Depending on your blog goals, sponsored posts might be a great way to monetize your blog. Many bloggers are unsure of where to find great sponsored post opportunities though. Today on the blog I am sharing 6 places to find sponsored posts so that you can start pitching and applying with pride.
This month on the blog we are chatting about all things sponsored content. Check out the other posts in this series:
6 Places To Find Sponsored Post Opportunities (this post)
1. Sponsored Post Sites
The most obvious place that you can easily find sponsored post opportunities is through sponsored post sites. There are many sites on the internet that handle influencer marketing. These sites help you connect with amazing brands to create content for their campaigns.
Here are some sites that you can sign up for:
Each of these sites is a bit different from the next. Some are more open and they allow you to apply to sponsored posts, while others are more closed and let companies find you. Some are a mixture of both open and closed.
When it comes to sponsored post sites, there are a couple of things you need to keep in mind:
Keep your profile finished and up to date.
Your profile is VERY important when it comes to getting sponsored post opportunities. You want to make sure that your profile is as up to date as possible. Fill in ALL the details and be as descriptive as possible.
There is nothing wrong with being on as many networks as possible.
Take your time and fill out as many profiles as possible. You never know when someone might happen across your profile and offer you a great sum of money for a post, and I say this seriously. Recently I was offered $200 for a single Instagram post just because my profile happened to be on a site. This was not a price I would normally pitch for myself, but I was excited when they offered me that price.
Negotiations are welcome.
Usually, negotiations are a-okay. Don't be afraid to negotiate, but do it with smarts. Show your worth, and don't get too greedy. Don't ask for more just because you can, but because you are worth it.
You are probably not getting as much as you could be getting.
This is just a part of the sponsored post site game. These sites take a cut of the money because they are bringing all of these influencers to the company and the companies don't have to search as hard for them. This is a convenience for the company, but it might not be for you. It's totally fine to work with networks, as you can make some pretty good and consistent income by doing so, but it's also important to note that you could potentially make more money pitching. If you are starting out as a blogger, though, networks can produce some pretty awesome collaborations.
2. Blogging Networks
The next place that you may consider getting sponsored post opportunities is through blogging networks. Blogging networks are similar to sponsored post sites in a lot of ways. The main difference between blogging networks and sponsored post sites is the main purpose of the site. Blogging networks have a bigger purpose besides just offering sponsored post opportunities. The main purpose of a blogging network is to create a community of bloggers. This community is really helpful for growing your audience and connecting with others based on a similar characteristic.
I am a part of a couple of different blogging networks for people around my age and people in my state. These networks occasionally partner with brands who are interested in tapping into the power of the network.
The great thing about belonging to a network is that membership is usually quite restricted. It's pretty easy to apply to many sponsored post sites, which makes every opportunity very saturated. Most blogging networks have less members which makes it easier to get sponsored post opportunities (if the opportunity is highly targeted toward a specific type of blogger.)
One of my favorite blogging networks is Her Campus' InflueneHer Collective, especially for my college blog The Happy Arkansan. I would consider looking for blog networks for your state or region. For example, I am a part of the Arkansas Women's Blogger Network which is a blogger network for Arkansan bloggers.
Remember that the sole purpose of blogging networks is not sponsored post opportunities. You may find some great opportunities in the network, but don't depend on this. Also, like sponsored post sites, networks do take a cut of your payment. This means, again, that you would potentially be able to make more pitching the company than going through the network.
Now we are going to move into the part of the article where we will chat more about pitching and places to pitch. If you are not 100% comfortable pitching just yet, there are a few resources out there.
I love Erica of Coming Up Roses' course called Boss Pitch, it isn't currently open for enrollment at the time of writing this blog post, but check out the website to sign up to get alerts for when it's back. Erica is a pitching queen and she has SO much knowledge in this course.
Also, as a free resource, I love the Facebook group That Pitch Life. It's filled with TONS of amazing bloggers who are pitching their hearts out. It is a great group to be in because all the inspiration really makes you want to get off your booty and get to pitching.
Now let's get back into the blog...
3. Local Stores
Depending on the city/state you live in (and of course what you post about) you can connect with small businesses in the area to offer some blog posts for money.
When picking a small business, you more than likely want to pick a business that has a website or can ship to other locations with ease. Unless, of course, a huge amount of your audience comes from that state. Most bloggers have a pretty national/international audience, and not an extremely local one though.
When it comes to working with smaller stores, you will probably have to prove your worth a lot more. A lot of small businesses don't always know the value of a blogger outright, it doesn't mean you can't get your asking rate, but it does mean you may have to prove your worth a little harder.
Not all small businesses are clueless, though. So you won't have to explain yourself to every. single. person.
You want to be as clear as possible about your worth, though. Support it with facts, figures, and even testimonials from your audience members.
Many small businesses want results. They like long-game stuff as a bonus, but at the end of the day they are going to want to see something significant from the partnership they have with you. They will want your blog post/social media updates to lead directly into sales. If you can track and prove that your past collaborations have lead to sales for other businesses, your partnership will be much more valuable.
4. Social Media
The next place you want to look for sponsored post opportunities and people to pitch is social media. How do you do this? Well, there are a couple of ways. Both of these ways use social media to connect with brands. Brands discuss so much on social media, so it's no surprise that they advertise a lot of potential sponsored post opportunities via social media as well.
Look Through Sponsored Hashtags
There are MANY sponsored hashtags out there like #sponsored, #ad, etc. You can look through those hashtags to see which companies are producing sponsored content. If your content aligns with what they are selling, go look for a contact, and pitch them.
Look For Companies Looking For Press
Sometimes companies look for press or brand ambassadors via social media, especially small businesses. Use that knowledge to your advantage and see if anyone has a brand ambassador or sponsorship page that they are heavily advertising.
Another option if you are looking for places to pitch is by reading your favorite magazines. Magazines do not give away free press, y'all. If a company was featured in a magazine, there is a great chance that they paid top dollar to be in that magazine. If you can provide a great service to that company for a reasonable price, there is a great chance that they will work with you to create a great collaboration.
I love magazines, but they can be pretty expensive to purchase consistently. One of my favorite workarounds for this is a site called Issuu. Issuu is a service where magazines can post digital versions of their issues. It's a really awesome website and they even have an app you can download on your mobile devices.
I love to use Issuu especially for smaller magazines. I have learned about so many local magazines by searching for my state on Issuu.
If you are a travel blogger, Issuu can be a really awesome way to find attractions, hotels, and other fun things to do in the new cities, states, and countries you visit. Just search for the place you are visiting in the search bar and you will probably find some cool magazines related to that area.
Check out this video I made a while back all about how to use Issuu as a blogger. Scroll through multiple magazines with me to see how I use this platform to the best of my ability as a blogger.
6. Affiliate Networks
Last, but certainly not least, affiliate networks are a great way to find sponsored post opportunities.
Specifically, think about the affiliates that your audience is already attracted to.
If you are selling a lot with this affiliate, you love the products, etc. your partnership will feel like a match made in heaven. If you are already making money for the company, what's the harm in creating another mutually beneficial relationship with them.
Look through the affiliate networks you are a part of and really audit them for their effectiveness.
If you have a company that is making you a significant amount of money consider pitching their company to work with them on a sponsored post. Then use your affiliate link throughout the post for a double whammy of sponsored post income and affiliate income.
When you are pitching the company be sure to bring up your affiliate income if it is significant enough. You want the person you are chatting with to be well aware of how excited you are about the company, how you use the products, and how your audience has been drawn to the products enough to make a purchase. If you have given them press to discuss your affiliate relationship with them share that with them in your pitch.
Other Tips For Sponsored Content
Now that we have chatted about 6 places to find sponsored post opportunities, let's switch the conversation. I want to give you 3 quick and easy tips for sponsored content. These three tips will help you severely if you are thinking about creating sponsored content for your blog.
Make Your Email Address Easy To Access
The first thing you need to do ASAP is make sure that your email address is easy to access. You need to create a contact page, add your contact info to all of your social media networks, and add it to business cards if you have any.
Many people try to hide their email address because they are afraid that it will fall into the hands of spammers, but you are not doing your blog any favors when you hide your contact information.
Three of my last sponsored post opportunities for The Happy Arkansan came straight to my inbox. I did not apply to them on a sponsored post site, they came to me. You can always delete a spam email, but you can't get back all the emails that you missed out on because your email address isn't prominently displayed.
Keep Up With Your Contacts (Especially PR contacts)
PR contacts are gold because PR contacts represent a wide range of brands. If you can keep in close contact with any PR teams you find the email address to, it can create an amazing relationship that will provide you with consistent sponsored work.
- Do your sponsored work and do it well.
- Answer any questions/emails in a timely manner.
- Try to forge a deeper connection with your PR contact by keeping them involved throughout your creation process.
These three things will allow you to create those deeper connections that keep you top of mind with your PR contacts when they have to fill new sponsored campaigns.
Brainstorm A Lot Of Sponsored Post Ideas
Last, but not least, brainstorm a lot of sponsored post ideas. People want solid pitches, not basic ones. Your goal as a blogger should be to consistently brainstorm new ideas and really get extensive with your thought process. Don't create simple ideas like "I will do a product review and giveaway" think about the story behind your product review.
- How will you introduce this brand to your blog?
- How will your readers benefit from using this product?
- What are the traits of the reader who benefits the most from this product?
If you can really get into the details, you can create some amazing sponsored post content ideas that will blow the socks of any company you pitch.
Sponsored content can create a steady stream of income for your blog, but that takes time and effort. Today we discussed 6 places to find sponsored post opportunities as well as some basic tips on creating sponsored content.