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    How to Pitch Brands + Free Email Template

    In the first year of this blog, I’ve always been too afraid to reach out to companies that I wanted to work with. My reason? They probably won’t work with me. Then one day, I thought to myself, worst case scenario, they say no. So what? But how do I start? I was in high school and the most professional email I’ve ever written was probably the one I learnt in 6th grade. Nevertheless, I reached out to a HUGE brand with something along the lines of “Hi, I would like to review your products”. It was much longer than that, but it didn’t tell the brand who I was, what my blog is about, my audience, nothing. I never heard back. Gmail probably thought it was spam. Fast forward two years, now I work with some of my favourite brands. In this post, I’ll show you how to pitch brands and what you need to include in your email to be on your way to a successful collaboration. I’ve also included a free email template which you can download from our new resources page!

    How to Pitch Brands + Free Email Template

    Who do I Email?

    One of the main questions I get when people ask how to pitch brands is, who do I email? Where do I find their email? When you go on to the brand website, find their “Contact Us” page and look for a PR/Marketing email. If you can’t find it, simply email their customer service/general inquiries or fill in a contact form. But if there is a PR email, be sure to use that.

    Email Subject and Greetings

    You want to be clear in your email subject so they know what to expect. Instead of putting in “Question” as the subject, put in “Blogger Inquiries: Interested to Feature xyz Brand”. Some PR companies work with multiple brands so you want to mention the name of the brand in your subject. As for the greeting, if the name of the contact person is given, use their name. If not, use a general greeting, like To the PR/Marketing Manager of xyz Brand.

    Who Are You and Why Are You Emailing?

    Write a short 1-2 sentence introduction of you and your brand. Include your name, your blog and and tell them the purpose of your email. My name is Jiawun Phng, I run a popular beauty blog in Malaysia, Beauty Nerd By Night (http://www.beautynerdbynight.com). I’m writing to you in hopes of securing a sponsored review/article/long term collaboration with Brand xyz in exchange with a blog post on my blog.

    How to Pitch Brands + Free Email Template

    What is Your Blog About?

    Here, explain a little more in detail of what your blog is about. Include your stats and demographic, and be completely honest! Use your stats found in Google Analytics, which is very different from the Blogger dashboard, but it is the most accurate. Tell them how many followers you have on your blog and throughout your social media, and how your readers engage with your content.

    How Do You Plan to Feature Their Product?

    There are so many ways you can feature their product – a review, makeup tutorial, articles, etc. I find that the best way to collaborate with brands is through an informational article that features their products. This way, your readers get to take something from the sponsored post while the brand gets exposure and they get an informational article of their product as well. A few examples of this is my “Why Every College Student Needs A Planner” post I did with Mossery, and also my “How to Deep Clean Brushes” post where I featured Practk Palmat. I usually pitch brands after I have a blog post idea so they know exactly what they’re going to get. If I were to pitch an aromatherapy beauty brand, I’d say I’m working on a “Spa Day at Home” post, and a little bit about the concept behind the blog post. For example, many people tend to spend a lot of money going to spas, facials, etc, and I want to show them they can get the same result right at home without spending a ton of money.

    What Do You Need From Them?

    Do you need their products? If so, what do you need? For my aromatherapy beauty brand example, I’m hoping to secure a range of xyz products to feature a complete at home spa routine in my post. If you’re looking for specific products, you could state them here too, but remember they don’t always have to comply. It’s all about what they’re currently promoting, etc.

    End Your Email Right

    Thank them for taking the time to read your proposal. Saying I hope we can further discuss this collaboration will help them to see that the collaboration is flexible, which leads to higher success rates for sponsored posts.

    How to Pitch Brands + Free Email Template

    I’ve created an email template that you can download for free from our new resources page. It’s a complete email that you can just plug in your information and send out!

    It’s good to include a media kit in your email too, but it’s not necessarily compulsory. If you’ve included all your honest data in the email, it’s okay to skip the media kit. But of course, if you don’t include the necessary stats in your email, you’d definitely have to include a media kit. I will be doing a separate post on how to create your own media kit some time in the near future.

    Remember, a brand wants to promote their products. Let them know why you’re a good fit for their brand, and how you can help them gain more online exposure. Be confident, but not arrogant. 🙂 Also, remember to never bite off more than you can chew! Make sure you are able to deliver what you’ve promised. I hope this post has helped you learn how to pitch brands, and hopefully you will be able to work with your favourite brands soon!

    Thanks for reading, xoxo

    Jiawun

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    How to Move From Blogger to WordPress

    I did it, you guys! I finally bit the bullet and switched this entire blog to a self-hosted WordPress website. It was something that I’ve wanted to do to for a long time but never had the spare $100 to hire a professional to do the switch for me. And then I got to thinking (thanks to I Can Build a Blog and WPBeginner)… Hey! I could actually do this myself. I devoted an entire week, armed with Strawberry tea and my Spotify acoustic playlist, and so my journey began. That week was a mix of a lot of things (including a ton of “WHY DID I DO THIS”s).. but boy, was it a productive seven days!

    So today I’ve put a week’s worth of research and my personal experience into this blog post to help you make the switch from Blogger to WordPress, in a snap of your fingers! Okay maybe not, but give yourself a couple of hours and save that $100 for a Sephora makeup run. 😀

    How to Move from Blogger to WordPress + Feminine Themes

    Styled Photo Credit: Ashley Creates Things

    1. Hosting

    Since you’ll be switching to a self-hosted WordPress site, you will first need to set up web hosting. There are a ton of different services available, but I personally prefer Bluehost. I chose Bluehost because they’re one of the most established, reliable and also, they’re very affordable. You can get their web hosting for as low as $3.45/month (paid annually) with my affiliate link. If you sign up through my affiliate link, you get to save some $$$ too! *I do earn a small commission if you sign up through my link.

    Bluehost 2

    After clicking Get Started, you will be brought to a page to select your plan. I think the basic plan should be sufficient, but I stuck to the most popular plan and chose the Plus Plan. Then you will be prompted to enter your domain name. If you’ve previously bought a domain (yourblognamehere.com) for your Blogger blog, you could use that. If you haven’t got one, you can get a completely free domain with Bluehost. Just enter what you want your domain name to be, and they’ll check if it’s available. If not, just enter a new one!

    After entering all your details, that’s literally it for hosting! You will receive an email with all your details. Now all that’s left to do is actually install and set up your new fancy WordPress site. 🙂

     

    2. Install and Set Up WordPress

    Sign in to your Bluehost account, and you will be brought to your “dashboard”. Then, scroll down and click on “Install WordPress” under the “Website” tab. Then, just click “Install”!

    Install

    Then, pick your domain that you want to Install WordPress on from the drop-down menu. Leave the “directory” box empty, unless you want your blog to only be available at http://www.yourdomain.com/blog (in which case you enter “blog” in the directory box). When you’re done, click “Check Domain” to proceed.

    Install2

    Last step is to check the “Show Advanced Options” box and enter your site name. Here, you will also need to enter your preferred username and password that will be used to log in to your WordPress dashboard (where you will write new posts, etc). Make sure to check the terms & conditions box after reading it (but who actually does right? lol) and click Install Now!

    Install3

    If you set up your Bluehost with the same custom domain that you were using for your Blogger account, there is a couple more steps to follow. Since we want our Blogger blog to stay up so it’s accessible to the public until we’re done setting up our WordPress blog, we would need to set up a Temporary URL. If you created a NEW domain with Bluehost (in the first part of Step 1), then you can just skip right to Step 4.

    3. Temporary URL

    The WordPress dashboard is accessible through http://yourdomainname.com/wp-admin but if you’re using the same domain you’re using on Blogger, it would still be under Blogger, so entering that URL would give you a 404 Not Found page. So how do we configure our WordPress if we can’t log in? Simple. We create a Temporary URL!

    To set up a temporary URL, go back to your Bluehost Control Panel (cPanel on the top bar). Scroll down and on the left sidebar, find your “Shared IP” which looks something like 60.140.262.111 (yours should have different numbers than mine). A few lines above your Shared IP, you should see your username. This would have been emailed to you and is what you use to log in to your Bluehost account. Note both the Shared IP and Username down for the next step.

    Temporary URL 1

    Still at your Bluehost Control Panel (cPanel), look for File Manager, which is under the Files section. Here, double-click on “public_html” and then scroll down a rightclick on “wp-config.php” and select “Edit”. After clicking on that, a pop-up box will appear, just press the “Edit” button at the bottom of the pop-up.

    Temporary URL 2 Temporary URL 3

    Copy and paste the following code right after the <?php

    :define(‘WP_HOME’,’http://60.140.262.111/~yourusernamehere’); define(‘WP_SITEURL’,’http://60.140.262.111/~yourusernamehere’);

    Switch the 60.140.262.111 to your own Shared IP.

    Click save.

    You can now log in to your WordPress dashboard with your Temporary URL:

    http://60.140.262.111/~yourusernamehere/wp-admin

    Then, just log in! Make sure you use your WordPress log in details (the one we have just set up in Step 2 WordPress Installation). Because you’re using a temporary URL, you can make changes, import your Blogger content to your WordPress, and do whatever you like with your site before launching it.

    The most complicated part of Switching from Blogger to WordPress is over! Now we leave it to the plethora of WordPress plugins available to do all the complicating things for us, hooray!

    4. Change Permalink Structure

    WordPress Permalinks are different to Blogger ones. We have to configure it so it matches our old Blogger ones.

    1. Hover over “Settings” on the sidebar, and click “Permalinks”.
    2. Under Common Settings, check the box for “Custom Structure”.
    3. Enter /%year%/%monthnum%/%postname%.html in the box.
    4. Click save.

    5. Importing Your Blogger Posts

    1. In your WordPress dashboard sidebar, hover over “Plugins” and click “Add New”.
    2. Search for “Blogger Importer Extended” and Click Install.
    3. When it’s done installing, click on “Activate”.
    4. On the sidebar, hover over Plugins again, and click “Blogger Importer Extended”.
    5. Click start, and authorise access to your Blogger account.
    6. Follow the instructions, and wait for your blog to be fully imported.

    6. Importing Your Blog Post Images

    Now this was where I threw a tantrum and went to bed. Just kidding. My blog posts were imported, but only a few of my posts have their images imported. At this point, I had over 300 posts and I thought I had to insert the images back one post at a time. I couldn’t find information on this ANYWHERE because this doesn’t usually happen. I guess because everything was working out perfect at this point, so life had to throw me sour freaking lemons.

    If this didn’t happen to you, and all your images are showing up perfectly fine on your posts, skip right on to the next step!

    BUT if it did happen to you, I got you covered! After hours of researching, I finally came across something that worked. If Blogger Importer Extended imported your blog posts, but not all your images show up on your posts, follow these steps!

    1. Hover over “Plugins” and click “Add New” in the sidebar.
    2. Search for “Cache Images” and Install it.
    3. When it’s done installing, click on Activate.
    4. Hover over “Tools” in the sidebar and click on “Cache Remote Images”.
    5. Click “Scan” (NOT Scan – including linked).
    6. After that, follow the instructions, and let it work it’s magic!
    7. When it’s done (might take a while if you have thousands of images), your images should show up on your posts.

    7. Fixing Permalinks

    I know that we bloggers mess with our Permalinks in Blogger sometimes, to have better SEO, so our titles and permalinks aren’t always the same. Oh by the way, I found out my SEO sucked while I was on Blogger even though I’ve tried all the SEO tips out there. Eventhough I’ve barely been on WordPress for a month, and my traffic has sky-rocketed! But that’s for another post, if you’re interested! 🙂

    Okay, back to the topic at hand. Following these steps will make sure all your imported posts have the same permalinks (URL) as it was on your Blogger:

    1. Download this Maintain Blogger Permalinks plugin.
    2. Hover over “Plugins” and click “Add New”.
    3. At the top of the page, click Upload Plugin.
    4. Upload the .zip file that you’ve just downloaded and click Install, then Activate.
    5. Hover over “Tools” and click “Maintain Blogger Permalinks”.
    6. Follow the instructions.
    7. When you’re done, you can deactivate and delete the plugin if you like.

    8. Redirect Your Pages

    In Blogger, your pages (About Me, Contact, etc) have the URL of something along the lines of /p/pagename.html.  The structure of the URL for pages differs in WordPress, so you’ll have to set up redirects. If someone goes to /p/pagename.html, they will be redirected to your new WordPress page equivalent. To do this:

    1. Hover over “Plugins” in the sidebar and click “Add New”.
    2. Search for “Eggplant 301 Redirects“, Install and Activate.
    3. Hover over “Settings” in the sidebar and click “EPS Redirects”.
    4. Type in your Blogger page URL (p/pagename.html) in the “Redirect From” section.
    5. Choose “Page” in the Redirect To section and pick the equivalent WordPress page that has been imported.

    Page Redirect

    9. Removing Mobile Extension

    In Blogger, the extension ?m=1 will be added to the back of your URL if you visit your page with a mobile device. This, in WordPress, will result in an error. To remove this, you can to very carefully follow the following steps. We will be editing your .htaccess file which, if edited wrongly, can cause your whole site to not be accessible. So make sure you ONLY tweak it following these steps:

    1. Go to your Bluehost Control Panel (cPanel) and click on “File Manager” under Files.
    2. Double-click “public_html” and right-click on the “.htaccess” file and click edit.
    3. Right above the line ” # BEGIN WORDPRESS“, copy and paste the following code:

    RewriteEngine On
    RewriteCond %{QUERY_STRING} ^m=1$
    RewriteRule (.*) $1? [R=permanent]

    And save the file.

    Mobile Extension

    10. Customise Your WordPress with Themes

    You can now customise your new WordPress site however your heart desires. If you don’t want to customise it, and you just want to launch your site, skip this step and move on to the last step! If you do, there are a few gorgeous minimalistic, feminine themes that I found. Best part? Some of them are free!

    Ahhhhh, themes! This is probably the most fun part of setting up your site – making it all pretty! You can find a ton of free themes in your WordPress dashboard. Just hover over “Appearance” in the sidebar and click on “Themes”. Then at the top, click on “WordPress.org themes”. I’ve also added a couple of gorgeous Feminine WordPress themes at the end of this post, if you’re interested! 🙂

    11. Launching Your Site

    11.1 Removing Temporary URL

    When you’re done setting up and making your new WordPress site look all pretty, it’s time to launch your site! If you used a Temporary URL, you’ll have to remove the code we added in Step 3. If you didn’t use a Temporary URL, skip to Step 11.2!

    1. Go to your Bluehost Control Panel (cPanel), Click on File Manager.
    2. Then, double-click “public_html” and right-click “wp-config.php” and click edit.
    3. Remove the code we added in Step 2:

    :define(‘WP_HOME’,’http://60.140.262.111/~yourusernamehere’); define(‘WP_SITEURL’,’http://60.140.262.111/~yourusernamehere’);

    Save the file.

    11.2 Changing DNS/Name Servers

    If you signed up for a NEW domain with Bluehost, skip to Step 11.3! If you’re using the same custom domain that you did in Blogger, you’ll have to change the name servers to detach the blog from Blogger. To do this, you have to log in to where you bought your domain while on Blogger (GoDaddy, Google Domains, eNom etc) and go to Settings and change the DNS. If you bought your domain off of Blogger Settings, it will either be hosted on Google Domains or eNom.

    Enter the new nameservers. If you use Bluehost, enter:

    NS1.BLUEHOST.COM
    NS2.BLUEHOST.COM

    If you used the same custom domain, you’re done!

    If you signed up for a new domain with Bluehost, you need to do Step 11.3.

    11.3 Redirect Blogger Blog to New Domain

    This last step will redirect anyone that goes on your Blogger blog (yourblogname.blogspot.com) to your new WordPress website (yourdomainname.com).

    1. Hover over “Plugins” in the sidebar and click “Add New”.
    2. Search for “301 Blogger Redirect“, Install and Activate the Plugin.
    3. Hover over “Settings” in the sidebar and click “Blogger 301 Redirect“.
    4. Follow the steps, and your blog should now redirect to your new WordPress website!

    And you’re done! You’ve successfully switched your Blogger blog over to a self-hosted WordPress site. Trust me, you won’t regret it! 🙂 WordPress takes a little getting used to after using Blogger for such a long time, but once you get the hang of it, it’ll do so much good!

    Before we end the post, as promised, here are a couple of Feminine Themes for you!

    My recommendation (and the one I use!): MaiLoveParis’ WordPress themes

    Feminine Theme 1

    Mai’s WordPress themes are so beautiful, minimalistic and feminine. All her themes are fully responsive with sliders. I still die of happiness a little bit each time I look at my blog, all thanks to her theme. The one I have is called Primrose, but she has a ton of different themes available. Not only that, her themes are super affordable!

    FREE Feminine WordPress Themes:

    Feminine Theme 2

    Mary Kate from Angie Makes

    Feminine Theme 3

    Elegant Pink from Rara Theme

    Feminine Theme 4

    Olsen Light from CSSIgniter

    Feminine Theme 5

    Pure from GT3Themes

    I hope this post was easy to follow and helpful for you! It may seem like an overwhelming process, but trust me, it’s not! Keep your $100 for the next big makeup launch, or gas, or whatever you like 😀

    Would you guys like more posts on Blogging like this? I’m definitely not a “pro” but I’d love to help out any way I can! If you have any questions, leave them in the comments and I’ll get back to you as soon as I can! 🙂

    Thanks for reading, xoxo

    Jiawun

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