Getting Paid To Blog: How To Get Sponsored Posts To Write

After writing my post titled Talking Taboo: How Much Do You Make With Your Blog?, I was overwhelmed with the responses and questions I got from readers. I don’t have all the answers…not even close, but I do know some ladies that do! A group of us got together to tackle topics about freelancing, sponsored posts, ads, brand ambassadorships, product reviews, and more – and how much to charge for these things. We’ll be talking about media kits, how to pitch a brand, why people do and don’t monetize, and fears about monetizing.

It’s a lot right? But don’t worry – the group of bloggers that have come together to help answer your questions are some of the nicest bloggers I know, and they’ve helped me out more than once! So sit back, get ready to take some notes, relax, and learn how to make some money…

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So you decided to take the plunge and try to make some money with your blog. Why not? We spend enough time and effort to have people read it – to trust our words. And companies are starting to recognize that a lot of people do trust and listen to what bloggers have to say. They know our product reviews and things we write about can change people’s minds or sway the decisions about the products that they use and buy. We have a voice, and it’s a loud one.

What is a Sponsored Post?

If you do decide to make money, you might not know where to start…I didn’t! One of the easiest ways to monetize your blog is through sponsored posts. What is a sponsored post? According to Wikipedia: “A promoted post, also known as a sponsored post, is a post to any community-driven notification-oriented website which is explicitly sponsored as an advertisement by a particular company in order to draw a large amount of popularity through user promotion and moderation to the most active or most viewed page on the website. The model has become adopted by various ad-supported but community-driven websites as an addition, substitute or replacement of other pay-per-click advertisement formats, such as web banners, text and rich media.

Specifically referring to context of blogs, ‘sponsored post was defined by Mutum and Wang (2010) as “The promoted blog entries or posts that contain links that point to the home page or specific product pages of the website of the sponsor for which the blogger receives compensation in the form of money, products, services or in other ways”.[1] They are also known as paid posts or sponsored reviews.”

A brand might ask you to link back to their site, or to a specific product. Or they might ask you to use specific keywords and link to certain pages on their site. Or sometimes they want you to talk about a certain topic. There’s a lot of different ways that you might be asked to write a sponsored post.

Where Do You Find Sponsored Post Opportunities

Where do you find sponsored posts? For me, most of the sponsored posts I write I have to “apply” for (meaning the brand doesn’t approach me directly). Sometimes I’ll be contacted by PR reps I’ve worked with in the past and asked if I’d like to write a sponsored post. Other times, friends will ask if I’d be interested, and then they’ll pass my name along to their contacts.

There are also lots of places that you can find these opportunities yourself. Usually you have to become a member of the site and you may have to put their button on your blog to (a) help promote their site (b) show people that you are a member. Here are a few that I’ve had great success with…

Mom Spark Media

Mom Central

Clever Girls Collective

The Blog Frog

One2One Network

Don’t Forget to Disclose!

I think the most important thing to remember is to disclose that your post is a sponsored post.Often times, you’ll be given specific wording to use that you include at the bottom of the post. Sometimes though, you’ll have to do it yourself. It doesn’t have to be anything fancy – if you check out some of mine (posts where I was asked to write about anything but use specific keywords and link back to certain sites and pages), you’ll see I simply said “I was compensated for this post, however all thoughts and opinions expressed are 100% my own.” at the bottom of the post. You might not even have known it was sponsored when you read it, but I still need to be honest and let my readers know that I got paid to write the post.

Blog With Integrity

What I mean by this is that you should never write a post that makes you feel uncomfortable. Stay real and true to yourself. The reason I’m mentioning this is because about a year ago, I was asked to write several posts, using specific keywords and linking back to sites. They didn’t have to be long, and I was paid $50 to write each post. Because I wanted the money, I said yes. I wrote about topics that had nothing to do with me or my readers. I sold out.

Since then, I’ve taken those posts down, but I learned that sometimes monetizing just isn’t worth it. Keep it in mind is if your approached to write sponsored posts that you really have no interest in.

Questions?

I’d be happy to answer specific questions you may have! Feel free to leave them in the comment section below!

There are as many ways to earn money blogging as to blog so check out the other bloggers participating in Lifting the Veil On Making Money In Blogging:

Also….some topics weren’t covered in this blog hop (like product reviews, ads, and some questions that you asked). Over the next few weeks, I’ll be addressing those topics so stay tuned!

 

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Comments

  1. Great info Natalie! I think the ‘selling out’ is something many do when we first start out — hopefully with this info people will realize they don’t have to take every ‘opportunity’.
    Devan @ Accustomed Chaos recently posted..Monetizing Your Blog: Why’s & How’s of Making MoneyMy Profile

  2. Natalie,

    You know I was one of those people who jumped on this topic…not so much because I’m even getting my feet wet, but I am curious.

    Thanks so much for instigating the conversation – I love this group of bloggers you have on board discussing the issues.

    I definitely think of you when the subject of “Who’s doing it right?” comes up.

    So I’m glad you’re keeping the discussion going…
    julie gardner recently posted..Today call me unromanticMy Profile

  3. Love this Natalie! I am very selective if I do sponsored posts. Like you, I want to stay true to myself and for my readers. If it fits well and is a product I would use, then I think about it. But I turn down so many posts because it just doesn’t fit within my blog. Great job!
    Tina @ Life Without Pink recently posted..Tips For Building Successful Relationships With Brands and Scoring Paying OpportunitiesMy Profile

  4. Great info for people who don’t know where to look. If you are part of BlogHer Ad network, they will send applications for sponsored posts to you based on what you answered in your interest inventory stuff when you joined. So that is a way too.

    I will take the occasional sponsored post if it seems like something that fits with my blog instead of something that is just hawking a product.

    However, my not monetizing does not mean I didn’t love working with the people I did before I quit the money stuff. You listed some AWESOME places to work with!
    Katie recently posted..not my business, babyMy Profile

  5. I belong to most of the same groups that you do and have yet to get a sponsored post out of them. This leads me to believe that I am doing something wrong but I don’t know what it is.
    Jackie recently posted..Listable Life ~ 5 MomentsMy Profile

    • I have yet to determine what the magic formula is either, Jackie. I recently responded to a query from BlogHer for eHarmony with what I feel was an excellent pitch – I planned to interview a friend’s aunt, who met her fiance through eHarmony after a terrible first marriage. Not only was it a good story, I also thought my pitch was well-written and my blog would’ve been an excellent fit. But I never heard from them again.

      I’ve started to assume that it all comes down to numbers and mine just aren’t high enough yet.
      Kristin @ What She Said recently posted..Getting Paid to Blog: So Many Questions, So Little TimeMy Profile

    • Do you apply for them when they send you the emails? I don’t get every one I apply for. If you want to chat about it offline, let me know!

  6. I really appreciate your honesty about this sensitive topic, Natalie! Your willingness to share your experience will help so many of us. Thank you!
    Iris recently posted..How to Be Awesome, I guess.My Profile

  7. Thanks, Nat! Great advice. Thank you for the honesty about having sold out. I did the same thing and now regret it. Knowing that you’ve been there and have come out on top is encouraging!
    NotJustAnotherJennifer recently posted..Unemployment Isn’t for the Faint of HeartMy Profile

  8. Great resources for soliciting sponsored posts, Nat! I’d never ever heard of several of them.

    I couldn’t agree more with your thoughts on accepting a sponsored post that just doesn’t feel right. In the example of the case study I used in my post on this subject, something just never felt quite right. But I kept forging ahead because the compensation was so generous. In the end, though, I was actually relieved when it fell through. Despite genuinely believing that I could blend the text links the rep was requiring into a post showcasing my “authentic” voice, I still feel like something about it would’ve felt unnatural and forced had I gone through with it. I was willing to write the post, but I didn’t WANT to. To me, that speaks volumes.
    Kristin @ What She Said recently posted..Getting Paid to Blog: So Many Questions, So Little TimeMy Profile

  9. Thank you for this! I’m just getting my feet wet and it’s really overwhelming! Thank you for posting other sites to check out as well.
    Genie @rungenierunblog recently posted..New Shoes!!!My Profile

  10. As you know, all of this is so beyond intriguing for me. Loving this series.
    Surferwife recently posted..Bloggers Worst Dressed — Week One WinnersMy Profile

  11. I have a feeling I’m gonna love this series. I am always looking for ideas to just up followers of making money would just be a bonus.

    Thanks for putting this all together!!
    Lauren@Warm&Fuzzy recently posted..Thursday 13 @ aunie Sauce- I’m linking upMy Profile

  12. I find the term “sponsored post” confusing. I tend to think of it as they sponsored my writing but I can write whatever I want but it’s when they sponsored what we write too? Am I getting finally?
    And yes, it’s hard to find our “sell-out” lines and they are different for everyone I think.
    Alex@LateEnough recently posted..Writers Teach, Why Can’t Bloggers?My Profile

  13. Nat,
    This is excellent info on where to find sponsored posts and the ins and outs. I think we all take a couple rookie sponsored posts that we take down later.My first one, and I was so excited to have it because I had only been blogging for about a month, was a ridiculously trendy little doll.i cringe to think I littered my blog with it but it’s been taken down and I learned my lesson:) lol
    Thanks for organizing this series! You rock!
    Debi (TruthfulMommy) recently posted..How much to charge for a Sponsored Post & Why YOU Need a Media KitMy Profile

  14. Good post. I’m glad I found this series of posts through Gigi!

    Remaining true to who I am, and to my “brand”, my name, is critical to me.

    I have done a couple of posts for One to One, and was pleased at how easily the process went.

    This will be my first Blissdom too. I’d love to meet you there, Natalie.
    Susan in the Boonies recently posted..Reverse Bucket List (or the Top Ten Things I Never Want To Do Again)My Profile

  15. Great post and topic Natalie! I learn so much from you guys.
    Cindi recently posted..Surrender in SugarMy Profile

  16. This series was so helpful. Thanks so much!!!
    Ali recently posted..WTF Wednesday – The "Rare Mysterious ReindeerBear" EditionMy Profile

  17. Thanks for the shout-out, Natalie! :)

  18. This is something new.. There are so many ways to get money on blogging.. Thanks for anther useful idea..
    Guia recently posted..http://www.flatratemovers.comMy Profile

  19. OK, here’s my question, you said you ‘took down the posts’ that you felt later didn’t ‘fit’ You say:
    “Since then, I’ve taken those posts down, but I learned that sometimes monetizing just isn’t worth it. Keep it in mind is if your approached to write sponsored posts that you really have no interest in.”
    So how long are you ‘required’ to leave a sponsored post up? Is it months? Years? Not planning on writing any that don’t ‘fit’ my blog but you never know what will happen down the road with changes in focus. Thanks for the info.
    nancy recently posted..Save Money RemodelingMy Profile

    • I didn’t have an agreement when I wrote the posts about how long they had to be left up on my site. It was over six months when I took them down. Going forward, I do plan to ask when/if I write these kinds of posts again. Hope that helps – let me know if you have any other questions!

  20. I so needed to read this when I started. This post is going to help many.
    JDaniel4′s Mom recently posted..Children at Play- Teddy Needs More Turtle Skating PracticeMy Profile

  21. Can you give me an idea of how much traffic a blog should have before they are considered for sponsorships? My blog has a lot of consistent readers, but I always think I don’t have enough traffic. I think that’s why I’ve hesitated to start seriously hunting for opportunities. Thanks in advance!!
    Robin recently posted..What Day is it Anyway??My Profile

    • You know it really depends on the brand and on what you blog about. PR people have told me it’s not all about the numbers, though sometimes it is. But if your blog is in a niche that isn’t as “big” as say, parenting, you might have an easier time getting a sponsored post opportunity. Or if you blog about something specific the brand is looking for, they might not care about the numbers. But you’d be surprised by how many opps are out their for bloggers who don’t have huge numbers (I sure don’t have them!)

  22. What a great post for everyone, not just new bloggers! Disclosure is always my first piece of advice! Not only is it a legal issue, but just to keep the respect of other bloggers it’s important to be transparent about it. Thank you!!
    Theresa @rockonmommies recently posted..My Pregnancy RulesMy Profile

  23. awesome advice for newbies here. disclosure is my hot button. I hope everybody reads this and takes it to heart!
    gigi recently posted..I Let Blissdom Happen To MeMy Profile

  24. Natalie, this is great information. You are the pro of pros. Teach me everything you know.
    XO
    San Diego Momma recently posted..My Prime: And Don’t Let Life Pass You ByMy Profile

  25. Such a great post Nat, I am definitely checking into a few of the sites you mentioned that I haven’t worked with before. Thanks so much!
    Jessica recently posted..FacesMy Profile

  26. Great advice. thanks for sharing.

  27. Great post Natalie! Can’t wait to read more. All sorts of info I would love to learn about. Thanks!!
    Suzanne @ The Wine{a}be recently posted..South Coast Winery Resort and SpaMy Profile

  28. Thank you for this! This is such a great post.
    I don’t think I am close to being able to make any money off my blog yet, right now I’m focusing on content and giving something of value to my readers.
    But it is definitely something I would like to get into in the future.

    These are some great resources and there’s so much to think about.
    Brittany Stewart recently posted..The Truth About Shopping with KidsMy Profile

  29. I am glad I read your post and now I feel more comfortable at choosing to talk about what I feel comfortable with. I still have not made a cent from blogging, I may get invited to events but don’t get paid to attend. I realize now after reading this too that because some of my posts link to where I purchased an item I like or the brand I am giving them free publicity! How naive of me thinking they would notice me. DUH! so I will have to edit my posts now because I want to contribute to the blogging world and make it fair for everyone :) I will follow all the blogs that are working on this with you as I was contacted for the first time by a local family owned business to write a sponsored post. I have no idea what to charge or how it works.

  30. Thanks for the tips. I am so ready for sponsored posts.
    fashionandstylepolice recently posted..Moschino Cheap & Chic AW 2013My Profile

  31. I love these tips, natalie! This is just the right blog that i needed. Thank you! Such a great help! More power!

  32. Admiring the time and effort you put into your site and in
    depth information you present. It’s great to come across a blog every once in a while that isn’t the same out
    of date rehashed information. Excellent read! I’ve bookmarked your site and I’m including your RSS feeds to my Google account.
    Norris recently posted..NorrisMy Profile

  33. Natalie, I’m a little late in replying, but thank you so much for mentioning TapInfluence (formerly BlogFrog)!

  34. You are in point of point a excellent site owner. The internet site filling rate is actually amazing. It would appear that you are carrying out just about any unique tip. In addition, This material are masterwork. you must have done fantastic hobby in this matter!

  35. I am fairly new to the world of blogging and I was just searching google for ways to monetize. The problem is, most of them want your blog to be active for awhile before you can sign up. Are there offers that are available for newbies?

    I have my own personal blog that I write encouragement mostly for Christian wives/mothers. However, I am getting started on a secondary page for beauty/household product reviews. Also, I write for another lady regularly- product reviews. Should I use the one that I do not own to market myself to start out with until I get mine up and running (I already have her permission to sign up for offers using the blog)?

    Thanks!

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