If you're looking to monetize your blog, sponsored posts can be a great opportunity.
What is a sponsored post? If a company pays you to write an assessment of their product or service, you're publishing a sponsored post.
By law, you need to disclose that your work is sponsored. Your disclosure can be as simple as identifying "This is a sponsored post" or saying "This post contains affiliate links." Rules may vary depending on the type of company you're working with, and I certainly don't have the legal background to provide you language for all situations. I would recommend you ask the company or speak with an attorney if you have questions. Google can also be a wonderful resource.
Working with companies can get a bit sticky, so you need to learn to protect your interests. On the flip side, it's critical to remain as professional as possible. Here are some keys to keeping the relationship mutually beneficial:
1. Write a great pitch email.
If you're looking to write a sponsored post for a specific company, you can write them a pitch email. (I'll follow up with resources about pitch emails in another post.) Be sure to triple check your message for spelling, consistency, and tone. This is your chance to wow the company and seal the deal!
2. Evaluate company offers wisely.
You might also be approached by a company who is familiar with your website or blog and thinks that your style would mesh well with their product. It's important to consider whether you agree! Do you think a sponsored post of what they have to offer would enhance or detract from your blog and what you're trying to provide your audience? While it can be exciting to get an offer for a paid post, don't sell out. In the long run, the time you've invested in your work is worth more than an irrelevant advertorial.
3. Don't sell yourself short.
If you're given the opportunity to set a price for your work, think carefully about what would make the sponsored post worth your time. How long will it take you to write? What research would be involved? Will you need to purchase any of their products to know what you're reviewing? What turnaround time are they looking for, and what other writing projects might you have to set by the wayside to accommodate them?
Of course, your blog's audience is also a critical point of consideration. The better your numbers, the more you can charge.
4. Don't forget about social media.
Your audience on social media definitely should play into your sponsored post rate, as well as what you offer companies you pitch to. Maybe you offer a sponsored post on your blog for $100, and a follow-up with a link to your post on Facebook for $25. This is especially excellent if you have lower blog stats but an amazing following on Instagram. Your brand is your entire reach, from blog to social media channels and beyond. Think strategically. For more on sponsored posts and influencer platforms, check out my review of AdvoWire.
5. Make it count.
Whether you asked for a sponsored post opportunity or one fell into your lap, think of this as more than an opportunity to get paid. Sponsored posts can help you to grow long-lasting relationships with brands, which can prove invaluable down the line in ways you can't fathom today. Even more importantly, having a portfolio of sponsored posts can be significant when you're pitching new companies. You want to be able to showcase what you can do!
Have you ever published a sponsored post? What did you learn that you can share with other readers?