Here We Go: Blog Sponsors

I’ve been asked numerous times to blog about sponsorships but I’ve always avoided it. Earlier this year, I started accepting ads and sponsorships but after only three months…I said NO MORE! I think I’ve avoided this post because I feel like I am a bit biased but I’d love to share everything that I can!  A lot of my tips will come from my experiences (and the things that I forgot to do before making the jump!) This will be short and concise so I hope you all add your own suggestions and experiences in the comment section!

What to do before you start accepting sponsors:

Before you do anything, you need to evaluate your goals and where you stand on certain issues. Here are a few things to consider:

  • Assess your readership, engagement, and stats. Will your sponsor spots benefit potential sponsors?
  • Based on your readership, how much will you charge for your sponsor spots?
  • How will your sponsors purchase a spot? Will you coordinate it manually? Will you use a service like Passionfruit Ads?
  • How will you handle controversial inquires or assess potential sponsors? Where will you “draw the line?”
  • Will you offer multiple sizes or packages? Perhaps larger spots that also come with a sponsored post?
  • How will you introduce your sponsors every month?
  • Will you offer swaps? If so, you should have a blog graphic/badge designed.

How to find sponsors:

Now that you’ve looked closely at some of the details…you need those spots filled! I found that posting about it within a blog post, tweeting, and posting the announcement on Facebook worked well! I also reached out to past clients and let them know that they could purchase a discounted spot because of their longtime support. Placing a page or a link on your blog (to stay consistently) might also work well for you.

Creating your media kit:

When I accepted sponsors, my media kit was really simple. Months later, I’ve realized some other key components that I had forgotten. It’s essentially a file (PDF probably works best) that you sent to interested bloggers or organizations with information about you and your blog! You can either have it as a download on your blog or send it to them after you’ve received an inquiry. I would include:

  • Information about yourself
  • Contact information
  • Blog statistics (monthly unique views, pageviews, pageviews per visit)
  • Social media stats
  • Rates & sizes
  • Brands you’ve worked with

I’ve created a standard template for you to download! It’s an Adobe Illustrator file so feel free to tweak, insert photos, alter colors, or change fonts!

Maintaining a sponsored blog:

Congrats! Now your blog is sponsored! After about three months…this part was the least enjoyable. I was dealing with ads (this could have been fixed by using services like Passionfruit), following up with payments, scheduling sponsored posts, and making sure that I posted consistently/daily. To me, the pressures of blogging daily and maintaining a positive attitude wasn’t worth it. I wouldn’t say that I complain on my blog but I felt bad posting something that one of my sponsors might not agree with/appreciate. I also was approached by a few companies that I didn’t support and wasn’t sure how to handle the rejection part.

Obviously, many bloggers make this work and really love it! I would encourage everyone to give it a try. It’s amazing that so many bloggers can make an income from what they love to do! Thankfully, I make my income from designing and so I love using this blog as a place to just show and tell (hence, the name). I also know the value of blogging when it comes to my business. It keeps me in peoples’ network, minds and many clients end up hearing my own, personal voice because of it! So while I don’t make money directly from this blog, I do reap the benefits constantly.

What has your experience been with blog sponsors/ads? Do you currently do this? How has it been? If not, what is stopping you? 

August 29, 2012