Should you be accepting sponsored posts on your blog?
Depending on the type of blog you have this might not be something you’ve considered. Sponsored posts are a long term strategy – you might not have the visibility or credibility online to do this straightaway.
And it’s not going to fit with everyone’s business goals or be right for your audience. You need to make sure this idea links with your values and long term aspirations.
It’s also not going to make you rich quickly either but you can make some useful income from sponsored posts. A friend of mine who’s a consultant for SEO tells me he’d pay up to £60 for a sponsored post on a suitable blog.
If you do decide this is something you want to pursue you’ll need to choose sponsored posts carefully. The benefits are similar to accepting guest posts in that you get extra content for your blog.
Also people may perceive you as being more credible if you get posts from well-known brands. I remember someone being really impressed that we had an advert from James Caan on our blog. It was actually a Google ad but the perception was that we were in some way involved with him.
How much traffic do I need for sponsored posts?
This is generally the first question people ask me when I mention sponsored posts. Some people will tell you that you should need lots of traffic, have got at least Google page rank of 3 and a good Alexa rank. If you have an established blog you may well get approached by digital media agencies. That gives you a clue that your blog is ready for sponsored posts.
They may initially ask you for a ‘guest’ post with a link to their client but won’t offer to pay you anything. This is free advertising! My advice is to say that you only accept ‘sponsored posts’ which you charge for. They may run a mile but they might have budget which they will spend with you if they think your audience is a good fit.
You need to be careful with sponsored posts!
Why’s that? Because there are a few traps that you don’t want to get caught up in. Take into account the following:
- The posts they provide need to be relevant, well-written and provide valuable information rather than self promotion.
- Make sure you understand Google rules about paid-for sponsored posts – they should have a no-follow link so they don’t pass on page rank.
- Advertising rules mean that you need to label something as a sponsored post too. The same goes for sponsored ads and reviews.
- Take care about agencies approaching you – often they want try to get something for free and might persuade you to do something could hurt both you and the people they are representing.
- You might get emails from writers who want to right a ‘guest’ post for your site. It can often be a crafty way of getting a link on your blog for a client they are writing a piece for. Watch out for the Trojan Horse!
What if I want to approach digital media agencies and brands?
If you want to be pro-active you need to be clear about what agencies and brands are looking for. According to this research on viralblog.com traffic is not the main factor companies are interested in. And the Alexa Rank is considered somewhat unreliable and inaccurate so agencies and brands may not be interested in it.
These are, in order of importance, the main factors they are looking for:
- Quality of content.
- Relevance to the company.
- Personality of the blogger.
- Comments and engagement.
So it’s not just about numbers. Your blog may attract a market that is hard to reach via traditional marketing. So although your numbers are relatively small, the interest in the sponsored post, and therefore the conversion rate, may be high. As someone said it’s better to have 1,000 raving fans than 100,000 mildly interested followers!
I hope that helps you make a decision about sponsored posts. If you approach it correctly you won’t catch a cold. Armed with the above information you might be looking at a profitable income stream for your business.
Have you had any experience with sponsored posts? What process have you got in place to make it a work?