How To Be A Successful Blogger - Where To Find Paid Collaborative Work*

*This is a collaborative post*

Where to begin? I've been blogging for a couple of years now and it's fair to say I've worked on my fair share of collaborative posts. Indeed I feel very lucky to be in a position where I can make an income this way but it's not all been down to pot luck! Much of it comes down to other factors; mindset, hard work, consistency, tenacity, networking and marketing.

I've no idea how many hours I've put into GirlGoneDreamer but I know it's a lot. If you want something enough then believe me when I say nothing can stop you. I set out with no budget, no blogging skills or knowledge, no laptop and no contacts. All I knew was that I wanted to blog and to do so successfully. I think I've proved it's possible, in fact I even wrote a post about blogging on zero budget. If you set out with the right mindset then you're already half way there. Many people fail simply because they give up after the first few hurdles. This is where tenacity comes into play. Stick with it, believe in your abilities and keep going no matter what. 

Before you can work on paid or collaborative posts you'll need to make sure your blog has it's own domain. (In other words, if your URL still ends in blogspot .com then you really need to look into buying your own domain name.) You'll also want to check your domain authority with an online tool. MOZ has a DA checker if you're not sure where to start. Finding out your DA score is important as many clients and PR firms will ask for it. If you're unsure what DA is all about then just think of it as a ranking system. The greater or higher the number, the better your website ranks. 

Don't expect the work to come rolling in straight away, just blog consistently and your time will come. I always advise sticking to content that you feel passionate about. Be yourself and do your own thing and most of all, do not compare yourself to anyone else. I know this is extremely difficult and I've been guilty of it but it's not healthy and your blog will suffer as a result. 

Once you've been blogging consistently for a while and you're happy with how your blog looks, you'll be ready to start really marketing yourself. Marketing is vital in the blogosphere. There's so many of us now that it's difficult to stand out. If you want more exposure then look at advertising with fellow bloggers. When you're tweeting or on Instagram, utilise hashtags and check which are trending. Take part in blog chats and follow other bloggers. Be active on your social media platforms such as Facebook, Twitter, Instagram and Pinterest. I'll touch more on marketing in a separate post as today I really want to focus on blogger outreach. The one question I'm asked on a regular basis is 'How can I get more paid collaborative work?' Well ladies and gentlemen, in response to this, today I'm going to share tips on how I get mine. 

Blog Outreach Platforms

There are several blogger outreach services that I use but I'm just going to mention the two platforms that have proved to be more successful for me; Get Blogged and Guest Bloggers Wanted. Both platforms require you to write a pitch to sell yourself (or rather your blog) but that's where the similarities end. Get Blogged has a set fee per assignment whereas Guest Bloggers Wanted features a bidding system. 

Provided your DA is at least five, you can apply for opportunities on Get Blogged. The higher your DA, the more opportunities you can apply for and the higher your DA, the higher the fee. Each assignment comes with a clear-cut brief, a set word count, anchor text and relevant links. 
I also particularly love the Karma points feature. Every time you complete an assignment successfully you're awarded points. Likewise if you refer other bloggers and they join, you'll also get points. At the end of every month cash prizes are awarded to the top three bloggers on the leaderboard. (I came third in April and won £20. Bonus!) If you do want to recommend other bloggers, make sure that they use your unique link so that you get your points.

Get Blogged are also always on the lookout for more brands to work with which means of course more opportunities for us bloggers! 

Social Media

Many people miss out on opportunities purely because they don't know where to look. For instance, I find many opportunities via blog groups on Facebook. The main few I use are; 
UK Influencer Opportunities, Official UK Bloggers, Blogger Assignments & Opportunities, Bloggertunity - Blogger Opportunities, Blogger Opportunities and Bloggers Wanted - Blogger Opportunity Group. Most of these are closed groups so you'll need to send a request and wait for approval. Each have different rules and guidelines too so please be sure you read these. I check all these groups daily both at lunch and again in the evening so that I don't miss out on any opportunities. 

After PR, Twitter is probably where I get the most of my work. As time consuming as it is, I scroll through the #bloggerswanted and #bloggersrequired hashtags daily. I usually find at least one to two opportunities a day to apply for. Don't be afraid to also publish your own tweet saying you're looking for work. Make sure you include important details such as your URL and email. If a client has to go looking for it then they'll lose interest quickly. Also include relevant hashtags and an image to help your tweet stand out. 
Instagram is another huge platform these days and one of my favourites. I've had many collaborations come from this source. It takes a while to build a following so stick with it. One of the bloggers I know recently hit 100k followers so it CAN be done with persistence and hard work. I also recommed looking at your instagram marketing with platforms such as Ampfluence which can help to increase your Insta presence.

PR firms

Once you've worked with a PR firm, don't be afraid to send them monthly emails to see if they have any further work. I send out a friendly pitch to each of my PR firms at the beginning of every month and this is how I get the majority of work. Once you've built a good relationship with your PR contacts, you'll find that they'll also email you as and when extra opportunities come along. If you've never worked with a PR firm before then why not ask one of your blogger friends who does to put in a good word? I've done this successfully for a few fellow bloggers. 

There are also other ways to find blog work such as via referrals or by approaching new clients yourself. Whichever direction you choose, remember to put effort into each any every pitch. Be friendly yet professional, enthusiastic but not over the top. First impressions count for a lot! 

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