Hello friends! Whew, a lot happening this month! We got a little off track with our schedule, but are hoping to be posting regularly again soon. Since we haven’t had new tips for you so far this month, we thought we’d focus on something a lot of readers ask us about: sponsorships! If you’re new to blogging or blogging professionally, you might be excited to get a jump on the whole sponsorship thing. But there are a few reasons you might not want to dive in, just yet:
1. You’re blog doesn’t get traffic. This may be obvious to some but many new bloggers don’t know this, so don’t sweat it if it’s news to you. Sponsors want to work with blogs that have readers because they can use their audience to advertise their product or service. It doesn’t make a lot of sense to launch partnerships the second you start a blog, unless you already have some relationship worked out (such as an agreement to cross-promote and grow together). If you’re looking for compensation, your time would be better spent building a following through quality content than looking for sponsors.
2. You’re not tracking your traffic. Wait, how do you know if your blog is getting traffic? If you’re not tracking views, you need to set up Google Analytics (here’s an easy tutorial) to see where you’re at. There are very rare times a potential sponsor is not going to ask about your views or followers, and that’s if a) it’s super obvious you do have amazing views (such as having a huge social media following) or b) they don’t actually want to pay, they just want to send you free product or collaborate in a non-paid way. (In which case, they’re not really sponsoring you at all.)
3. You don’t know how to interpret this data. Once you start tracking views, it will take a bit to understand things like referrals, behavior, bounce rate, unique visitors and more. Make sure you know how to interpret your data beyond just simple pageviews. This is helpful because there are a lot of different things advertisers take into account. For example, perhaps you don’t have as many pageviews as bloggers in your niche, but the viewers you do have stay on your site for a long time, and spend time engaging with your content. That might be more valuable than the views.
4. You don’t have a media kit. Our media kit has been a work in progress from the second we started it, and we didn’t create one until over a year into TBM. So don’t stress if this isn’t on your radar! However, if you’re making the transition to a for-profit blog, you’ll want to have this handy when advertisers email you. And if you plan to pitch to sponsors yourself, this will show how prepared you are to create a partnership that both parties will benefit from.
5. You don’t like reading sponsored posts on other blogs. Lastly, the great struggle in blogging is that we ourselves want to make money, yet we kinda hate when other bloggers are using our views to earn a living. A little hypocritical, right? If, as a reader, you can’t stand seeing sponsored posts on your fave blogs, you might want to find another way to bring in income. Otherwise you’re just turning around and doing the same thing to your readers. You can also learn from other blogs: think of partnerships you’ve benefited from as a follower, and use those as examples for your own strategy. And use the ones you don’t like to remind you what to steer clear of (like salesy language or irrelevant promotions!).
Don’t worry if you haven’t figured it all out just yet. There’s definitely a lot of research that goes into making money blogging, but getting fully prepared will have a huge impact on the income you make and quality of your partnerships.
What blogging questions do you have for us lately? Let us know so we can help!