Sponsored blog posts are an easy and popular way to monetize a blog and are often the biggest source of income for bloggers. Find out everything you need to know about monetizing your blog with sponsored blog posts in our comprehensive guide.
What Is A Sponsored Blog Post?
A sponsored blog post is a blog post that you are paid to place on your site by an advertiser. Sponsored blog posts generally advertise a product or service, although many of them are used to help increase a sites PageRank, by having an incoming link from an authoritative, relevant, blog or website.
Sponsored posts are popular with bloggers because they’re an easy, quick way to make money from your blog and advertisers are always on the lookout for high-quality bloggers who are willing to publish sponsored posts on their sites. Sponsored posts are a great way of monetization, if you play by the rules. There are generally two types of sponsored posts;
- Sponsored posts that advertise a product or service.
- Sponsored posts that seek to obtain incoming links to their site to increase PageRank and SEO.
What’s The Difference Between ‘dofollow’ and ‘nofollow’ Tags?
According to Google’s best practices guidelines, all paid links must contain a nofollow attribute. This prevents people from manipulating Google’s search engine results pages by passing PageRank.
A dofollow link essentially tells Google to include a specific link in their crawl of the site and their analysis of the
A nofollow does the opposite by telling search engines to ignore a link and to omit it from their overall analysis of search results.
Google states that “a site’s ranking in Google search results is partly based on analysis of those sites that link to it”, so some people will try to buy dofollow links in order to increase their sites rankings.
Publishing a sponsored post with a ‘dofollow’ link goes strictly against Google’s best practices guidelines, so you should always avoid advertisers who request ‘dofollow’ links. If you publish a lot of sponsored content on your site and all of the links are ‘dofollow’, you run the risk of having your site penalized by Google by potentially losing your PageRank and dropping off search engine results pages (SERPs).
To insert a nofollow attribution to a link, simply insert this line of HTML into your post:
<a href="myblog.com" rel="nofollow">my blog</a>
How Much Should You Charge For A Sponsored Post?
How much to charge for a sponsored blog post has been a contentious issue among bloggers for a long time. Professional blogging is a business; a new business but a legitimate business. Your blog has been built with love, time and passion and we believe you should not undervalue your work or your time by underselling yourself. Your niche audience and engaged readers are one of the most valuable parts of your blog, and advertisers will pay good money to get access and visibility to those people.
We believe you should never accept less than $50 for a sponsored blog post. You may be surprised to learn that this rate is still much lower compared to what the majority of influential bloggers charge.
At the end of the day, what you charge for your work, time and, ultimately, your influence, is up to you but we’ve provided these guidelines to help provide an idea of where you stand. Use these rates as a guide only, and you can judge whether they are too high or too low for your site. Every blog is different and only you know the value that you can provide to an advertiser.
Recommended Sponsored Blog Post Rates:
Although PR holds little importance in regards to the success, influence or popularity of your blog, many advertisers still use it as a way to categorize a websites ‘weight’ in regard to search engine results and incoming links. Since receiving a link from a blog with a higher PageRank is seen as more valuable, you can often increase your rates as your PageRank increases, even if your blog traffic remains the same. For this reason, PageRank can help to make it easier to calculate estimated advertising rates for a blog.
We recommend using the following table strictly as a guideline for sponsored blog post rates:
|Unique Monthly Visits||PR 2||PR 3||PR 4||PR 5|
|5,000||$50 – $100||$100 – $200||$200 – $400||$400 – $600|
|10,000||$100 – $200||$200 – $400||$400 – $600||$600 – $800|
|20,000||$200 – $300||$300 – $600||$600 – $800||$800 – $1,000|
|30,000||$300 – $400||$400 – $800||$800 – $1,000||$1,000 – $1,200|
|50,000||$400 – $500||$500 – $1,000||$1,000 – $1,200||$1,200 – $1,500|
As you can see from the above chart, one of the most important aspects for determining how much to charge for a sponsored blog post is your unique monthly visitors. Other factors, which some advertisers may look for, include PageRank, social media statistics and Domain Authority. PageRank may be considered as it can indicate the ‘quality’ of the blog via the amount of incoming links associated with the site. It can also indicate a more authoritative site that has been around for longer. However, nowadays PageRank seems to be phasing out, so we would advise bloggers to put less emphasis on your PageRank number and more emphasis on showing an advertiser how your audience is engaged and active. Engagement is one of the ultimate measures of influence. If your site has a lot of traffic, high social media statistics and engagement rates, it’s a pretty clear sign that a lot of people read your blog and engage with what you have to say.
How Should I Negotiate A Sponsored Post?
When publishing a sponsored blog post, or any type of paid content on your site, you must contain a “machine-readable” disclosure somewhere in the post in according to FTC regulations (USA) or the Unfair Trading Regulations (UK).
This involves adding a simple sentence to the beginning or the end of each sponsored blog post on your site, such as:
‘This post has been sponsored by XXX”
Disclosing all sponsored posts is just as important to your readers as it is to Google and it is really for them that you should do it. By remaining consistently open and honest about your blogging and what you are being paid to publish, you can maintain an open, reputable relationship with your audience, while successfully monetizing your blog.
Although these guidelines are common knowledge among advertisers, it is a good practice to always let them know that you will be including the disclosure prior to accepting to publish the post. Other things to negotiate with the advertiser prior to accepting to publish a sponsored blog post, is the ‘expiration date’ of the post. Many advertisers will pay one year in advance for a sponsored blog post, although some advertisers might ask to make the post ‘permanent’.
We recommend that you avoid accepting permanent sponsored blog posts, and instead opt for something more manageable, such as an annual contract. Make sure to also agree on when the sponsored blog post will be published; if and how often it will be promoted through your social media channels, and any other editorial guidelines, such as adding a bio and photos, which may be required.
Should I Write The Sponsored Post?
You or the advertiser can write the sponsored blog post. You should always agree to these terms beforehand and allow for time to edit the post before publishing it. It is a good idea to set out guidelines for working together. If you are going to write the post, you could suggest a title and theme for approval first. After the draft is sent to the advertiser, they may want further changes before it is finally published on your blog, or vice versa, if they are writing it.
How Many Sponsored Posts Should I Do?
The amount of sponsored posts you want to place on your site is really up to you and can depend on a number of factors. Since it is more difficult to find advertisers who want ‘nofollow’ links, your options may be limited. However, many other factors should be taken into consideration, such as your posting schedule, the relevancy of the sponsored post and your audiences’ reaction to sponsored content.
Considering your normal posting schedule is very important because if you only post once a month, or even once a week, but you are doing a sponsored post 3-4 times a months, suddenly your blog will look like one big advertisement and your readers will get tired of the sponsored content very quickly. A good rule of thumb is to try and do one sponsored post for every 5 regular posts. This way, you are providing plenty of great, interesting content for your audience and only publishing a sponsored blog post every so often.
Do you agree with our recommended rates for a sponsored blog post? Have you got any tips to share with us regarding working with advertisers on a sponsored blog post? If so, we’d love to hear from you in the comments below!