Many people dream to get paid to travel or at least to travel for free and to receive accommodation, flights and experiences offered in return of articles and social media mentions. So, they become travel bloggers. But when you start to create a travel blog and you see how much work that involves, you realize that there is no such a thing as “free”. Nevertheless, when you try to pitch companies to receive these freebies, many times you get rejected. I also received several rejections without any given reason and I was very disappointed. That is an awful feeling especially when you know how much you struggled to write, to promote and to do all the other things a blog needs. But I realized why I get rejected only after I switched the team and open my travel agency in Romania.
My company started to receive different proposals from bloggers and I had to reject some of them. I also had the opportunity to meet other travel providers (hotel owners, PR managers) and when we talked about working with travel bloggers 7 reasons to say “no” to these proposals seemed common to all of us. So, if you send a pitch and you get rejected, probably one of these 7 things happen:
1. Your request is too general
You immediately know when an email was not written for you. Some bloggers just send a standard email without any details about the company they pitch. They just send it to a list of companies hoping that one of them will reply with an “Yes”.
What can you do: read about the company you choose, tell them why you want to work with them and what you can offer (something that you think they need).
2. Your request doesn’t look professional
I received some emails from bloggers saying only that they have a travel blog and that they want a free tour; nothing about statistics, their readers, social media accounts and what can they offer in exchange.
What can you do: To increase your chances of receiving a positive answer create a standard structure for your email (and then personalize it – see 1). Your email should include who you are, what is your blog, who are your readers, what do you want from the company and what do you offer. You can add a Media kit and your statistics. You are trying to close a deal so act as a professional.
3. Your blog is too wide
If you blog about travel, parenting and DIY projects on the same website it is harder to convince someone that they will have a return of investment when they work with you. And if you write about all different destinations on the globe and you don’t have a huge number of followers, a boutique hotel in a certain city, for example, will reject your proposal because they believe they will not get extra customers from your website.
What can you do: You can try to offer more services or choose a niche for your blog. If you want to write about different subjects, just do it, but consider that this risk exists.
4. You don’t reply after
Well, yes, I received emails from bloggers that didn’t reply when I wrote them I was interested. Or they didn’t reply when I told them we need to sign a contract before. Imagine what you would think in such a situation.
What can you do: That’s simple: reply. Even if you received a “No, thank you” email.
5. Your readers are not their target group
If you pitch a private tour company and you write about low budget trips, the company won’t work with you because your readers are not its potentially customers. For sure! Also, if your statistics don’t show you have enough readers (compared to what they need) they will say “no”.
What can you do: see no.1 again and read about the company
6. The company is too small, or they don’t focus on promoting their services
That can also be a reason! When a company just starts it is possible that it doesn’t have enough resources for such a collaboration or that they just use their resources for something else.
What can you do: See if they’ve worked with other bloggers before. In this case you have higher chances to get accepted. But if the company doesn’t focus on promotion for the moment there is not much you can do.
7. They had disappointments with other bloggers
That is the opposite of no. 6. There are companies that worked with bloggers that didn’t deliver as they promised so now the companies are reluctant to work again with them. If you pitch one of these companies it will be hard to gain their trust.
What can you do: Besides sending a professional proposal including details about the company there is nothing else you can do.
These are the most common reasons why hotels and tour operators reject the proposals they receive to work with you. Seldom you will receive a “no” followed by a reason. And even if you receive it, it doesn’t help you very much. But if you do your homework before sending the email, the chances that you get that “no” are much lower.