When people reach out to us a huge reason is because they want to learn how to make money with their blog. This is awesome!
When people have looked at some of our past income reports they will ask where does the freelance/sponsored income come from.
The answer is often sponsored posts.
We try to spread out our income streams as much as possible so if we have bad month in one area we still can keep our business chugging along.
So to supplement our ad revenue and products revenue we turned to sponsored posts.
This all started when I was breaking down some Pinch Of Yum income reports trying to figure out how they were so successful. I noticed that they made a good percentage of income from these posts and thought if we could generate the same percentage of our income from them we could massively grow our income.
Lacey and I got together and decided we would start responding to emails that asked for us to give coverage of a product with a response we worked up offering a sponsored posts. We only did this for brands and content that Lacey liked and used. We wanted to make sure that they served a purpose for our audience.
Since we are a healthy food blog doing a frozen tv dinner post wouldn’t make sense. In fact it would probably be very off putting to our audience and damage our trust.
Why Sponsored Content Works
So, why sponsored content? Well the main reason was to grow revenue and provide solutions for our audience. When we started looking for these opportunities Lacey was the only one working full time. We hadn’t brought my brother on full time yet although we had started videos.
Lacey had always wanted to work with a few healthy brands we use over and over again. This seemed like the perfect opportunity.
We would get to make recipes with brands we liked, used and would recommend anyway. Plus, we get income from these posts which helps leverage our size and skills and grows the business.
The brands get exposure to our audience and our audience gets solutions to their problems. Win win win.
On top of this the sponsored posts and videos just look much better than ads anyway to if we can get enough of them going then we can reduce and/or eliminate ads on the site.
How To Connect With Brands
Sometimes brands will reach out usually by email.
When they do make sure to have a good response ready to send back.
Remember they are asking for you to do something for them it’s ok to have a counter offer.Remember they are asking for you to do something for them it's ok to have a counter offer. Click To Tweet
One brand reached out with a new product they had and Lacey quickly drew up an email to send to them. Basically, saying we would love to work with them but only on a sponsored post and that currently we aren’t offering free coverage (at the time we didn’t have a media kit).
They got back to us right away and asked for a media kit. We had to hustle but quickly make one and replied with our rate which at the time was like $300-$400 bucks (we will dive into rates later in the post).
The quickly said yes and we have worked with them ever since.
Now this isn’t the way it always works. Sometimes you need to be more aggressive and reach out to other brands.
What Brands Work For Your Business
With one success under our belt we started reaching out to other brands that Lacey really admired and used. We sent out 5 emails to start and got two responses and 1 deal.
This rate so far has been pretty much on par for expectations. Every few months we might reach out to a handful of brands we use and get a few responses and a one new deal.
The thing to be aware of is every company is slightly different. They have different rules for working with them. Some want you to submit an application and some you will have to reach out to by email and hunt down who to send it to.
When making a list of brands stay true to your won brand. Think about how your audience will feel about this brand and how you personally feel about it. You don’t want to jeopardize your business for someone else’s product if you don’t believe in it.
Strong Opening Email
Make sure you lead with a strong opening email.
You want to show that you know their brand have used it and that your audience will resonate with it.
We go over a few points that we bring to the table and provide some ideas for the topic we think will resonate well with the audience.
What Goes Into A Media Kit?
When we first got started we had no media kit. However, after an email came back saying a brand was interested we needed to create one and fast.
Luckily, Lacey is good with canva and I had just read about media kits and how to make one. So we got to work.
A Media Kit is basically a 1-2 page document that highlights your blog and business selling points.
You need to go over some stuff about you and/or your brand:
- Description about the brand
- Contact info
- Relevant Social Channels
- Audience Information (gender, age anything you have that makes it more relevant)
- Services Your Offer
- Past Brand Deals (think of this as social proof)
- Reach Metrics (shows the brand what they can expect)
How To Follow Up And Show Value
When we started out we also wanted to make it easy for people to work with us again. The way we have found works the best is a week or two after the initial launch of the post and/or video we follow up with something we call a Partnership Summary.
This basically goes into everything we did for the post and how it all performed. We dive into all the stats for the blog, social channels and video (we almost always do videos). Plus we usually show how the page is doing SEO wise because this is one of our strong points.
This review makes it real easy for our contact point to justify our relationship and see what they get out of it.
Plus, it has the added benefit of helping us see how well that post performed with our audience.
Pricing A Sponsored Post
There is a lot of information out there on how to price these things. We have found that the best way to do it is to start low and then raise your price as you keep showing value.
Starting low doesn’t mean free. A good rule of thumb seems to be to start around $100 per post for anyone with 100,000 pageviews a month or less and then work your way up.
If you have video, a large social following or some other contributing factor then you can charge more for this.
The amount here will really depend on how comfortable you get demonstrating the value of your site, skill (photography, writing, video etc) and audience engagement.
Ok So Now What?
- Make a list of brands you want to work with.
- Email them with a good intro email include your media kit.
- Be ready with rates when people get back to you.
- Create and Launch your content.
- Follow up.