9 Ways to Rock Sponsored Blog Posts. My top nine tips for seamlessly and successfully including sponsored content on your blog.
9 Ways to Rock Sponsored Blog Posts
Sponsored content doesn’t have to stick out like a sore thumb on your blog. Here are my top nine tips for seamlessly and successfully including sponsored content on your blog.
Know Your Audience
When you know your audience well, sponsored posts won’t feel like sponsored posts to them because you’ll be representing brands they’ll naturally want to know about and grow to love as much as you do. Reader surveys can help you get to know your reader’s habits.
Below are a few stats I learned from my reader survey earlier this year. Being able to share this information with potential sponsors is super valuable for determining if we are a good fit.
- 72% spend 30 minutes or less on lettering and calligraphy, 20% spend 30 minutes to 1 hour.
- 49% are beginner level, 31% are intermediate level, and 20% are total newbies.
- 79% have invested or plan to invest in books, courses, and ebooks to grow their lettering skills.
- 43% are pure hobbyists, and 32% would love to make lettering/calligraphy their side-hustle.
- 62% prefer pen + paper, 13% prefer iPad lettering, and 17% love both.
Determine Your Worth
Pricing is always one of the hardest aspects of running your own business. The easiest way to determine a package price is to price each element individually and work it into a bigger package that saves brands money. I use the site Social Blue Book to create a base price line and alter it to fit my big picture. What Kelley Blue Book is to cars, Social Blue Book is to bloggers.
I used to offer multiple package options but my top “Premier Partner” package (the most expensive one!) sold the most often so that’s currently the only one I offer and I only work with one brand per month.
Create a Sales/Services Page
Take what you’ve learned in the first two things and create a landing page on your blog. You can take a look at mine here.
Why do I post my numbers and fees on my page?
Reason One: When I was car shopping online a few months ago, I automatically skipped any listing that said “call for price”. No one wants to jump through hoops. Make it as easy on people as possible to get the info they need to make a decision.
Reason Two: If it’s out of someone’s budget it doesn’t waste their time or mine. Again, this is in the interest of making it as easy on people as possible to get the info they need to make a decision. It saves both parties time to be upfront about it.
You don’t want to force something to fit your niche that doesn’t. On my Partner Program Page, I note the following:
DO WE GO TOGETHER LIKE COFFEE + CREAM?
I very carefully chose companies and brands to promote on my website.
I only work with brands who I feel are an extremely good fit for my site and my readers.
This is better for your brand, my readers, and the integrity of my brand, as I’ll be promoting a company I truly love (you!) and you’ll be reaching an audience full of creative people directly in your niche (who trust and value my opinion)!
It’s a win-win situation. You get exposure, and I get to connect my readers with awesome brands they’ll love!
The key is to reach out to brands that are a perfect fit or brands with which you already have built a relationship. When I launched my Partner Program, I emailed five brands I had previously worked with that were a great fit for my readership. I simply let them know of the new program I launched with a link to the landing page. Two of those turned into immediate clients and one said they’d work it into the budget the following year (and they made good on that promise).
I think a great way to stand out when you send these emails is to Pitch Specific Ideas. I brainstorm 2-3 ideas for blog posts for the brand and include a brief but detailed list of blog post ideas I could write for their brand.
Keep it Legal
- Educate yourself on proper disclosures (as mandated by the FTC). You must properly disclose the paid nature of sponsored blog posts as required by law. You can read more on this here.
- Work on a Contract. I have this Sponsored Contract template and use it every time I do sponsored work on my blog and social media. Doing paid work without a contract is inadvisable primarily because it’s hard to get paid if you don’t and the brand flakes. With proper paperwork, it’s much easier to ensure you get paid for your work.
For more on staying legit, be sure to read my post on Keeping Your Blog + Business Legal.
This part should go without saying but be sure you can deliver what you’re promising. It never hurts to underpromise and overdeliver a bit.
Along the same lines, be a professional. Always, always, always be on time. Meet deadlines. Respond quickly to the brand’s emails. And so on.
Being easy to work with, professional, and delivering what you promise will ensure repeat business!
Many brands I work with use tracking links, but I also like to follow-up with a summary report of not only blog and social stats but also some thoughts on how I felt the promotions went. Be sure to ask for feedback on what worked and what didn’t.
If a brand didn’t quite get the results they were expecting, offer to do a few more promos for free. Maybe send an extra email blast or leave their leaderboard ad up an extra two weeks. Make an effort to make them happy, and they’ll be back to work with you again!
Keep in Touch
Repeat business is the bread and butter of my sponsored work. If your results speak for themselves, getting follow up sponsored work with the same companies will be easy.
If it’s been a while since I’ve worked with a brand, I’ll reach out with a list of ideas for a fresh collab. More often than not, this results in a new gig!
P.S. What About When Brands Reach Out to Me?
Most people that reach out to me tend to expect me to work for free. I respond with this simple email which lets them know their options and my fees:
Thank you so much for reaching out! Due to the number of requests I receive, I created this Partner Program. This page outlines the various ways in which I am available to work with brands. If you have any questions, let me know and I’ll be more than happy to discuss how I can help you increase your brand awareness.
I hope you found these 9 Ways to Rock Sponsored Blog Posts helpful.
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