I didn't see the point in sponsorship when I first started blogging. At all. I thought the idea of "paying someone/some people to follow me" was totally lame. Eventually, though, as I became more educated about blogging and more aware of my passions, I realized what a blessing sponsorship actually was. I ended up taking the plunge by buying a sidebar ad from my friend Shannon and a few months later, a sidebar ad from my friend Mandy.
If you read either one of those ladies blogs, you'll know that they're based on mommyhood, DIY, fashion, kids, etc. I didn't blog about anything related to those topics at that time, but I still saw a large increase in my pageviews. Why? Because two blog friends were sharing me with their readers.
For instance, Mandy wrote a post here that brought me to tears. Last fall during my sponsorship, I was raising money for a missions organization called Speed The Light. Mandy shared the things about me that encouraged her. People read. People clicked. People donated. That post alone helped me raise over $100 towards my goal AND reach people that I never would have reached otherwise. Mandy used content she believed in to promote me.
Note what I said there: Mandy used content she believed in to promote me.
In order for her to promote me, I needed to write something that struck a chord with her. I'm not saying that you should write posts tailored to the interests, passions, and expectations of the blogs you're sponsoring, but I am saying that your content matters more than anything else when it comes to making your sponsorship worthwhile.
Shannon and I shared a love for honest, sarcastic posts.
Mandy and I shared a love for Jesus, faith, and prayer.
Even though our blogs were from completely different niches, I found it successful because I had things in common with these women. Our blogs did not have to be the same in order for me to see growth.The content of my posts was so much more important that that.
This past January, I decided to start offering opportunities for sponsorship on my own blog. Things started off slowly, but I now have 8 lovely ladies that have entrusted me to promote them + their blogs... And because I had such a good experience with the women I first chose to sponsor, I feel like I'm able to offer exposure and that same wonderful experience to my own sponsors.
I've worked with bloggers/shops from a variety of niches in this online world. From Etsy shops, to fashionistas, to online boutiques, to fitness junkies, to mommy bloggers. I've worked with lifestyle bloggers, college students, and nannies... The list goes on. Each and every one of those opportunities has served as a blessing to me in some way.
However, there have been times that it was hard for me to promote and keep up with sponsorship. The biggest reason for that is CONTENT. Very, very simply.
The shout-outs that I offer with my monthly sponsorship package take place on Twitter. I try to tweet at least 2 posts of yours a week. Those tweets tend to look something like this:
I was flattered when Sarah chose to purchase a spot on my sidebar and give me the chance to promote her. I've been a long time reader/sponsor of hers, so it meant A LOT when she decided she wanted to be further associated with me and my blog. I felt supported which is a huge perk of sponsorship! Lucky for me, Sarah's content is fresh and easy to promote. I could easily tweet a post of hers every day of the week because she gives me content to work with. She posts consistently and we have things in common.
Like a wicked sense of humor and pretty hair.
I overread a Twitter conversation the other day between a few bloggers who didn't find that blog sponsorship was worth it from past experience. I respected that their reasoning was "bad" experiences, but I have to disagree. Sponsorship is a two way street and in order to make it worthwhile, I've found that there are three things that are especially important. Thus, I bring you the...
1 // C O N T E N T - As a sponsor, it is your responsibility to come up with topics that will spark discussion, tell a story, share tips, etc. etc. etc. The list could go on forever! Link-ups are a great way to meet new people, but if it's all that's ever posted, things can get redundant. Instead, try incorporating link ups into your daily posts. Ask a question, include pictures, let your readers get to know you! Out-of-the-ordinary posts are the best ones!
2 // C O N S I S T E N C Y - As a sponsor, it is also your responsibility to blog/share consistently. If there is zero content, the blogger you're sponsoring has absolutely nothing to work with. As a blogger who accepts sponsors, this is one of the most frustrating things about sponsorship. If there is no new content, it makes us feel like we're not able to do our job. That's not good for anyone - sponsor OR blogger!
3 // C O M M U N I C A T I O N - As a sponsor, it is your responsibility to communicate with the blogger you're sponsoring and let them know how they can help you. Odds are every blogger has their own generic way of sharing things from their sponsors, but if there is something you'd really like shared/focused on, tell them! Shoot them an e-mail, tweet, direct message, Facebook... Whatever! Let them know how exactly they can help! I don't know any blog that accepts only one sponsor a month, so it's important to make your voice heard!
No, things aren't always rainbows and butterflies with sponsorship. My intent in writing this post was not to make myself look like I have this whole sponsorship thing figured out because I don't! However, these are some helpful things I've found to make sponsorship on my blog go a lot more smoothly + make it worthwhile in my opinion.
I think this post was a great way for my to "get it all out there" in terms of what I have to offer with sponsorship. If you like what I had to say, I would LOVE to work with you! Click on over to my advertising page HERE and use the code BDAYCOUNTDOWN for 50% your space!
If not? Check out some of the other ladies I've had wonderful success with!
What is your take on blog sponsorship? What tips have made your sponsorships run more smoothly?