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Before You Write a Sponsored Post

By Apr 10, 2013 July 2nd, 2014 34 Comments

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Getting paid to blog- it sounds amazing, doesn’t it? And it can be so flattering- someone values what you have to say and wants to either send you something or pay you. It can feel like “Yay! I’ve arrived!”

But before you agree to write a sponsored post, you need to take some factors into consideration.

sponsored post

Is it a fit for your blog?

If a product or company has absolutely nothing to do with your blog and you can’t find a way to make it make sense to your readers, you might need to pass. Sometimes you can get a little creative and even stretch yourself to make a topic fit. But other times, it will simply sound disingenuous to your readers and you should probably pass. I often get pitched products for little girls. I do have some darling nieces and they can sometimes be testers for me but in general as a mom of three boys, I have to pass when a company or product is for girls.

What are you being asked to do?

And is it FTC-compliant? Run far away if they are asking for links that aren’t no-follow or if they don’t want you to disclose that you have a relationship with them.

As long as it’s all up-to-code there, take a look at the amount of work they want you to do. What you are expected to do prior to posting: review, make/bake something, or simply familiarize yourself with the brand. What you are expected to do in your post: post length, content, photos, etc. What you are expected to do to promote your post: number of tweets, facebook shares, instagram, etc.

You need to decide if you can do justice to the sponsored content. You don’t want to just slap something together and then expect to get paid or to get more sponsored opportunities. So you have to decide if you can do the work involved.

Really understand what they are looking for and figure out if you have time for it and also if the compensation you will be receiving is worth it.

What are you getting in return?

Have no doubt that your post has value. Otherwise, you wouldn’t be asked to do it. And it will be taking up your time to complete and space on your blog, so you should be getting something in return. Though again, you do need to be providing something of value to them as well.

Deciding what you need as far as compensation looks different to each bloggers. And it will change as you go from being a new blogger with a small audience to a seasoned vet with a larger audience. Sometimes you have to start with product as your only compensation. Other times you’ll participate in a live event. And other times you’ll receive monetary compensation(sometimes along with product or an event). And still others, you are simply opening a door to working with a brand or possibly doing a favor for a friend.  But you have to decide for yourself if what you receive is worth your time and blog space.

What factors do you consider before deciding to write a sponsored post?

34 Comments

  • […] The 3 Most Important Questions To Ask Yourself Before You Write a Sponsored Post […]

  • Laura says:

    I always seem to get asked to review products for babies or small children. Clearly, they did not really look at what I was writing about, because my blog is all about teenagers.

  • kate says:

    I’m fairly new to blogging (less than a year) and haven’t been approached yet to do a sponsored post. But I’m very grateful for your sharing of this post; its great advice for a newbie. Thank you!

  • Whitney says:

    Thanks for the input. I was just asked to do a non-sponsored post on my blog. Really??

  • himanshu says:

    I have written lots of product on one of my blog.But never written a sponsored post on other blogs.I had applied for sponsored post to write on someone’s blog but he refused me due to shortage of fund.

    Really like you tips related to “How to write an sponsored post”Keep writing.
    Thanks

  • honeybey says:

    I don’t have a chance to write a sponsored post yet. Still very new. But if I have an offer to write a sponsored post, I’ll choose one that within my blog genre.

  • Billy says:

    When I used to work in electroplating they sometimes encouraged us to write, but I could never come up with something as well written as that… forum link building service

  • RasaR says:

    Well this was certainly good information for someone who is just starting out a new blog. Thank you all.

  • @PamelaMKramer says:

    I get approached to do reviews but many of them say they have no budget for a sponsored post. It’s a lot of work for the retail price of the item and if you really break it down it’s even less to make the item. It is amazing to me! I had another company offer a gift in exchange. When I started asking about the details of the gift (like if it’s been refurbished) they backed out and went in a different direction! Lol

  • Twingle says:

    For me it has to be a good fit for my blog or something that I need. I did a tie review when my husband got a new job that required him to wear a tie for the first time in his life. I was able to make it fit, but if I didn’t need ties for my husband, I would have passed on the opportunity. And I’m willing to work for less than my normal rate if it’s a company that I really like. In the past I took a paid post for less than my normal rate and the PR company I worked with on that post has paid me for three more different opps. It was totally worth the one time lower rate since it got me more work! I think that is important to think about before you turn something down that isn’t exactly what you normally get paid.

  • Thanks for the gentle reminder. Sometimes it is easy to accept a sponsorship opportunity, even with it is not a good fit for the writer or the blog.

  • I really enjoy doing sponsored posts. It gives me an opportunity to try products that I may not have been otherwise familiar with or tout things I just really love. I always show how I used it and what I like best from it. As a writer, I feel it is my privilege to advise and alert my readers. Because of this, I am careful to only choose items that fit my demographics. I have become quite creative in making the connection between certain products and my niche. It is more than just making some money. It is about my integrity as a reliable source

  • jennifer says:

    Such great advice for newbie bloggers. When I started blogging I thought doing sponsored posts and product reviews were the only way to get traffic, but I’ve since learned juts be yourself and it will come. I still do reviews/giveaways, but they’re on products I’m actually interested in, not just something to do for the sake of doing it.

    Thanks for the advice!

  • I write sponsored posts often and I am extremely picky to make sure it is relevant to my audience. Luckily I think that sponsored posts are evolving for the better. Years ago companies basically wanted a glowing advertorial or a review. Now many of them just want me to write about a broad subject and include info about them or the product in one paragraph or just a few sentences and giving an opinion is not even required. I get to pick the subject, I get to write in my own voice, and they basically get “placement” in the article.

  • Great post. I always make sure that my content fits my site. Who is going to trust what I write if I cannot be myself when I write it?

  • I have never written a sponsored post, but I have been offered the opportunity to do two. One dealt with something that would have embarrassed my daughter (nothing bad, just bed-wetting) and when I asked her permission, she said “no.” The other dealt was a brand from a company that I refuse to do business with for personal reasons. I wouldn’t mind doing a sponsored post in the future, but I want to be very certain that it works for my family.

  • Jeanine says:

    This post was just in time….I have two Companies reach out for me to write sponsored posts…but I did not like the products, though nice I would not use them…and I thought I would be selling myself short. I declined, and one of the people got quite angry saying that I am a new Blogger and should accept! I could not believe it. From hereon I will really look it over and decide if it fits into my mission statement of the Blog – that is super important to me, and thank goodness I did not break down and do the last two offers.

    It is so important for us as Bloggers, to stay true to ourselves and to the mission statement of our Blogs.

  • Nora says:

    This is really good information. I recently received a request to do a paid blog and was flattered and excited at the thought of being paid for it. However, I finally decided it didn’t work for my blog, and that I might offend my readers. It’s nice to see that I’m not alone. Thanks.

  • I’ve done quite a lot of reviews, but just one sponsored post – most I’ve been offered I just have to let go because they don’t fit with my theme (for instance, not exactly anywhere near healthy or vegan frozen pies or something that is filled with artificial sweetener)..I figure if it’s not something I’d actually consider using or wearing, I probably shouldn’t be trying to promote. Thanks for the reminder! 🙂

  • I drop subscriptions to blogs that have sponsored posts. I read blogs to be entertained and engaged, not to be sold something. That’s just me, I guess.

    Thrift Shop Commando

  • Whitney says:

    Great info and thank you so much.

  • Patty says:

    This post was very informative and helpful. I have never done a sponsored post, but have been considering it. Thank you for giving me some guidelines to follow, as I now feel more equipped!

    Patty @ http:// graceunending.net

  • Alison says:

    I can’t write sponsored posts and still sound like me, so I don’t do them as a general rule. I have made exceptions, but only when it’s something that suited me, and not something that will turn my readers off.

    Great post!

  • Felicia says:

    This is a really excellent post! I have had done one sponsored post so far during my blogging career and it really was a great experience. I’m sure that I missed a few steps in regards to things I should have done, but you live and you learn. I hope to continue to sponsored posts and will certainly be keeping this post in mind! Thanks for sharing this information!

  • Kate says:

    I haven’t delved into sponsored posts yet- still so very new. It sounds fun to write about products I already use and love or would like to use. Thanks for sharing this info!

  • Jean Parks says:

    I won’t do sponsored posts unless I can shape them around a topic that is relevant to my readers. I also insist on the right to include links to things not related to the sponsor themselves ie: links for free software downloads, free tech activities for kids etc. I want to provide real meat in such a post, give readers content that they can use about computers, online safety. Giving people things they can use immediately, for free makes it more likely they will read sponsored content, it also reflects well on the sponsoring brand, showcasing them as a generous, class act IMHO.

    And I turn down stuff that doesn’t fit or companies that basically want me to regurgitate ad copy. Great post here today, an excellent reminder to stay tru to ourselves!

  • Carli says:

    I am much more contentious than I used to be. It has to be a good fit and worth my time.

  • Jennifer says:

    I think that all makes perfect sense. I don’t want to do a sponsored post unless it fits with my blog. I have done a few, in fact the one linked to this comment is one, but I try my best to make sure it is within my bloggy genre. I am focused mostly on the DIY market with crafts and recipes. I throw other things that I think are relevant, but you probably won’t see me writing anything for Duck Dynasty….unless it’s a DIY your own duck call lanyard!

  • I have tried to narrow the type of products I review or write paid posts down to things that fit my niche and not just my life.

  • Recently I was offered to write a review of the products I didn’t use for my child (without the possibility to try it and then write a review, just to write my opinion based on a manufacturer’s description). I am not saying I have to get something in return, but I can’t give my opinion on something I didn’t use, could I?

    I’ve turned it down of course, I mean how can I write and sign my name under a text like that? The sponsor was surprised when I said no. C’mon people….. What surprises me the most is the fact the offer came from a well known and popular local magazine for parents. And I always trusted their reviews, but how can I trust them now that I know in which way the reviews are written?

  • I often write about products I like without any kind of sponsorship, so being paid to endorse something I already love – or to try something a bit different – works well for me, and fortunately I’ve managed to avoid unethical brands trying to buy guaranteed positive opinions. On the other hand, I turn down a lot of what comes my way, especially when they haven’t noticed something critical (like the fact that I’m vegetarian).