There are plenty of ways to make money with your blog, but not too many pay more for less work than sponsored posts.
In this blog post, I’m going to go over why sponsored posts should be a part of your blog’s monetization strategy, and then I’ll tell you how to get sponsored post opportunities for your blog.
But first, let me go over the basics of sponsored posts and how they work.
Sponsored posts FAQ
What is a sponsored post?
A sponsored post is when a company pays you to share your experience with a product or service. You can either be paid by receiving a free product or get paid in addition to receiving a free product.
You can be paid to write about a website, a physical product, a digital product, a service, a hotel, even a city!
Heck, even politicians are paying influencers for exposure to make them look cool (source).
You can be paid for writing a blog post (or a series of posts), publishing a pre-written article (guest post), or social media mentions.
Should I do sponsored posts?
Yes, of course, you should! Imagine getting paid hundreds of dollars to write a blog post about a brand you love? This is entirely possible when you partner with brands on a sponsored post.
Many bloggers ignore this revenue stream because it’s not as straightforward as putting up display ads or earning commission via affiliate marketing – and that’s a big mistake.
Sponsored posts are not dead in 2021. In fact, the sponsored post landscape is only getting better. Brands, now more than ever, want to connect with their audience. Try on Twitter all they want; it’s never going to beat the recommendation from an influencer who already has a foothold with an audience.
What niches work best for sponsored content?
While you can find sponsored post opportunities in just about any blog niche, some work better than others. Here are some niches where you’ll have no problem finding sponsors to partner with.
- Personal finance
- Mom blogger
What are the different types of sponsored posts?
- Guest post
A sponsored post can be a paid guest post. This is when a guest author writes the article, and all you have to do is publish it on your blog. It doesn’t get any easier than that!
- Product review
Another form of sponsored post is a product review. With these, you are sent a product or asked to try a service and share your experience with it.
- Social mention
Many sponsored post requests include social media mentions along with a blog post. This could mean doing an Instagram sponsored post along with an Instagram Story, a series of tweets, or even a YouTube video.
The last type of sponsored post is when a company just wants a backlink from you to boost its search engine ranking. In this case, they might want a link in an existing article.
Be warned, though, that this is considered selling links which are frowned upon by Google.
How much should you charge for a sponsored post?
The amount you charge will depend on your traffic, follower count, and engagement level.
You can charge as much or as little as you want, but oftentimes the brand will tell you upfront what they’re willing to pay.
For me, sponsored posts have always been a secondary monetization method, never the main one.
I prefer to charge more and have fewer opportunities rather than charge less and fill my blog up with sponsored content.
Can smaller blogs make money with sponsored posts?
Sponsored content isn’t just for big-name blogs and Instagram influencers, though. Many companies are looking for smaller blogs to partner with too.
These micro-influencers, for example, revealed how much they’ve made on recent Instagram campaigns here.
Are sponsored posts right for my blog?
Many new bloggers feel uneasy with sponsored posts. But partnering with brands actually boosts your authority with your audience. Just as long as you’re completely transparent with your readers, there’s nothing to worry about.
It’s your blog; it’s your business, don’t be afraid to monetize it!
Sponsored posts contract
Since you’re going to be agreeing to offers with brands, it’s important to protect yourself legally. After all, you want to make sure both sides are clear about your deal’s terms.
Rather than paying a lawyer to write up a sponsored posts agreement for you, you can buy Amira’s sponsored posts contract here. She is an experienced lawyer who writes contracts for a living.
FTC guidelines for sponsored posts
Federal guidelines state you must add a disclosure at the top if you are paid for a post (source).
For a blog post, something short and simple like this will work:
Disclaimer: This is a sponsored post by Brand Name. All opinions in this blog post are my own.
Google-compliant sponsored links
If there is a monetary relationship between your blog post and a company, you need to add a special tag to let Google know. The last thing you want is for Google to take manual action against you for selling links for PageRank.
In your link to the sponsor, add the tag rel=”sponsored” to the link. If you’re using WordPress and Gutenberg, edit the paragraph block as HTML and add the tag there. You can then change it back to Edit Visually when you’re done.
Your link will look like this:
<p>This is <a href="https://www.domain.com/" rel="noopener noreferrer sponsored">the link here</a>.</p>
Must-haves to get sponsored post opportunities
To get started offering sponsored posts on your blog, here are 6 must-haves:
- Self-hosted blog with your own domain name
- At least 10 blog posts and a blog that is up to date
- An about me page
- Well designed blog
- Social media presence with engaged followers
Sponsored posts and blog monetization
Sponsored posts are a great way to make money with your blog because they don’t get in the way of other blog monetization strategies.
Here are the best ways to make money blogging:
The first way to make money with your blog is by using a display ad network like Google Adsense.
Pros: You get paid per click or impression. You get paid regardless of whether anybody buys anything, which is great.
Cons: The downside is that payout rates are pretty low.
With affiliate marketing, you get to promote products you love to your audience. The most popular affiliate network is Amazon Associates.
Pros: You get paid a commission every time someone buys a product through your link. You can promote other people’s products and never have to create one of your own or deal with customer service.
Cons: The downside is that you are helping to grow someone else’s business instead of your own.
Your own products
Selling your own digital products is one of the best ways to monetize your blog. For example, you can offer ebooks, printables and sell online courses.
Pros: You set the prices, and there’s no middleman between you and the customer.
Cons: It takes time and the right idea to create a product of your own that sells.
Finally, we come to one of the best ways to monetize your blog, sponsored posts! Here are the pros and cons of monetizing your blog with sponsored posts.
Pros: You get paid to write a blog post and share your opinions. The beauty of sponsored posts is that you can use this monetization method in addition to any of the monetization strategies listed above.
Cons: One of the freedoms of starting a blog is that you become your own boss. But when you work with brands, they become your boss. This means they control the content, and they issue you a deadline.
How to get sponsored post opportunities
Ready to make money with sponsored posts? Let’s do this!
Sign up to sponsored post networks
Just waiting to be contacted by companies isn’t going to work. To get more opportunities, you need to register on sponsored post networks.
Here are 19 networks built to connect advertisers with bloggers. Get your blog registered on each of these networks; you’re bound to get some interest!
- Valued Voice
- Bloggin Mamas
- Find Your Influence
- Aspire IQ
- Blog Dash
- Tap Influence
- Social Fabric
- She Media
- Blog Meets Brand
- The Sway
Reach out to brands
Rather than wait for sponsors to contact you, proactively go after them!
This part is so important to growing your sponsored posts income. Contact businesses within your niche and pitch your idea.
You have nothing to lose.
Craft up an idea and pitch it to as many businesses within your niche as you can find. You are bound to get some takers.
This approach works best when you see that a brand has already partnered with another blogger in your space. If they’re active on social media, give them a quick mention and tag them to get their attention.
Then, hit them up and propose a collaboration similar to their collaboration with the other blogger.
Send your pitch directly to brands
Brands get pitched to all the time, so if you don’t send the right information in your first email, you just won’t get a response.
Use this sample pitch:
Email subject: My readers would love your product/service. Let’s make it happen!
Introduction: Who you are, what you do, and why it matters to them. Make it easy for them by sharing why their product/service will help your readers.
Keep the introduction short and get to the point. I’m sure they get emails like this every day and will appreciate your directness.
Your partnership idea: While they know their product – you know your audience. Share your idea for a sponsored post that makes sense for both parties.
Show off your stats: Mention where you have been featured and show an example of a previous sponsored post if you have one.
Mention your blog traffic, social media follower counts, and email list subscribers count. Attach your media kit.
Your personal sendoff,
Your Name, Your URL
Create a media kit
Don’t be intimidated at the thought of creating a media kit. It is super simple to create.
A media kit is a simple pdf file that has a little about you and your site, traffic data, and social media follower counts.
Here is a perfect example of a media kit done right.
You can create one using Canva for free. They even have media kit templates you can use.
Just choose a template, make your changes, and save the file as a PDF when you’re done editing.
Keep a list of media contacts
When a business buys a sponsored post from you, it may be the end of the transaction, but it’s only the beginning of the relationship.
Keep each contact in a spreadsheet or even with a tag in your email marketing provider.
To do this with ConvertKit, add the emails and tag them as sponsors. You can then send an email periodically to the list with your updated blog stats stating you’re open for collaborations.
This contact list is so valuable. It will be the well that you can keep going back to year after year.
Have an easy-to-find contact page
Make it super easy for brands to contact you. For example, you can add a contact form using a page builder like Elementor.
Many brands use Google to find blogs to partner with. They type in something like “blog + niche + sponsored post.”
Will your blog show up in the search results for that phrase? Most likely not. Unless, of course, you create a contact page using those keywords.
So rather than having an empty contact page, state that you are open to brands contacting you for collaborations.
Use the words sponsored, influencer, campaign, media kit, and advertising (along with your niche) to appear in Google search results for these terms.
I’m a (niche) blogger who writes about the latest trends in (niche-related keywords). I’m open to collaborating with brands on (sponsored posts) and on (social media site).
Here is a link to my media kit. If you’re interested in discussing this further, fill out the form below or email me at: firstname.lastname@example.org.
Did you find this post useful in any way? Boy, I sure hope so. Otherwise, I’ve utterly wasted my time! Anyways, please share this post on your preferred social media channel!
Until next time,