Listen, most of us are blogging because we love it. But, that does not mean your work should not be rewarded. One of the most beneficial financial and brand building opportunities is to get sponsors for your blog. This article will help you understand how to get blog sponsors, no matter what state of blogging you are in.
If you thought you were not big enough, or popular enough to get a sponsor, you may be surprised.
So read on, get inspired, and get out there and make things happen. You deserve it.
- What Is A Sponsorship?
- Why You Should Go After Sponsorships
- No, You Are Not Too Small For Sponsorships
- How To Get Blog Sponsors
- Why Brands Need Sponsorships!
What Is A Sponsorship?
When a brand does a sponsorship with you, it means they will pay you in product or money for you to promote them. How you promote them, or what you get paid will depend on your agreements.
Many bloggers get paid with money – some with product – others both.
But please, know your worth! If you work for just products, you are selling yourself short, and I do not recommend doing any sponsorship without payment.
How can you promote them?
- Write a review article if you have received product
- Create a sponsored post based on content they provide, this is best if you do not get product to do a review
- Share the content on social media
- Promote them in a newsletter
- Create a video
There are so many different avenues of promotion with brand sponsorships. This allows for so much creativity!
And hey – don’t be working with brands that don’t have anything to do with your blog. This is a quick way to lose the trust – and loyalty of your readers.
This means if you are a food blogger, don’t be trying to do sponsorships for a company that sells ceramic flat irons because you happen to need one and wanted it for free.
Yes, people do this.
And it is probably one of the quickest way to lose readers.
Stick with brands that are related to what you do – and go after brands that have great reviews and a positive sentiment. If you are not picky about who you work with, you will lose readers and fans quickly if they lose trust in you.
Why You Should Go After Sponsorships
Sponsorships should be a part of your overall blog marketing plan. It is a great way to build relationships with companies in your niche and really provide insight into different brands for your readers. Below are the many ways a brand partnership can help you.
- Earn revenue
- Get free goods to review
- Ability to get exclusive offers for your readers
- Working with brands can help improve your own brand authority and build awareness
- Once you start working with one brand, others will be easier to bring on board if you can prove value
- Can potentially turn into a long-term revenue stream
- Opportunity for a job (yes, this happens!)
Blog sponsorships are another revenue stream for your website and can work along side affiliate, Adsense, or ad networks like Mediavine. Successful bloggers understand there should be several ways of monetization for their website, just like there should be several traffic sources.
Sponsorships should be a part of your overall revenue stream! It probably will never be the largest revenue driver – but can be a great addition.
No, You Are Not Too Small For Sponsorships
Before we kick off the how-to, I want to talk about your value – and mindset.
I know what you are thinking (no, I am not a mind reader – just been there done that).
“I am too small to get sponsors”
“I do not have enough readers for a brand to sponsor me”
“My social media accounts are dead, no one will work with me”
I have said everyone of these things, and all of them are wrong. There is so many reasons brands want sponsorships – even from small bloggers – including:
- They might just want to get more backlinks and are willing to use sponsorships to get them.
- Maybe they believe in you – and want to be a part of your blog as you continue growing your blog.
- The brand might have a small budget for marketing and a smaller blogger fits their budget better.
No matter what the reason, there are brands that sometimes prefer small bloggers.
Now, let’s talk about the important parts of getting those brand sponsorships and kick starting that blogging as a career move.
How To Get Blog Sponsors
So, if you are curious how to get blog sponsors – the steps below will help guide you.
Make sure you are in a positive mindset, feel confident about your value, and have all of your data and information ready for them when they ask to see it.
If you are not ready – and do not set yourself up as a true professional that is easy to work with, you will struggle to find a sponsor to work with.
A Kick-Ass Media Kit Is A Must
A media kit is a must if you want to bring sponsors on board. It helps a potential brand understand your important metrics about your website.
A typical media kit will include the following:
- A short summary of your blog
- Audience demographics
- Website traffic statistics
- Social follows
- Email statistics
- Mentions of any other sponsorships you have done
- Proof of results of other sponsorships
This is a general overview of a media kit, some include so much more. Remember, this is usually the first thing a brand will look at – make it exceptional.
A media kit can be on your website, but you should always have a PDF available too. I often customize mine a bit for different brands too.
The example below is from Fresh Eggs Daily. I found this one a while ago, and it was a pretty awesome example of what a media kit should include.
Create Your Dream List Of Sponsors
We all have them! You know, the brands we love and adore and we would do anything for to have as a sponsor.
Create your “dream list” of brands you would want to have as a sponsor. This might just be the most important part of the whole sponsor outreach process, so make sure you invest time into it.
Reaching out to the right sponsors is so important because you want to be sure you are adding value to your readers.
When creating your list think of the following:
- What pain points do your readers have?
- Think about the types of products or services your readers would use on a daily basis.
- Does the brand have a good reputation and positive reviews on their products or services?
Remember, the brands you work with is a reflection on YOU! Do not minimize the research you do to make sure you inviting brands that have a strong positive sentiment.
Once you have your list, then you need to start diving in to find the contact information for the right people. Tools like Hunter can help you find emails easily without the manual effort. LinkedIn is another great way to make connections.
Other Ways To Find Sponsors
Maybe you do not have a dream list yet, that is ok too! There are other ways to research potential sponsors.
- Stalk the competition. See who they are working with and what type of content they are creating for them. Can you do it better? Can you offer something more unique?
- Join sponsored post networks. Joining networks is a great way to allow brands to find you.
- Analyze Google ads. See what brands in your industry are spending money on ads. Those are a perfect opportunity for you since they are willing to spend on marketing!
- Tag a brand. Even if you are not working with them yet, try sharing or creating a post that has to do with them and tag them in it. Let them know you are there!
Some websites that can help you find opportunities:
Also, keep your profiles updated on all social media accounts in the event a brand wants to contact you.
So, now you have your dream list of sponsors. The next step is to decide what you can offer that will make them interested? What will they get out of working with you?
- If you are strong on social media, can you help them acquire new followers?
- Is most of your activity on your website? Can you help draw in new traffic to their website?
- Are you a YouTube pro and can create an amazing branded video to help them with brand awareness?
- Is there an event you are attending where you can work on their behalf to bring brand brand awareness?
- Do you do a podcast and can interview one of their management team?
Think about your strongest asset for your blog. Come up with creative marketing strategies for the brands you want to work with that will make them excited.
I am going to start off saying, in 15 years in the internet world I have yet to meet someone who says they “love doing outreach”.
Guys, no one enjoys this.
I despise it.
But it is 100% needed if you want to succeed – and land those sponsorships.
The trick is to be persuasive, honest, and value driven. Connect with them on social media first. Like their content, engage in discussion, and get your name out there. This can make outreach a little easier when the time comes.
When you do your outreach – write a compelling email. Hire someone if you need to! The email is important, so make it short and sweet but powerful.
Think about the sponsor. What is in it for them? What do you bring to the table and how will they benefit from working with you? Your job is to make them feel like they need to say yes!
Set a goal for a certain amount of pitches a week. Maybe 2-3 a week to start.
Rejection will be a big part of this process.
It is important to remember everyone gets rejections, dust it off and move on to the next.
Remember – sometime in the future those brands who rejected you might just be your biggest sponsors!
But, My Blog Is Too Small
First, STOP THAT!
Stay positive! Find the good and work with that.
With that said, if your blog is 6 months old and you have 3 readers a day, yes, you may struggle to find sponsors. But if your blog is 6 months old and is showing month over month growth – you can absolutely find sponsors.
It is all about how you promote yourself and the value you can bring.
Below you can see the traffic of a website that is just under a year old. Even though it is still a baby, we can focus on showing the growth in the last few months to a potential sponsor to prove the value and that we are actively growing this website.
We can twist it to add value by talking about the long term value. As our website grows, it is more visibility for their brand.
What Will A Blog Sponsor Pay?
There is no “one size fits all” sponsorship amount.
Sponsored blog posts can range from $50 to several thousand. There are just so many variables that come into play when talking numbers with a sponsor. You have to be clear on the value you bring and come up with a number you feel comfortable with.
Think about all the things that go into creating content when determining a rate you are comfortable with.
- Blog writing
- Image creation/editing
- Social sharing
- Video creation
Sponsored content makes up 14% of the total income for bloggers earning $2,000-$7,500 per month. That drops to 3% for those earning more than $25,000. source
If you do all of those things it can easily be 15+ hours of work. If you want $100 per hour, that is a $1,000 sponsorship fee. If you are only doing the blog post and nothing else, maybe that is 5-6 hours.
So, think of an hourly rate (remember you have to pay taxes and things) – and then create a sponsorship value around the amount of hours you need to complete each task.
But who would pay me $1,000?
Well, remember $1,000 to you may sound like a lot of money – but to some brands that equates to pennies. Many brands may have millions in marketing dollars – retrain your brain to think like those big brands and that $1,000 won’t seem like so much anymore.
How much they are willing to pay you will depend on the value you can bring! So make it good.
Why Brands Need Sponsorships!
Sponsorships are one of the best marketing tools a brand has. Finding loyal customers and turning them into brand activists is a great way to make sure your products or services are out there being shared by those that love you the most.
Bloggers who talk up your brand often have a very loyal readership behind them and that can only help boost your visibility! But brands should also use caution when brining a blogger on as a sponsor partner. Make sure they have an engaged audience!
Some easy ways to see how a blogger is doing include:
- Look at their social media profiles and engagement factors. Do they respond to all messages and comments – whether good or bad?
- Look at their email list. Is the open rate good? How about their click through rate?
- Check out the comments on their blog or website. Do they have any? Do they respond to them?
- Check the analytical data and make sure they are showing growth in their website visits.
These are just a few steps to make sure you are getting your money’s worth! Having several sponsorships with the right bloggers can do great things to help grow your business!
So, tell me about your brand sponsor stories? Have you been successful with them? Do you have any advice to help others? Spill it!