Today I’m going to share with you an awesome way to make money with your blogs that you may not have thought about.
Many bloggers completely ignore this revenue stream, which is a big mistake.
I’m talking about sponsored posts.
One of the ways I’ve been able to earn six figures blogging is by operating a number of finance blogs and selling advertisements directly to sponsors.
There is no big complicated formula. It’s just as simple as that.
In this post I’ll show you where to find sponsors, how to make it super easy for them to contact you and how to build relationships with media buyers!
Yeah, this ish is gonna ROCK!
But first, let me tell you about the ways most blogs make money.
Top Ways To Make Money Blogging
The top ways to make money blogging are with the following 4 methods: affiliate marketing, display ads, selling your own products and sponsored ads.
Let me break it down to show the pros and cons of each of these money making methods.
With affiliate marketing, you get paid a commission when you sell someone’s product. Say a product costs $40 and your commission rate is 10%, you will get $4 for the sale.
Pros: You don’t have to create a product, awesome-ness!
Cons: You are making someone else money and building their fortune, not your own!
With display ads, you get paid every time someone clicks on an ad.
Pros: This is so amazing because you don’t have to sell anything. You get paid regardless of whether the user buys a thing! With display ads, the more traffic you have – the more money you make. It’s such a simple formula.
Cons: Ads suck. No other way of saying it. Sometimes, the ads that are displayed are not related to your site either.
Your own products
My favorite way of generating revenue is by selling your own products.
Pros: You stand to make the most amount of money by selling your own stuff as there’s nobody to split the profits with!
Cons: It can take a long time to create a product your readers want to buy.
With a sponsored post, a business contacts you to place an article on your blog and pays you directly.
Pros: You get the extra ability to make money from your readers and directly from sponsors.
Cons: It can be difficult to find opportunities if you don’t know where to look.
Are Sponsored Posts Right For Your Blog?
Let me be honest with you. Selling products, whether your own or others, is not easy!
Without establishing yourself as an authority, without a large email list and without a sales funnel, you’re not going to have much luck.
But you want to know what IS easier? You guessed it. Selling sponsored posts to businesses!
In all my years blogging, affiliate income has been rocky. Affiliate programs come and go after all. Display ads have been steady, but low-paying.
But do you want to know what has remained successful throughout the years? If you said selling sponsored posts to businesses, you’re right again!
It’s awesome to create as many revenue streams as possible. Promote products within your blog posts, place a few Google Adsense ads, and add promoted content where appropriate. Diversify, yo!
It’s your blog, it’s your business, don’t be afraid to monetize it!
How To Make Money Selling Sponsored Posts
Here’s some of the ad types you can offer on your blog.
I get lots of emails daily requesting an opportunity to add a guest post to my blogs. Some are from other bloggers, some from digital marketing agencies and others directly from small businesses.
These articles are provided by them. Yes you heard that right. You can get free content for your blog and get paid to post it!
Sometimes, a small business just wants to get their name out there. For example realtors, attorneys, financial planners or life coaches.
At times, some articles may be “sales-pitchy” and recommend their products, but most of the time they are genuine articles that offer real value to your readers.
Sponsored posts are similar to guest posts, with the difference being that you are the one providing the content.
Many small businesses want their product or service mentioned on blogs, but they don’t have a writer.
With a sponsored post, you are given the URL of their website and it’s up to you to create an article about their product or service.
Since this involves more work, you should definitely charge extra for providing the article!
With a product review, the small business sends you either the physical product or gives you login details to try out the service they offer.
Product reviews are neat because you get a free product and you get paid just for sharing your opinion.
Many small businesses still rely on old-fashioned banner ads to promote their products.
I usually don’t put any banner ads on my blogs. But if a sponsor wants a banner ad, they will get a banner ad!
While you can charge a monthly fee for placement, it’s way better to charge up front for the entire year.
For example, for a banner ad you can offer $30 per month pricing OR $250 for 1 year. That should be enough of a “discount” to get them to pre-pay for the year.
Can Any Blog Do This? Even New Blogs?
Can a new blog make money from sponsored posts? The answer is a resounding YES!
If you think you need a massive blog to do this, think again.
Many small businesses don’t actually want to reach out to huge blogs. Not only is advertising on big blogs more expensive, the audience is likely not as engaged as your much smaller audience is with you.
Think about it, would a business rather spend on banner ads on large sites or on a piece of original content delivered straight to your audience?
It’s a no brainer.
That’s what small businesses are after. They want to target the very engaged audience of an “influencer” (that’s you!).
While it’s true that big blogs stand to make much more from sponsored posts than smaller blogs, it doesn’t mean you can’t get in on the action too!
What You Need To Get Started
Okay bloggers, ready to make money with sponsored posts? Here’s what you need to get started.
Your own blog
You obviously need your own blog that is up and running. You need to be on your own domain with your own hosting.
Have at least 10 posts, enough to fill up the homepage with awesome content.
The sponsor will scan your site to see if theirs brand alignment. In other words, they want to see if your readers would be interested in their services.
Have a well-designed logo. Your logo is your branding, it matters! You can get a logo designed for your new blog at fiverr.com.
If you want to give it a shot on your own, use canva.com and look at their free logo templates you can edit.
Where To Find Sponsored Post Opportunities
Here are 12 networks built to connect advertisers with bloggers. Get your blog registered on each of these networks, you’re bound to get some interest!
- Valued Voice
- Feed My Blog
- Blog Dash
- Tap Influence
- Social Fabric
- She Media
- Blog Meets Brand
- The Sway
How To Double Your Sponsored Posts Revenue
I was making some good money with sponsor posts, but what I’m about to tell you next literally doubled my income.
You have to go after more opportunities on your own
Rather than wait for sponsors to contact you, proactively go after them!
This part is so important to growing your sponsored posts revenue. Contact businesses within your niche and pitch your idea.
You have nothing to lose.
Include your media kit in your email. I have a editable media kit template in my Ultimate Bloggers Toolkit you can use.
Craft up an idea and pitch it to as many businesses within your niche as you can find. You are bound to get some takers.
Contact past customers again
If a business buys a sponsored post from you, it may be the end of the transaction, but it’s only the beginning of the relationship.
Keep each contact in a spreadsheet. This contact list is so valuable.
It will be the well that you can keep going back to year after year.
Often times you will be dealing with a “media buyer” who works at a digital marketing agency.
They may have purchased an ad for a client of theirs. They will undoubtedly have more clients within your niche in the future.
It doesn’t hurt to email them every few months to see if they have any new clients in your niche.
Use a contact form
When I first started, my contact pages were.. how do I say it.. boring, uninviting and empty.
My contact me page was a simple page with my email address listed.
I was being super inefficient by having businesses go to the extra step in emailing me.
This is the wrong approach. You need to make it simple, super simple, for people to get in touch with you.
After installing the WPForms Wordpress plugin, I replaced my email address with a simple contact form and the rest was history.
Once I added a simple contact form, I got twice as many emails!
This list ended up being one of the key ways I was able to double my income. Every few months I’d go and send an email blast to this list with my latest blog traffic stats, ad options and rates and just watch the replies come in. Winning!
Add a payment option right on your form
Using WPForms you are able to add a payment option right on the form itself! Isn’t that neat?
You can get real fancy and create a multi-step form if you’d like. In your multi step form: step 1 is their name and email, step 2 is their ad choice and step 3 is their payment info.
The advertiser would simply choose which type of ad they wanted and could add their credit card information to get set up right away.
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