This month we have delved deep into understanding how to make money as a blogger through sponsored content. I think the last missing piece of our sponsored content puzzle is understanding how to create content that our audience will actually enjoy. You can find all the sponsored post opportunities, work for money, balance multiple posts, and disclose, but that means nothing if you aren't creating content your readers actually love. So today, let's delve deeper and create that juicy content our readers love even if the content is branded.
This month on the blog we have chatted about all things sponsored content. Check out the other posts in this series:
How To Create Sponsored Posts Your Readers Will Actually Love (this post)
1. Understand The Products Your Readers Already Love
When deciding which companies you want to work with as a blogger, you want to first consider the brands that your reader already knows and loves.
Companies are consistently coming up with new products to sell to your readers so even if they love the brand, they may not be up to date with the brands latest products. Therefore your content will be beneficial in keeping that brand top of mind with an already interested audience.
How do you find out which companies your readers love? Well, there are a couple of ways:
Affiliate Income Sales
If you are a blogger who has delved deep into affiliate marketing, do you have any brands that do exceptionally well? If so, consider adding those brands to your list of brands to pitch. This is a great partnership because you will have a proven track record with the brand because of affiliate sales.
Next there are a couple of ways that you can find out this information through social media:
See Who Your Readers Follow
We all have those readers who really are the epitome of our followers. If you have a couple of readers that really interact well with your blog and are perfect readers--check out their social media pages to see the brands that they follow and what they love.
Ask Them What Brands They Are Into Lately
If you want to be more indirect, ask your audience about the brands they are into lately. For example, if you are interested in fashion share the following question with your audience.
I am interested in expanding my wardrobe. What boutiques have you been shopping with lately?
In this example I do talk specifically about boutiques because they are often easier to get a hold of. You may also want to narrow down the type of clothing to dresses or blouses, depending on what you are looking for in your collaboration.
Survey Your Audience
Last, but certainly not least, survey your audience. If you send out weekly emails then share a brief survey in one of your emails that asks about the brands they love in various areas related to your blog such as fashion, beauty, etc. Then you can think about how you can pitch those brands.
2. Understand What Products They Would Potentially Love
To be honest, your brand doesn't have to have great brand recognition with your audience to do well with them.
For instance, say your readers love Victoria's Secret. That's a cool brand, but if you are a smaller blog, pitching Victoria's Secret may be next to impossible. So, figure out exactly what your readers love about Victoria's Secret. Is it the undies? Is it the perfume and lotion? Is it all the adorable PINK swag?
Get a deeper understanding of what they love about the brand, then pitch similar brands. For example, if your audience is really into the PINK workout gear, you can create a great partnership with a lesser known workout gear brand. This brand will likely be easier to pitch, and your readers will get great content about workout gear they never knew they needed.
At the end of the day, it's not always about brands they know and love. Finding their new favorite brand may be just as likely to excite them.
3. Think About How You Can Intertwine Your Readers Problems With Branded Products
Your branded content should never be a LOOK AT THIS BRAND post if you can help it. I have tried those post, they don't tend to go over to well with your audience.
What does go over well, is tapping into your readers problems and figuring out how you can intertwine the brand with that.
For example, on my blog The Happy Arkansan I recently shared a post called 5 Ways To Be More Confident In College With AcneFree. In this post I partnered up with the company AcneFree to share their products with my readers. I didn't delve straight into this and I didn't make this is a straight up commercial for AcneFree. First, I shared a couple of actual hacks for being more confident in college. My last hack, of course, was to take care of your skin. This segued perfectly into me actually talking about AcneFree and my experience using the product.
Your blogs shouldn't be a straight up ad. Give your readers something to cling on to besides just go buy this product, and the content will really stand out.
4. Create A Clear Story That Showcases The Brand And Reader Problems
Obviously, you are getting paid for something. So a good portion of your article needs to be devoted to actually discussing the brand.
This is when your mega story crafting abilities need to come into play. Your readers need a little something, but so does the brand.
An example that I really love for this is by Erica of Coming Up Roses. She creates amazing content for her readers even when the content is branded. A piece she did a few months back called Gallery Walls 101: How To Master A Gallery Wall With Shutterfly really showcases this. This post was obviously a collaboration with Shutterfly and it shared Shutterfly as a great place to purchase canvases for your gallery wall but it was also amazingly helpful. Gallery walls are so in and this post really broke down the entire process of creating a gallery wall from start to finish.
You can tell that she put a TON of effort into this post. Her readers will know think about Shutterfly if they want to purchase a canvas, create a gallery wall, or anything that has to do with photos.
When you can create a clear story that meshes the brand with your reader's problems (in Erica's case, creating beautiful gallery walls) you can create an excellent partnership.
5. Don't Skimp On Your Content Creation
Last, but certainly not least, don't skimp on your content creation.
It's so easy to just slap something up on your blog because you want to make that dollar dollar bill, but that's not acceptable at the end of the day
Your readers will notice a dip in your content, and so will brands.
So, instead, take your time, and deliver a stellar product for the companies that you are working for. Not only for them, though, but for your readers. Just because you are getting paid for something, doesn't mean you should sell out your readers for a couple hundred bucks. Take pride in the content that you are sharing and share content that makes a meaningful difference for your readers.
All the content that you put on your blog says something about you as a person. Yes, money is fun, but you should be trying to provide content that is more than just a money grab.
I hope that this series has taught you so much about making money from your blog through sponsored content. Sponsored posts can be a great way to make money with your blog, but you have to be willing to try and create content that makes a difference.