The Ultimate Bloggers Guide to Sponsored Posts
Sponsored posts—have you heard of them? I really hope you have, but if you haven’t, I am here to help!
My name is Kelan Kline. My wife Brittany and I run the popular personal finance and lifestyle blog The Savvy Couple. Over the past year, we have been able to land more than a dozen sponsored posts and partnerships ranging anywhere from $500 to $5,000+. The crazy part is that our blog has only hit the infamous 100k monthly reader mark once since we started in July 2016.
So yes, you can land large sponsored content deals with major brands even when your blog is fairly new. This is incredible news for you newer bloggers! The immediate ROI (Return on Investment) from a sponsored post is almost unmatched. Quickly earning hundreds or even thousands of dollars for a couple hours of work sounds pretty good, right?
Since there is so much confusion when it comes to sponsored posts, I put together a guide with everything you need to know to start making money from sponsored posts.
Here’s what this sponsored post guide contains:
- What sponsored posts are
- Things to look out for before getting started
- When to focus on landing sponsored posts
- Creating a professional website, media kit, & advertising page
- Landing your first sponsored post
- What companies are looking for in a marketing partner
- Knowing what to charge
- Tricks to negotiate more money
- The importance of over delivering
- Getting paid for sponsored posts
- The legalities of sponsored posts
By the end of reading this article, you should be more confident than ever to start working with brands and getting paid!
So let’s get started!
What are Sponsored Blog Posts?
Simply put, they are a way for brands and companies to partner with influencers to promote and market their products and services.
Sponsored posts are designed to educate, inspire, and provide brand awareness.
The format of these marketing partnerships will vary. They can consist of a single blog post, but sponsored content can be multiple blog posts too. They might also include social media shares, email marketing, Facebook ads, videos, and more.
As a blogger with a monthly following of readers—no matter how few—you are also an influencer. Now you can provide value to brands, in addition to your readers.
The best part is that you get paid.
Should I Focus on Getting Sponsored Posts?
Yes and no. It really depends on what your revenue model is for your blog.
Do you want to make most of your income through ads, affiliates, courses, products, or sponsored posts? Your income model will determine if it is worth your time to go after sponsored posts.
In most cases, when you are first starting out with your blog, landing a few sponsored posts is a great idea. The additional income can be reinvested into your blog to help it grow quickly.
Still, I recommend that you NEVER work with a company that does not align with your blog and brand. It can be very tempting to jump on anything that makes money as a new blogger, but TRUST between you and your readers is the most important asset you have.
You should only promote brands, products, and services that you truly believe in 110%.
How Do I Polish My Look?
The most important aspect you want to focus on when it comes to landing sponsored blog posts is looking professional. Companies want to work with professional influencers who have their stuff together.
The more professional you look, the more money you will make. That means you need to focus on your website theme, your media kit, and your advertising page.
Professional Theme – Make sure your website looks and feels professional. Get inspired by others in your niche and look for a nice free or premium theme. Companies like StudioPress, Theme Forest, and Elegant Themes are all good places to start.
Media Kit – Creating a media kit is an absolute must! It’s a summary of website analytics, demographics, social followers, and reach. It also includes your bio and testimonials. This kit will be sent out during initial outreach and brand communication. You can create a media kit with templates found in places like Canva, PicMonkey, and Blogger Kit Co.
One of the most important aspects of your media kit is the numbers that you showcase. We recommend using Google Analytics because it is the most accurate. You will also want to track how many followers you have on each social media platform.
We actually partnered with Blogger Kit Co to bring you a FREE Ultimate Personal Finance Media Kit Template. It’s absolutely amazing! Feel free to grab your FREE copy now!
Advertising Page – The information on your advertising page is similar to a media kit. The difference is that companies can access it at any time because it is a permanent page on your blog. I have found many brands will reach out to us after finding our Advertise with Us page. You can create a simple page or you can also use a page builder like Elementor to customize it any way you would like.
How Do I Land My First Sponsored Post?
There are three different ways that you can land your first sponsored post. Sponsored post opportunities come from inbound inquiries, outbound inquiries, and influencer websites.
Inbound – The easiest way to land sponsored posts on your blog is to have your email address easily visible on your site. Believe it or not, companies do a bunch of outreach by themselves, so make it easy for them to contact you.
Most of our sponsored post partnerships have come through inbound emails we randomly get from month to month. The secret is to make sure they are legitimate; not someone just looking for a cheap backlink. That means when you research the company, they should be trustworthy and well known. If you don’t recognize them, you will want to do more research or reach out to the company directly for more information.
Outbound – It’s a good habit to closely follow 5-10 blogs in your niche. Once I see one of these blogs publish a sponsored post, I research the company to see if it would make sense to have them on our site. If they are a reputable company, I will move forward with sending over an advertising email.
This is a template that my advertising email might follow:
Hey [Company Name]!
My name is Kelan Kline. My wife Brittany and I run the popular personal finance & lifestyle blog called The Savvy Couple. I noticed you recently worked with our good friend (blogger’s name) over at (blog name). I loved what they put together for you and wanted to reach out to see if you are open to a partnership with us as well.
Below, I have attached our media kit for review. You can also head right over to our Advertise with Us page on our site for more information.
I am very excited about the possibility of working together and know we can come up with a very successful marketing campaign for you.
Looking forward to hearing back from you.
Kelan & Brittany
Influencer Websites – Lastly, there are a plethora of influencer websites you can join. These sites exist to link bloggers and brands. We have not found these to be ultra successful, but it doesn’t hurt to create an account on a few and see what happens. Websites to consider creating a profile on include:
- Tap Influence (our favorite)
- Blog Meets Brand
- Acorn Influence
- Blog Dash
- Bloggin Mamas
- Find Your Influence
- Social Fabric
- Social Stars
What Do Companies Look for in a Marketing Partner?
Of course, you already knew that. So what does value actually mean?
When companies are looking for marketing partners, they will focus on things like social engagement, brand awareness, conversions, new followers, and most importantly sales.
Essentially, they are looking to you to help them drive traffic and sales.
A good practice is to ask the brand directly about their goals for the partnership. After you understand their needs, you will be able to craft a proposal that exceeds those needs.
Now that you know how much value you can bring, I know you are probably wondering how much you should charge for a sponsored post. Keep reading. I have you covered!
How Much Do I Charge for Sponsored Posts?
When starting out, it is SO hard to know how much to charge for a sponsored post. Trust me, I know firsthand!
Here is a quick story. We were about 6 months into blogging part-time as a hobby. Then, we received an email asking for a sponsored post on our site for $100 out of nowhere. We were ecstatic. We had actually figured out how to make money online!
I quickly replied saying absolutely, but I added that $100 was too much and that we would be fine with $50. This actually happened! I am still embarrassed and I can’t believe I did this! I agreed to a sponsored post from a company that I did not know AND agreed to less than they originally offered. #DontDoThis
It may not have been the best start to sponsored posts, but I was still ecstatic about actually making money blogging. A few short months later I quit my job and became a full-time blogger.
The moral of the story is you can and will make mistakes as a blogger. You just have to learn and grow from them.
The best place I have found to understand how much to charge for a sponsored post is Social Blue Book. It is really easy to use and will provide you with a great starting point for what you should charge. Personally, I find their pricing is fairly low, so ask for more than what is suggested.
As a blogger, you should never charge less than $250. This includes brand new bloggers! I hate seeing companies take advantage of new bloggers. Believe it or not, even when you are first starting out, you are worth more than a $50 sponsored post.
You may also want to ask in a Facebook group, reach out to other bloggers, or simply make up your own price. Once you get your first couple of sponsored posts under your belt, you will have a better sense of what to charge.
How Can I Negotiate the Most Money?
You want to get paid what you are worth! The most important trick to making the most money with a sponsored post is to ask what the company’s budget is. In any negotiation, you never want to “show your cards first.”
Once you know their budget and what they expect to receive from the partnership, you can start to put together a proposal email. This will include a breakdown of the services you can provide, a timeframe for publication, and any other additional details.
We have found offering bundle packages always seem to work well. Most likely, you are already going to promote the article on social media and to your email list. So why not list those as additional services and charge more?
The more value you can bring to the table, the more money you can make, plain and simple. Show off the other companies you have worked with and treat this like a legitimate business negotiation. Because that’s exactly what it is.
Lastly, if you feel that you can charge more, you most likely can! There have been multiple times I have doubled our revenue from a sponsored post just by asking for more. #DontBeAfraid
Why Should I Over Deliver?
Although many brands have deep pockets and money to spend on marketing, you want to make sure you always over deliver. Treat each brand as if they are your most valuable customer. At that moment, they are!
Not only does that increase the chances that they will become repeat customers. It also opens up opportunities for brands to promote your work to other companies and organizations, which means more potential revenue streams for you.
How Do I Get Paid for My Sponsored Posts?
Above all, the goal of a sponsored post is to get paid for the value you bring to companies and brands. Make sure you get paid by signing a contract up front. You also need to invoice the company directly.
You can use platforms like Quickbooks, PayPal or Stripe to invoice clients and keep track of payments. All of these companies charge a small processing fee for the convenience of accepting credit card payments.
Snail mail is another option. It takes the longest. You also run the risk of losing the check. For that reason, I prefer this method the least.
What Legalities Do I Need to Know?
All sponsored posts and marketing campaigns should include contracts because these contracts will clearly establish the guidelines of the partnership. Basically, it keeps both parties protected because it describes what you both intend to do.
If it is a small company and they do not have a contract, make sure you get paid ahead of time. You may also want to create a contract that you can send to smaller brands. I highly suggest you try to use a contract every time you partner with a brand.
The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) also has guidelines you must follow when being paid to promote other brands. You must have a disclosure policy that is clearly labeled and easy to find. Readers must also be able to tell that you are creating content through a brand or company sponsorship.
Final Thoughts on Sponsored Blog Posts
By reading this article, you gained a better understanding of how to make money with sponsored posts. Hopefully, you’re also ready to start running sponsored posts of your own. Whether it’s reaching out to brands, joining influencer websites, or responding to inbound inquiries, especially since you might even have some in your inbox right now, it’s time to find those partnerships.
I honestly love working with other brands!
This work is exciting. It’s rewarding. Since it’s also an incredible way to leverage your blog to make extra money, the blog ROI is normally very high.
Remember that even as a new blogger, you should never charge less than $250 for a sponsored post.
I am so grateful for the opportunity to pay it forward and help other bloggers whenever I can. The blogging community is extremely friendly, kind, and helpful to one another. It is honestly incredible to be a part of it!
If you need help with anything blog related or you are looking to network with other bloggers, you should join our private Facebook group Blogging with Purpose. You can also shoot us a message on any of our social media channels: Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, & Pinterest.
So what is one step that you will take with your blog today to land your first sponsored post?