Whether you are blogging as a hobby, are a full fledged professional or are looking to monetize your blog, getting sponsored posts for your blog is no easy feat. Sponsored posts can often be far and few between and for many bloggers looking to go into blogging full time does not provide enough income to live on. Sponsored posts are one of the most popular ways of monetizing blogs and these can be both pre- written and self-written content in exchange for monetary value. The prices of sponsored content can vary but are usually dependent on your DA ( Domain Authority, usually interlinked to Page Authority), backlinks, traffic, engagement and writing capabilities, although exclusively DA and following/engagement is the three most sought after blog traits. Domain Authority refers to a ranking of 1-100 that determines how well a website will rank on search engines and is only valid if your site is self-hosted. Although your DA and engagement is imperative for having a higher success rate when applying for sponsored posts, it is important to ensure that you only accept sponsored posts that you would write about without payment because quite often it can be evident when you ‘are writing because you want to be paid’ and not because you want to write.
1.Go Self-Hosted and Get Your Own Domain
The first step to garnering sponsored posts is to buy your own domain through ‘Go Daddy’ or Self-host on the existing domain i.e. Blogspot/Wix/Wordpress. Previously you may have checked your DA and received an impressive score of 86/100 but this figure is inflated and shows that you do not have your own ‘paid domain’. Often a tell-tale sign is if the site you are blogging on is contained in the name i.e. http://www.fadedspringwix.co.uk was my previous domain name because it was ‘owned’ by Wix whereas http://www.fadedspring.co.uk is my paid domain name and has a domain score of 34/100. It is very rare that a blogging site will exceed 50/100 unless you are Chiarra Ferragarni but a good DA score for getting sponsored posts is between 20 and 35. On average most clients require a DA of +21 but it is possible to get sponsored post opportunities below the figure they are asking for if they feel your blog fits the brief well and your engagement or numbers is high. Learning ‘How To Self-Host Your Blog’ is simple and will be the first step to getting sponsored posts.
2. Increase Your DA
Using the ‘ever popular’ [note sarcasm] MOZ checker which all us bloggers dread, you can discover the amount of backlinks, do-follow or no-follow links, Domain Authority, Spam Score and Page Authority which predicts how well a specific page will rank on Google, all factors which allow you to increase your overall DA score. Do not be alarmed when your score goes from 75 to 0 because it is your domain restarting as self-hosted and should go up by the second MOZ update ( two months). It will take a while to increase your DA but patience will get you rewarded. For me it took 5 months to get from 0-34 and I only began accepting sponsored posts from January when my DA was at 14 after the first Moz update. The first month ( when it updated) my DA went from 0-14, second month went from 14-21, third month 21-27, fourth month 27-30 and fifth month 30-34 which has shown a steady increase over the past few months but how did I increase my DA?
1.Get An Alexa Toolbar Thanks to groups like Social Media Network I was advised to get an Alexa Toolbar to help increase my DA score and improve my global and UK ranking. Similar to Moz, Alexa is a Chrome extension based on the amount of traffic recorded from users that have the Alexa toolbar installed over a period of three months. This traffic is based on such parameters as reach and page views in your blog’s location and worldwide.
Join Relevant Facebook Groups
My biggest source of traffic comes from Facebook groups and has helped me establish a higher DA and in turn get sponsored post opportunities. I am an co-admin of Bloggers United, UK Instagram Support and Instagram For Bloggers and am part of Bloggers Helping Each Other, Social Media Network Group, Uk Awesome Bloggers, Blogger Club UK ( Main comment groups) as well as Grow Your Blog and The Blogger Life which offer comment threads too. Because on average I give out 120 comments a day, 840 comments a week and 3,360 a month I have been able to generate a high and steady level of backlinks which increases my DA. By participating in blog threads you will have a better chance of generating more traffic, have other bloggers commenting and visiting your posts and sharing your work.
Groups To Find Sponsored Posts
There are three main groups that I check daily for sponsored posts: Blogger Opportunities, UK Blogger Opportunities and UK Bloggers.Uk Bloggers A group for UK Bloggers that has blog and social media threads, follow threads, forums and discussions and the ability to use the wall to promote your sponsored post opportunity. Remember if you are creating a sponsored post of your own please use a Google Document because personal details cannot be left on the wall for security reasons.Best For General- From Lifestyle to Automobiles, sponsored posts are varied and often four times a week at least.Blogger Opportunities Open worldwide when I first joined the group the posts were only available to US residents and overun with spam. Now the forum is managed efficiently and is usually the first place I will check for opportunities. The forum is also a great place to find product reviews and promote giveaways. It also promotes events but these are usually US based.Best For Product Reviews And Global Opportunities UK Blogger Opportunities The UK based group updates less times than Blogger Opportunities but is often UK based so sponsored events and relevant posts will be more geographically relevant if you live in the UK like me.Best For Sponsored Events And UK based Reviews
Social Media Promotion
Sometimes having steady and consistent social promotion can lead to a fruitful partnership that can have significant financial rewards. For me I have collaborated with brands through product reviews which have eventually led to sponsored posts. Key Social Media Twitter Facebook Instagram Pinterest Blogger Sponsorship Programmes Although Facebook Groups are where I have found the majority of my sponsored post opportunities, blogger sponsorship programs have proven to be fruitful too. These include but are not limited to:UK The Blogger Programme- How To Find A Photographer ( Sponsored Post)Bloggers Required ( No Sponsored Posts found on my part but other bloggers have said they occasionally get sponsored posts) US & Worldwide Collective Bias
Most Commonly Asked Questions
Can You Earn A Living? Yes but in order to make a profit you need to be charging either an extortionate amount per post or do a series of sponsored posts each week. I usually do three sponsored posts a month which I charge between £40 and 100 although according to a recommended formula where you multiply your DA (34) by 4 I should be charging £130. Realistically most brands will give you between £40 and £100 and I am yet to see an opportunity that pays more than £100 per post. Some bloggers work out a formula based on social media and blog following and traffic to generate sponsored post fees but on average I will charge £65 per post but as shown below my blog sponsorship fees vary:January £100 ( one post) February £40 & £80 ( Two Posts, Two Different Companies)March £80 (One Post)April £80 & £50 ( Two Posts)May £80, £50 ( Two Posts )I would like to get more sponsored posts but unfortunately it is very rare for me to find a post either in my niche or pays enough for what they are expecting you to do. I will only accept posts if they fit my brand and it is important that you know your own worth too.
Does Sponsored Posts Compromise Your Authenticity?It can do but only if you choose to be inauthentic; for me there is no difference between my ‘sponsored’ and ‘real’ voice because I use the same style, tone and voice for all my posts. I believe that there are blogs who use sponsored posts to make a living but do it in a way that can make readers question their reliability. In one instance I saw a fashion blog write a sponsored post about dog food and although they did not disclose their sponsorship it was extremely obvious. Reading through the posts we jumped from a well-presented Lookbook to asking readers to buy ‘organic dog food’ and the language made it very clear that it was not in her own words. I didn’t take on Sponsored Posts pre-January 2016 because most opportunities were in the lifestyle sector and at the time I was only beginning to explore the lifestyle genre. Once I had broadened my niche I found it easier to find sponsored posts in my genre and have covered posts on topics such as ‘Photography’ , ‘Social Media’ , Fashion, Music and more. This allowed me to remain authentic to my blogging brand.
How Much Should I Charge?I stated my fees previously but if using the DA method always be prepared to negotiate. A client asked me for £75 for a post and I stated that although I would prefer £85, I would be happy to negotiate at £80 and the client agreed. Never be afraid to ask for more but make it fair, at the same time know your own worth. In reference to the £100 for January’s sponsored post, I was told that because the other bloggers they were paying had more followers/ traffic ‘how much do I think I should be paid’ to which I replied £100 and I will tell you why. I have a high level of engagement across my social media and blog, a steady following but above all I provide high quality content with good images and subsequently I got the £100. Always fight your corner but be mindful of the client and gauge their likelihood to accept or not accept your offer.
Dos & Dont’s
Don’t be afraid to pitch sponsored posts to companies that you feel fit the brief of your campaign or blog brand. For guidelines on ‘How To Pitch To PR’s’ click here.Do work out a formula but don’t be afraid to negotiate as quite often you might get an extra £5-£10 for your time. Do offer social media promo bundles and workout a rate to charge per platform. Because Instagram has the most followers excluding my blog, I would charge between £45 and £50 whereas the least followers on my most engaged platforms is Twitter which would be £10 per tweet. I have not created media bundles or charged for social media yet but this will be something I will implement in the future. Don’t accept posts for the sake of getting paid if it doesn’t fit your niche, us eagle eyed readers can tell. I wouldn’t accept a sponsored post about dog food because A. It is not in my niche and B. not in my interests. Do Disclose Your Sponsored Posts if you want your readers to trust you. It is ok to make a living from your blog but please be honest about it which leads me onto my next point.Don’t accept posts that ask you to not disclose it is a sponsored post. I had a brand who asked me to not disclose the sponsorship and even though I was offered £100 to keep hush hush I declined because I would rather lose money than compromise my integrity and sense of moral ethics. Don’t feel rejected if you do not get chosen, think about how many times JK Rowling’s manuscripts got rejected and look at her now! It takes time to establish a following and spread the word about your blog so there is never a cut-off point by when you should earning money. Monetizing your blog is no easy feat but never give up. Regardless of whether you choose to blog as a ‘hobby’ , ‘blog professionally’ or want to ‘blog full time’ being offered or ‘applying for sponsored posts will merit award eventually.
Do You Get Sponsored Posts? If So How Much Do You Charge?