Everyone sees how big bloggers are earning close to $10K/month from blog sponsorships, and yet many people wonder where this income is coming from exactly.
Most small bloggers don’t even consider this monetization method and instead focus solely on affiliate marketing, ad revenue and creating and selling their own products.
However, earning from sponsored blog posts can turn your life around, help you grow your business tremendously, earn ‘almost’ passive income, and take your blogging journey to a whole new level.
With this article, I hope to shed some light on the matter and help those bloggers who have been staying away from working with brands give it a try.
I’ve been earning $2,000-$3,500 from this income stream concisely for 2 years now, as shared in my monthly income reports. And even though it looks like there’s a lot of insecurity involved in this field, somehow you still manage to find sponsors (and more often than not – they find you).
This has been the main part of my blog income and it’s one of the primary reasons why I started treating my blog as a real business, enjoyed the income and the freedom it provided, and even relocated to my favorite destination in Europe and started a new life there.
Whether you’re a small blogger looking to work with brands, someone who’s already making money blogging but wants to increase their income, or want to double your monthly earnings quickly to achieve a new goal, the following tips can help you.
→ Related reading: How to Start a Blog
How to Make Money with Sponsored Posts on Your Blog
Step 1: Make Your Blog Appealing to Sponsors.
Before you get your first sponsored blog post, make sure the platform you’ve built is something brands will like.
That means having all the important elements in place, such as a well-designed homepage, an About page sharing your story, a Contact page that’s visible and easily found, and the legal pages (which you can add to your footer) such as Terms of Service and Disclaimer.
A professional blog is also one hosted on a reliable server, which uses a premium WordPress theme, loads quickly, is optimized for mobile, and is up to date.
These are exactly the things I began doing 2 years ago on my blog Let’s Reach Success, even though it already existed for around 3 years.
I changed my hosting provider as I wasn’t happy with the previous one and experienced downtime. I got a better WordPress theme with unique features and clean code. I did many things to optimize my pages and give a more professional look and feel to my site and all the content on it.
Speaking of which, you need to have some content before you reach out to brands. Usually, they like to see that a blog has been live for at least 6 months and has plenty of articles in the archives before they consider working with someone.
Step 2: Have a Page for Advertisers.
Tell the world you’re accepting sponsored blog posts by publishing a page for advertisers and adding it to your menu or footer. Here’s how mine looks. I spent a lot of time adding all the elements you see in it as well as organizing them in the right order.
When you email brands or when they contact you, it’s much easier to share a link to a page like that than writing down the metrics of your blog every next time.
Obviously, you need to know your metrics and include information about your blog in one place so potential advertisers can decide whether or not you and your audience are a good fit for their campaign.
On my page for sponsors, I’ve shared the domain authority, global rank, and page views of Let’s Reach Success, as well as included a screenshot from Google Analytics for proof.
I’ve listed my advertising opportunities, which are basically the packages I offer and what I charge for each. Fixed prices work better than not knowing what to charge at all, of course.
However, some bloggers suggest you shouldn’t tell your rates and negotiate them only after you get the brand interested in working together. Test both options and see what works best for you.
A page for sponsors isn’t the only way in which you’ll show brands what your platform can offer. There’s another thing you need to prepare in advance.
Editor’s note: I like Lidiya’s approach, but I would recommend adding a disclosure on the sponsored posts and also adding “nofollow” tags on links to the sponsor’s website, to avoid any potential for a penalty from Google for selling links.
Step 3. Create Your Media Kit.
A media kit is a document that’s not on your website but which you can send to brands via email. It’s a PDF file (1-3 pages long) that contains information about your website, its traffic and popularity, audience and content. You can include brands you’ve worked with, your process of creating and distributing the content, etc.
In some ways, it’s similar to your page for sponsors. However, you need that external document as many brands will take it more seriously (or will directly ask you to provide a media kit).
You can design that for free using Canva.
→ Related reading: How to Make Money Blogging for Beginners
Step 4. Find Sponsored Post Opportunities.
Once you’ve taken these steps and are confident in your blog, you can start looking for potential sponsors.
The first option is to join marketplaces for publishers/influencers and advertisers where you can simply list your blog, set your rate and include information about it, after which you’ll be notified when there’s a brand that’s a good fit for your platform.
To get attention on these networks, you should take your time when filling out your profile and make sure you have presence on the big social media sites so you can connect these to your account.
The other option to get sponsored posts is to reach out to brands via email. Finding potential sponsors can happen in different ways, but one approach I like is contacting those brands who’ve already worked with other bloggers in your niche.
Go to the site of a blogger you’ve been following for some time and type ‘sponsored’ or something similar in the search field. If they disclose sponsored posts on their blog, you’ll see the articles for which the blogger got paid to work with a brand.
Check these out and it will be easy to see what that brand is. Click the link, go to their site and find contact information. Then send them a friendly pitch via email.
They are in your niche, have already worked with bloggers and obviously have a budget for that, which increases your chances of hearing ‘Yes’. You can even land a client who will want to publish sponsored content on your blog more than once.
Step 5. Keep Growing Your Blog so Brands Can Find You.
The third option for finding sponsored post opportunities is the best one – it’s when you’ve built a name for yourself, have already worked with brands, and now every few days you receive an email from someone asking if you accept sponsored content on your site.
Never stop growing your platform in different ways. Build your brand with guest posting, double your traffic with Pinterest, write cornerstone content and rank it for keywords so you can increase your organic traffic.
All this will lead to being able to land more sponsored posts and even charge more.
→ Related reading: Blog Post Checklist
Step 6. Double Your Prices.
Chances are, you’re underpricing yourself. That’s normal as you don’t feel comfortable when working with brands yet and think it’s best to go for the smaller amount than to miss out on the collaboration.
But over time, you’ll understand that people and companies online actually have huge budgets for marketing, and a big part of that goes for micro-influencers (bloggers with a smaller audience, for example). So don’t sell yourself short.
In this post, I share how I started with sponsored blog posts and the ridiculously small prices I was charging in the beginning. But you don’t need to make that mistake.
Set fixed prices now and don’t accept anything below that. Brands will take you more seriously thanks to that and you’l