Before we get started, I want to preface this Sponsored Blog Posts Breakdown with information on our current blogging with Google updates and the new paradigm of SEO upon us, yet so esoteric.
If you choose to do sponsored blog posts, you need to be very informed and very prepared.
I personally choose not to do sponsored blog posts currently, and here are some reasons…
*The new SEO paradigm views significant content as 800 or more words, and that is too demanding for what I can charge a sponsor to write it.
*My rates would naturally need to double, and the market doesn’t support that.
*Sponsors and most bloggers are still working in the old ways of blogging, and if you were to charge double for an 800 word post, a sponsor would go to your cheaper, old blogging style competition instead.
*The disclosure rules and requirements of both the FTC and Google will change, and I don’t want to be subject to editing my posts for each change.
*I also don’t want to be subject to any punishment for getting any of the rules and requirements wrong, since fully knowing compliance of these rules and requirements is unknown fully until punishment falls, and it then spreads through the blogging community.
*I personally do not think these types of posts done quickly, and just for the sake of posting to get paid or for a free product will be favored by Google, and Google will continue to find ways to weed out this kind of blogging from being indexed.
*In short, sponsored posts are too much hassle, and not enough compensation for that hassle in our current blogging environment.
*This doesn’t mean I won’t entertain sponsored posts on my private newsletters, where I don’t have to worry about any rules.
Now let’s move on to our Sponsored Blog Posts Breakdown, so that you know how to execute them properly. If you do them right, and choose to be on top of everything, you can set yourself apart, and make some money.
Just keep in mind, that you want your sponsored posts to stand out, and be unique, like multi-product comparisons and resources for online searchers. You need to elevate your current presentation of sponsored blog posts substantially to play the new game.
OK, now on to our Sponsored Blog Posts Breakdown…
How Do Bloggers Benefit from Sponsored Blog Posts?
Sponsored blog posts are an effective marketing and advertising mechanism for sponsors, but they also benefit a blogger writing them.
*A sponsored post can help with content generation demands by providing an outline.
*It can serve as filler content on a day you might have writer’s block or lack of time to post original content.
*Writing a sponsored post is usually by contract or agreement between the blogger and sponsor, and is a welcomed time to receive monetary compensation by the blog owner for writing.
*Writing sponsored blog posts well, is a way for a blogger to build her reputation as a writer in this capacity, increase her writing rates and earn more money.
Generating Content with Sponsored Blog Posts
The biggest demand in blogging is to generate content day by day. A sponsored blog post is already generated for you as a blog owner in the form of the initial idea or topic, and the blogger typically receives a clear outline of the content demand given by the sponsor.
The blogger just has to fill in the outline, with certain guidelines, like the number of links, anchor text and key points agreed upon in their contract together.
This is much easier than generating content from scratch. Anytime you have a launching point to write from, you have a head start, and posting often with quality content for successful blogging is a must.
Even though an outline is given and required in the agreement, a blog owner has a lot of control over the content to be written. The control factor is very important to a blog owner, because she has to write for her readers and audience, and make sure the content fits within the overall theme of her blog.
A blog owner doesn’t want to turn off or alienate her readers, so the control of the content allows the manipulation necessary to satisfy both the sponsor, who is paying for the content, and the reader who likes to read the blog, and would find the information about the sponsor relevant and beneficial.
Posting More Often with Sponsored Posts
Most bloggers know they need to post at least 2-3 times per week, but top bloggers and bloggers trying to get ahead and move their statistics, know they need to post daily, and even 2-3 times per day.
Everyone has to find a schedule that works individually, and everyone treats blogging differently…
*Some view blogging as a hobby.
*Some blog part time.
*Some blog full time and for a business.
*Some bloggers are professional, and earn income solely from blogging.
No matter what type of blogger you are, you’re likely to want to improve as you go, or see some kind of result from your efforts. Blogging requires a lot of one’s time, and seems to only require more, the more one improves.
The key to longevity in blogging is reaching a point of seeing some results for one’s time, and you must actively engage and participate to get there.
Most bloggers want to be participating in the online economy. That is, selling ad space on their blogs, affiliate marketing participation or being paid for blogging in some way. A sponsored post is an opportunity to post more often and an opportunity to participate in the online economy.
Choosing to write sponsored posts automatically increases your posting times. You could go from a 2-3 per week poster to a 5-7 overnight, and start to see some increases in your page views immediately.
Receiving Monetary Compensation for Blogging
Much of what you do as a blogger goes unpaid, especially in the beginning.
*You are writing for your readers
*You are writing for yourself
*You are writing for your business
And you typically do not see compensation.
Overtime, and with traffic increases, page views and higher Google PageRank, you can establish rates to charge for your writing and ad space. But, you will spend a significant amount of time blogging before seeing any monetary gain.
Think of it as jumping through hoops, or paying your dues. No one walks in initially, and sees top status. Like anything else, it takes time, hard work, patience, enjoyment and satisfaction to get somewhere.
Bloggers don’t even necessarily have to reach top status. There are such a variety of advertising budgets for sponsors, which most bloggers can connect with them at their various levels. If your writing rates are cheaper, an up-start company can use you. If you are mid-level, there are plenty of sponsors in that budget category. There are more opportunities to make these connections along the way if a blogger targets them.
Most importantly, among all of the blogging, level reaching and connection seeking, a sponsored blog post can be a welcomed interlude and reward for your efforts.
You are actually getting paid for blogging!
Building Your Reputation with Sponsored Blog Posts
If you are a blogger who has chosen to participate in the online economy, you are building your relationships with businesses, companies and sponsors.
Your blogsite is a tool and mechanism that these sponsors can use to reach their customers.
If you are honing your writing skills, and sharpening your blogging tools, you are building your reputation in your economic relations. The way you write and present a sponsored post, in its subtlety to your readers, and effectiveness for the sponsor, can elevate your status and reputation as a savvy blogger.
This in turn means you can charge more for writing posts, and sponsors will pay you more for writing them.
You won’t build your reputation by copying and pasting information from the sponsor’s website. This is likely to end your sponsored posting career. Sponsors in choosing you, look at your blog, and how you write, and they look at the way you’ve presented other sponsored posts.
Remember, your blog is public. They can do this easily. You want them to see that you try to present sponsors and their products authentically, in a way that your readers will appreciate and respond to them.
For example, you never want to write, “Hey Dear readers, this is a sponsored blog post…please excuse it”. A sponsored post has to read and feel like one of your regular posts, and the only clue that it is not, is that somewhere in it, you provided an up-to-date fully proper disclosure(s).
If you focus on your style, thoughtfulness and presentation, you can earn a reputation of being that go-to blogger for sponsored blog posts, and the writer or blogger companies actually seek out.
After all, getting $10 for a few paragraphs and 10-15 minutes of you time isn’t bad, but getting $50 is pretty impressive!
What is a sponsored blog post?
…This is content written by a blogger on behalf of a sponsor or company or product for compensation paid by the sponsor to the blogger.
Typically, both the sponsor and blogger want the content to fit with the blogsite and readership. Sponsors can ask for a certain number of links to their websites or product pages using specific anchor text within the content.
Word Number, Anchor Text & Number of Links
The number of words, length of the post, number of links and anchor text are all negotiable factors for the value and compensation of the blog post.
*Please be sure to properly code all outbound links with (rel=”nofollow”) to not pass Pagerank and violate Google’s rules about link schemes. Also be sure to disclose to your readers about each link. Readers should not be confused in any way about any link, your intentions or a sponsor’s intention.
Sponsors can designate the amount they will pay for word number and length, as well as links and anchor text, and the blogger can also determine various rates and value for the writing, links and service provided.
Sponsored Blog Post Brokers
Sometimes, a broker provides a service to bring the sponsor and blogger together, and sometimes both blogger and sponsor find each other on their own.
Brokers may charge a percentage or fixed fee to the sponsor or blogger or both for each transaction.
Comparing Sponsored Blog Posts to Reviews and Giveaways & Side Bar Advertising
A sponsored blog post is an alternative or addition to a premium side bar or side bar ad space, or a review and giveaway process.
Reviews & Giveaways:
The review and giveaway process typically requires the sponsor to provide 1-2 products to the blogger. There is one item for the blogger’s review and one item for the winner of the giveaway.
Sponsors may not always have 2 items at hand, or view the sponsored blog post as a less expensive, effective and simpler option.
Bloggers may miss out on receiving a product they are interested in using themselves, and miss gaining the reader exposure and participation through a giveaway, but receive fair compensation for writing work and time for a sponsored blog post.
Side Bar Advertising:
With a sponsored blog post, a one time payment and service are exchanged between the blogger and sponsor, but the content remains indefinitely or permanently on the blogosphere, compared to a side bar ad space that expires monthly.
The writing skill of the blogger in particular, blog presence, readership size and blogsite performance are major factors in determining the value of a sponsored post, and have the potential of reaching very high levels. The power of words and content can affect an audience more significantly than a quick graphic image ad impression.
The graphic ad must make an instant impression with a short tagline or description. A sponsored post doesn’t have that kind of demand, but can make a slower, lasting impression with future word searches.
The Future of Sponsored Blog Posts
The benefits to both bloggers and sponsors make the sponsored post an appealing and long lasting option for the future, although our current blogging demands will take some time to catch up to everyone on the new standards.
The management and maintenance of writing sponsored posts can be reasonable, the sponsor payout is still affordable and effective, and the compensation for a writing effort and post to publish is welcomed by the blogger.
Bloggers who position themselves as unique, talented and effective in this area of writing, can reap those future rewards.
Preparing for Sponsored Blog Posts Checklist for Bloggers
*Know your blog
*Categorize your blog in themes
*Determine your writing topics
*Know your subcategories of writing themes
*Know which sponsors, services and products fit your writing themes
*Know which sponsors, services and products do not fit
*Know your readers
*Know what your readers want to read
*Know how much your readers will read about sponsors and products
*Create a media kit
*Include sponsored posts rates in your media kit, or a way to be contacted about them
*Determine the length of post you’ll write and the rate, keeping in mind the new significance of 800 words or more
*Determine the number of links and anchor text you’ll include and the rates
*Set up a PayPal account for invoicing and receiving payment
*Research Broker services
*Know if you can keep pace with a service sending you posting opportunities
*Know you need to be thoughtful and flexible in your writing style
*Know that you cannot copy and paste from a sponsor’s website
*Know about proper disclosure and all aspects of it
*Have a disclosure page on your site
*Have a custom domain, self-hosted site on WordPress.org
*Remember, do your homework, know your blog and readers, elevate your game, and decide IF you’re going to do sponsored blog posts, you’re going to do them completely within the rules, and BETTER than anyone else out there!
If you do them right, they can become your niche and ticket to the future, but if you do them wrong, you could hurt yourself.
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