There are many ways to monetize a blog, but none of them compares to sponsored blog posts. These paid opportunities come with a double whammy – you get to write about your favorite brands and product and get paid handsomely for them.
With some careful planning, you can earn more than $10,000 a month from brand sponsorships. Big brands have huge budgets and are more than willing to pay generously to online marketing services.
Best of all, you don’t need to be an influence marketing company. Instead, an active blog with quality content is all you need to harvest these marketing dollars.
Sadly, many bloggers overlook this lucrative method when monetizing their income suffers.
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What Are Sponsored Posts for Bloggers?
Sponsored blog posts are lucrative business opportunities where bloggers are paid to promote products and services on their sites.
Most successful blogs offer sponsored posts because it’s one of the best ways to make money blogging. The concept is simple. Companies contract influencers to write blog posts or social media posts about their products and promote them to their online tribe. In return, the sponsoring companies pay the sponsored post websites generously for their effort.
Sponsored blog posts can be recommendations, product reviews, or a general article reviewing the company linked to their latest offer or product. These are non-disruptive ads that match the look, tone and feel of your website. They follow the same editorial flow as your other pages to present the information to the readers without screaming advertisement.
For the best results when using sponsored ads to bolster your blogging income, stick to the brands that align with your readership. In addition, you should prioritize the needs of your audience at all costs.
When you first start out, you might be tempted to jump at every sponsorship opportunity. Resist the temptation as it could dilute the value of your brand and ruin your credibility.
Pros and Cons of Sponsored Posts for Bloggers
Before using sponsored content to grow your blogging income, you must know their strong points and any drawbacks. Only then can you can make an informed decision.
- Immediate payoff: Unlike affiliate income, sponsored blog posts are easier to monetize, especially with a solid online following. Companies will eagerly pay you upfront or put up a deposit before the post goes live on your website.
- Higher payoff: You have the upper hand when negotiating rates with potential sponsors. You may command lower rates initially but dramatically increase the rates as you build a bigger audience.
- Sponsored blog posts convert better: Sponsored posts mirror your site’s tone, look, feel, and editorial flow, creating better engagement. In addition, a high click-through rate increases the ROI, prompting the company to work with you again.
- Consumers find sponsored content trustworthy: Millennials, Gen X, and Gen Z consumers find sponsored content more captivating and believable than traditional ads.
Cons of Sponsored Posts
Despite the substantial benefits, sponsored blog posts have some downsides, including:
- It’s difficult to measure performance: Advertisers use different metrics – ROI, renewal rates, impact, and effectiveness to measure performance and sustainability.
- Sponsored blog posts are costly and laborious: A sponsored campaign is a multi-step process with numerous rounds of review, collaboration, and revisions. It can suck up your time if there’s a disparity between your editorial standards.
- Sponsored blog posts may be diluted: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) requires content creators to use prominent labels such as “paid advertisements,” “sponsored by,” or “sponsored posts.”
Are You Ready for Sponsored Blog Posts?
Some content creators avoid publishing sponsored posts on their sites, fearing readers’ backlash, only for their audience to welcome the carefully curated content when they take the leap.
If you screen your advertisers and products carefully, you have nothing to fear when running an active blog. On the contrary, your audience will thank you for the thoughtful product reviews and recommendations. To make the most of paid opportunities, you should create authentic content that’s valuable to your audience.
Once you feel confident that you can create content that connects brands to your audience, turn your sights on your website and brand. Advertisers are keen to establish ongoing relationships with influencers and benefit from their online marketing services.
While high monthly traffic is desirable, the quality of your web traffic matters more. Most of your online traffic should come from an advertiser’s target market. International traffic might not be as valuable to a company serving a local or national market.
Bloggers with many social media followers easily land sponsorship deals. A huge social media following is desirable because it increases an advertiser’s reach. They can reach tens of thousands of potential customers with a single post, tweet, Pinterest, or Instagram post.
You’ll have more success landing sponsored posts if your site boasts a high Domain Authority (DA). Sites with a high DA >60 come off as credible, authoritative, and rank high on the search results. Building topical authority is the key to improving your site’s domain authority and online presence.
Advertisers will peek into your site to determine the user experience. A clean site structure with a functional user interface makes the information readily available while giving your site a professional touch. Companies are keen to protect their brand image and only partner with websites that meet this criterion.
Only visibility is yet another factor that underpins your ability to attract advertisers. Naturally, your site should be ranking high on Google and other search engines. Proper search engine optimization (SEO) lets you top the search results for your targeted keywords. It drives plenty of organic traffic to your website, giving advertisers a rich pool of prospects to target.
Newly minted websites aren’t as attractive to advertisers as they often have little to offer. Sponsors prefer well-established sites because having an online tribe that trusts your judgment is priceless. Such an audience is likely to lap up any product you recommend, much to the delight of the sponsors.
How Much Can Bloggers Charge for Sponsored Posts?
Most bloggers, even seasoned ones, struggle with how much to charge for sponsored blog posts. Unfortunately, there are no clear guidelines to follow, so most people often fly blind. But that shouldn’t be the case.
First off, if someone emails you with sponsored post offers, take a moment to appreciate the compliment. You have created an online asset that’s worth partnering with when you receive sponsorship offers. Take a moment to let that sink in before making any decisions.
If brands are reaching out to you, you’ve done well, so there’s no call to settle for lowball offers. When you’re ready, you may accept a few low offers to test the waters, but once you’ve mastered the process, increase the rates.
Ideally, you shouldn’t accept anything less than $250 for sponsored blog posts, especially if your site has decent traffic and commands authority. But don’t make up the rates on the fly.
Tools such as Social Bluebook are a great place to start. This free valuation tool gives helpful suggestions of how much you should charge for sponsored blog posts. While useful, the tool tends to undervalue websites. You can easily double or triple the suggested pricing without scaring off advertisers.
Also, never show your cards first when negotiating with a sponsor – ask about their budget instead to avoid shortchanging yourself. Most advertisers will have a rate card for each sponsored post but are willing to negotiate better rates with the right bloggers.
If the offer amount sounds good to you, take them up on it. If not, make a counteroffer and justify it with a clear value proposition.
Remember, sponsored blog posts are a win-win situation. The advertisers get to promote their products to a carefully curated target audience, and you get to make some extra buck. So, double down and charge your worth.
How to Get Blog Sponsors
While sponsored blog posts are a lucrative way to grow your blogging income, they can be hard to come by. You can’t afford to wait around for brands to notice you as you’d be leaving money on the table. Luckily, you can jump this process at any time once you’ve built a decent online following and web traffic.
Here are some tried and tested ways to get sponsored blog posts on your website and make more money.
Create a Media Kit
A media kit, a carry-over from traditional advertisement, is the ace in your sleeve when looking for sponsored posts opportunities. In the blogging realm, a media kit outlines critical features and statistics about your blog. The kit informs potential advertisers about your brand, target market, the topics you cover, your social media following, web traffic, and more.
A blogger media kit also lists the collaboration option, outlines your rate card and preferred payment method. It’s the blogging equivalent of an elevator pitch when looking to make money with sponsored blogs. The media kit should communicate the value of your brand quickly and convincingly to attract sponsors.
Luckily, you’re spoiled for options when creating a media kit. You can use Canva, PowerPoint, or PicMonkey to create a killer media kit. Whichever option you use, be sure to give the media kit a professional flair and shine.
Create an Advertise With Us Page
Besides a media kit, be sure to include and update an Advertise Page. It’s a quick and efficient way to cut the chase and earn money from posting sponsored articles on your website.
An Advertise Page should include traffic details, demographics, social platform numbers, and any other juicy details about your site and engaged audience.
It helps advertisers decide if your site fits their needs before reaching out. Investing time and energy into a sponsorship deal only to have it fall through can be demoralizing.
Sign Up for Websites that Offer Sponsored Opportunities
If advertisers aren’t beating a path to your door with offers, joining a few sponsored post networks is the next best thing. These are firms dedicated to connecting businesses with bloggers or influencers capable of promoting their brands or products.
As part of the deliverables, a sponsored post network sends you a list of companies looking to use sponsored posting as part of their marketing campaigns. You can then pitch the companies outlining how you will them build brand awareness with the sponsored article.
There are numerous sponsored post networks to pick from, but each comes with different requirements. For example, some prefer bloggers with a large following on social media channels, while others prefer web traffic. Others work with new bloggers, so even the newbies have a few options.
The application process entails filling out a profile with relevant information like contact information, social media handles, website traffic, follower counts, and engagement.
Top 10 sponsored post networks for bloggers
Look at Your Competitors’ Sponsorships
Keeping an eye on the competition is a staple in the blogging sector, and it can help you land sponsored blog posts as well. Analyze your competition and note the brands they work with.
You can then reach out to these brands for collaboration and seize the opportunity to create authentic posts for your blog.
Brands will typically jump at the chance to grow their network if they are willing to work with your competition. This approach is most efficient in small niches with a small pool of authority sites but can work in every sector.
Reach Out to Brands
Once you’ve polished your media kit and Advertise Page, you may start pitching sponsored blog post ideas to the major players in your niche.
Cold pitching a brand may seem intimidating, but it shouldn’t be. Remember, companies have an evolving need to grow their sales, and you’re pitching to help them crush these goals.
Start by pitching the brands behind the product you love and use or recommend on your site. It could be a product or service that you feel would be of interest to your target audience. Many brands will jump at any credible opportunity to bolster their marketing campaigns.
An even simpler way would be to create quality content around a sponsor’s product. Big brands monitor brand mentions and may reach out to you with offers for paid posts after a positive mention. The key here is to let your creativity shine through and entice the target brand to learn more about your website.
Sponsored Post Newsletter
Eager to make the most of sponsored post blogging opportunities, you’re likely signed up to a bunch of websites. But you must log in to multiple sites to search for the perfect opportunities. You must then craft the perfect pitch; if you find a match, repeat the process repeatedly.
The Blogging Money Update makes it easy to land sponsorship deals without pulling out your hair. This thrice-a-week sponsored post newsletter puts 10-15 carefully curated sponsored opportunities in your inbox.
The exclusive newsletter covers many blog niches, including fashion blogs, recipe blogs, lifestyle, health, fitness, hobbies, personal finance, and more. It links bloggers with an opportunity to get sponsored posts with a $65 to $5,000 payout.
The Money Blogging Money Update saves you valuable time while padding your blogging income by connecting you with suitable campaigns.
Build Long-Term Relationships
Companies have a perpetual need to advertise their products and services. Forging long-term relationships with brands in your niche is an excellent way to build your blogging income. The brands will view your site as a trusted advertising partner and readily reach out with profitable offers.
As a preferred service provider, you can command higher advertising rates. It also saves you the hassle of constantly pitching new brands while maintaining a stable income.
Always save the emails from each brand you work with and organize them into a dedicated email list. Then, you can periodically reach out to them and inquire if they have any promotions running or with a new pitch.
You can even go further and create a calendar with each brand’s promotion schedule and increase your value proposition.
Creating an extensive professional network pays of in droves in any sector, and blogging isn’t any different. You can start building your network by joining a forum, Facebook group, or other social media platforms.
Connecting with like-minded individuals offers rarefied insights on how to improve your blog performance. You can also mine your network for sponsored blog post opportunities.
People share their experiences with various advertisers on forums. Use such information to vet potential advertisers. It also grows your list of prospective advertisers that you can approach for future collaborations.
Tips for Sponsored Content
Here are some tips to help you make the most of sponsored blog posts and grow your blogging income.
Payment Email Subject Line
There are no fixed rules when collecting payment for sponsored blog posts. Some companies pay upfronts, others put down a deposit, while others pay after the job is done. Keeping track of the unpaid campaigns can prove challenging, especially when working with multiple brands.
Create a special folder in your inbox and label the unpaid campaigns in the subject line for quick reference. In addition, you may need to send periodic reminders to the more established brands and remind them to settle their invoices.
Don’t Ignore Your Editorial Guidelines
Sponsored blog posts work because they retain the touch and feel of your brand. A reader shouldn’t easily tell them apart from your regular content.
Sticking to your editorial standards helps the sponsored posts gain traction and improve the advertiser’s ROI. If you drop your editorial standards, readers might pick up on it and skip the paid content.
Disclose the Relationship
Transparency is vital when operating in the sponsored content landscape for both legal and ethical reasons. The FTC requires that you disclose your brand relationships when accepting sponsored blog posts. It’s only fair that you alert your readers about paid content because you value the trust they place in you and your brand.
Each sponsored blog post should carry a conspicuous and clear disclosure at the beginning. You can tag such posts as “sponsored” or get more creative with your description.
Ensure Sponsor Fits for Your Brand & Target Audience
Not every sponsored blog post offer is worth your time or fit for your audience. Learn to filter out such offers before accepting paid posts to avoid audience churn. Ideally, stick to the brands and products that you like or use personally.
Secondly, ensure that products and the brand align with your site’s vision and target audience. For example, accepting sponsorship from a budget brand won’t do if your brand is about bespoke fashion items. Each sponsored post on your website should result in a win-win-win scenario. It should be rewarding for you, the advertiser, and your audience.
Consider the Sponsor’s Google Ranking
The brands you associate with can make or break your online reputation. So always conduct a deep dive into the company on Google and other review sites to ascertain a sponsor’s reputation.
Naturally, it’s best to shun companies with lots of negative reviews or renowned for shady business practices. Such sponsors can undo all the hard work you’ve done building online credibility and dilute your brand.
Don’t Fill Your Site With Them
Although sponsored posts are lucrative, they should form a small part of your site’s total content. Publish the regular content that your audience has come to love, interspersing it with sponsored posts.
Limiting paid content helps protect your readership and rankings too. Google’s search ranking algorithms pick up on such nuances when ranking your site. As a result, your search rankings are likely to suffer the paid content on your site outnumbers regular content.
Create Templates for Your Process and Emails
Having a well-defined sponsored blog process is critical to your success. It helps you speed through the evaluation and negotiation stage and accelerates delivery.
Creating custom templates for your process and emails is an ideal way to go about this. Tools such as ClickUp can help you streamline your workflow to let you breeze through each offer while delivering maximum value to your sponsors.
Publish Your Disclosure Policy
With the FTC increasingly training its sights on the online marketing scene, you can’t afford to leave anything to chance. Having an ironclad Disclosure Policy on your website helps avoid legal troubles down the line.
A disclosure should provide all the pertinent information to interested parties in an accurate, understandable, and convenient manner.
That said, it’s best to leave the legal mumbo-jumbo to the real experts. This legal bundle covers every legal document you need for your site without subjecting you to mind-numbing legalese.
Affiliate Relationships vs. Sponsored Post
Some companies will reach out to establish affiliate relationships instead of paying for sponsored posts. As an affiliate, you only make money if a customer purchases through your affiliate links, and you’re not guaranteed any income.
Some affiliate offers may be in direct competition with the offers you currently have running on your website or may require you to change your monetization plan.
On the other hand, sponsored posts have an income guarantee, and you’re entitled to payment the moment you publish content on your website. Therefore, you can reasonably predict your expected income from sponsored posts and don’t need to change your site’s monetization model.
Be mindful that brands may reach out to you asking to work together, but they may only be interested in affiliate relationships. They could lead you on to get you on a call. Imagine this…You are prepared to talk shop about sponsored content and have your media kit polished with potential campaigns in mind when they’re actually only interested in Cost-Per-Action (CPA) or Cost-Per-Lead (CPL) relationships. Major bummer…It’s happened to us, too!
Learn More About Sponsored Posts for Bloggers
Sponsored posts are one of the most lucrative ways to monetize your blog. However, this model can be intimidating, and sadly, most content creators struggle with it. But, thanks to Sponsorship Secrets, you can join the ranks of successful bloggers killing it with sponsored posts.
Sponsorship Secrets is a proven step-by-step system that has helped thousands of bloggers land up to $10,000 sponsorship deals. The course comprises 6 core high compact modules to help you become a sponsored post rockstar.
Enrolling in this course will build your understanding of the art of seeking out lucrative sponsorship deals. It’ll help you create a stellar brand that companies will want to partner with. Better yet, it’ll bolster your ability to approach and negotiate sponsorship deals with large brands and crush every arrangement.
Ready to take your business to the next level? Check out Sponsorship Secrets today.
Grow Your Income With Sponsored Posts
And there you have it – a complete guide to help you tap into the lucrative world of sponsored posts. Getting started down this road can be intimidating, but this blueprint can help you get started on the right note.
Having the proper knowledge and skill will let you cut through the noise and connect with brands looking to partner with bloggers like you. So why wait when you can start killing it today? Join Sponsorship Secrets today!