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…
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”. 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…
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.
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:
- Katie (Sluiter Nation): Not My Business, Baby (why you do NOT want to monetize your blog)
- Devan (Accustomed Chaos): Monetizing Your Blog: Why’s & How’s of Making Money (why you do monetize and how you do it)
- Kristin (What She Said): Getting Paid to Blog: So Many Questions, So Little Time.(newbie in the monetizing world)
- Gigi (Kludgy Mom): So You Want To Be A Freelancer? What You Need To Know.(freelance work)
- Alex (Late Enough): Writers Teach, Why Can’t Bloggers? (on teaching blogging and social media)
- Debi (The TRUTH about Motherhood): What to Charge for a Sponsored Post and Why you need a Media Kit (what to charging for sponsored posts, media kits)
- Tina (Life Without Pink): Tips For Building Successful Relationships With Brands and Scoring Paying Opportunities (pitching brands, sponsored events, ambassadorships)
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!