How to Start a Profitable Blog for Beginners – step-by-step directions to setting up, growing, and monetizing your blog. Start making money doing what you love!
Part 6: Monetize your blog with sponsored posts.
Sponsored posts come in many different forms, types, shapes and sizes, but the general concept is usually the same. Write a post for a brand, using the brand’s products or ideas, and the brand will pay you to publish the post. Some brands use their own media team to connect directly with bloggers to coordinate sponsored post opportunities, but more often than not, brands work with a third-party media network to recruit their bloggers. The very best way to make your blog visible to brands, and to let them know that you’re willing to write sponsored posts, is to sign up with MANY different media networks.
Once you’ve joined a media network, you will be contacted (usually via email) when sponsored post opportunities arise that the network thinks will be a good fit for your blog’s content and readers. At that time you will have the ability to accept or decline the post and/or negotiate the payment amount.
There are lots of media networks out there (just Google “media network” or “blogger network!”), and with myriad options, it can be overwhelming to decide which ones to apply to first. To give you a jumping-off point, I’ve listed a few of the media networks that I currently work with and recommend. Most of these networks provide opportunities for brands seeking sponsored recipes, parties, crafts, holiday ideas, parenting and a wide range of similar topics.
The first network on the list, IZEA (formerly Social Spark), was the very first media network that I ever signed up with, and I continue to work with them on a regular basis. When you first start writing sponsored posts and are new to a network, the offers may seem to come infrequently; however, as you develop a relationship with the networks (and prove yourself by doing a fantastic job with the offers that you do get!), the opportunities will become more frequent.
Media Networks That I Recommend:
Clever Girls Collective
Pitch Brands Your Own Ideas
Another way to get sponsored post opportunities is to reach out directly to a brand that you would like to work with. Many brands have a social media, blogger relations or media coordinator that you can email your pitch to (search the brand’s website or look on Linkedin for contact information). Clearly define what you would like to do for the brand, and what you would like from the brand in return. Remember, “compensation” doesn’t always mean cash! If you approach a brand, be prepared for them to offer you product in exchange for your post. Many times brands don’t have the advertising budget to pay bloggers who approach them directly, but they are happy to send products for you to use in your post.
When submitting a pitch, keep it short and sweet. Include your name, blog name and url link, and media kit. If you do not have a media kit, mention a few key statistics such as your monthly pageviews and social media reach in your email. Briefly explain your idea and how/why you think their product would be a great fit for your blog and your audience. Make sure to give the brand your contact and social media information so that they are able to get to know you through all of your different channels. If the brand is interested, the will follow up with you shortly to negotiate the pitch.
Remember to Keep Your Integrity
There will be LOTS of sponsored post opportunities across the lifetime of your blog. Please, please, please remember this, and only publish posts that you are proud of! As your blog continues to grow, there will be numerous brands and companies who wish to partner with you. Choose your sponsored posts wisely, and make sure that you are only writing about products that you truly believe in, and things that your audience will respond well to. If not, your readers will be able to spot your insincerity from a mile away, and there’s nothing that turns them off more than a blatantly sponsored post that the author doesn’t believe in. Everyone wants to get paid to write blog posts, but if you can’t be truly confident and proud of a post for personal lubricant or kitty litter, don’t do it. There will be plenty more opportunities around the corner. Oh, and if you are truly confident about writing about those topics, more power to you! There are lots of opportunities for everyone!
If you missed any of the posts in the “How to Start a Blog” series, check them out here: