How To: Mastering Your First Sponsored Post

SPFor most bloggers, turning blogging into a profitable venture is mixed into the grand scheme of things. Although I personally don’t know any bloggers who started their site with the sole intent of generating revenue, it’s certainly one of the perks that comes along with garnering a large and loyal following.

That Working Girl has been approached by several brands over the last two years regarding sponsored posts, and I’ve learned a lot about the process by working with a handful of great brands. Below are five valuable tips to keep in mind when mastering your first sponsored post:

Have a rate card or media kit handy – one of the best ways to stand out as a credible blog to potential sponsors is by having an up-to-date rate card or media kit on hand that outlines your sponsored post rates as well as your readership numbers and target audience. By supplying this to a sponsor up front, they will know what to expect when working with you and your blog.

Know your worth – although most brands I’ve worked with have been fair, it’s not uncommon for sponsors to haggle on sponsored post rates to get you down to your bottom dollar. Remember to value your time and your blog’s influence, and don’t settle for a deal that leaves you feeling uncomfortable or used. To make the payment transaction easy for both you and the brand you’re working with, I recommend having a PayPal account set up that is solely dedicated to your blog.

Retain your voice without being sales-y – one of the most challenging parts of publishing sponsored content is treading the fine line between being passionate about the product or brand in reference without being overly promotional. This is something that I’m definitely still learning, but it helps to only agree to write about brands that you truly believe in and know that your target audience will identify with. I’ve had to turn down several great opportunities simply because they weren’t a great content fit for That Working Girl, but I’d never compromise the quality of the blog for a free product.

Keep an open channel of communication – after sealing the deal on a sponsored post, make a point to keep an open channel of communication with the brand you’re working with. Check in intermittently with your contact to let them know that the post in in the works, and don’t hesitate to reach out for additional information or clarification. The day that the post goes live, check in and provide your sponsor with a link to the content – they will appreciate not having to search around for the post!

Follow up – one thing I like to do when I publish sponsored content is providing the brand with a fully comprehensive follow-up email outlining the social shares of a particular post, the number of clicks it receives (thanks, bit.ly!) and any other pertinent social engagement information. Not only will it show the brand that you’re working with that you actually care about the ROI on their post, but it will also make them more inclined to work with you again in the future.

Have you published sponsored content on your blog before? Share your best tips for publishing great, on-brand content in a comment below or tweet us, @HeyWorkingGirl

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