If you’ve been blogging for a while then you’re probably familiar with the term ‘Sponsored Posts’.
To put it simply, it’s an understanding between a brand and a blogger, where the latter writes a post for the former, based on agreed upon conditions that are mutually acceptable. The brand then pays the blogger for the effort.
In today’s post, we’ll look at this topic from the bloggers’ perspective and also talk about what brands should do in the blogger-brand relationship.
As a part of this exercise, I’ve also spoken to some bloggers who write these posts and shared their thoughts on the subject.
First and foremost, I’ll start with full disclosure. I use to write sponsored posts on this blog and it’s something I began doing in 2015. However, my focus has since shifted towards other forms of income generation.
It was a bit of a learning curve while I stumbled through the process and here’s what I’ve learnt about it.
- Why you should do Sponsored Posts
- Find posts that fit in with your expertise
- Don’t compromise on your voice
- Quote the right price
- Keep a Media Kit Ready
- Maintain an FAQ Page
- Always tag your posts as Sponsored
- All sponsored links must be no-follow links
- Why I personally prefer Affiliate Marketing to Sponsored posts
8 Tips for Bloggers doing Sponsored Posts
Why you should do Sponsored Posts
They are great as a way to make some money with your blogging. As you can tell, I am not mincing words.
To be frank there’s nothing wrong with doing it, either. Some of us rely on our blogs to help make us extra money while for many freelancers it can often be the only way to make the same.
They are the best and the easiest way to monetize my blog. They are not intrusive like advertisements and also the pay out does not depend on clicks, like ads or affiliate income.
There are more reasons to earning money than you might think.
They let me monetize my blog and help me achieve one of my blogging goals, which is donate my earnings to charity.
Building your reader base also helps in leveraging your power as an influencer in social media while enabling you to network with other brands and bloggers as well.
Being approached by a brand also shows that the blog has readers and companies are willing to tap the potential.
-Parul Kashyap Thakur
This is something most of us bloggers echo as well.
It helps make my presence felt in the world wide web thereby offering more such opportunities.
-Inderpreet Kaur Uppal
Find posts that fit in with your expertise
Not all of us are experts in everything and there’s a reason for that. Our passion drives us and makes us interested in certain fields more than others.
Now while I would gladly write a post on digital tools or social media marketing I wouldn’t venture to write one on fashion or lifestyle. Pick your niche and write accordingly. In other words, learn when to say ‘No’.
Bloggers need to think out of the box as well as get creative while doing sponsored posts. Else it just becomes run-of-the-mill-stuff and it affects the blogging community as well.
Don’t compromise on your voice
I know bloggers have to abide by a brief that the brand provides them. This does not mean that you sacrifice your authenticity in order to write a sponsored post.
Work in your personal angle and your unique voice so people can still connect with you, the person.
When sponsored posts are not honest and do not reflect the voice of the writer due to commercial pressures from the brand, it shows! Also sponsored posts sometimes do not gel with the blog’s genre and content.
~ Rachna Parmar
Quote the right price
I’ve been guilty of under-quoting on many occasions. Under or over quoting can hurt not just you but other bloggers in the same niche as well.
Bloggers need to be more aware of market rates as well as not under quote or over quote.
Keep a Media Kit Ready
Do remember that your visibility as a brand, your page stats, your traffic, your social media presence and your analytics will all come into play when you quote a price.
Keep these handy so you can share them with brands if they ask you for those details.
Maintain an FAQ Page
If you’re still thinking about the idea of sponsored posts and would like to consider this opportunity, start with an FAQ page.
When brands find your content either via Google or social media search, they will look for a way to determine if you are open to working on sponsored content.
Read more about what every FAQ page must include and why your blog needs one.
Always tag your posts as Sponsored
The key to playing nice when it comes to sponsored content is to always maintain full and complete disclosure.
Every time you write a sponsored post or work with a brand, ensure that it is clearly labelled as such within the content of the post.
Additionally, every piece of sponsored content must carry the affiliate/sponsored tag as per guidelines laid down by the FTC.
All sponsored links must be no-follow links
I’ve made this mistake in the past and have been very vocal about it ever since I learnt my error.
Always ensure that all paid links are marked as no-follow and more recently, ‘sponsored.’
This is very easy to do with the new Gutenberg editor and Yoast plugin, since direct insertion of a link can be converted into no-follow/sponsored with a simple slider switch.
For instance, if I decide to highlight this link as a sponsored one, it’s very easy to do.
Highlight the text, insert the link and then slide the button to mark it as a sponsored link or advert. That’s it!
Why I personally prefer Affiliate Marketing to Sponsored posts
This quick video will explain why I actually prefer affiliate marketing as a source of income these days over sponsored posts and brand collaborations.
So, dear bloggers, are you more comfortable with the idea of sponsored posts now?
Does it fit your requirements and perhaps your idea of generating money from your blogs?
*Special thanks to all the bloggers here who wrote in with their responses when I asked them to share their views on this topic.