Sponsored posts have been a huge revenue stream for me over the last 3 years, and while I initially resisted the idea of promoting products and services to my readers as I thought it would turn them off and make them view me as a fraud, working with brands is something I’ve become really passionate about.
My mission at Meraki Lane is to provide women with the tools they need to feel good about themselves, both inside and out, and after much consideration on my part, I finally came to realize sponsored posts are a natural fit for my website, and that I would be silly not to work with brands.
And if you think about it, it makes total sense.
By trying different products and services myself, I’m able to recommend the best of the best to my readers, which in turns marries up to my ultimate goal: to help women be the best version of themselves in every single thing they do.
Whether I’m dishing about a new beauty product that hides the ridiculous circles under my eyes, sharing a new weight loss tool that has helped me reach my weight loss goals, or connecting like-minded moms with a parenting brand I trust, I’m adding value to the lives of my readers.
Sounds reasonable, right?
But here’s the thing: sponsored post opportunities for bloggers aren’t that easy to find.
Not by a long shot.
The good news is that I’ve worked with some pretty amazing brands throughout my career as a blogger and I’ve picked up some pretty good pointers about how to write sponsored posts, how to get sponsors for your blog, and how to know what a reasonable sponsored blog post rate is when working with brands. And today I’m going to share my secrets with you!
Create a Media Kit
Before you start working with brands on sponsored post opportunities, you want to make sure you have a killer media kit that outlines everything about you and your blog – what your monthly reach is, what your social media influence looks like, what you’re passionate about, and who your target audience is. Sound complicated? It’s not. I’ve put together an entire guide to teach you how to create a media kit that sells, which includes resources to find media kit templates and an amazing, self-paced blogger media kit course recommendation.
What is a Sponsored Post?
Alright, now that you have a killer media kit at the ready, it’s time to get to work.
So, what is sponsored content, anyway?
Simply put, sponsored content is an article (or blog post, product review, etc.) written in exchange for payment in which the writer talks about a product, service, or their experiences with a brand. A sponsored post typically includes a branded story as well as one or more contextual links to promote the product or service that is being reviewed.
How Do I Write a Sponsored Blog Post?
There are many different approaches bloggers take when writing or creating sponsored content. Some write straight reviews, others create DIY projects or unique recipes, and some like to tell a personal story detailing how the product or service they are promoting has changed their lives.
Regardless of what angle you take, it’s important to be authentic and only promote products and services you’ve used yourself and would recommend to you friends and family. Trust is very important in the blogging world, and if you want to make a living working with brands, only partner with the ones you stand behind.
Here are samples of some of my top-performing sponsored posts to give you an idea of the approach I like to take when working with brands:
As you can see, I treat my sponsored posts with as much – if not more – time and attention as I do my regular blog posts. I only ever accept sponsored opportunities that line up with the topics I blog about, and I choose topics I know will resonate with my readers.
Because the more traffic a sponsored post gets, the happier my sponsors are, and the happier my sponsors are, the more likely they will want to work with me again. Also? Having a stellar portfolio of sponsored content under my belt has gone a long way in helping me pitch to brands I want to work with.
Where Can I Find Sponsored Blog Post Opportunities?
Up until about 6 months ago, almost all of my sponsored post opportunities came my way via various media companies. These companies offer a really simple way for bloggers to connect with brands – all you need to do is submit an application, create an online profile, and everything else is taken care of for you. You’ll be alerted via email when a sponsored opportunity is available, and you can accept or decline based on your availability and interest.
I have worked with tons of different media companies over the years, but my 3 favorites are:
TAPINFLUENCE: It took a few months before any opportunities started to filter through to me after I signed up with Tapinfluence, but the work has been pretty steady ever since. One thing I love about the Tapinfluence platform is that it provides recommendations on what sponsored blog post rate you should charge based on your page views and social media reach, which helps ensure you aren’t over- or under-pricing your services.
IZEA: I wasn’t a huge fan of IZEA when I first signed up as it seemed most of their offers were spammy and grossly underpriced, but within a few months, I started receiving direct offers that are in-line with my niche and rates. I have worked on some great projects with IZEA, the most recent being a campaign with Sephora that not only paid me my sponsored blog post rate but also gave me over $400 worth of makeup to test!
MOM IT FORWARD: I have been working with Mom It Forward for over a year now, and they are a delight to work with. Their rates are very competitive and their campaigns are really cool to boot!
I have had a ton of luck working with these media companies (and more), but have recently come to realize that working with brands directly is much more profitable. Not only does it allow more creative freedom as you can pick and choose the products and services that work best for you and your blog, but you can often negotiate higher fees without a media company thrown into the mix.
Of course, learning how to get blog sponsors is a trial-and-error process. Pitching to brands for sponsored post opportunities takes tons of practice. You need to know who to contact, what to say in your initial email, and how to pitch them if they express an interest in working with you, which can be a full-time job in and of itself.
I’ve had varying degrees of success pitching to brands on my own, but Jenny Melrose’s Working with Brands course has really helped streamline the process of finding sponsored posts for bloggers. There is currently a waitlist to enroll in the course, but I highly recommend adding your name so that you will be notified when the cart opens back up as Jenny’s strategies have helped me land a lot of quality sponsored post opportunities over the last few months and has been a huge game-changer for me and my blog.
The Working with Brands course will teach you:
- How to create a killer elevator pitch
- How to pitch to brands
- The elements of a perfect proposal
- Email templates that convert
- Renegotiation tactics
- …and more!
How Much Should I Charge For a Sponsored Blog Post?
Knowing how much to charge for a sponsored post is subject to a lot of debate in the blogging world, and I personally feel bloggers don’t charge enough when working with brands. I think we constantly underestimate our value and worth, and need to do a better job of selling ourselves.
Here are a few key things to consider when determining how much to charge as your sponsored blog post rate:
What value do you add?
Most bloggers assume you need millions of monthly page views to charge big bucks for sponsored posts, but that’s simply not the case. Consider the other ways you can add value when working with brands. Do you create killer video tutorials? Are you a good photographer? Do you create free printables for your readers to download? Are you a member of high-performing group boards on Pinterest? Do you have a large following on Instagram? There are so many ways you can position yourself favorably with brands – all it takes is a little bit of creativity to sell yourself effectively!
What are the post requirements?
Not all sponsored posts are created equal. A straight written post might take a fraction of the time it would to come up with – and photograph – an original recipe or kids’ crafts. Ask for specifics and put together a post outline before committing to a price to ensure you have a good grasp on the time investment required.
What materials will you need to buy?
Will you need to purchase materials to complete the project? Art supplies? Groceries? Photography props? Write them all down and include them in your post rate!
Your sponsored blog post rate can vary greatly based on your experience and expertise as well as the requirements of the campaign, but my recommendation to new bloggers is to set a minimum fee of at least $300 per sponsored post, and then increase your rates based on your site traffic, the specific value you bring to the table, the time investment required, and the additional expenses you must outlay to complete the project.
Still feeling a bit weary of how much to charge?
I don’t blame you!
The good news is that Jenny Melrose offers a much more succinct formula for determining a reasonable sponsored blog post rate in her Working with Brands course. She uses a formula that takes all of these considerations – and more – into account to help you come up with a rate that works specifically for you and your blog.
Sponsored posts can be a significant revenue generator for bloggers when they are done correctly, and I hope these tips have given you the insight you need to create a media kit that sells, find sponsored posts that line up with your blog, write sponsored content that gets noticed, and figure out how much you should charge when working with brands.
If I can leave you with one more piece of advice, it’s this:
Don’t be afraid to oversell yourself!
It is much better to overprice your services and negotiate down than to undersell yourself from the beginning and end up working for peanuts.
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