When you are trying to make blogging your business, chances are you will take on multiple sponsored post opportunities at once. Once you start taking on multiple opportunities, though, it creates a lot of issues with time management. Today I am sharing my thoughts on balancing multiple sponsorship opportunities so you can make more money and share brands with your audience.
This month on the blog we are chatting about all things sponsored content. Check out the other posts in this series:
How To Balance Multiple Sponsorship Opportunities (this post)
1. Create a Spreadsheet To Track Your Sponsored Posts
If you know me, you know that I am all about my spreadsheets. Spreadsheets are so helpful and they help you easily see everything you need to see at a glance. I have a big spreadsheet that helps me keep up with all of my freelance work, sponsored work, and my posting schedule.
My sponsored post spreadsheet includes the following categories:
- Company/Product: This is where I list the company I will be working for and the product that I will be discussing.
- Notes About Partnership: This is where I make notes about the partnership and any ideas I have for making the partnership awesome. I write ideas for photo shoots, story ideas, etc. here.
- Payment: This is where I write the payment I am getting for the post.
- Product Reimbursement: Sometimes I work with companies who reimburse me for product purchases I make at a later date. I have a category on my spreadsheet specifically for product reimbursements so it goes somewhere besides the payment section.
- Site: Some of my sponsored post opportunities come to my inbox directly, but not all of them. For those that don't, I make sure that I note the site the sponsored post opportunity is on so that I know where to go to turn in my drafts and/or final products.
- Blog: While I don't have many sponsored posts up on this blog right now, in the future I would love to create sponsored posts here. So, I like to denote whether the sponsored post is for this blog or The Happy Arkansan.
- Contact(s): Keeping up with your email contacts for your campaign is key. I have a couple of slots in my spreadsheet dedicated to email contacts so that I can contact them if I have any questions.
- Live Date: Once the campaign is officially a-go I like to add a live date for the campaign. This way I can know from a glance what needs a date attached.
These are obviously the categories I think are important, and my spreadsheet is constantly changing. You may not consider all of these categories important, but for the moment this is what works for me. Have any ideas you think I should add? Let me know in the comments below!
2. Create A Schedule For Keeping Up With Contacts
Sometimes when you are working on sponsored posts, things happen. Email correspondence that was once daily, turns into weekly and you could lose a valuable sponsored post because you didn't follow up.
Until the money from your sponsored post is securely in your bank or Paypal account you need to be communicating with your email contact.
So, what does that mean?
Well, you don't have to be in contact with them every single day, but having a few follow-ups are necessary to making sure that your conversation becomes a partnership.
You can get so far in your talks and negotiations and all of a sudden, you don't have a partnership anymore.
I encourage you to create a line in your spreadsheet as soon as you start communicating with a company. Even if the partnership falls flat, you want to be able to remind yourself to follow up and follow through with each company that you are excited to work with.
3. Batch Your Work As Much As Possible
If possible, you need to get into the act of batching your work.
What does batching all of your sponsored post content look like in just a couple of days?
Planning (A Few Hours)
Batch your planning process. Look through the spreadsheet at all of your upcoming collaborations. Take a look at what you need to accomplish and decide the best course of action for each sponsored post.
- What story will you tell for each sponsored post?
- What do you need to photograph for each sponsored post?
- What do you need to purchase (if anything) for each sponsored post?
- How long does each post need to be?
Creating a document with all of your sponsored post plans should only take a few hours of brainstorming. After you are done planning and putting your thoughts on paper, it's time to move to the next step.
Prep Work (A Few Hours)
Next, is all the prep work that you need to do leading up to your sponsored post photography sessions.
This is when you need to:
- Purchase any props you need
- Make sure that you have all the necessary products
- Make sure all your outfit changes look good together, are clean, and ironed.
The day of your photo shoot you may also need to do your hair, make-up, nails, etc. to get ready for the shoot.
Prep work can take a good few hours across the days leading up to your photo shoot.
Photography (Half A Day)
Most sponsored posts require some amount of photography. Plan a day where you will shoot multiple pieces of content in one day.
For example, if you will create a different outfit for each post, how will you transition between each outfit? You may want to create something with a dress and then a couple of shirts and a pair of jeans. Why? It's easy to wear the same pair of jeans in two outfits in a row, not so easy to wear the same dress.
So you can start with the dress outfit, then put the pair of pants on under the dress, take the dress off and replace it with a top for the second outfit, and then replace the top again for the third outfit. Fashion blogger hacks, but it works and helps you feel less exposed while filming content.
Overall, though, you should make sure that you are planning this out so that you can do multiple photo shoots in one day. Make sure you think about the transition between your photo shoots as well.
Depending on how organized you are, you could knock out the photography process in half a day and still get gorgeous photos.
Image Editing (Half A Day)
Once you have filmed your photos, you need to edit them.
One of my favorite time saving hacks when editing is to create presets for your editing process. I mainly edit my blog photos using PicMonkey and I love the site because they have the ability to save your effects. If you have certain effects that you use in tandem with each other frequently you can save that effect and use it again and again. I have an effect saved that makes my images brighter and it's usually the only thing I use on images now that I have set up that filter.
With a preset or saved effect you can easily edit tons of images in half a day.
Writing (1-2 Days)
Some people start writing early on in the process, but some people wait for their images to come in first. I personally work best after I have my image picked and settled on.
I like to knock out as many posts back-to-back as I can. So spending a day or two writing content is a great way to batch all of your content.
Text Editing (A Few Hours)
Another important part of the process is text editing. You want to spend a few hours total scanning all your content.
To move the editing process along I love to use an extension called Grammarly. Using this extension helps me edit my content faster and more efficiently. Grammarly recognizes more than your average spell checker. Grammarly helps me vary my word choices, helps me with spelling errors, helps me spot and get rid of all the times I say the word really, which is often.
Overall, if you are looking to knock down the time you spend editing on any post so that you can get more done, Grammarly is right for you.
Social media Scheduling (A Few Hours)
Another important part of the sponsored post process is scheduling out your social media updates.
Social media is a huge part of many sponsored posts.
Before you forget it, though, make sure that it is set up and running properly. Sometimes we think that a scheduler is set to go off, but it turns out it is not as set up as we think it is. You may want to test the scheduler to make sure that it can handle less important messages first.
4. Vary The Types Of Sponsored Work You Do
Last but not least, vary the types of sponsored work that you do.
Take some blog related sponsored work but also take some social media only work. I do quite a few Instagram only collaborations on my blog The Happy Arkansan.
You can do a lot more sponsored work if you aren't forced to include it all on your blog.
You would be surprised how many different types of sponsored content there is out there. Some people just want to sponsor your Twitter account or your Instagram account while others want a blog post and social shares. You can usually do a lot more social media sponsored work than you can do blog sponsored work because social media goes by so fast.
This is a great tip if you want to work on more projects every month.
Juggling multiple sponsored posts doesn't have to be difficult. It's a matter of organization, keeping up with your sponsored post opportunities, and getting things done.
I hope that this article has helped shed some light on balancing multiple projects as well as batching content.