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 they work.
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 for social media mentions.
What niches work best for sponsored content?
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.
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!
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.
While brands haven't abandoned partnering with bloggers altogether, they do prefer to partner on a more "social" campaign via YouTube and Instagram.
Having a blog with a strong following sure doesn't hurt though.
The last type of sponsored post is when a company just wants a backlink from you to boost their 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 is frowned upon by Google.
How much money can you make?
The amount you earn depends mostly on your traffic, follower count, and engagement level (source).
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.
Sponsored content isn't just for big-name blogs and influencers though. Many companies are looking for smaller blogs to partner with too.
These micro-influencers, for example, revealed that they how much they'de made on recent Instagram campaigns here.
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.
On my other blog, Cash The Checks, the least I would accept today is $250 and the most I've been paid is $1,200 on a larger multi-site campaign.
What do you need to get started?
Here are the basics on what you need:
FTC guidelines for sponsored posts
Federal guidelines state you must add a disclosure at the top if you are getting 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.
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:
How to get sponsored post opportunities
Just waiting to be contacted by companies isn't going to work. To get more sponsored post 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!
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.
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 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 with 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
Another alternative is to use a plugin like WPForms.
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 show up 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 further, fill out the form below or email me at: email@example.com
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 Facebook!