One of the questions I constantly get asked about how one can go about monetising their blog is a rather specific one about sponsored blog posts, so I guess there is no better time to discuss that than right now.
What is a sponsored blog post?
A sponsored blog post is exactly what it says on the tin – a blog post you write which is sponsored. This means that instead of just going about your regular business of publishing some valuable content you wrote for your readers to enjoy, somebody actually pays you to write the content, on your very own blog!
Who sponsors blog posts?
Sponsors of blog posts come in many different shapes and sizes, from individuals looking to tap into a fellow blogger’s audience to big corporations pretty much seeking to do the same, with the added incentive of getting some direct advertising exposure to your audience. I guess you can quite easily see why this would be an attractive way of trying to reach what would be a very targeted audience because if you think about it from the point of view of a commercial airline as an example, how much more targeted can you get than an audience for a travel blog?
So seeking out post sponsorships for your blog is definitely a great way to monetise it, but sponsors aren’t going to come looking for you.
Before I get into the discussion of how to find sponsors for your blog posts though, I should perhaps discuss the typical structure of a sponsored blog post, which is basically just an ordinary blog post discussing a topic which fits right into the theme of the blog. The only difference, however, is that with a sponsored post, there is some or other marketing material included, be it a banner ad displaying the sponsor’s message or even something as simple as a link.
Now, sponsored posts in the form of a link bring in a very important third-party sponsor of blog posts into the picture, which is basically just the SEO companies. Search Engine Optimisation relies heavily on so-called back-links to the site which is being optimised to rank highly on Google’s search results page, so SEO companies pretty much deal in the business of sponsoring blog posts on behalf of their clients, as part of the SEO service they offer.
The SEO companies offer the service of higher search engine rankings, so when they order a sponsored post from a blogger, it’s not so much about waiting it out to see how it goes. It’s a service they pay for there and then.
The easiest way to find sponsors is joining a blogger network, but then your earnings will be quite a bit less than what you’d earn if you accepted orders for sponsored posts directly. This is because blogger networks or agencies charge agent’s fees while going it yourself will probably have you landing less sponsored posts because the number of sponsorships you actually get would depend on your own solicitation efforts.