As bloggers, we are passionate about our blogs. It represents who we are, what we stand for and about what we love. We take pride in it as we should! It takes a lot of our dedication, time, hard work and a little bit of capital to get our blogs off the ground and to grow a loyal following.
All that passion has to pay off sooner or later. Blogging can be a lucrative business. Some may blog for the fun of it, but many of us want to monetize it. If you love what you do and you’re good at it, there is no reason why you can’t take advantage and earn!
There are many ways to earn in blogging. You can sell products, promote affiliate products, offer services, offer advertising on your site or do sponsored posts. Today we are going to dig into sponsored posts and collaborating with brands.
A sponsored post is when you work with a company or an advertiser to promote their products on your blog or on your social media accounts. You can take photos, videos and even hold promos and contests.
These can be posted on your website and social media accounts like Twitter, Instagram, Facebook, etc. It depends on what you and the advertiser agreed on. It sounds easy enough but there is a good amount of preparation, selection, and negotiation that’s involved so both you and the advertiser will benefit.
Sponsored posts are not as easy to come by especially if you are just starting out. Some advertisers require you to meet monthly pageview requirements or followers on social media before they will consider working with you. However, that doesn’t mean though that you won’t be able to find other advertisers to work with.
Many brands want to work with you because they like your unique perspective and the engagement you have with your followers.
That is why preparation is important when you want to do sponsored posts. In reaching out to advertisers, you need to put your best foot forward. This means creating a strong media kit that will help make you stand out from the masses. This is what you will send to your future collaborators to showcase your knowledge and experience. You can pitch your ideas as to what you can do for them and tell them why working together will be valuable to them.
Don't have a media kit yet? Grab my free media kit template!
First, be selective about who you work with! It might be tempting at first to just accept all the offers but you really don’t have to. Sponsored posts take a lot of time and effort so make sure it is spent on advertisers or campaigns that you genuinely believe in and care about.
Don’t worry about turning some down; there will always be more companies who would want to work with you. Selecting the right advertisers should also be based on your specific niche. You can’t advertise dish washing soap when your blog is about makeup unless of course, you can come up with a creative way to incorporate the product, like for example, using the dish washing soap to clean your makeup brushes.
You need to be loyal to your brand and post what you think will interest your followers. You can advertise that dish washing soap, but you risk losing your loyal followers simply because it is not something they signed up for. It is not why they fell in love with your blog in the first place and it will come off as spammy. Never lose the trust of your followers just for an extra paycheck.
Money is always a tricky subject. Especially if you are a new blogger. Deciding and agreeing on what to charge for your services can be stressful, but do not be discouraged! Blogging is a business and should be treated as one on both sides. It is completely up to you as to how much you want to charge.
To determine your rates consider everything you will be doing in the sponsored post and the time they will take and multiply that by your desired hourly rate. So if for example, the project will take you three hours and you want to make $30 an hour you should charge at least $90. Your rates will also vary based on the size and engagement of your audience. The larger the audience and higher the engagement rate the more you can charge.
You can even have packages of how much equals the scope of work you will be doing. Have lite, moderate and premium packages. Have a breakdown of what is included in each of these packages.
The lite package could, for example, be one share on each of your social media platforms. Moderate may be a blog post and one social media share per platform and the premium package may include a blog posts, social media shares, and additions shoutouts/tags to the brand etc. The more specific you are the better.
If you choose to have bespoke pricing (bespoke = price varies per project) you will need to be willing to negotiate. It might seem daunting at first but you will get used to it the more you do sponsored posts.
Negotiation is normal and these advertisers are used to it. If there is an advertiser though that is pushing you and you don’t feel comfortable with the deal anymore, then, by all means, don’t take the job. There should be a mutual understanding of each other’s worth in the business.
Another instance you might encounter during negotiations is that some advertisers would like to trade products or services rather than pay you. In these circumstances you need to consider the value of the product and if it is worth your time. If you are a new blogger it can be good practice to do a few of these before pitching for paid products so you can have examples of previous brand collaborations.
Remember that you always need to disclose close that it is a sponsored post. Anytime you are compensated with money or product you need to disclose it on your site. You can say something like, “This post was sponsored by XYZ, however, all thoughts in this post are my own. For more information on my sponsored post policies view my disclosure here.” and then link to your disclosure page. If you have questions about your disclosures consult with your attorney or check out this post from Jade & Oak.
When posting a sponsored post on social media disclose your relationship with the brand by using the hashtag #ad.
Now that you’ve prepared, selected and negotiated with an advertiser, it’s time to shine. Prove to them that their decision of working with you was the best decision they’ve ever made! Take your photos, post those ads and interact with your followers about the product. Learn from this experience and apply it to your future sponsored posts.
Ready to pitch your first sponsored post? Don't forget to grab your free Media Kit Template!