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Doing sponsored blog posts is a great way to make money blogging in certain niches like lifestyle, family, food, etc. Contrary to popular belief, you can make good money blogging without selling your own products and services if that’s what you want to do.

Many bloggers are overwhelmed with getting started so I’m going to break that down for you today.

 

But First, the Backstory:

This post was inspired by a lengthy, semi-heated discussion that popped up in one of my favorite blogging FB groups.

The original poster was calling out an established, well-known wooden watch company that is treating bloggers like garbage, frankly. This company has been non-stop reaching out to hundreds, if not thousands, of bloggers and trying to get them to do a metric ton of work in exchange for a ‘free’ watch.

When this company is asked by bloggers what their budget is (because *surely* they don’t expect bloggers to work for free, right?) they go into the same old story that they’ve been telling for years: they’re a “young” company with no marketing budget to work with on this campaign but, hey, you get a $129 watch for your efforts and exposure, because exposure is great, right? And maybe we can pay you for the next campaign (which I’ve never ever been able to find someone that’s worked with them twice.)

How do I know they’ve been telling this same sleazy story for years? They pitched me in 2015. Yup. Even back them I told them to go pound sand.

Plus, dozens of other bloggers with similar stories all chimed in on this post.

Let me just go and pay my kid’s orthodontist bill with that watch that costs $129 retail, $30 if that wholesale, and I’ll let you know how that works out.

 

UGH.

Sorry to go all ranty on you here, but my biggest pet peeve is when brands, who DO have a marketing budget, treat bloggers like they should work for free.

I wonder if they’ve tried to ask their mechanic to work for free?

Lemme just go try to pay my kid's orthodontist w/your crappy wooden watch! #paybloggers #LOL Click To Tweet

So, we had a long discussion on this thread about all of those things and some newer bloggers were starting to ask exactly *how* to get brands to pay for their work.

Sponsored posts, dahling, where you collaborate with brands who value your work.

Every brand has a budget, it’s only the good ones that understand a blogger’s worth and seek out awesome bloggers to work with.

But… how do you find those brands when you’re just starting out and not ready to pitch?

We’ll get to that, but first…

 

What are Sponsored Blog Posts?

Put simply, sponsored blog posts are blog posts that you’ve been paid to write. Technically, product in exchange for writing is a sponsored post too but that’s not what we’re talking about here.

We’re talking about money, honey.

Brands are typically looking for exposure about a new products or services or more general brand exposure. Smart brands recognize that working with bloggers in a compensated way is a phenomenal strategy to achieve this.

RELATED READ: Media Kit Cheat-Sheet: What it is, What it Needs & How to Get One

 

Start With the Influencer Networks

An influencer network is sort of a middle man for bloggers; it’s a company that connects bloggers with brands who are looking to purchase sponsored content. If you’re new to sponsored posts, using an influencer network is a great way to start out since you won’t have to pitch brands directly or do any of the logistical legwork.

Certain networks require you to go through an approval process, others don’t. Generally, if you post regularly on your blog and it’s not all sponsored content, you’ll get in pretty easily.

 

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Sponsored blog posts are a great way to earn money blogging for certain niches but how do you find well paying opportunities? Let me show you!PIN for later!

 

What are the Best Networks to Join?

There are a ton of different influencer networks out there but not all are quality. Some will want you to work for next to nothing and some really don’t offer many opportunities. I recommend that you join, or apply to join, a good handful to get started so you can start to get a feel for the going rates.

Influence Central is probably my favorite of the bunch! They connect bloggers with spectacular brands for rates that are typically excellent, in my experience.

Tap Influence is a super easy to use influencer platform that offers an easy way to get started. I don’t see many campaigns come across here but the ones I do see are quality.

Blog Paws is a great network for anyone with pets that they’re willing to write about. Their campaigns are always with quality brands that are easy to work with and little goodies are frequently sent along for the furbabies. I’ve always been happy with the compensation.

Social Fabric works with some huge brands and offers good compensation.

Activate by Bloglovin’ campaigns are always a little hit or miss on the compensation rates but, if you’re choosy, you can be paid very well for awesome brands like Birchbox. Watch out for some funky offers of like 17cents per sponsored tweet through. lol

Bloggin’ Mamas is one I haven’t utilized personally yet but they tout some great brands and good rates on their facebook page so check them out if you’re a mommy blogger.

IZEA is my favorite way to find sponsored social media posts, especially tweets. Occasionally I’ll find a blog post opportunity that pays well but most of them are on the way low side of the rate.  Darci Lopez of Life Unplanned says, “I do social media post updates through IZEA. They’re super easy to do and there are lots of opportunities to find that fit your audience.”

Clever (formerly Clever Girls Collective) is a favorite of Jenn Shultz over at What You Make It. She says, “They are easy to work with, communicate well with their influencers, have a variety of opportunities, and I love that there is an online portal to keep track of your posts, payouts, and opportunities.”

#paid could be a perfect fit if you’ve got a strong Instagram following, especially. Natalie Ast of NatalieAst.com loves them and says, “Great platform, seamless payment (and very quick too) and a great opportunity to get Instagram sponsored posts. They’re based in Toronto so [they’re] great for Canadian influencers too. I find a lot of networks exclude Canadians but this one does [work with] international [influencers].”

Clever (formerly Clever Girls Collective) is a favorite of Jenn Shultz over at What You Make It. She says, “They are easy to work with, communicate well with their influencers, have a variety of opportunities, and I love that there is an online portal to keep track of your posts, payouts, and opportunities.”

Linqia comes highly recommended from Haley Bradley of Haley’s Vintage and President of The International Bloggers’ Association. She says, “I really love Linqia, and they have been very reasonable for my first 3 posts. And, what is great about them is you get paid for clicks, but it averages on of the last three campaigns you did with them. So you are building a reputation with them, and they have a built-in strategy for growth.”

 

A Word on Rates

Rates are a very individual thing but I always urge brand new bloggers to really understand their worth and not accept less than $100-$150 for a sponsored blog post with social shares. That’s where I started back in the day so I know it’s do-able.

If you’re a more experienced blogger with higher engagement and traffic, double, triple or quadruple that.

Because working for free, working for $50, working for (low-cost) product, working for a freaking gift card (unless it’s sizeable and for something you NEED like groceries) is a slap in the face of bloggers.

I know this might get me some hate mail and I’m ok with that.

RELATED READ: 5 Best Free Online Tools to Polish Your Writing

 

Wanna Try Pitching Brands?

I’ve had some awesome success with this and typically contact brands through Twitter but I’m no pitching pro. Luckily, my friend Sarah is.

She offers a comprehensive kit that teaches you everything you need to know about pitching to brands for sponsored work… and she’s kind of an expert in that area. Grab Pitching Perfection now for less than $20 and you’ll be a pitching pro in no time.

 

Sponsored Blog Posts Can be Lucrative

Finding the right brands and taking the right sponsored blog post opportunities can be a very lucrative strategy but be sure you’re being choosy. The last thing your readers want to see is a blog that’s ONLY sponsored content.

This does mean that you may turn down a lot of campaigns but your worth will be higher for it.

 

 

Tell me in the comments below: what’s your favorite influencer network?

 

 

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