What is the first thing that comes into your mind when you hear the words “sponsored post.”
That’s its not for you?
What if there was a way to create valuable relationship with brands, bring products you stand behind 100% to your blog’s audience, and get paid for it?
What if you could skip the icky, cheesy, fake feel of sponsored posts and instead develop meaningful partnerships with brands and your audience at the same time?
Bloggers are a force to be reckoned with. It doesn’t matter how large or small your blog, if you’re producing great content, interacting with your readers, and are committed to bringing the internet information that it can use, then influencer marketing is for you.
Just a second ago, you may have had all sort of nasty thoughts about selling posts for money. You don’t want your readers to feel like you’re selling them, you don’t want to tout products or people you don’t believe in, and you certainly don’t want to do anything “just for the money.
So why consider influencer marketing?
Because you are the voice of the new generation, and brands know this.
Why not use your voice to promote causes, products, and brands that you believe in and benefit from every day. And why not get paid for it??
In a good working realationship, both parties benefit. A successful influencer marketing campaign is no different.
Bloggers, in general, are looking to get several things out of a marketing partnership: compensation, social cred/experience, and networking.
Compensation: the most obvious of the benefits bloggers get from an influencer marketing campaign partnership, the amount you’ll be paid depending on the number of page views your blog receives, your social followers, as well as other factors, such as your ability to write in an engaging and entertaining way.
Experience: Working with brands leads to more working with brands. When potential brand partners see that you have successfully partnered with other brands previously (provided you’re not promoting two competing brands at the same time) they’re more likely to want to partner with you.
Networking: Working with a brand is like being hired by that brand, even if it is for a short amount of time. Think of yourself like an intern: do an amazing job, and they’ll want to bring you back for more work, more money, and better benefits.
How Brands Benefit
When brands scope out bloggers for a campaign, they’re looking to get several things out of the partnership: exposure, links, and relationships.
Exposure: When you put a brand product in front of your audience, they’re gaining exposure. Is your audience going to buy online right then? No. Are they going to run to the store at that very moment they read your blog post? Nope. But the next time they’re in the store, or shopping online they will remember (either consciously or subsconsciously) the brand that you put in front of them, and be more likely to purchase.
Links: As a blogger, you know the value of a link. A single great link can boost your page rank, credibility, and even income threefold overnight. Brands are looking for your to give them a link back to their website in exchange for all of the benefits you get that we listed above.
Relationships: Brands are looking for two types of relationships, one with you the blogger, and another with your audience. Relationships = exposure = more money = happy brand.
How To Prepare Your Blog For Sponsored Content
If you believe you’re ready to start accepting sponsored content, then there are several things you can do to prepare.
Create a Media Kit: Craft (0r hire someone to craft) a one-page media kit that gives an engaging about you description, page view statistics, page rank, social stats, and email list numbers. List the sponsorship opportunites you offer, as well as your contact infomration. This way, when a brand reaches out to you for a potential partnership, you’ll have all of the necessary information at the ready.
Create an Advertiser Page: You don’t have to place this page in your main navigation bar, but at the bottom of your website or at the very top, as a sub-page of your About page is a good place for it. Give a quick overview of the site, and let potential sponsors know that you do accept partnerships. Then, make sure that they can contact you easily, by giving an email address, contact form, or phone number.
Iron Out The Technical Side Of Things: Make sure that if your post goes viral, your host won’t shut down your site. You don’t have to upgrade to a larger hosting package the minute you’re ready to start accepting sponsored posts, but let your host know you’ll be expecting more traffic, and that they can feel free to upgrade your hosting package if necessary.
Accept Payments: Find a convenient way for brands to pay you, like Paypal. When you send an invoice via PayPal, that brand has the option to pay via PayPal, or with their credit card. And almost all brands have a company card they will be more than happy to pay you with.
Choosing The Right Offers For Your And Your Audience
Of utmost importance is choosing the right offers for both you and your audience. If you’re not excited about an offer, pass on it because you won’t be able to write a good piece on the brand. If you don’t feel the fit is exactly right, pass on it as well, because readers can tell when you’re being disingenuous.
By the same token, when that perfect offer comes your way, jump on it!
Finding Great Offers
While it is awesome when a brand reaches out to your directly, the best way to find a variety of brands, sponsorships, and types of parterships is to work with influencer marketing agencies like Clever Girls, Socialix, TapInfluence, and others.
Socialix and other influencer marketing agencies facilitate the relationship between brands and bloggers. Since they have a dedicated team to curate the best offers and the best bloggers, the offers, compensation, and communication are much easier, quicker, and rewarding.
What sets Socialix apart is that not only its roots in digital advertising, social media, and technology, but it’s platform that allows brands and bloggers to communicate without cluttering up your inbox, with preset terms that protect everyone, and a management team that makes sure everything runs smoothly.
Writing The Post
Once you’ve found and accepted that perfect offer, and it’s time to write the post, I can only offer you one important piece of advice:
Seriously, each campaign is different, so I can’t offer too specific of advice, but whatever you do, do it in your voice, with your own spin on it, and with your own opinoins. As I said before, readers can tell when you’re being disingenuous, and the most successful sponsored posts happen when you’re true to yourself.
Accepting sponsored posts, or becoming part of an influencer marketing campaign doesn’t have to feel like you’re trading money for your audience’s trust. Instead, branching out and making more money with your blog can become the start of amazing partnerships with brands, and more exciting content for your blog!
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This post may contain affiliate links. See my disclosures for more information.