I started this blog as a sort of personal therapy, with plans to write about whatever I wanted. The thing is, blogs cost money to maintain and I’d also like to make a little money as well, so that’s where sponsored blog posts come in. I look at sponsored posts as the commercials of my blog. I write about what I want, then we take a break from our regularly scheduled program for a word from our sponsors.
What is a Sponsored Blog Post?
A sponsored blog post is when a company pays you, either with money or free product, to be written about and linked on your blog. It is often some kind of review of a product, website, app or program and has links to their website where they are selling a product or service. Sometimes it’s a post about a certain topic, with links worked into the article.
A few examples of sponsored posts on my blog:
Why Would a Company Want to Pay to Be on a Blog?
Sponsored blog posts are a good investment for several reasons:
1) Blog posts stick around much longer than sponsored social media posts. A blog post can last indefinitely, as long as the blog is still published online. A Facebook post is usually gone in a day.
2) The articles get indexed by Google and other search engines, so they will keep paying off as long as they are online. They may not get the big upfront initial attention, but should be considered more of a long-term investment that can bring returns over and over again for many years.
3) Links in the post bring “link juice” to a website, which helps with its authority and ranking higher in search engines. This is why some companies don’t even care about the article, they just want to pay for a link to be inserted with specific keywords.
How Much Does it Cost to Run a Blog?
If you just want a place to write, you can easily do the blogging thing for free, with a free WordPress blog and no bells and whistles. But if you plan to try and make money with your blog, you’ll need to upgrade so you at least have your own domain name and the choice for an ad-free blog.
If you are going with WordPress, you can do that for as low as $50/yr with the Personal Plan. However, many companies want to see your Google Analytics before offering to do a sponsored blog post. This gives them an overview of your traffic and how well a post might do on your blog. For that you’ll need to upgrade to the $99/yr WordPress Premium Plan (or higher) because it comes with Google Analytics support.
For many years I went with the $99 plan, but later upgraded to the $300/yr business plan because then I could add plug-ins and really get the website looking exactly how I wanted. One of my favorite and most useful plug-ins is Yoast Premium, which is $89/yr and helps me get my SEO (Search Engine Optimization) in tiptop shape. Click here to read about how Yoast helps with blog SEO.
So my total blog cost for the year is nearly $400/yr. That would be a lot to spend if the blog didn’t make any money! You do have the choice to use programs like Ad Words, which displays ads on your posts, to bring in revenue. I have given a few ad programs a try and just really dislike ads on my posts. I feel like it ruins the aesthetic. I don’t want to write a heartfelt piece on motherhood, only to have the final image be an ad for some weightloss supplement or insurance. Plus, it makes the posts look too busy and hard to read. I can’t count the number of times I just give up and stopped reading a blog post because I get tired of hunting for the actual post amongst the ads.
How Much do Sponsored Blog Posts Cost?
My average charge for a sponsored blog post currently ranges from $200 – $300. I put a lot of time into sponsored posts and it’s much more than just writing an article.
The sponsor fee includes a thorough review of the product, usually worked into a post that reads more like a personal story than an advertisement. I try to come up with a unique angle for each post, rather than just rehash a press release. Sometimes that means creating a story around how I found a particular item useful for a product review, or creating an original recipe for a food item.
I also take a lot of time to get good photos that are edited and sized correctly. Then I go back and edit the entire piece and make sure the SEO is all in place so it will rank higher in search engines. I then share the post on my social media to give it a boost in traffic. And finally, I often go back and keep the posts updated so they will continue to bring in traffic.
I also do smaller versions of the sponsored post for $50, where I just work a short mention of the product into a “week in review” type post where I usually cover several things at once.
Choosing to Do Sponsored Posts
The bottom line on sponsored blog posts is that they are neccesary if you want to make money blogging, but they also don’t have to take over your blog. You are in control of what you post and review, so don’t feel pressured to take every offer that comes at you. Some places will want to pay $15 and some places are going to offer $200+. If you want to preserve the integrity of your blog, hold out for the good offers and continue to only write about things you are interested in. And if you’re offered a small amount to write about something you’d be truly excited about, then by all means, take that job! The important thing is that you enjoy what you are doing.
Turning blogging into a job can sometimes suck the desire to blog right out of you. But it’s great when you can find the right mix of sponsored posts and personal posts and keep writing for fun while getting paid to do something you love.