There's plenty of ways to make money with your blog, but not too many that pay higher for less work than sponsored posts.
Many bloggers ignore this revenue stream because it's not as straightforward as ads or affiliate products - and that's a big mistake.
In this blog post I'm going to go over why you should incorporate sponsored posts into your blogs' monetization strategy. But first, let's go over the basics of sponsored posts and how it all works.
SPONSORED POSTS: THE BASICS
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.
This goes for not just physical products, but digital products and services as well. Heck, even cities have been known to pay travel influencers to come shoot a video in their city.
You can be paid for writing a blog post (or a series of posts), publishing a pre-written article (guest post) or for social media mentions.
WHAT NICHES WORK BEST FOR SPONSORED POSTS?
While you can find sponsored post opportunities in just about any niche, some do work better than others. Here are some niches that will have no problem finding sponsors to partner with:
- Personal finance
- Food blog
- Mom blog
ARE SPONSORED POSTS RIGHT FOR MY BLOG?
Many new bloggers feel uneasy with sponsored posts. But as long as you are completely transparent with your readers, there's nothing to be concerned about.
It is your blog, it's your business, don't be afraid to monetize it!
TYPES OF SPONSORED POSTS
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. It doesn't get any easier than that!
Another form of sponsored post is a product review. With these, you are sent a product and asked to share your experience with it.
The last type of sponsored post is when a company just wants a backlink from you for SEO purposes. In this case, they might want a link in an existing article. Be warned though that this is considered selling links which is frowned upon by Google.
HOW MUCH CAN YOU MAKE WITH SPONSORED POSTS?
You can charge as much or as little as you want. 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.
As is the case with any other blog monetization method, the more traffic you have the more you can charge.
WHAT DO YOU NEED TO GET STARTED?
Here are the basics on what you need:
- Self-hosted blog with your own domain name [Start a blog guide]
- At least 10 blog posts and a blog that is up to date [Blog post template]
- An about me page [About me page template]
- Well designed blog [How to design your own blog]
- Social media presence (the more follows the better)
- Traffic (install Google Analytics if you haven't already)
FTC GUIDELINES FOR SPONSORED POSTS
Federal guidelines state that you must add a disclosure at the top if you are getting paid for a 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.
HOW MUCH TO CHARGE FOR A SPONSORED POST
This depends on... everything. To find your ideal rate, see how much companies are willing to pay. Once you get a few offers in a similar price range you will see what the market rate is for a blog of your size in your niche.
HOW SPONSORED POSTS FIT INTO YOUR MONETIZATION STRATEGY
Sponsored posts are a great way to make money with your blog because they don't get in the way of other monetization strategies. Here are the main ways blogs make money:
Pros: You get paid per click or per impression. You get paid regardless of whether anybody buys anything, which is great.
Cons: The downside is that payout rates are pretty low.
Pros: You get paid a commission every time someone buys a product through your link. You can promote other peoples' products and never have to deal with creating one of your own nor dealing with customer service.
Cons: The downside is that you are helping to grow someone else's business instead of your own.
Your own products
Pros: You set the prices and there's no middle-man between you and the customer.
Cons: It takes time and the right idea to create a product of your own that sells.
Pros: You get paid to write a blog post and share your opinions. The beauty of sponsored posts is that you can use it in addition to any of the monetization strategies listed above.
Cons: I can't think of any.
How to get sponsored post opportunities
REGISTER ON SPONSORED POST NETWORKS
Here are 12 networks built to connect advertisers with bloggers. Get your blog registered on each of these networks, you're bound to get some interest!
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.
Sample email sales pitch to brands
Brands get pitched to all the time, so if you don't send the right information over in your first email you just won't get a response.
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 on 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 just a simple pdf file that has a little about you and your site, your traffic data and social media follower counts.
You can create one using Canva for free. They even have media kit templates you can use. Save the file as a PDF when you're done editing and you are done.
KEEP A LIST OF 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 add them to your email list).
To do this with ConvertKit (who I use for email marketing), add the emails and tag them as sponsors. You can send periodically send an email to the list with your updated blog stats stating you're open for sponsored post opportunities.
This contact list is so valuable. It will be the well that you can keep going back to year after year.
Sometimes you will be dealing with a "media buyer" who works at a digital marketing agency, rather than directly with a brand.
If this is the case they will undoubtedly have more clients within your niche in the future and that means more partnership opportunities for you.
ADD A CONTACT PAGE
Make it super easy for brands to contact you.
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.
Add a contact form (using WPForms) to make it even easier to receive sponsored post offers.
Did you find this post useful in any way? I sure hope so! If you did, I'd appreciate it if you could save it on Pinterest.