Blogging networks and blogger programmes have changed dramatically since I first started joining these a couple years ago. Some of the first blogger programmes I joined have now sadly closed, with some remaining open but with ridiculous criteria. It’s become apparent now that all brands are interested in, is your social media following. It’s pretty much quantity over quality at this stage, which is sad.
Below are 5 UK blogger programmes/networks to help you discover new brand opportunities. All of these are ones I’ve signed up to myself. Warning: by signing up to these doesn’t guarantee you brand collaborations. You still have to apply for opportunities and they will more than likely focus on your profile within the network to know whether you’re a good fit. So my advice is to spend time building up your profiles – don’t rush them.
The Blogger Programme (TBP)
This was one of the first I joined. Like most of these programmes, you need to connect all your social accounts to your profile so TBP can automatically populate your social following to show on your profile. Turns out, this is a big deal as the majority of opportunities you find on this programme require a minimum of 5k-10k Instagram followers.
It’s an easy to use website, so setting up your account and profile is pretty straightforward. In the past I’ve managed to work with a few brands from this programme, but this was back in 2015-2017 before I found the criteria became unrealistic for a good chunk of us. You’ll find the majority of brands listed on TBP now require a minimum of 5k Instagram followers, with some even expecting 10k.
I understand that it’s a cost for a brand to send a blogger a product, so they need to know they’re going to get some decent exposure. Therefore, their hope is that someone with 5k followers compared to 1k followers is going to offer more – not always the case. It should be quality over quantity. The thing that annoys me with this criteria, is that you’ve got brands posting opportunities with all these minimum requirements, but only have 4 followers on Instagram themselves and a website which isn’t up to scratch.
Similar to The Blogger Programme, Heartbeat is very focused on your Instagram following, but takes TikTok into account too. I’m fairly new to this programme and have yet to work on any campaigns, but I’m slowly figuring out how their platform works. Once you’ve created your account (which was fairly straight forward), they work out your Pay Rate – this is how much they will pay you per Instagram or TikTok post. Hence why the more followers you have, the better. I had only just started blogging again so started with a total of 20 Instagram followers and 109 TikTok followers, giving me a Pay Rate of $3 – obviously not worth my time right now.
Once logged in, you have a place in your dashboard called ‘My Feed’. Here there are 100’s of polls and surveys related to various categories; fitness, beauty, fashion etc. which take seconds to fill out. From my understanding, the more you fill out, the more information the programme has to start sending you campaigns to work on. I’m yet to see a campaign come through, but in all honesty, I’m focusing on growing my social channels before focusing on this particular programme, as $3 is not worth my time.
Firstly, setting up an account with Glambassador was frustrating. I experienced so many glitches on their website, verifying social channels was a nightmare, and one month later I’m still unable to connect my Facebook page despite emailing them for a fix – no response.
The process of applying for campaigns with Glambassador is also different to other programmes, as it works on a bidding system. An example of how it works: a brand posts a campaign and states the minimum reach/followers they require and their budget (let’s say $100). If you meet the criteria you then click on Apply and state how much you want to be paid. If you don’t have a VIP PRO account with Glambassador, then you can only request the budget as your maximum. If you do pay for a VIP PRO account, you can request as much as you want. You then state how long it’d take you to complete the campaign and your proposal – the part where you pitch your blog and why you should be chosen.
If you don’t want other influencers on the programme seeing how much you’ve bid, you can make yourself annonymous upon posting, which is one feature I do like. Again, I’m yet to apply for any campaigns due to not having the reach right now, but it’s a programme I could see myself using more and more once I’ve got the following to support me.
AWIN Affiliate Programme
AWIN isn’t directly a type of blogger programmes, but I’ve always been signed up to AWIN (previously known as Affiliate Window) and have earned a few pennies here and there from simple affiliate links in blog posts or banners in my sidebar. However, signing up to various brand programmes via AWIN to be a ‘publisher’ aka. affiliate for, also offers opportunities to work with them on product reviews.
On my old blog I worked with the likes of The Body Shop and LookFantastic via AWIN. I was already an affiliate for their brand, sharing text links and banners to promote them on my blog. I would often create content to include them in, rather than just display a simple ad banner in my sidebar. Following this, their Account Managers would reach out asking if I would like to work with them on a product review, where I’d dedicate a blog post to only their brand in exchange for products and increased commission on any sales my content generates.
FYI, it costs £5 to signup to AWIN as a publisher, but you do get this paid back in the form of commission in your account – it’s just not instant. For me, it’s worth it as you get the opportunity to earn potential commission on so many big brands; The White Company, Benefit Cosmetics, Caudalie and more.
Which blogger programmes do you recommend?