You want to make money blogging. One smart way to do that is by incorporating sponsored posts into your blog.
Sure, you may be using ads and affiliate marketing, but you may not be making what you want. When you diversify to add paid sponsorships into your income strategy, you’ve not only got content ideas you get paid to write them!
However, if you have not ever pursued this income method, it can be a bit daunting. What is involved, where do you find someone willing to pay you, and most importantly – how much can you make?
The number one question I get asked time and again is, “what should I charge for a sponsored post?” How do you know how much? What more should I know?
What is a sponsored post?
A sponsored blog post is when a company wants to use your platform for advertising. Most of the time, they are looking for you to write an article about them. However, it could be a social share, mention in your e-mail newsletter, or a sponsored podcast episode. They want to use your voice to talk about their product/service.
The way they work is pretty straightforward. A company reaches out to you and asks you to write content about their product or service. It may be a review of a product or the creation of a recipe or project.
You will receive specific links and talking points to include. You will write the post in your voice and format. It needs to come from you to connect with your readers.
Sponsors love to use bloggers and podcasters to get the word out about their brand as it is more affordable. Not only that, but you have a loyal following, and your readers trust you. So, if you discuss a product or service, then they will be more likely to use it too.
Why should a blogger do sponsored blog posts?
They are an excellent way for bloggers to make money. Since they take time and effort, you can charge more for an article than you can for an ad placed in your sidebar. They want to work with you because you are an influencer and have a connection to their target audience.
If you are blogging to make money, you may think the best way to do so is by getting traffic to your website. That is how you can make an income. But, relying upon traffic to make money can be stressful.
Many bloggers will also supplement by using affiliate marketing in their articles. While this can be an excellent way to make money, if you aren’t getting traffic, then no one is there to click and buy.
A sponsored post is a simple way to generate new content for your site and get paid for it.
How to get sponsored posts
There are two ways to find people to pay you to write about them: You can work with a network, or you can reach out to companies on your own.
Use a Network
The simplest way to get started is by working within a network. These connect bloggers to potential sponsors. It is easy because you don’t have to look for the sponsor as they come looking for you.
Some of those you can try include:
You create an account and attach your social media channels and blog as requested. Be sure you accurately complete your entire profile so that the sponsors know as much as possible about you, which can result in better offers.
Once a sponsor wants to work with you, they will reach out through the network’s system. Then, follow the instructions to accept, decline, or negotiate the offer and then proceed with writing the content.
Contact companies for sponsorships
You may also want to reach out directly to companies to see if they want to advertise on your site. Making a direct connection can result in a higher payout than using a network.
But how do you know who you should contact? Which companies will be most willing to partner with you?
Look around your house for the products or services you currently use that are a fit for your site. You’ve got a company right there! You already believe in it as you use it yourself.
Let’s say you are a fashion blogger, and you want to find someone to promote on Instagram. What brands are in your closet? That is who you contact! You are already a fan, so it may be a natural fit to see if they want to pay you to share their newest spring product.
How to Reach Out to Brands
While networks are great, you don’t always get to work with the companies you would like. If you happen to use a product or service and want to write about it, a sponsored post is the perfect way to do so. You can reach out directly to the brand and see if they would like to work with you or not.
Many people have success Tweeting the brand on Twitter about a possible partnership. You may also find a link for marketing on their website so you can contact them that way as well. The last way to find the partner is to research to see if you can find which PR firm they work with, as many will only do sponsored posts through a third party.
How to pitch to a sponsor
If you find someone with whom you want to work, you will need to e-mail them. But, figuring out what to write can in your advertising pitch, can be a bit overwhelming.
First off, keep it short and sweet. Start by telling them about you, your site, your readership, and how you want to work together.
Hi there! My name is __________ and I run the blog _____________. I share ___________________.
“Talk about how you know the product or the brand.”
Since our readers overlap and I already know and want to share your product with them, I’d love to partner to create a sponsored post on my site.
Please let me know if you are interested. Thanks and have a great day!
Your e-mail does not need to be very lengthy. You don’t need to send your media kit. You don’t even need to (and should not) talk about pricing. Just see if there is any interest, and then you can share stats and other details with them as you work through the process.
Prepare your media kit
If you are going to work directly with brands, you will need a media kit.
Your media kit is a resume for your blog. It shares a bit about your site, your stats, links, and why a brand would want to work with you. It does not need to be fancy, but it should look professional, so it conveys the right message.
You can use a platform such as Canva to create one easily. Or, if you own Photoshop or similar software, you can make one there as well. No matter what you use to make your kit, make sure includes the following:
- Your Name
- Contact details (I do not recommend putting your phone number on your kit)
- Website Name and URL
- Social Stats for Facebook, e-mail list, Pinterest, Instagram, Twitter (or whichever networks you use the most)
- Monthly pageviews (use Google Analytics to find this)
- Who your audience is
- Why you are the right partner and what it is you have to offer
Your media kit should never, ever include rates. That is something you discuss after they see they want to work with you. And, since you may need to adjust them from time to time, you are not locked into an amount that is less than you should receive.
Check out these awesome media kit templates you can use for your site.
How much should I charge for a sponsored post?
Coming up with a fee is where it gets a bit more complicated. Sponsored posts rates are not black and white. The amount will consider several factors.
- Social Media Presence
- Newsletter open rates
- Podcast downloads
Each of these has a value. You will, in turn, use those figures to determine your sponsorship value — or what to charge for your sponsored article.
For instance, let’s look at traffic and how to figure a fair rate on this measuring point. To start, look at your Google Analytics. Review your overall page views on the site over the past three months. You should always cover three months to cover traffic fluctuations for a more realistic traffic number.
Divide that total by 3, which gives you an average for your monthly traffic.
Once you know your monthly traffic, divide the total by 1,000. You will reach your CPM number. CPM is the cost per 1,000 impressions. It is a term advertising networks use to determine how much to pay you, based upon the impressions those ads will get on your site. To give you post value, you will use this same calculation.
Now that you have your CPM number, you will need to charge a rate. You want to figure a range so that you have a high and low number. Doing so allows you more room to negotiate as may be needed.
The range to calculate is $3.00- $6.00 per 1,000 impressions.
65 * 4.50 = $292.50
65 * 6.00 = $390.00
Now, this is not the final amount you will charge. It is your base rate. You will also include other factors such as social media reach, time to write the post, photos, and social media engagement.
You can also consider adding additional services that you will provide, above and beyond the post. These will increase the final rate that you will pitch to the potential sponsor.
The one caveat I want to mention is the least amount to charge. If, after totaling all figures, your total rate to charge is less than $250, you should throw the calculations out the window. You should never charge less than $250 for a sponsored post.
Additional things to consider when figuring out how much to charge
One thing I love to do to make more with my sponsors is to add on other options. I may offer to advertise on Facebook or even do an e-mail newsletter blast where I talk only about them. There may be additional tweets or even a Twitter party.
The ideas are endless – but you should charge for them.
Some may include:
- Facebook Advertising
- Pinterest Advertising
- Instagram Story
There is, of course, so much more to sponsored posts, but this will get you started figuring out how much to charge for your next sponsored post. Your site has value, and sponsors know that. Make sure you charge accordingly.
Use a Sponsored Blog Post Calculator
It can be overwhelming when you try to figure out how much you should charge for the blog post, the custom newsletter, and the video you need you to create. Rather than leave it to chance, use a sponsored post calculator.
You only need to enter a few numbers into the spreadsheet, and it goes to work, sharing a low, average, and high rate to charge your sponsor for the work they want for you to complete.
A simple one-time investment in a calculator can pay for itself time again and again.
Measuring the Sponsored Post ROI
One thing that many people tend to forget about when it comes to sponsored posts is the return on investment (ROI). The ROI is what the sponsor is going to get for their investment.
Most sponsored are interested in three things:
- Clicks – how many people clicked on the link in the sponsored post?
- Pageviews – how many sets of eyes landed on the content over a specified period?
- Audience interest – how well did they engage with the content through comments or social shares?
The sponsor must provide you with a landing page that you link to in your article. You can ask the sponsor to provide a tracking link so they can keep track of clicks, or you can make one through the Google UTM creator.
The legal side of sponsored posts
Yep. There are legal things you need to know about blogging too. You own your site, but there are still things you need to comply with the laws and even one you must use to keep Google happy.
Mandatory FTC disclosure
One thing many bloggers do not realize is that if you do a sponsored post that there are FTC requirements. You absolutely must disclose in the article that it is a sponsored post. Type it at the top of the post so that they can read it before the content or within the first few paragraphs of the post. However, the one place it can not land is at the end, as readers must know that you were paid for placement before they read.
For example, most networks will require a disclosure to be placed at the very beginning. It is often something like:
This is a sponsored post on behalf of ABC company. All opinions are my own.
I have also seen it done where it is naturally incorporated into the first paragraph in the article. For example:
It is time to get busy with your holiday baking! I’ve partnered with ABC company to share a new and simple fudge recipe your family is going to absolutely love!
All links in a sponsored post must include the sponsored link code
When you place a link that you are paid to put on your site, you must send signals to Google that it is a paid link. The reason is that Google does not want people buying links sites to boost their ranking. However, they understand that partnerships such as sponsorships are vital. They use it as a hint to let them know that the content was paid so they can decide how to handle the link (source).
It is simple to add to your code. Simply open the blog post and find the link (click on the HTML view for your blog post). Then, add the wording to the link. It needs to look something like this:
BEFORE THE SPONSORED LINK
<ahref = “link to ABC company’s product target=”_blank” rel=”noopener”>text for product</a>
AFTER THE SPONSORED LINK
<ahref = “link to ABC company’s product target=”_blank” rel=”noopener sponsored”>text for product</a>
*Note that if you use something other than WordPress, your link may appear slightly different than this, but you still must include the sponsored code.
Before you jump in and do your first sponsored post, make sure you fully understand how to use no-follow or sponsored so you do not get a manual action from Google, which can hurt your rankings.
Where can I learn more about sponsored posts?
Take my free course – Sponsored Success Incubator!!
Sponsored posts are a great way to make money for your site and provide valuable content and information to your readers.