‘Mindless oblivion mapping the lost roads of time,
Endless walks through nothingness,
Blank stares and empty features devoid of emotion,
Silent mouths taped shut by society,
Forgotten memories erased by the winds of change,
Lilting lullabies in fractured ice,
Breathing ceases to exist in the world where noone knows my name’
As bloggers we make it our perogative to reach out to as many companies as we can in order to build upon our social media presence and establish a relationship with our readers, who are relying on our candour and honesty when conducting product reviews. But why do all the hard work when there are blogger outreach programmes that specifically outsource campaigns and opportunties to boost both the profile of your brand and the reputation of the brand you will be working with? From companies that target fashion bloggers to more niche topics such as sport and media Faded Spring has got you covered.
Best For Fashion- Medium
When I first signed up to The Blogger Programme there was virtually no opportunities that were suitable for me due to having a limited audience since I was only a few weeks into my role as a blogger. However between October- November as I saw a huge influx in social media stats I had a great deal of exciting opportunities including working with Elie Beaumont one of my personal favourites which you can read HERE I listed The Blogger Programme as intermediate because high quality opportunities often need a minimum of 10 K combined on all platforms but there are a few rarities such as Chi-Chi London that require over 20 K which frankly I find stupendeous but more on that later.
Usually opportunity requirements vary from a minimum of 500 combined followers on all social platforms to 20,000 on one platform-usually Instagram and require you to create a portfolio with all your social media networks before submitting an application as to why you should be given the opportunity over bloggers.
Sign Up To The Blogger Programme HERE
1. Accessible Site
Since they updated the site it is more user friendly and easier to use. As you can see by the screenshot below there is a dropbar for opportunities that are currently available, a list of new brands and a list of bloggers. This is a great feature as it allows you to directly pitch a campaign to the new brands and gives you more freedom and control of your application
Brands, Bloggers and Opportunities
2. Regular Updates
Unlike most blogger outreach programs, The Blogger Programme updates its opportunities and database every day meaning that content is fresh and new so don’t worry if you can’t find an opportunity as you might be luckier the next day. If you sign up with The Blogger Programme you get emails once a week to notify that new opportunities have been posted.
3. Varied Campaigns
Although the majority of campaigns are aimed at fashion bloggers there will be the chance to attend events giving you the chance to review music shows, resturants and more. The best thing about their campaigns is that they try to cater to the mid-range blogger like myself who has a medium level of social stats but a beginners level of stats and will even offer sponsored posts even if you have little experience. Yesterday’s post ‘How To Find A Photographer’ was sponsored by Bark.Com but usually campaigns are categorized as product reviews or attending event launches.
A still from my sponsored post ‘How To Find A Photographer’
1. Unrealistic Criteria
I might be being slightly picky but I think it is important to reject the assumption that only ‘top-rate’ bloggers can apply for all campaigns as there has been some campaigns such as House of Holland that I would have loved to apply for yet because I don’t fit their requirements I am not seen as ‘fit’ enough to market their brand despite me having high-quality engagement with my audience. This would most likely be a con for all blogger outreach programs as I feel they need to reduce limitations and give newer bloggers a chance to review their products.
House of Holland requires a combined total of 100 K to apply for their campaign
2. Brands That Exploit New Bloggers
It is a rarity but I think they need stricter guidelines on what campaigns blogger brands can and can’t pitch as being asked to ‘write a wishlist’ with no promise of products or monetary compensation for the possibility of being featured on their site is exploitation at its finest. As bloggers we have a duty to sustain an income and whether that be through product reviews or sponsored posts we cannot give free labour with nothing in return. As you can see by the example below I have been repeatedly contacted by the company who I declined as they might not even feature my review.
The brand was polite but did message me three times and irritated me by the use of ‘Might’& when I asked about whether I would be given items to review they said no.
Etail is probably my least favourite Blogger Programme but some of my blogger buddies can’t reccomend it enough. I haven’t had a successful campaign from Etail just yet but have been shortlisted for a few which you can see below. However my friend Lauren from Shy Nature has a successful blogging partnership with them and has been sent several lust-worthy items.
How It Works
Etail is based purely on social media rankings i.e. Instagram, Youtube, Facebook, Twitter and Pinterest among other more obscure social media platforms which you can see below. It also asks you what your page rank is and DA is. Mine is PA 38 and DA 28 which I will explain more about in another post. The point is that the higher your social media ranking the more blogger opportunities that are available to you which is why Etail is listed here as Intermediate.
While for the most part I have not been a fan of E-Tail PR so far, I do like that it splits its campaigns up into three categories : Campaigns you are eligible for, campaigns waiting approval and campaigns you are not eligible for which shows you exactly what you can apply for.
1. Social media rankings
It is ironic that I am eligible for the Hazel and Grace campaign on Etail and yet have been asked to review their products on The Blogger Programme. It is a strange paradigm to base a bloggers eligibility for your campaign on their social media stats yet ask them to write a blog post. Surely it would make more sense to evaluate their blog rather than social media campaigns?
2. Manual Stats
It wasn’t until I read this post that I realized why I had not been getting campaigns and that is because my profile had not updated since October where I had 600 followers on IG and now have 1.5 K. This is a huge con for me as our social media can grow rapidly and therefore we cannot always keep track of our exact social stats.
3. Low-Quality Campaigns
It might seem a little harsh but for bloggers who have low-medium social rankings there is a poor level of campaigns available whereas bloggers with 10K followers have the opportunity to work with brands such as New Look and Motel. They need to broaden their range of campaigns that are available to bloggers and not give us third-rate opportunities.
4. Limited Accessibility
Most campaigns are only available to stand-alone domains so if you are signed up with Wix, Blogger, WordPress or any other platform you will not be eligible unless you are self-hosted. Thankfully I brought my domain early on but buying a domain is not cheap and therefore E-Tail should not dismiss bloggers who do not own their own domain
Best For All
My second favourite blogger outreach programme after The Blogger Programme, Bloggers Required is catered to all niches including sport , lifestyle, fashion, beauty and parent bloggers and updates its list once a week, uploading a new blogger oppurtunity Monday to Friday.
Simply create your account before applying to as many opportunities that suit your niche before having your posts accepted or rejected. I have had a great deal of opportunities through this network including Mink and Stone: Daydreaming In Monochrome, Pulse Clinic: A Review , Charmeuse Couture: A Review and many more and Mink and Stone accepted me when I was only 2 weeks into blogging so experience is not an issue.
A still from my review of ‘Pulse Clinic’
On some campaigns there are requirements but usually the only requirements is that you fit a category niche that they have listed in their description and will complete everything that they have asked you to do. Some opportunities have closing dates and are deleted once closed but it is best to apply for newer blog opportunities as at times the brands spaces have been filled up.
1.Open to Everyone
No matter how much or little experience you have had most opportunities are open to everyone and they will choose the blog which would represent their company the best rather than have it determined by how many followers you have on social platforms.
2.Caters To All Niches
I like that it is so open and varied; at the moment opportunities are mainly targeted torwards lifestyle and mummy bloggers but when I first started it was more fashion and accessory based. The fact that it is changing all the time makes it exciting as you watch new opportunities pop up in your inbox.
An opportunity for parenting and mummy bloggers
3. PR Friendly database
Bloggers Required have set up a database which you can be part of to make yourself more searchable for PR’s and are subsquently known as ‘PR friendly’. You can also get a badge but I prefer not too as I don’t want it to show that I will accept any opportunity that is offered to me because I will not unless I like the product.
Add yourself to the ‘PR friendly’ database
1.Confusion over closed opportunities
It is a PR or brands duty to close their opportunity when all the spaces are filled and it can be quite frustrating to be notified by the brand that they are not taking on any more bloggers because they have the number the need. Not explictly a feature of Bloggers Required but I think there needs to be better liasons between the PR and Bloggers Required.
Best For Fashion- All Rankings
Started by bloggers Rich Tong and James Nord, they wanted to curate a blogger outreach programme that would cater to bloggers of all experiences and therefore target a wider market audience. Not only does it set up a live social media stream-see below- with your most recent pictures but it creates a detailed media kit listing your social outreach, list of followers as well as your site ranking.
The opportunities are vast but what is striking is how detailed and complex each opportunity is with the chance to conduct media reports, curate permenant working relationships or even become part of their team.
1. Direct Message Any Brand
Fohr Cards has a huge directory of prolific and indie brands that want to colloborate with bloggers which leads me unto my next point.
2. Prolific Brands
Brands include Hollister and other notable brands that are willing to work with all bloggers regardless of social rankings. Sometimes the biggest brands are more concerned with the quality of your content than the amount of followers you have
1. 24 Hour + verification
For the benefit of my readers I signed up and have waited two days so far to get my details verified by Fohr Cards so I can have a visible press kit and updated followers list as the moment it says I have 0. I will keep you updated once my account has been verified.
*Update After 48 hours my account was updated and now has an exstensive media kit [See Below]
2. US based
For 50% of my readers this will not be a con but for me as a blogger living in the UK there are very few British companies or opportunities. It is also not made explicitly clear whether the opportunities are only available to US residents but since it has allowed me to directly approach companies I would think that the answer is no.
3. Beta Mode
As the programme is new there are still some features missing including a search bar, FAQ’s and more information on the eligibility of the companies being matched with certain bloggers. It makes it slightly frustrating to navigate the site but since it is in beta mode this is only a minor critique.
Best for Parenting
A built in premier members only database that connects you with brands, markets your blog to potential sponsorships, invites you to parenting events, connects you with potential reviews and shares your blog with their prolific community. As I am not a parenting blogger I am unable to access the site but I have researched reviews and data to conduct my pros and cons.
Unlike most blogging outreach programs there is a real sense of community instilled in Tots 100’s signature ethos and the fact that it shares your posts and reccomends you to prolific brands such as Tescos has to be one of the best features of a blogger outreach program that I have come across so far.
In the blogging community it is known that the majority of blogging outreach programs are centered around fashion and lifestyle so it is nice to come across a specialist platform that caters to parenting bloggers ONLY.
Depending on how you look at it this could be considered both a pro and a con. It is great that they provide you with a ranking as for many parenting bloggers this is the equivalent of DA which many blogging opportunities for parenting bloggers look for. Using eight different metrics it calculates your unique visitors, Instagram followers, age impressions per month, links to the site from other blogs ,total links to the site, as listed by MozMozRank score,recent links to the site (previous 30 days) and Klout score.
1. You have to have been blogging for six months
Tots 100 highly reccomend that you have been blogging for six months otherwise your blog may be removed from the site which in my opinion is a shame as there are incredible parenting bloggers who have been blogging less than six months and would like to increase their portfolio but can’t as it is frowned upon by Tots 100.
2. Blogs that have not been active for three months will be removed
This might be a contentious point to make but i highly disagree with this feature as there are bloggers who due to illness, travelling, family commitements may be on a hiatus from blogging but that does not mean that they will not return. Tots 100 should bear these possible reasons in mind.
And The Rest…
Fashion and Lifestyle
Best New Product Review Brand
Best For Blogging Tips and Blogging Events
Best For International Bloggers
Best For Working With Indie Or International Brands
Best For Affilates and Sponsorships
Best For Improving Marketing/ Blogger Relations
Best For Product Categorization
Best For Press Releases and British Events
Best For Beauty, Lifestyle, Fashion and Food
Best For Ad Endorsements
Best For Sponsored Posts
Best For Product Giveaways And Paid Content Placement
*Disclaimer Please note I have not been reinbursed to advertise any of these brands nor am I an active ambassador. All programmes were tested out by me to give my readers an authentic outlook into each blogger outreach programme.
Which Blogger Programmes are your favourite?