Maybe you are a new blogger or perhaps you’re well-seasoned and have forgotten what it means to be a sponsor. I am going to explain how sponsoring works (in theory), and how to be a good blog sponsor.
Most blogs looking to be sponsored have some sort of a Sponsor Information page with a selection of ads spaces looking to be filled – often using special ad hosting services such as Passion Fruit Ads. In addition to these ad spaces, bloggers may offer additional “services” to their sponsors such as social media shout outs, giveaway inclusions, guest posting slots and more – sometimes much more.
It seems like one of the quickest ways to get your name out there is to sponsor a blog with a high amount of traffic and then participate in giveaways and anything else the blogger is offering you. It works in a sense. You may see a lot of ‘likes’ and follows from a well-planned giveaway but you’ll probably see that a large percentage of those will vanish quickly after the giveaway has ended and then slowly trickle away in the following weeks.
It’s easy to get wrapped up in the idea of throwing money out into the blog-o-sphere and expecting to get some amazing results from sponsorship. A lot people do this or have done it and sadly I was one of them. I didn’t understand the point of it all and I was using sponsorship as a way to get ad space and promote myself. This is NOT the way to be a good sponsor.
As a sponsor, you shouldn’t expect your sponsorship to bring readers to your blog. It’s great when it happens, but the whole point of sponsoring a blog is to provide them with the funds necessary to support them in their blogging – because you like them and their content!
Tips for Sponsoring
2. Numbers are great, but they don’t matter in the grand scheme of things. Who cares if they have 50 or 5,000 readers? Do you enjoy them? The numbers will come. Care more about the enjoyable content than you do about how many people have subscribed to their feed. You might have just found the best-kept secret.
3. Don’t buy up a bunch of inexpensive or freebie spots on random blogs you’ve never even read. You are wasting your money and taking up what may otherwise be valuable space to someone else. Choose blogs wisely.
4. If you’re a blogger, sponsor blogs you enjoy that have content your readers can relate with. If you aren’t a fashion blogger and you don’t even enjoy talking about fashion on your blog, then perhaps that sponsorship opportunity isn’t for you.
5. Great sponsorship relationships between bloggers don’t just happen. They take time to cultivate. Make sponsorship a long-term plan as it may take several months to see your relationship with another blogger really peak. Consider swapping banners to start with if you want to be supportive but are unsure if they are the right fit or if you cannot afford to support them any other way.
Make The Most of Sponsorship
On a more personal note, I got very lucky and have found bloggers that I enjoy engaging with and seem to enjoy engaging with me. That doesn’t mean I didn’t struggle like most people. Like I said, I am just as guilty as the rest of you who just threw money at the nearest blog with big numbers, hoping to get my name out there.
I have learned that I have a big responsibility as a Sponsor and that it isn’t all on the shoulders of the blogger my money is backing. Sure, while they did offer me social media posts, ad space, blog shout outs and more for my money, I am just as responsible for making this sponsorship work!
I made a huge dive into what is serious sponsorship in November by purchasing a rather large ad space on My So-Called Chaos. I was really enjoying her posts (although admittedly, I have a lot of back reading to do in order to get a better feel of who Miss Angie is) and I wanted to get involved. Her blog fits my style. And best of all, she seemed a lot more proactive in her sponsored role than other blogs I gave money to.
I have been super pleased with the results. But remember… it’s not all on her. I gave her the money and she in turn gave me the space to shine, but it was entirely up to me to stand up and make myself known to her readers. I was offered the opportunity to host giveaways on her blog and recently gave away a $25 Sephora Gift Card (sorry, it’s over).
I made it an absolute point to stay active in the comments and up until I got super sick with the flu, I kept up with it and made sure that every comment got a reply from me. Yes, that meant coming home from my day job and in addition to my own blogging responsibilities, spending 20-30 minutes replying to comments on her blog.
It was worth the effort. It worked out well and it made her readers interested in checking out my blog. I have more people reading, commenting, sharing my content.
What Do You Think?
What has worked well for you as a sponsor and do you have any great tips to share for the new, up-and-coming bloggers looking to get into sponsorship?