What the fudge is Sponsored Content Marketing Claire, you maniac?! I hear you cry. Sponsored content marketing is also more commonly known as Sponsored Posts. Or ads. But as blog posts. Which is basically writing content for brands or businesses. It’s also important to realise that you don’t need a lot of traffic in order to make money from your blog but you do need the right type of traffic.
Now, we are going to talk about selling Blog Posts (creating sponsored content), Writing Guest Posts and accepting Guest Posts. Let’s have a look at the
eight twelve different ways through which you can make money from your blog.
Sponsored Content Marketing Doesn’t Have To Be Hard
Selling Blog Posts/ Sponsored Posts
Freelance blogging is an excellent way to make money writing online because there is a crazy demand for high-quality blog posts.
You can do this with:
- a blog of your own,
- you can use companies that hook you up with brands,
- The brands come directly to you or via a PR company.
- Use a service like Swarm Content, PayPerPost/Izea, Cooperatize, Linqia and Sponsored Reviews. They act as the middlemen — you do the work and get paid.
My Experience with Sponsored Posts
I’ve written my fair share of sponsored posts, and I made it a rule that I would never endorse anything I wouldn’t use myself or a store where I wouldn’t shop. These are a way to sponsored posts easier to swallow. I only ever accept campaigns that excite me.
Don’t become a sellout.
Only YOU will know whether a sponsored post is right for you and your blog.
In all honesty, I’ve never had to pitch a brand. When your blog is in different press databases, companies tend to find their way to you.
Selling Sponsored Posts On Your Blog
Essentially, all you need to do to get started is to create a ‘Work with me’ page and outline any of the services you offer. Whether it’s through sponsored posts, sidebar ad’s or guest posts.
Add a contact form to your blog so that e-mails reach you and don’t linger in the spam folder.
You can add a contact form plugin to your WordPress plug that sends emails directly to your address.
It is likely that you will receive a lot of dubious requests and you will find that adding certain details to the ‘Work with me’ page or in your media kit is a good way to go. (Don’t worry if you don’t know what a media kit is yet.)
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For example: “Please be aware that I do not feel comfortable promoting the following; gambling, leather goods, medical/weight loss related, basically anything that doesn’t directly link to my blog. *insert blog categories* This way, it saves both of us time. Thank you for your understanding.”
If you work to a schedule, please ensure that you make this clear at the very beginning.
You may find that people send e-mails offering a fixed amount of money for posts as long as the post goes live immediately. If posting that fast doesn’t suit you. Don’t agree.
And do me a favour – never allow someone to haggle with you over your rates. I’ve done it so many times because I felt uncomfortable or I wanted the sale. Pfft. Bad idea. I’ve since changed my ways and haven’t done it since.
If people email you and ask for a sponsored post or guest post, don’t be afraid to ask what their budget is. Chances are you can get paid a little more.
Payment and Pricing
A good rule of thumb and how a lot of bloggers work; they charge per 100,000 views received on the blog.
£80 for 80,000 £100 for 100,000 £200 for 200,000 and so on.
Remember, you aren’t selling the post itself per se. You’re selling the benefits of sharing content to your followers.
Depending on how many sponsored posts you accept per month, you could be rolling it very quickly. 5 Sponsored posts at £200 a month. Boom! That’s £1k. If you add that in with the rest of the ways to make money (outlined above) and you could be rolling in it!
Tip #6 – Where To Find Places To Sell Your Posts:
- SitsGirls/Sway (I’ve worked with these guys before, and I recommend).
Intellifluence– I have worked with these guys before and also highly recommend!
- TapInfluence – I’m signed up, but again, I haven’t discovered a brand opportunity that suits my blog
- Pollinate Media – I haven’t joined yet, but that’s due to laziness. There have been positive reports and it’s in a folder in my bookmarks called “stuff to join”.
- Activate by Bloglovin, previously Sverve – I have been on Sverve for some years and haven’t had any opportunities, but that’s because I’m not a mum.
- CleverGirls – This was previously open to the US and Canadian bloggers, so I don’t have any experience with them. Again, I’ve heard positive reports, and it’s now in the folder.
The Application Process:
You will apply for sponsored posts in different ways, 99% of the time, you complete an online application.
A tax form will be required, and you will be asked to confirm whether you are or are not a citizen of the United States for most of the sites above.
More often than not, part of your application will require you to pitch your idea for the post.
If you are accepted, you will confirm your acceptance formally, often with a contract. Then, you will receive instructions and all deliverable requirements.
Meeting Deadlines & Completing Posts:
Instructions will be sent to you with every detail, condition and expectation.
Usually, brands will sell you everything you need to do.
The requirements you must meet to be paid; dates, links, images, sometimes meta tags, hashtags and suggested copy for Calls to Action within posts and social media, etc. They won’t leave you wondering what to do.
Payment will also be confirmed at this stage. You know the payment amount before you apply but the brand will usually confirm for the brand’s records.
Delivering The Post
After that, all you have to do is follow the requirements outlined.
I tend to re-read the requirements several times and even take notes on the deliverables, so I don’t mess up and look like a total amateur.
Then when you have written the post, make sure you proof-read and edit. I recommend using Grammarly. I signed up for a years service, and after one month, it has already paid for itself in my opinion!
After The Sponsored Post Is Live
Once your post is live and you’ve shared across the required social media channels.
You will need to save the URL’s of your posts and e-mail over to whoever is handling your account.
There is likely to be a deadline for social media sharing, make sure you check otherwise you might not get paid.
Another item required for getting paid? That tax form I mentioned.
Selling Guest Posts
Guest posting is a post written for your blog audience by another blogger or a middleman who is working on behalf of a client.
The middleman is who I hear from the most. I didn’t accept guest posts for the longest time, but I wanted bloggers and my peers, so I now accept guest posts. If someone has contacted me on behalf of a client, you can deliver the brief (similar to the above when you were writing for a brand). You are also well within your right to charge. I charge the middlemen (well, the brands actually) and bloggers can share their posts here for free. #communityovercompetition
Guest Posting For Other Blogs
Bloggers need good content. I need good content, and I would love to build relationships with fellow bloggers!
By being a good guest blogger, you’re going to build relationships with other bloggers.
By making friends with other bloggers through guest posting, you’re going to reach out to their social media following. As long as you provide value for those readers, it should lead to more blog visitors and potentially, subscribers.
Guest Posting Is Great For Search Engines
If you have a WordPress blog already and have been learning about SEO, you may be familiar with the term “backlinks”.
These are other locations online where your blog link appears. Building these over a span on different blogs increases your credibility with Google and other search engines.
Make sure that you include your blog link in your guest post. Obvs.
Reaching Out – How To Ask To Be A Guest Blogger
My number one tip for you is;
If you are pitching to various bloggers about guest posting on their site, make sure each pitch is unique and engaging. AND you have the details correctly.
I can’t tell you how many times I said yes to a pitch, purely because I liked the cut of someone’s jib! The ones that I tend to ignore usually have included the wrong name or the wrong blog name within the pitch.
You will receive a far higher response rate if you create a thoughtful, personalised, and distinctive pitch to every blogger you contact. Do not copy and paste from a template.
If you are planning to copy and paste, at least customise it and show the blogger that you have been active in her community, by reading at least one of her posts (not necessarily recent). Sponsored content marketing and having space for others to share content on your site is relatively straightforward. Remember, don’t share anything that you are uncomfortable with or that doesn’t align with your brand values.