Get started with making more money with sponsored posts by following the tips I share with you today. This is tried and true advice that works every time.
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How to Charge More for Sponsored Posts
Perhaps you’ve read about bloggers making tens of thousands of dollars each year with sponsored posts. Meanwhile, you’re looking at $50 posts wondering if they’re worth all the hoops you have to jump through. Let me tell you something: they’re not.
I set a minimum for sponsored posts from the get-go when I create a blog, and I don’t do a single one until that minimum is met. For example, my minimum for a new blog is $500. Until I get to the point where I’m being offered (or pitching) for $500 sponsored posts, they’re not even on my radar.
Spoiler Alert: The way to charge more for sponsored posts is to deliver more value, consistently. Show proven results for brands, and other brands will notice.
Perfect your pitch.
Does pitching brands terrify you? Someone commented in my blogging group the other day about how they wanted to work with a certain brand but were “too afraid” to send an email.
Too afraid of WHAT?!
Are you kidding me? I hear this same comment daily. I mean, there are a lot of things in life to be afraid of (lions and tigers and bears, oh my!), but sending an email isn't one of them.
You'll be less afraid of getting rejected if you do two things:
- Stop giving a damn if you hear the word “no”. Realize there are other opportunities that are perfect for you, and they will come to you. Manifest that shit!
- Build confidence by perfecting your pitch. What do you have to offer? Why should a brand work with you? How can working with them help your audience? How will you connect your audience to them in an authentic way?
Send the damn email.
Stop accepting posts from every Tom, Dick, and Harry. All of your blog posts should be 100% on topic for your niche (yes, pick a niche for Pete's sake). Sponsored posts are no exception.
It doesn't matter if the company is paying $1,000 per sponsored post. If you can't definitely tie it into your niche, skip it. Better opportunities will come along, and if you put the work in daily, your bills will get paid. Period.
Example: Your blog talks about anger management, self-care, and mental health. A BBQ grill company offers you big bucks for posting about them. Unless you've talked about BBQing as part of self-care for your mental health before, chances are, you should skip that one.
Write the perfect post – every time.
There is a perfect post formula (I shared mine with you guys!), and you should use it every time you write a blog post – whether it's sponsored or not.
I understand that some sponsored post networks have a formula they want you to use. However, they need to understand that you know what works for your blog and switching it up would not deliver the same awesome results.
This is one reason I recommend working with brands directly rather than getting paid pennies from networks that are keeping a large portion of the share. Now when you're first starting out, don't get me wrong… networks are great (I still love working with Sway!), but as your blog grows you should be getting paid 3x what they pay. The way to do this is by working with brands directly.
Pro tip: Find a brand's email by searching “brand + PR” or “brand + media”.
SEO your post
Just like you would with any other post, do some keyword research before deciding on the angle you want to take with your article.
Read this in-depth post about Search Engine Optimization for bloggers.
1,000+ words every time
I know not many bloggers are talking about this, but writing long posts is another way to increase your revenue with sponsored posts.
Optimize your post and create long-form content, and you'll rank higher on Google.
Rank higher on Google and you'll get more pageviews.
Get more pageviews and your post converts better.
Get more conversions and the brand wants to work with you again.
Take great photos.
Photography is especially important when it comes to pitching big brands like Charmin, working with travel bureaus, etc.
Quick Blog Photography Tips
- Lighting is key. Even if you are using your phone to take photos, lighting is a critical component – and do not use flash! Use natural light if/when possible, but invest in a light, too. I started out with two of these and still use them to this day, but I've also added this light which is much better for my recipe shots.
- Check your background. Make sure your background isn't a bunch of stuff in your messy house. 😉 If you don't have a ton of space, that's okay. I used a small card table or portion of the counter for years before I got my own office set up.
- Take more photos than you think you'll need. So many times, I've thought I had a good shot when I didn't. Taking 2-3x as many photos as I think I need takes minimal time and gives me tons of options. When creating collages, it's especially important to have multiple images to choose from.
- Take photos from different angles. Play around with the angles to see which ones you like best. Make sure you always have a few vertical (for Pinterest) and a few horizontal (for Facebook and featured images). A square image for Instagram is good to have, too.
Promote your post like it's your best post ever.
Don't spam your personal Facebook feed, think about your blog as you would any other business and strategically share your post on each platform.
If you know your Facebook friends would benefit from your blog post, share it! If you don't have any friends who would benefit from your blog post, consider expanding your social circle (or topics).
Get excited about promoting your posts! If you aren't excited, perhaps you're not creating the best content ever.
Leverage Social Media
Your social media numbers are going to be the Golden Ticket for many sponsors. They won't look at anything else, unfortunately. Fortunately for you, it's simple to leverage social media by using some of your budget to promote your post – or even by asking the sponsor for an extra budget for a promoted post.
Videos do extremely well on Facebook, so consider creating a short video for your sponsored post to increase your reach. If they aren't specifically paying you for a video, you can do a slideshow or a quick overview of your post. Don't get too elaborate if you're not getting paid for video specifically, because you can charge a premium for videos.
As soon as your blog post is created, design several pin images and get them live on Pinterest and queued to your Tailwind. Pinterest can take a while to pick up, so use Tailwind Tribes and/or social media sharing groups to get the ball rolling if you have those available to you.
You can also link to your sponsored posts in your most popular posts – even if just temporarily – to get the pageviews started up. The more eyeballs on your sponsored post, the better! This is why it's important to be authentic, be picky, and write the posts just like you would any other post – so it's not junking up your blog with a bunch of irrelevant crap, but it's adding value to your site and to your readers' lives.
Use your phone to check in on your sponsored post frequently, especially during the first week:
- Screenshot any comments you see (positive and negative – though you may not share the negative, depending on the situation). Check your blog and all social media for new comments daily.
- Respond to comments and questions via your phone when you don't have time to be on your laptop in work mode. You don't have to be online 24/7 by any means, but a high-performing sponsored post can land you thousands of dollars in future work so it's important to keep an eye on everything especially during that first week or so.
Start from the very beginning and track every single metric you can with your sponsored post.
- Track your IG and Facebook story views for the first 24 hours and take a screenshot.
- Create a shortlink using the PrettyLinks plugin (NOT a bit.ly! These are often marked as spam on Facebook.)
- Add a giveaway if you can. Even if it's for a $5 Amazon gift card, use your sponsored post budget to add a giveaway (that you delete once the giveaway is over so it doesn't junk up your post). Double-check that this is okay with the sponsor before you do this.
Deliver a beautiful wrap-up report.
Most bloggers do not take the time to write a wrap-up report for each sponsored post, much less create a beautiful one. The thing is, you can't charge premium prices and expect brands to come back on a regular basis if you're half-assing your work.
Tips for creating a wrap-up report:
- Factor the time it's going to take you to create a wrap-up report into your sponsored post rates.
- Use a template. Microsoft Word has templates, and Canva does as well.
- Include awesome comments from your readers.
- Include other metrics like pageviews, clicks, shares, etc.
- Provide screenshots of metrics when possible. This could be from story views on IG, reach on Facebook, or opens and clicks in your email newsletter.
Offer a long-term relationship.
Instead of thinking of it in the way of “asking” for a long-term relationship or to be a part of the brand's ambassador program, think of it like this:
You write the best sponsored posts ever. They are SEO'd, they're long-form, they have beautiful images, and they're helpful to your audience. You track everything meticulously, and you deliver beautiful wrap-up reports.
Why wouldn't a brand want to work with you again and again?