The Basics of Sponsored Posts

the basics of sponsored posts
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Creating an extra income from your blog traffic with sponsored posts is relatively easy. You don’t need to know about fancy ad technology, and you’ll simply be doing what you’ve already been doing – posting content to your blog.

The only difference is, you’ll get paid once you hit Publish.

For those of you who are new to sponsored posts it can be a bit overwhelming though. Simply put, you don’t know what you don’t know, so you’ll feel like you’re running blind at times.

In this article you’ll learn all the basics of sponsored posts, so you can sell your first sponsored post with confidence.

What is a sponsored post?

Firstly, sponsored posts might also be known as guest posts or sponsored articles..

We’ve all seen articles labelled as sponsored while reading our favorite blogs, news sites, and magazines…

Sponsored articles are typically labelled with something along the lines of:

  • “Paid post”
  • “Presented by”
  • “Sponsored by”
  • “Partnered with”
  • “Promoted”
  • “Affiliated with”
  • “Powered by”

To put it simply, it is an advertisement that you are publishing for a brand, but it is designed to be entertaining or informative, unlike a banner ad.

Why do brands buy sponsored posts from blogs?

Brands buy sponsored articles because it gets exposure through a medium that isn’t as invasive ad banner ads, billboards, or TV ads.

Sponsored articles are interesting to the reader and relevant to the publication in which they appear.

They seem more genuine and friendly than banner ads, sponsored links, TV ads, or radio ads might.

If you think of a banner ad as someone walking into your house and shouting “COME BUY THIS PROMOTIONAL OFFER”, then you can think of a sponsored post as someone coming into your house to have an interesting conversation.

Typically, the advertising brand will pay a one time fee for a sponsored post and the blogger will publish the content provided by the brand, or worth together to create the content.

Many smart bloggers package their sponsored content deals and offer 3 posts for a discounted rate. In fact, I received an email today from a popular blog offering 10 sponsored posts for 25% off, if I bought the package deal.

Another bonus with sponsored posts is that they are not blocked by ad blockers, which are becoming more and more common. With traditional online banner ads it is becoming harder and harder to get noticed, even without taking ad blockers into account. Sponsored posts are a great way for brands to be more authentic and cut through the clutter of online ads.

Why do I love sponsored posts?

For bloggers, sponsored posts are a very simple way to make extra money from your blog with very little work.

Even if we forget about the payment you’ll receive, you get the benefit of publishing an original piece of content on your website, which will help with organic traffic over time.

As a website owner, you get some great benefits:

  • You avoid putting a banner ad on your website
  • You receive new content for your website, you didn’t have to write
  • You connect with a brand who might want other advertising in the future
  • You can offer package deals with a discount (buy a package of 6 articles for 20% off)
  • You get paid for it!

Plus your website visitors benefit too:

  • Sponsored articles aren’t intrusive. They follow the natural flow of the website, just as all other articles do.
  • Done well, sponsored articles are just as informative or entertaining as all other content on your website.

And the advertiser wins as well:

  • Sponsored articles ads appear in the users direct line-of-sight as if they were a normal part of the website, whereas banner ads appear in the users peripheral vision.

It seems like a win-win-win to me!

How do you get started with sponsored posts?

If you have a popular blog you’ll no doubt already be receiving enquiries for sponsored posts. If you don’t here are some tips to get started:

Fundamental steps:

  • Ensure your blog has contact information available, or a contact form.
  • Ensure your blog has an Advertise With Us, or Work With Us page. This should explain all the advertising opportunities on your website, and that you accept sponsored posts.
  • Create your blogs media kit, and make this easily available to anyone who enquires.
  • Create a detailed profile on sponsored post opportunity websites (see below)

The process of accepted a sponsored post:

  1. Either wait for brands to reach out to you, or pitch yourself to brands you feel would be a good fit for your blog.
  2. Explain your sponsored post terms and rates, and be prepared to negotiate on the rates if they attempt to (many bloggers I’ve worked with simply say they are non-negotiable).
  3. Prepare your invoice and the payment terms (eg upon publishing the article, or within 5 days of you publishing the article).
  4. Let the brand create the sponsored post, and then do your revisions to ensure it matches the voice of your blog, then send it back to the brand for approval. Alternatively, write the sponsored post yourself, then send to the brand for approval.
  5. Publish the sponsored post on your blog at the agreed upon date.
  6. Send the posts URL to your client, and let them know that you’ll follow up with them in a week with some facts and figures about the success of the post (include number of unique viewers, average time on page etc)
  7. Follow up with the brand in a few months and pitch another sponsored post!

Where to find sponsored post opportunities

Sounds simple, right!

Within the Monetization Method course we discuss sponsored posts in depth, with templates on what to charge, and even written email templates so you know how to pitch and respond to bigger brands.

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