Sponsored posts have been the lifeblood of my blog monetization for the past 10 years (and counting!). They are the reason I can blog full time and contribute to my household finances in a really meaningful way.
Honestly, it baffles me why so few bloggers embrace the world of sponsored content and really put themselves out there for brands and businesses. In fact, it baffles me so much that I did some digging [as I love to do], and in talking to other bloggers, I found that most of them did not do sponsored posts because they were scared that they would make a mistake, that they wouldn’t reach out to brands properly, and that they would be rejected.
So let me be the one to give you a BIG PUSH and tell you: YOU NEED TO ENTER THE WORLD OF SPONSORED POSTS TODAY!
It truly doesn’t matter how many followers you have, how many page views you get each month, or even how new you are to the blogging world. There are sponsored content opportunities for everyone. You just need the right guidance to find them.
Let’s dig in:
What Is A Sponsored Post?
A sponsored post is a PAID FOR post on your blog. It will include words and pictures (often pictures you have taken yourself of you or your family interacting with the product or brand).
It is written by you (the influencer) and paid for by a brand or company who wishes to reach your audience of readers via your blog and usually through your social media/email list promotion of that post.
ALL sponsored posts should include a timeline, agreed upon social amplification and payment schedule (these are often referred to as the “deliverables”). Generally a contract is provided by the brand/company or their representative (usually a PR or Marketing firm) to ensure both the blogger and the brand are in agreement.
The best way to think about sponsored posts is to look at it as guaranteed paid advertising. In fact, it’s very similar to the ads you may have on your blog but (dare I say) way more lucrative for bloggers, especially bloggers who do not have huge audiences. Why? Well sponsored posts put you – the blogger and owner of a website – in the driver’s seat. You choose who you feature on your blog, how you present the product, how you deliver the message to readers and when and how you promote that sponsored blog post. You’re not relying on a sidebar ad that is randomly placed to make you money. NOPE – you’re in control with sponsored posts, which is exactly how it should be!
The monetary value of sponsored posts will vary considerably, but when you get into the flow of sponsored posts you’ll see yourself making more and more [which feels really good!] while doing fewer sponsored posts – that should be your ultimate goal!
How to Get Sponsored Post Opportunities
One of the biggest mistakes I see bloggers and influencers making is signing up for sponsored posts companies that work as a middle man and working their tail off for $50 per post. That is not ok and I do not recommend going that route – it truly undervalues the work you put into a sponsored post.
Instead, I recommend bloggers reach out to brands on their own! Yes, I know that can be intimidating but I also know that it works. How? It’s what I have been doing to make 5-figures a year, and once you understand how to qualify a brand and then work on a detailed proposal everything becomes so much easier!!
Brands Need To Know You Exist
Think of the brands you already like, know and trust; the ones you use every day in your home. Now think of how you could integrate those brands into a post on your blog and/or social media.
Are your wheels turning?
When I reach out to a company for a possible sponsored post, I’m doing it with the knowledge that I am going to be promoting something that is awesome, something that my readers will enjoy or benefit from, and something I can truly back. If that is your mindset then you are ready to reach out…
So how do you reach out to a brand?
By email! [ugh, so simple but so true!]
You see, there are certainly some complicated parts of sponsored posts, but the easiest part is the reaching out [and funny enough, it’s what holds most bloggers back!].
Don’t worry about your stats or audience size, worry about what makes you stand out and then email a brand you want to partner with and tell them a bit about yourself! Your email can be structured something like this:
Here’s who I am (with a hyperlink to your blog) + Here’s why I love your brand + Would you like to work together + Here’s my contact information.
Yes, I really do mean it that simply. Don’t overcomplicate the process of reaching out and asking if you can work with a brand!
Think of it like online dating – you don’t ask someone to commit to you in your first interaction, you just reach out and say “hi!” and let them know there’s something interesting about them. Do the same with a brand. Reach out and “meet” them. Say “hi!” and see what they’re all about. They may not respond, they may not be who you are looking for, or they may become a perfect fit…but won’t know until you reach out and TRY!
What Do I Charge?
This really is the million dollar question and the truth is there are a lot of factors that go into charging for a sponsored post. There are some really crappy formulas floating around on the internet that would see me getting about $15 for a sponsored post. Um…no thanks!
I can tell you definitively that I do not think any blogger should charge less than $150 for sponsored content. In fact, I always recommend that a blogger take into account all the elements that go into creating a really good sponsored blog post including:
- Any products you will have to purchase.
- Your time to use the product, write about it, edit your post and publish it!
- Photography (are you taking photos, are you paying someone to photograph?)
- Social amplification (how many times will you share about the product online and how long will it take you to prepare those social shares)
- ANYTHING ELSE that will go into your sponsored post
There are so many factors that go into pricing your sponsored content (even including your own comfort level with asking for money) that I am more than happy to walk you through but here’s what I know for certain: IF YOU DO NOT ASK FOR THE MONEY, YOU WILL NOT RECEIVE IT. Seems simple but it is the biggest mistake bloggers make. They don’t ask for the money and then they wonder why they’re getting paid to collaborate with brands.
Once I started asking for the money, everything changed (including my income) and it will for you as well!