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Sponsored Post: 8 Reasons Why You’re NOT Getting Paid Opportunities

By May 8, 2013May 26th, 201686 Comments

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Are you getting frustrated applying for sponsored post after sponsored post, without landing one? Have you ever wondered why you never get picked for those awesome opportunities?

Getting a sponsored post is about more than your UMV, page views or social media following. There are some key reasons that most bloggers don’t get picked for a sponsored post.

nosponsor8 Reasons You’re Not Getting That Sponsored Post

Today we are breaking down the top 8 reasons why you are not getting picked and giving you tips on how to fix it!

1. You don’t have a professional blog design:

Your blog is your store front window. First impressions are everything! This doesn’t mean you need to go out and spend thousands of dollars on a professional design. However, if you have a black background with teal blue font, a header that covers half of a computer screen, or so many pop-ups we can’t find your site, no one is going to be able to easily find the sponsored content you will be highlighting. Spending some time organizing your site and making it user-friendly will go along way.

2. Profanity:

It’s your space, so you should be able to express yourself as you see fit.  However, if you have profanity in your header, tagline, or bio, most brands might not consider your blog a good fit for their product or service. Be yourself, but if you are looking to work with sponsors think twice about posting profanity or adult content on your site.

3. Your blog posts never tell a story:

Ultimately, the brands we are working with want a chance to know YOU.  An ideal sponsored post is not a press release that has been cut and pasted.  It is you sharing with your readers why you are excited about a product, and why they should be too.

Go beyond publishing solely branded content.  Draw your readers in with your story, make them forget they are reading a sponsored post.

4. You’re not using best practices when it comes to your blog posts:

Quality counts.  When a brand is evaluating whether they would like you to represent their company on a sponsored program, they are evaluating details like spelling, images, what’s in your sidebar, and tons of other factors.  Be sure to put your best foot forward!

Also always remember that bigger is better when it comes to images on the Internet.  If you routinely use images that only take up a fraction of your post area, then you’re missing out on potential opportunities.  Show us your bright, big, beautiful pictures!

5. We can’t find your email address on your blog:

Sounds simple, right?  However, if we can’t find your email address quickly or if you are only using the dreaded contact form (gasp!), then we will move onto another site.  If you do have a contact form up, make sure your email address is listed above the form. PR companies need to be able to quickly enter your information into a spreadsheet. Forms don’t work well when it comes to grabbing your contact info.

6. You are not subscribed to our newsletter:

We circulate almost all of our sponsored post opportunities in our newsletter.  If you have not subscribed, how will you know if we have something truly great that’s a perfect fit for you?

7. You’re using the free version of WordPress.com to host your blog:

Unfortunately, it is against WordPress policy to run sponsored content on your site: http://en.support.wordpress.com/advertising/. This applies even if you own your domain name!  If you switch over to the self-hosted version of WordPress, or even Blogger, we’ll be able to include you in sponsored campaigns.

8.We can’t figure out where in the world you are:

Many of our programs are looking for bloggers in specific geographic locations.  If the location on your Twitter profile says, “wouldn’t you like to know”, we won’t be able to invite you to a live event.  Create an About Me page that gives a brand the info they need about you.

When it comes to where you live, provide the name of the nearest metro city and state.  We’d also love to know the ages of your kids, if applicable.  Consider a statement like: “Johnny was born in December 2005, and three years later, Jane joined our family in the summer of 2008.”

We’re not looking for your street address, but we do need to know that if we can send you a free Graco Jogger in exchange for attending a live event in Dallas.

Looking for More Posts Like This One?

If you found our overview of Sponsored Posts interesting, then be sure to check out these too:

About Francesca

Francesca has an extensive background in content marketing, public relations, and social outreach. She oversees all Operations at Sway Group, including our robust metrics capabilities. Prior to joining the online world, Francesca oversaw viticulture and oenology at various wineries in both California and Italy, and managed regulatory affairs and facility approvals at the biotech company, Genentech. Francesca has been featured on CBS Sacramento and Food Blogger Pro’s podcast. She has also hosted an AMA webinar and spoken at Social Media World.


  • Thank you so much for these tips! I just made a couple of small changes to my blog to make it easier for sponsors to find me. 🙂

  • I would also add “you’re not actively engaging with your audience”. If you have all of those social media buttons on your site and say “follow me”! you need to make sure that you’re actually there and engaging. I can’t tell you how many bloggers I”ve encountered who are “on” Twitter but they’re not really.

    • Francesca says:

      SUCH a good point, Kristen.

      At Bloggy Boot Camp, we always say, put your best foot forward! If you have a Facebook page with 14 fans, do not link to it until it is an active and strong platform for you!

  • Fabulous tips. Thanks for sharing.

  • Hi Kristi, I have a question about the hosting as well. I’ve only had my blog for a little over a year on blogger and I was wondering what I should do as far as hosting goes. I own the domain name, but what else it there? Should I convert to a paid wordpress?

    • Francesca says:

      In terms of hosting, there are a ton of options to choose from. We have used and recommend the following:

      Top tier: WebSynthesis — really the best when it comes to security and service
      Middle tier: Liquid Web
      Lower priced option: Blue Host

      When you’re ready, converting to WordPress.org, using a theme such as Genesis, and owning your own domain name can really go a long way!

  • Barb says:

    Thanks so much for these tips.

  • Really great tips, especially about telling a story in your posts. Thanks for sharing these!

  • Sue says:

    Great tips, but some of the sponsored posts are for toddler age blogs. I wish there were more geared towards blogs with teens.

  • Reason #9: You don’t have kids and most opportunities are for moms.

  • Stephanie says:

    GREAT TIPS! Especially #5. Its like some bloggers just dont WANT PR people to contact them!

  • Amy S. says:

    Thanks for the tips and making me reevaluate my blog!

  • Kim says:

    Great post and just made me sit down and update a few important pages. Perfect timing to stop the procrastinating!!

  • Great tips!! I just wish I was closer to a big city 🙁

  • Jennifer says:

    What great tips! I think that having a professional design is one of the first things that we should do. That first impression is really a big deal.

  • Momchalant says:

    Great advice. Especially for us small blogs. Glad I read this before I get bigger and have my first opportunity.

  • patty says:

    These tips were very helpful! thank you so much!

  • These are all great tips! I wonder if my website looks professional. Because I really don’t get picked for many sponsored posts. Maybe I am doing something wrong. Thanks for the tips I am going to be looking how I can improve. Thanks 🙂

  • Great tips! I just did my first giveaway today and I tried to do a bunch of research beforehand to get it right. I will definitely be using these tips going forward!!

  • Jenn says:

    Great tips! I did not even realize that I should add what part of the US I live 🙂

  • Meghan says:

    Thanks for the tips! I’d still been going by the old-school idea that you never post your email address publicly because of bots farming it for spam. It never occurred to me that I was making it difficult to reach me!

  • Ally says:

    Great tips I have a whole to do list now thanks to you.

  • Sierra says:

    Now I understand! Thank you so much! These tips are so useful and helpful!

  • Sierra says:

    Now I understand why I’ve not had success! thank you for these valuable tips!

  • Kristen says:

    Great tips! Thank you very much for posting!

  • Teresa says:

    Great tips! I definitely need to add my email address to my blog, but I’m leery on adding my kids’ names and ages to my site.

  • Lanie craig says:

    thanks for such great advice.

  • Awesome information!!! I think I got them all right 🙂 I am going to go double check right now. Thank you so much, Lisa

  • Whitney says:

    This is so true. The sponsored post I’ve had found me, and I have done the work, professional blog design, contact info available. This is worth sharing. Thanks!

  • The Pear Lady says:

    Well, shoot…the WP one is zapping me, then. But, it’s a catch-22 situation when one cannot afford more.

    As for the profanity one, though I don’t really do such as not my nature to do so publicly, I think it may depend upon the sponsor(s), for I know one blog friend that is fairly successful (lots of blog recognition, successful book author, celebs tweeting with her often). To each is own there, eh. 🙂

  • Tara says:

    I am currently looking to upgrade my blog to be self hosted, but I am confused as to where to run it. If I upgraded to the Premium of WordPress, would I still not be able to have sponsered posts? What are the best places to host your own blog?

    • Kristi Corrigan says:

      Tara it is just the free Word Press we are referring to in this post. If you are paying for your hosting and running your blog on Word Press.org you are totally fine.

  • Allison says:

    Thanks for the helpful tips! I don’t think I have my email address visible on my blog. I’ll have to fix that!

  • Great tips. I am a little apprehensive about adding the year of children’s birth…

  • Great points if you’re looking to go this route with your blog. I’ve sometimes wondered just how some bloggers got some of the sponsors they have when their sites are not professional looking. I’ve only done a few sponsored posts because it’s not the point of my site or the focus I want to have.

  • great list! i’m reviewing my blog for some necessary updates as we speak … 🙂

  • This is a great post!!! And finally, I can say I can put a check mark next to all of these points. For the first time, I actually do everything mentioned in a SITS girls Blog Tips post. 🙂

  • ElizOF says:

    I love the tips. Excellent post! 🙂

  • Kim says:

    Rats! My comment about disagreeing with the profanity advice didn’t go through. Anywho, I try to avoid too much profanity but I won’t intentionally censor myself just to work with a company orindividual. If a company is that easily offended by the occasional F-bomb or even more mild language chances are I won’t work with them in the first place. I am who I am and that means the occasional swear word.

    Other than that, these are all great tips. And since I live in Vegas, I have no problem sharing that! Haha.

  • Sydnie says:

    This is so helpful. Thanks for the tips.

  • These are FANTASTIC tips!! Had not ever considered the geography one, but it makes total sense. Thank you!-The Dose Girls

  • Paula says:

    Phenomenal tips, some I had not thought of before. You guys really offer the best blogging information.

  • Thanks for the information. I don’t have my city in my bio. I never thought about that being important. Going to change it today. Thank you so much.

  • Krissy P says:

    Really great tips… I’m just starting out but getting the best and most vital advice up front truly helps. Thanks again, y’all!

  • Emelie says:

    Great to know all of this! Thank you 🙂

  • this was helpful and funny- “wouldn’t you like to know” that made me chuckle- what is the etiquette with listing kids names and ages etc? have there ever been stories of bloggers being harassed for sharing too much personal info I wonder? this was helpful though- thankfully I think I am safe in most of the areas!!

  • Fantastic tips Kristi! Every one of them is practical and easy to apply! Thanks 🙂

  • Great check list! Can’t wait to circle up with you on Google plus. 🙂

  • Awesome tips Kristi!! Loving all of these great tips you have been posting lately!

  • Felicia says:

    Really great tips, Kristi! This will be especially helpful to me because, as you know, I’m starting to look for sponsors. Thank you for sharing!

  • Really great tips!

  • Yes! Awesome tips, Kristi! People don’t realize how unprofessional it makes them look when their blog is filled with profanity. Sometimes, very rarely, I will let out a much needed cuss word, but it’s very rare. Call me a prude, but I am so glad you hit on that.

    • Christine M says:

      Great General Blogging tips but nothing to do with geting picked for sponsored posts. You have to have HUGE numbers. Companies want high PR and UMV. Some people have it and some people will never have it.
      After one year of clear, organized, picture and content-filled posts, I have not gotten one single sponsored post.