8.22.2013

On Sponsorship: Why Your Content Matters

After reading this post from Helene last week, it got me thinking a lot about sponsorship and how I view it. Just like Helene, I believe in blog sponsorship and support it 110%. It's not only a way for the people/blogs I'm sponsoring to share my content with the intentions of growing this blog, but it's also a fabulous opportunity to support the blogs I read daily and absolutely adore. It's something so much more than just paying to have my button up on a sidebar.



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?

19 comments:

Stephanie said...

I love this. I have had bad experiences sponsoring blogs, but I've also had amazing experience sponsoring other blogs!

amber.m said...

Oh my goodness, I love you for posting this!!
I've had people sponsor me that don't blog anything really other than some link ups and HOW AM I SUPPOSED TO PROMOTE THAT?!

If you only post ONCE a month, how am I supposed to promote you?!

And seriously-- if I email people and they don't reply?! It just frustrates me!

And on the other side of that: When I pay to sponsor blogs, I try to make sure that a few of my posts that week are actually more than just daily rambles.
I try to keep in good contact with whoever I'm sponsoring and I DEFINITELY try to blog more than once a week. I want to make sure to get my monies worth by making sure they have stuff to promote.

Oh, I just love this post!

Chloe West said...

These are great tips! I haven't sponsored very many blogs but I'm hoping to be able to start sponsoring more soon!

Kala Roberts said...

Great tips, Kenz. My only addition to this is as a sponsor, make sure you're sponsoring someone who DOES give a shout out of some sort. Because if you're paying a lot of money to put your ad on someone's sidebar and they don't work to promote you AT ALL, chances are you won't get very many hits even if they're getting a ton of page views.

That being said, I think you're a great host and do a great job of taking care of your sponsors! :)

Amy said...

You are so wise girlfriend :)

Helene in Between said...

love it, the three Cs!! Couldn't agree more on all levels you spoke on. communication with the sponsor is so important.

Life with Amberly said...

This is such a fresh approach to sponsoring! Most people say that you need to find people to sponsor in your niche, but you're right, if you like their content and find some way to connect with them, it can work out well!

Stacie Patterson said...

I'm a new blogger who recently started sponsoring some of the blogs I really enjoy reading. Not knowing much about sponsoring I really appreciate your point of view! :)

Amanda said...

I know I already tweeted you, but THIS is spot on. The best post I've seen about sponsorships. Good job!

Sarah [NurseLovesFarmer.com] said...

I've just been thinking about sponsorship again. I mostly do work with brands now vs. bloggers. Then I just did some swaps with friends...and I wasn't getting too much traffic. I have purchased a bit before and I'm going to start to again. But I'll only choose to work with blogs who actually promote my content and not just have me looking pretty on their side bar - that's a huge thing for me too! Nice post!

Michelle Stemmler said...

Interesting! Been trying to figure out this sponsorship thing as I figure out the direction of my own blog. Definitely makes me think I need to pick things up a bit before I move in this way!

Thanks for the tips!

Mandy@ a sorta fairytale said...

I feel like blog sponsorship is on everyone's mind!! I just wrote a post on it yesterday. lol. Love your perspective!

preethi said...

This is just a really awesome post. Love it. Also, am a new follower! :)

Dus of Cuddly Cacti said...

i have not yet started working w/ sponsors but it's def something i've been considering a lot lately so thanks for your tips! i can see how communication really is key, as of course is high quality content consistently.
Cuddly Cacti
Mitla Moda

Tayler Morrell said...

This post is wonderful and very helpful! Thanks!
Our Fairy Tale

Lauren ONeill said...

This is a great post Kenzie! So good in fact, I purchased an ad space and am super excited to work with you! This will be my first time sponsoring!

Lauren
Exploring My Style

Paige Nicole said...

LOVE this post!

Meghan said...

This is awesome, great advice! I'm totally renewing my sponsorship with you once I get paid again, because I saw increases when you promoted me!

Rachel said...

I totally agree with all of this! It is a two way street, and if you're paying someone to promote you....you have to provide something promotable!