Sponsored Posts: What They Are and Why You Need Them!

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Today I wanted to discuss a part of blogging that took me almost 4 yrs to dive into.  My hope is that by sharing this with you, you won’t waste NEARLY as much time as I did to see the monetary rewards that your blog can potentially make.

I’m not saying that money should be the MAIN reason you start your blog, but let’s face it … we’re not all in a position to run websites at our own expense either.  Blogging is hard work.  It’s time consuming and you can and SHOULD be compensated for your time, even if it’s just a little.

WHAT IS A SPONSORED POST?

Let’s begin with the obvious.  What exactly IS a sponsored post?  And how can YOU be compensated for it?

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A sponsored post is a post on a website (or a blog) in which the blogger (you) is paid by an advertiser. The amount of compensation can vary widely and I don’t know of any method or standard which sponsors go by.  So in other words, don’t look for a ‘specific’ formula in which you would get paid.  This still is … the wild west as far as blogging on the internet is concerned.

Keep in mind the compensation doesn’t always have to be actual cash either.  Consider this post I did for Gena Hamshaw on her new cookbook (at the time)  Choosing Raw.  I was contacted by her via email to do a review on one of the recipes from her cookbook and post it on my website.

There was no monetary compensation, however they did send me a complimentary cookbook.  It is important to stay true to yourself and your readers which is why I am so very picky about what I review.  I don’t just review it to get stuff for free.   The point is, keep in mind that money isn’t always exchanged as it could be goods or products as well.

But Debi can I trust the post?

Sponsored posts can be tricky and let me tell you why.  Some people consider sponsored posts a legitimate advertising method, while others believe that they can be somewhat misleading.  Would that blogger REALLY use Hunt’s tomato paste or is she just saying that to get paid?

All I can tell you is to trust your gut.  It’s YOUR website.  It’s YOUR reputation.  For me… integrity is what comes first.  If your readers feel you are just using them to throw together a post for a product you probably don’t use anyway, they are going to see right through it.  And that’s a reader you will probably never see again.

I haven’t done many sponsored posts for that exact reason.  I won’t put my website or reputation on the line for a few dollars.  It’s just not worth it to me.  However, if you find a product or a company that YOU like, you would promote and feel good about, then by all means go ahead with the post.

As a matter of fact I have one that I just did for an organic tea company that I will post shortly.

How many page views do I need to get paid for sponsored posts?

My first word of advice will always be “if you are starting a website just to earn an income, you’re doing it for the wrong reason”.  I’m not talking about an ECommerce site, that is different.

Can you make money?  Absolutely.  Will you get rich?  Some do, most do not.

As far as numbers go, and this has just been my experience (and verified with other bloggers), the magic number is 20,000.   When you reach 20,000 PAGE VIEWS A MONTH you can start dangling your feet in the pool.  Before that, just concentrate on more on the content of your posts and growing your blog.

When I got ‘noticed’ and more and more opportunities came my way was when I hit 500,000 page views a month.  That took me a few years to accomplish, but don’t despair, every blog is different.  But that’s when “I” stopped looking for “them” and “they” started looking for ‘me” if you get my point.

Where to Find Sponsored Posts

When I first started this blog in 2012 I had NO idea there were actual sites you could GO to and apply to be considered for sponsored posts.  Like I said up above, my experience was a personal contact through email for a product here and there.

So here my friends are a bunch of sites you can go to and APPLY to do sponsored posts.  I have not worked with all of them so I can’t give an in depth personal account, I just wanted to give you a variety of options to choose from:

pollinate

 

 

 

 

To join Pollinate, you must have at least 20,000 pageviews per month, been blogging for over 6 months, belong to 3 social platforms. Every Monday, they send an email with new campaigns and other information that might be useful to members.

Apply to Pollinate HERE          

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 weave

 

 

I like this option because it’s smaller and has these little niches or categories to choose from like Parenting, Music Pets, Food etc.

To join as a female blogger, you must have at least 7,500 pageviews per month. To join as a male blogger, there is no monthly pageview minimum.

Apply to Weave HERE. 

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social

SOCIAL FABRIC

 

 

 

This is BY FAR my most favorite one!  It has TONS of campaigns, and they’re not just food campaigns.

There is an online course called SoFabU (Social Fabric University) that is recommended for all new members.  They have a lot of requirements that are specific to them,  so you might want to take the time to read their handbook and go through their modules.

For example they may have you shop at certain stores, or take an in-store photo of the product so it’s a good idea to review their requirements before you apply.

There is also this thing called Party Rounds which they pay a lot more for.  This is where you plan an entire party, photograph it, blog about it.  This is where my creativity went WILD!  I host several parties through out the year and I’m thinking “how easy would it be to incorporate a few photos of a specific product and do a post on it??”

If the Party Rounds wasn’t enough this next feature sealed the deal!  For each campaign, they pick “The Best” post out of everyone who participated and pay for a weeklong Facebook ad!!!   I know, right?? All the traffic goes straight to your blog.

Apply to Social Fabric/Collective Bias HERE. 

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blogher

 

 

 

I haven’t had much luck with BlogHer, maybe you will.  I’ve tried to become part of their ‘ad network’ several times and keep getting denied.  However, I recently discovered they have a Social Influencer program that is open to non-network members.  Yay!

The campaigns involve sharing images on social media channels during a certain time frame.  For example: “Post 8 social media posts (4 to Facebook and Pinterest) over 8 weeks” for a flat rate of $50 total.  And then you record each of your social media posts through a BlogHer system they call Touts.

Apply to BlogHer Social Influencer HERE!

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fed

 

 

As far as I can tell, you do not need to be a member or a min page view each month.  I have no experience with Federated Media.  But I have heard good things so I just wanted to include them as another great option.

Apply to Federated Media HERE!

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clever

 

 

Clever Girls requires you have a minimum of 25,000 monthly visitors, 6 months or more blogging experience and be an active member on both Twitter and Facebook to be accepted.  Twitter isn’t really my thing, but I joined and keep it semi active for reasons like this.

Apply to Clever Girls HERE!

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tap

 

 

TapInfluence is another agency that pairs you with name brands.  You get to choose.  Sign up either through Twitter or Facebook

Apply to TapInfluence HERE!

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Conclusion:

These are just a few of the many websites you can go to for sponsored posts.  It takes a little research and I wanted to share with you a few that I have worked with.

The bottom line is this … when you first start up your blog and are you are trying to get your name out there you are competing with MILLIONS of other blogs. You simply have to put some work into it.

Choose WHO and WHAT products you sponsor carefully.  Don’t ever choose products that go AGAINST your site.  If your site if totally against harming animals in any way then doing a sponsored post for Tyson Chicken would be very contradictory.

Trust is very hard to build over the internet.  It’s one of the hardest dimensions of blogging.  If you gain your followers trust and are true to your purpose then doing a few sponsored posts here and there to make extra money should be fine.

 

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