Sponsored posts are everywhere.
There, I said.
If you have been hanging out in the blogosphere for any amount of time, then you have come across countless sponsored posts and ads. And a lot of the time, you probably don’t even realize it!
Many bloggers (especially those who have been around for a while) have already clued into the fact that sponsored posts are a really easy way to monetize your blog.
But, if you’re anything like me, maybe you’ve only been blogging for a few months. Or maybe you’re just starting to monetize. And the thought of sponsored posts just seems overwhelming.
After all, there are so many different companies and networks offering sponsored post opportunities, that it’s practically impossible to know where to start. And better yet, to know which ones actually work.
That’s why I decided to put together this post. I want to give you a genuinely helpful resource that will help you land your first sponsored post opportunity.
If you have any questions after reading this post, please leave me a comment or send me an email! And if you want someone to evaluate your blog and figure out what needs improvement, sign up for one of my brilliant blog audits.
HOW TO GET SPONSORED POST OPPORTUNITIES
Before we get into the how and where to find sponsored post opportunities, I think we should determine if your blog is actually ready for sponsored content.
First and foremost, your blog should be self-hosted.
The company I use to host this blog is called Bluehost and I recommend them to everyone for two reasons: they have 24/7 live chat and they are extremely reliable. Plus, if you sign up for Bluehost using my referral link, you can get a custom domain name for free!
Follow my tutorial on how to start a self-hosted blog. I’ll have you up and running in less than 30 minutes my friend!
Secondly, you need to be active on social media.
I’m not saying that you need to have thousands of followers (although this is a prerequisite for some companies), but you should definitely have a following of some sort. Why would a company want to work with you if nobody is going to see your sponsored posts?
Companies want to work with bloggers that have an engaged community of readers and followers. So, rather than focusing on growing your numbers – try to encourage your current audience to comment and engage on your social media and blog posts.
So, if you have a self-hosted blog and an engaged social media audience – you might be ready for sponsored posts.
Now let’s talk about where you can find sponsored post opportunities.
1. MEDIA NETWORKS
There are a lot of media networks out there for bloggers who want to get into sponsored posts. Most of them require you to fill out an application that includes your contact information, social media channels and average number of monthly blog visitors.
I know this can be intimidating if you have a small following, but please don’t get discouraged. Even if your application is rejected, you can always apply again in the future.
Honestly, you have nothing to lose!
I’m going to list out a few of my favourite media networks for bloggers and list the benefits for each one.
This is my favourite network for sponsored post opportunities hands-down. Once you are accepted to Linqia, your blog and online presence are considered a “community”, with you being the community leader. Linqia will email you if they think your community is a good fit for a specific brand campaign. Here are some of the reasons why I love using Linqia:
- You get the chance to work with high quality brands like Yoplait, Kotex and Huggies – just to name a few.
- They operate on a pay-per-click basis. Which means that you get paid each time someone clicks the sponsored links on your blog or social media channels.
- It’s totally free to sign up for Linqia.
I just recently became a member of Social Fabric. So, I haven’t yet participated in any campaigns – or as Social Fabric calls them, shopportunities. But from what I’ve heard, this is a great network to work with for a number of reasons:
- They operate on a flat-fee basis. Which means that you get paid for each social media or blog post regardless of the number of clicks or purchases.
- Your performance is monitored by campaign leaders who track your analytics. This will determine the amount of shopportunities you can be apart of in the future.
- Members also have access to several courses that are designed to help grow your blog.
Pollinate Media & Weave Media
These two media networks are combined because they are technically the same company. They have similar application requirements but Pollinate only accepts influencers with a minimum of 20,000 page views per month and Weave is designed for smaller bloggers still growing their audience. You might want to join one of these networks because:
- They send out newsletters with campaign opportunities, allowing you to apply individually to each campaign you’re interested in.
- They are highly regarded in the industry and often work with well-known brands.
2. DIRECT MARKETING
A lot of bloggers tend to forget about this option. But, rather than waiting for a network or company to reach out to you for a sponsored post – you can always make the first move.
If there is a company that you’re passionate about, it doesn’t hurt to send them an email and ask if they want to work with you!
By using this method, I’ve been able to land several sponsored hotel stays throughout Canada and this awesome suitcase! But, if I’m being totally honest, the majority of my direct emails end with a no.
So, before you start contacting all of your favourite brands – just brace yourself for the possibility that they won’t want to work with you. And that’s okay! Just because they say no right now, doesn’t mean you won’t have the chance to work with them in the future. Be polite and don’t burn any bridges!
Here are some handy tips for sending out your first pitch:
- Introduce yourself and your blog. Explain the theme of your blog and include a few statistics like your monthly page views and social media followers.
- Explain why your blog is a good fit for their products or services. Include a few compliments about the company and tell them why you want to work with them.
- If you’ve worked with any companies in the past, mention them. Include links to any of your previous sponsored posts.
- Finish off the email with your name, email, blog link and maybe even your social media handles.
3. BLOGGING COMMUNITIES
Seriously, there are so many blogging communities out there. And my favourite ones to join are on Facebook!
Facebook groups are a great place to find out about sponsored post opportunities. These little communities are full of bloggers who want to help each other. So, when someone finds out about a sponsored post opportunity, they share it with the group!
It can be hard to know exactly which Facebook groups to join, so if you’re feeling lost – sign up to join my Secret Library, where you can access my Facebook Group Masterlist. I’ve included 35 of the best Facebook groups for bloggers!
Oh, and don’t forget to join my very own Facebook group – The Blog Nest. It’s a great place to connect with other bloggers and discus sponsored post opportunities!
Now, this should kind of go without saying, but make sure that you only publish content that you’re proud of. Don’t accept a sponsored post opportunity just for the heck of it. If it won’t resonate well with your audience, don’t bother with it.
Stay true to yourself. Keep posting helpful and interesting content.
Your readers will thank you for it.
And at the end of the day, aren’t they the most important factor?
The world of sponsored content is a big one. So, I realize that this post is just barely scratching the surface. It’s a good idea to start small and work your way up the ladder. Today, you can start my joining a few Facebook groups and signing up for Linqia.
In the near future, I want to write more about this topic and perhaps even share the exact email that I send out to companies! So, stay tuned my friend.
If you’re feeling hungry for more tips about monetizing your blog, check out my latest income report.
Let’s talk sponsored content in the comments:
What brand are you dying to work with?
Has this post left you feeling confident enough to contact them?