Hi, friends!  I’m Amy, aka One Artsy Mama, and I’m thrilled to be here today to share with you a few of the best tips I’ve learned about forming successful, long-term alliances with brands.  When I first started my blog, my sole intention was for it to be a place to share the things my son and I created.  I had no idea at the time that blogging could ever turn into a business endeavor for me, or that two years later, I would be able to fund my son’s private school tuition with my blogging money.  I’ve had a lot of trial and error along the way, but these are some things that I’ve found to be good practices when developing relationships with brands you want to partner with on your blog.

Tips on Forming Successful, Long-term Alliances with Brands

Tip #1: Align yourself with brands you love.

It may seem obvious, but once you represent a company on your blog, you align with that brand, its products, and what it stands for.  Make sure that it’s something you can speak about without reservation and something with which you want to be associated.  When you’re considering approaching a brand about a partnership, think about things you already have, love, and like to tell other people about.  Depending on your blog and interests, maybe it’s a clothing company, a kitchen gadget, a child’s toy, or a home improvement tool.  If you are already excited to share about it with your friends, it’s probably a good fit for your blog and a good company to contact with a proposal.  For example, our family absolutely loves Tervis insulated drinkware.  Between the three of us, we’ve bought nine of their tumblers and use them constantly.  I knew I could wholeheartedly promote their products because of the high quality as well as their lifetime guarantee and our personal experience.  So, I decided to contact them about the possibility of a review and giveaway.

terviscollage (1)

Tip #2: Make a detailed proposal to show your own value.

When you’re approaching a brand, make sure to clearly outline not only what you’d like to gain from the partnership, but what you can offer.  Right now, in some ways we as bloggers have the upper hand because we have a better understanding of social media and the power of social influencers than then brands themselves do, so it’s in our best interest to clearly show the brand the value to them of working with you.  When I first started contacting brands, I would often say something like, “I really love your product and would be happy to host a review and giveaway for it on my site.”  That doesn’t give the brand any information about how a partnership would benefit them, it only shows them that you want free things!  When I approached Tervis, I gave them a few very specific benefits to working with me for a review and giveaway.  The first was that I would bring the tumbler they sent me to an upcoming blog conference where I will be speaking and use it throughout the conference as well as during my presentation.  I told them I would Instagram and tweet about using my tumbler while at the conference, and I also added that I would place their ad on my sidebar from the time of the review until the conference in September.

Tip #3: Put your own spin on things and don’t be afraid to pitch your ideas to the brand.

Like I mentioned earlier, we as bloggers often have a better idea of what will appeal to our particular audience than the brand does.  For example, my readers are mostly crafters/DIY-types and they love anything with a tutorial.  So, if it’s at all possible, I try and work a tutorial or project into my sponsored posts.  I once did a sponsored post for potted bulbs and showed how my son and I made some really fun paint drip pots. Another area of interest for my readers is fashion.  When I approached Tailor & Stylist about partnering, I told them that instead of just showing one way of styling their dress like they asked me to, I would like to do a “One Dress: Five Ways” post where I showed five totally different looks based on the same main piece.  Readers loved it and responded like crazy with comments about their favorite combinations, and Tailor & Stylist was thrilled that the post not only showed off the dress, but also its versatility.  If you have an idea that puts your own spin on a post, tell the company about it and they will most likely not only allow you to do it, but will be thrilled that it better appeals to your audience.


Tip #4: Write the best post you can.

It goes without saying that the first {and every subsequent} post you write for a brand should be your very best quality with large, clear photos.  Use good grammar but keep your unique voice because readers come to your blog to hear YOU!  Obviously, make sure you meet whatever deadline you have and that you fulfill whatever requirements you’ve been given.

Tip #5: Go the extra mile.

Brands will love you for life if you go above and beyond the basic requirements of your agreement and continue to promote them after your post is live.  For example, to refer back to my partnership with Tervis, I recently got an email from them advertising a free shipping promotion they were running.  So, I tweeted about it and shared it with my Facebook followers.  Recently, I participated in The Blog Workshop’s online conference and they asked us to tweet photos of ourselves “attending.”  Of course, I happened to be drinking an iced chai in one of my tumblers, so I made sure to tag Tervis in the photo too.  If you really love the product, it won’t be hard to talk about it from time to time…in fact, you’ll find yourself doing so and you’ll have to remember to tag the company, almost as an afterthought.  Little things like that show both the brand and your readers that your support of the company/product extends beyond making a quick buck with a sponsored post.  It shows that you truly do feel strongly about whatever you’re promoting and would be a good partner or brand ambassador to work with in the future.


I hope that gives you some things to think about as you consider opening your blog up to sponsors and partnering with brands you believe in.  I would love for you to stop by One Artsy Mama sometime and say hello; after all, the best part of blogging is making new friends and sharing what we’ve learned with one another!

Hugs & Glitter,


Amy Latta is the author of One Artsy Mama, where she shares a variety of project types including home decor, kids’ crafts, sewing, jewelry, crochet and more.  In addition to posting on her own blog, Amy is a contributor at My Favorite Finds, Engaged Marriage, & Somewhat Simple, a Curator for, and a speaker for BloggyConference 2013.  In January, she began a Growing Together Blogger Mentoring Program which has allowed her to work one-on-one with bloggers and offer her insight and experience to help them reach their goals.  Amy is happiest when creating something and enjoys making all kinds of projects with her 4 year old “Little Crafter.” In her spare time, Amy is a professional ballroom, latin, and swing dancer.  When not on the dance floor or crafting, you can probably find her at Starbucks.  Connect with her on  Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google+, and Instagram.

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{ 12 comments… add one }

  • Cassi June 6, 2013 at 12:09 pm

    Great tips! I have to work on my value before I can do all that.
    Cassi recently posted…Geekatoo – Saving $$ on Local Tech Support, Computer Repair, & More!My Profile

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    • amy June 7, 2013 at 1:09 am

      Thanks, Cassi! Glad you found them helpful. As you grow, start with smaller companies, and then move on to larger ones. I found when I was starting out that a lot of Etsy shop owners and small businesses are more than happy to work with beginner bloggers.
      amy recently posted…Shine on Fridays #83My Profile

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  • vanita June 6, 2013 at 1:47 pm

    Amy I absolutely love your One Dress Five Ways spin. Outstanding idea! Thanks so much for sharing.
    vanita recently posted…Bounce Rate Defined Series: Wrap Your Blog In HoneyMy Profile

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    • amy June 7, 2013 at 1:10 am

      Thank you!! I loved putting together the five different looks! It was a fun challenge!
      amy recently posted…Shine on Fridays #83My Profile

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  • Sue - The Spin Cycle June 6, 2013 at 2:22 pm

    You have a fabulously proactive approach to working with brands, Amy. Our community is better with you in it!
    Sue – The Spin Cycle recently posted…Being Mom – and Working ItMy Profile

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    • amy June 7, 2013 at 1:11 am

      Thanks so much, Sue! What a fabulous compliment! Meanwhile, I just got to parasail for free while we were in Myrtle Beach because I offered to review the company!! Woohoo for being proactive; you get awesome stuff!
      amy recently posted…Shine on Fridays #83My Profile

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  • Ally June 6, 2013 at 6:56 pm

    Thanks for sharing this great advice Amy. It didn’t occur to me that we, bloggers should approach brands… I always thought they’re the ones making the first step.
    And by the way, that dress looks gorgeous on you!
    Ally recently posted…Hot Cocoa Chocolate Drink as It Should BeMy Profile

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    • amy June 7, 2013 at 1:12 am

      Thank you, Ally! And yes, by all means, never be afraid to ask! The worst that can happen is that they don’t reply or they say no…the best, well that has so many possibilities!!
      amy recently posted…Shine on Fridays #83My Profile

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  • SheilaG June 9, 2013 at 2:21 am

    Great tips, Amy. I really need to be more proactive about partnering with brands. I keep thinking I’m not big enough yet, but like you said, it never hurts to ask. :)
    SheilaG recently posted…Rustic Birdhouse UpdateMy Profile

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  • Michelle June 13, 2013 at 12:15 am

    Great tips! I like how you spelled it out…it needs to be a two way street!
    Michelle recently posted…Decorate Your Home with Photos! {WeMontage Photo Wallpaper Giveaway}My Profile

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  • Lauren July 17, 2013 at 3:57 am

    I am someone who learns best by examples…so of course, I LOVED this post! It really helped spell out some really practical ways to partner with brands. I’ve always felt a bit shy about reaching out, but reading this post has given me the tools I feel I need and the boost of confidence to put myself out there…and just ask! Thanks so much for sharing your wisdom with us, Amy. Pinning and tweeting!
    Lauren recently posted…IKEA Hack: Whitewashed Fjell Wardrobe with Pallet ShelvesMy Profile

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  • Kelly @ Here Comes the Sun July 17, 2013 at 11:45 pm

    Great tips, Amy! I recently contacted a company and am now doing a 5 part series for them and using the $ to fund my son’s preschool!

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