My blog is like my child. I've worked so hard to grow it to what it is the past 4.5 years, that I never want to do anything to it that will negatively affect it. The content I put up is important to me, I want my followers to enjoy it, and I also want to always stay true to my brand. If a company reaches out to me asking to collaborate, but I don't feel that it's a good fit/doesn't go with what my blog is about, then I will respectfully decline. EVEN IF they are paying me. You never want to be saying YES to all paid collabs, ESPECIALLY if it's random as fuck, doesn't fit your usual content, or YOU don't even really want to post about it. Why? Because it's annoying to your followers and it's not authentic. TRUST ME. I roll my eyes when I scroll past a post that makes no sense with the persons blog/brand. I'm literally like "oh yay, another sponsored." Not that sponsored posts are bad at all, but the reason they have such a negative connotation with SO many of the consumers, is because of the dumb ones people agree to do. A sponsored post with you smiling at the camera, holding a bag of organic carrots but you're a fashion & beauty blogger? It's one thing to share them on your story, but we all know these brands are really pushing for the instagram post.
This can be difficult sometimes... especially when family, friends, or a friend of a friend are contacting you. Most of the time, they don't realize a blog can be much more than just a hobby, and they're like. Oh! You have a big following, can you help promote my company?! And usually, it's something that totally doesn't relate to your style, blog, lifestyle, etc. not only that, but let's say it is something that relates to you...they also don't realize that because this is your job, advertising isn't free. They're literally asking you to promote their company so they can make more sales, while you get nothing in return. I'm sorry, but free product is not compensation once you're at a certain point. I usually don't even want to deal with explaining that, so again... I do not move forward.
But how do you say no?
I usually will start off by thanking them for contacting me and then I go into saying how due to my blog being my business, it's important that I keep my content related to what my blog is about, what I would personally purchase myself, and explain why it's important that I stay true to my brand since this is my business. (They're contacting you about their business, so you want them to look at your blog from a business standpoint.) I say how I hope that they understand and that I wish them succes. - Some are very understanding and there are no hard feelings at all, but of course, there will always be some that still won't really get it. Which sucks, but your instagram and blog aren't shoutout pages, like they think they are.
So... what you can do if a company reaches out with something kind of random, tell them you'll feature it on your story. It's a simple unboxing and a "thank you" with their page tagged. That way, it's not really messing with YOUR brand on your feed or your blog. It's not ruining your cohesive feed that you've worked hard to create. When you post these random things on your feed, you begin to ATTRACT those types of collabs. Brands totally look at this. "Oh, she posted about that, so she will totally work with us on this."
In order to keep your followers and continue gaining, you want to be posting about things that relate on your feed and on your blog. It's obvious to your audience when something is forced. If you post about something that you don't really care for, how do you expect to build that trust with your followers for all future posts? If they buy something you promoted just for money, and it's really not a good product, they probably aren't going to want to purchase anything from your blog in the future. Which means, you are essentially setting yourself up to not have a successful blog later on down the line. A month ago, JC Penny asked me to collaborate, and I did not move forward, because the type of collaboration they were looking for did not fit with my brand at all. Yes, it's obviously a big company, but I didn't want to post about something, holding a product and smiling to the camera. It's not me and I knew it would not perform well. When I know something will not perform well, I will not more forward, because it's only going to hurt my brand. And that's the beauty about it being YOUR BRAND... You have full control. Not one is forcing you to post about things you don't want to. And think about why you started your blog in the first place. To be relatable, to inspire... not to be a billboard.