Business of Blogging: How to get your E-mail read

Luke is ONE MONTH old

I’ve put off writing this post for awhile. I’m concerned about it coming off wrong for some reason. But, I decided to just write it and hope it’s helpful for you if you are a business owner wanting to work with a blogger!

Given survey’s I’ve done in the past, I’ve learned that quite a few of my readers here are bloggers as well! I miss the dynamics of blog conferences, and discussing the business of blogging with other bloggers, so I thought I’d incorporate a post or two every once in awhile here on the blog.

Over the few years I’ve been blogging, I’ve been pitched different opportunities. From sponsored posts, to social media mentions, to simply accepting a product with zero strings attached in the hopes that I like it and share about it organically, there are a lot of different ways to work with influential bloggers, and I’ve seen it done really well and not so well.


My angle, with this post, is to help you with your initial pitch e-mail to a blogger to begin a collaborative relationship. This is the first impression you make so it’s important that it’s done right.

Which blogger(s) should you reach out to?

Reach out to a blogger you think fits your style and brand, instead of just the blogger with the biggest following. If YOU think the blogger would actually carry your zip pouch based on the style you’ve seen her post about on her site, then SHE will be more likely to agree. If you sell neon orange zip pouches, and you’ve never seen her post about anything brightly colored or neon, maybe look for a different blogger. Your goal should be to find someone that really loves your product, and would naturally tell her friends about it.

Understand what kind of relationship you want to get into. 

From a bloggers perspective, I take every single one of my partnerships very seriously. I give them great thought, and determine whether or not they fit in with my lifestyle, aesthetic and would be something I naturally write about/share about anyway. Blog readers can be extremely sensitive about feeling like they are “sold to”, so a partnership with you (business owner) would *hopefully* be something the blogger takes quite seriously. I’ve declined lucrative collaboration proposals, that even fall within my lifestyle, because I didn’t feel like it was something I would naturally write about.

So, when a blogger says “yes” to you about working together, they are saying “yes” to more than just accepting a monetary payment or free product. They are saying “yes” to aligning with your brand, agreeing to promote your product(s) that they believe in, and exchanging valuable space on their blog in order to highlight your business.

Know the value of what a blogger brings to the table.

This is kind of just an extension of what I wrote above, but if you understand the value a blogger can bring, you can better establish the parameters of your working relationship to a place where you both benefit.

So, let’s get into that initial pitch email. Here are some basic suggestions to follow:

1. Address the blogger by name in the subject line + email. You would not believe how many mass e-mails I get that start with “hey blogger!” or “hey”! It’s an instant turn off and usually that e-mail doesn’t get read.

2. Include images of your brand/product/business. I’m always surprised to read e-mails offering a product without a single link or image included! As evidenced by the huge success of Pinterest, images speak volumes! Always include an image or two of the exact product you’d like to collaborate on, or a general sampling of what your business offers!

3. Use bullet points near the top of your message. E-mail is the bane of most bloggers’ existence. We get thrown onto mass e-mail lists without warning, so the spammy e-mails create a lot of congestion in the inbox. If I open up an e-mail that looks like a pitch or collaboration, I want to skim the high points, see an image of the product/brand, and then determine whether or not I want to commit a few minutes to reading through it and checking out the brand.

4. Explain, briefly, why you want to work with that specific blogger. “We love your hair tutorials, so we think our hair accessories would integrate perfectly in with your content!” is the sort of thing a blogger wants to see. It makes it personal, intentional, and gives the blogger an answer to “why should I work with this brand?”

5. Consider offering an “ideal” timeline. If left too open-ended, the blogger may mark your e-mail as unread, and get to it in a few weeks. But, if you are looking to promote a certain item prior to a holiday, for example, clarify that in the e-mail so even if you get declined, you’ll know where the blogger stands. “We’d love to work with you” is more likely to get pushed to the back burner than “We’d love for you to wear our jewelry right before Valentine’s Day!”

All that being said, sometimes even the most perfect seeming partnerships come at the wrong time, for either end of the spectrum. So, if you get declined initially, try again in a few months with a fresh idea. If you never hear back from the blogger, I don’t think a follow up e-mail is too much of a burden, but only follow up once.

Again, like I said at the beginning, I hope this helps you if you are reaching out to bloggers! The timing of this post is maybe not ideal, considering I’m on maternity leave, but I hope this sparks a healthy discussion in the comments below! Questions directed to me may not get answered in a timely manner.



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Victoria Smith says · 03.12.15

How did you and your husband meet???….

Emily Clark says · 03.12.15

I would also add that if they’re copying and pasting the same email to different bloggers that they should pay careful attention to changing it to the right name within the email 🙂 Love when I get an email that says “We love your blog, Jennifer!” ….

Kate says · 03.12.15


Kim says · 03.12.15

This is a great post! As a fellow blogger, I’ve gotten some pretty bad emails honestly haha. Thanks for sharing this advice!

Kim .. How YOU can be featured on my blog!

Courtney @ Sweet Tooth, Sweet Life says · 03.12.15

Great post! I agree, some of the worst are when they start off with Hey you! or Hey {blog name}. If they can’t at least address me by my first name, it’s a major turn off.

Erica / Northwest Edible Life says · 03.12.15

UGH. This scenario is pretty much the bane of my existence:

“Hey you, I’ve been following you for years! [No evidence emailer has ever subscribed, followed or commented, ever.] I love that thing about [the absolute latest post you put up.] So, how about you promote my [Kickstarter, Indegogo, Business specializing in something I literally blog about not supporting]. I was thinking you could share it on Facebook, Pinterest, and Twitter! Or maybe you could write a post about it! I might be able to send you a [blurry low-res thumbnail] picture. Looking forward to it!”

[24 hours later…]
“Haven’t seen you post about [my totally shitty thing]. When can I expect that?”

[two days later…]
“Hey I’m just trying to get the word out [about my thing that is still totally shitty.] When can I count on your help?”

[yet two more days later…]
“Haven’t heard back. What’s up?”

Delete, delete, delete.

Lacy says · 03.12.15

Okay, so I’m not a biz owner, but as a consumer, I just want to add a big YES behind this post! Based on your recommendations Kate, I’ve bought a hairbrush, hairspray, shampoo, blush, eyeshadow, and probably other good stuff I’m forgetting at the moment. I’ve googled your posts in the aisles of Sephora and Ulta just to remind myself of products that you’ve loved before making a purchase. It would do companies (both big and small) well to read these points carefully and remember that building a strong relationship with a blogger goes a long way to affect their bottom line.

Gturn62 says · 03.12.15

So true! I’ve stood in the aisle at Target, with iPhone in hand, looking through Kate’s post thinking, “Now, what was that [insert random product] Kate recommended? Gotta try that.” We’ve developed a level of trust with Kate, and she definitely impacts our purchases.

Jenny says · 03.12.15

This is a really good post. I just received an email from a company asking me if I would do a review on their Beard Oil. It actually made me chuckle pretty hard, then look in the mirror and wonder, “Do I have a lady beard?” I think it’s important to look at the person’s blog and get a feel for what they’re about before emailing them!
Jenny // Mish Mosh Makeup

Kate says · 03.12.15

lady beard, hahahah! Crazy!!

Elizabeth says · 03.12.15

I agree with Lacy and am so thankful for the thought and consideration you put into each of your collaborations. Both of your and Lauren’s recommendations have greatly influenced purchases I have made within the past few years. My sister and I are always asking each other, “What did Kate say about that product?” Reading your reviews holds more weight than random online reviews when deciding to purchase new products. Your carefulness in selecting your partnerships is evident and greatly appreciated!

Lee Ann S. says · 03.12.15


I definitely agree with you and Lacy. I have even brought up her page on my phone at Sephora, so I can look up exactly what product she mentioned.

Kate, I (and many others, I am sure) appreciate your honest reviews. I have never gotten a product you have recommended and thought, “oh, Kate sure did trick me on this one”. Your reviews are always spot on. And, I LOVE you hair tutorials, even if I am, ummm, not so great at replicating the look. 🙂

Marjorie says · 03.12.15

This is a really good post! The most important thins is to be honest with your style and your opinions.

Michelle says · 03.12.15

Yes to all of this. I work in marketing and PR and am always amazed by the sheer laziness of some folks. A few well-written, well-placed posts by the right bloggers are far more valuable than a post that’s inconsitent with the blog’s audience. Better to do your research ahead of time and make a great pitch than waste someone’s time by being generic.

Robin Karber says · 03.12.15

I blog as a hobby, but this is definitely one of the posts I’m bookmarking if I ever decide to take mine to the next level. Thanks a bunch for the advice!

Kristy says · 03.12.15

Hi Kate, thanks for this post 🙂 I also blog as a hobby and I’m curious as to when you know it’s the right time to approach a brand for a collaboration. I read your other blogging series a while back, but don’t recall if you addressed it there or not. If you did, I’ll give it another read-over. Thanks!

Megan B says · 03.12.15

Thank you so much for this great post! I’m a small business owner and really appreciate the tips in approaching bloggers in hopes of collaborating. I think you do a great job of staying true to the essence of your style, lifestyle, and vibe of the blog as a whole. Thanks again for the advice!

erica says · 03.12.15

Kate I love this post. Great job and thanks for your time and effort to give us ‘bloggers’ some pointers. HAHA to some of the comments (stories). The comments are always great to read.

Congrats on your baby boy (1 month flew by!) and happy to see you back from leave. I’ve only been following for a few months now, but have clicked and clicked to read past blog entries. I’ve also made my way down to my ULTA to buy some make up you’ve suggested and to my beauty shop (I get my sister’s discount-she works in the industry) to try some hair products. My fav hair products are now Kenra hair spray and the root lifting foam you use and suggested (I can’t recall the brand right now). I now use them daily and love them!

Thanks, thank for all you do!


Sara says · 03.12.15

Great Post Kate! Couldn’t have come to me on a better timming… “Blogger beginner” 🙂

Abbie says · 03.12.15

My blogs name is “AngelicAbbie” and you’d honestly be surprised how many of my readers and companies call me ANGELIC. First of all, that’s a pretty out there name and second of all, my name (Abbie) is posted everywhere it’s not that hard to figure out lol

Absolutely Tara says · 03.12.15

This was a really informative post. It’s nice to hear from the other side of things. Thanks for sharing.


Jenna says · 03.12.15

I was super excited, I got my very first email from an outside source. He wanted to work with me on designing a site and logo. He was to the point and used my name. While I am not ready to go that far yet (my blog is days old), I replied to him and told him I would keep his info on file. 🙂 I can’t wait to get more real emails and not spam 🙂 🙂
– Jenna

Ugh says · 03.13.15

As a blog reader, I’m turned off a blog when I read misspellings and bad grammar. An apostrophe “s” is possessive, not plural. A few issues with this post. But then again, I’m sure you’ll delete this comment – you always delete constructive feedback.

Kate says · 03.13.15

I’ll fully admit that editing is light these days–I just had my second baby last month. I also want to add that I don’t “always delete constructive feedback” and I don’t appreciate the accusatory tone of your comment.

Ugh says · 03.13.15

Honestly, it’s funny when you act holier than thou. Your grammar and misspelling didn’t start with your second baby.

Nicole says · 03.14.15

Then why do you keep reading? If it bothers you? I’m genuinely curious. These kind of comments and “constructive feedback” never make sense to me when they are done in such a rude tone.

Twinkle Parekh says · 03.13.15

It is indeed a help to read this post. Many Congratulations on your Son turning One month. I have started blogging after my son’s birth and leaving job. I love to stay connected with female bloggers, who are successful like you.

Debbie says · 03.13.15

I have read your blog for a long time. I too, have purchased items because you mentioned them. I love your posts and can say you always get my attention. I really like this post, as a business owner, I’m interested in how to keep a blog going and really have people enjoy it. Thank you for letting us know.

Manpreet Kaur says · 03.13.15

I am a blogger myself and still, I feel so glad that you wrote it. People contact in weird ways. Recently, I was contacted by a brand and it took me a lot of time to figure out whether the person was a normal visitor to the blog or a client looking to work with me. He just didn’t clarify this in his email.
Now if this happens many times, we might just decide to ignore such people which might be harmful for both the blogger and the brand.
Good that you wrote this. Hope people read this! 🙂

Rose says · 03.13.15

yet somehow this post has nothing to do with what your blog is about.
Public Relations is a degree that most earn, or some type of business degree. Reading a post by a blogger telling them how to write to her to make sure their email gets read, is a bit of a turn off.

How about a guest post from someone in PR about how bloggers should correspond with pr and brands?

Ugh says · 03.13.15

A guest blogger can’t give her free stuff or an opportunity for a selfie, so don’t hold your breath waiting.

Tyana says · 03.13.15

this is perf

check out my newest post

Beauty By Tellie says · 03.15.15

The only pitches I don’t read are those that are overly long and obviously not connected with my “brand.” I like to think I’m very forgiving even of some borderline offensive emails!

Beauty By Tellie

Meg says · 03.17.15

First of all, congrats on your baby. Secondly, great post! As someone early in the stages of business building, this was wonderfully helpful and informative. Thirdly, what in the world is wrong with some of these commenters?? On no level does a blogger have to hold a degree in English to be allowed to blog! I too am often turned off by grammatical mistakes (I am an English major, but am capable of mistakes like every other human, and I’m not going to bother editing this comment) but never has Kate claimed to be the grammar police! As for needing a PR person to write this, again nope. Bloggers are people who are welcoming us into their world. Turning their diaries and lives inside out to share with us. How dare we piss on their hospitality with such rudeness?! I’d certainly not invite you into my home again, and yet bloggers do. If you don’t like it, don’t read it. Who’s the holier than thou if this is your attitude?

Kristi says · 03.17.15

Agreed!!! There are so many crazies in this online world. I love this blog- it easily makes my top 5 blogs of all time!

Christine says · 04.01.15

This is super helpful, thank you Kate!


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