand,  what their target market is and if that's reflected in your audience. 
 

Make them aware of your existence

If you don't do so already, follow that brand on social media. Make sure you comment and/or like over time or if you can tag them in a (relevant!) post where you feature their product or service. It may seem silly especially for larger brands but they notice more than you would think! Brands also constantly look for influencers who are true fans of their brands and therefore credibly spread the love among their followers. 
 

Finding the right contact

Google is your best friend here! Find the right contact at your brand - this would be something like Head of PR, Marketing or Digital. Some companies have dedicated influencer relations manager or have outsourced their PR to an agency. Linkedin is also a good place to find out the roles and names you need to contact. Put in a little bit of effort to make sure you get the right person (and the right name) looking at your proposal. 
 

Writing the email

 Keep it short, descriptive, and to the point. Include a small introduction about yourself, why you like their brand, how you fit in with their brand and how you could collaborate. The more specific and creative you are the better! Rather than just proposing 'A collaboration', let them know exactly what you have in mind and what's the story behind it. Writing a special about 10 min lunch ideas? Short trip to the country side - looking for the perfect weekender? Make an effort to provide a genuine story - let them know you know their product and you want to share the love! Most importantly - don't copy paste the same email to a bunch of brands!

Don't forget the unique link to your ZINE media kit. Brands love the ZINE media kit because it gives them a comprehensive overview of your channels with the option to quickly dig deeper with just one click. 
 

Build a relationship

 Once you've landed a collaboration, make sure you are perfectly clear with the terms you've agreed on. Be reliable and post the content when expected. It's important that you do your best to build a relationship with the brand, so that they would want to collaborate with you in the future; and who knows you may become their brand ambassador. 

We all forget to answer emails sometimes - but this really should be an exception! There is nothing more unprofessional than having to chase you. The easier they find it to communicate and work with you the more likely they will engage in more projects with you.