Bloggers, this one is for you. While I am typically late to arrive when the latest social media platform is getting traction, Periscope seems to be the exception. When I first saw Jillian Harris scope in a very raw and real way, I saw merit. It seemed like a wonderful compliment to any brand and a fun way to connect in a more interactive and immediate way with one’s existing audience as well as new people. The only problem? I have performance anxiety in a bad way. The idea of going live, being in front of a camera, or public speaking is enough to send my heart rate through the stratosphere. Since embarking on #SeptemberScopers and #OctoberScopers put on by Working Mom Magic and Girl on the Move Blog, I have slowly and shakily started to find my voice. Aside from becoming more comfortable speaking and the incredible community of “Scopers”, an aspect I love of scoping are the tips and positive reinforcement I have gotten by both listening and sharing information.
Two of my most popular scopes to date have been on sponsored posts. So, I felt inspired to write all of my points down. Here are over 10 considerations when doing sponsored blog posts.
10+ Considerations When Doing Sponsored Blog Posts
- Blogging is your business: Your blog is your business in two senses. Firstly, what you choose to do and not do is your call because it is uniquely yours. Secondly, it has the potential (if it isn’t already) to be a hobby business or more. Learning more about and actualizing its income potential is something well worth your time.
- Be open to doing reviews: My scopes about sponsored posts, I have seen in the comments that some are reluctant to do reviews for fear of sounding fake. Setting up some basic ground rules can be helpful. Some of mine include:
- – Only accept reviews I have good writing ideas for.
- – Only accept reviews that likely will appeal to the demographic that reads my blog.
- – Only accept a maximum of one review per week and ensuring to write an additional post that week as to not dilute my content too much.
- Set your rates and always charge for your work: Your blog is your business, so making an exception to this is your call. As my own rule of thumb, I charge for anything unless it is something I have really wanted, was already going to buy, or when the review has been for an event or activity I’ve really wanted to do. When I do offer a free review or a review at a discounted price, I let the company know what deal they’re getting. Other than that, I send my prices and I invoice my clients.
- Brands that expect or ask for reviews or advertising for free are showing a disregard for your time, effort, and network. Until I changed the information on my contact page, I was receiving anywhere from one to ten emails each day asking me to advertise product for free. After receiving several, such requests start to feel rude. The reason? My blog is a lot of work. While I love writing, reading readers’ comments, and interacting with the amazing mommy bloggers of the world, each post I write, each follow I receive, and each form of interaction I get is the product of time and effort. Asking to tap into my network for nothing or simply the offer of a product I had never heard of show a total disregard to me and my time.
- The reason companies are contacting you is because they want access to your network and for that network to buy their product.
- Even if your specific post doesn’t result in direct purchase(s), it most certainly creates brand recognition and positive word of mouth that may lead to purchases of that product from stores or a later as a result of going directly to the company’s page. Therefore, they are likely profiting off of your work.
- If you’re concerned about low numbers (low unique monthly views, low social media following) understand that, in general, the higher a blog’s following, the more they charge. Price yourself based on the best of your knowledge and provide evidence to back up that number. What do you bring to the table that others may not?
- If you still think your numbers are too low to charge, consider these two points. One: Many brands are looking to do work with multiple bloggers to gain access to the widest range of people. As a result, your numbers don’t matter as much as everyone’s numbers they are working with combined. Two: Many brands are just starting up or simply are a smaller company. You may be a better fit for them than some of the bigger blogs.
- By not charging (or not indicating you’ve made an exception by doing a review for free), you are doing a disservice to yourself. Try and mentally tally how much time you’ve spent on writing, perfecting, and promoting your blog? Can’t even kind of come up with a number? Make one up. Now divide that by how much you’ve made in that time. The hourly wage that your math works out to is likely one that makes McDonald’s employees look like they’re ballin’. Now think about a company asking to add to your time spent simply for a fancy water bottle or cool looking doll? It doesn’t really seem right.
- By not charging (or not indicating you’ve made an exception by doing a review for free), you are doing a disservice to other bloggers. Now I know you would never intentionally do this and neither would I. But in doing reviews for free, we are greatly undercutting our fellow blogger. Unlike the capitalist world, the blogging community is not a dog eat dog world. By giving your work away for free, you inspire companies to simply keep looking until they find enough small bloggers to make up the stats of one big blogger and then get their advertisements for free.
- In closing and to be really clear, social media mentions, suggested tweets, reviews, and all other brand mentions or endorsements are ads, ads that they ultimately make money off of. While your blog (again) is your business, know you’re worth more than working for free.
I would love to hear your thoughts, questions, and commentary. Please enter into the discussion below.