Blog Advertising and Sponsoring: My Personal Story

blog advertising and sponsorship

A guest post by my friend and colleague Annabel Candy.

Are you interested in blog monetization?

Then it's time I told you about how I may have lost $1,000 per month through my blog. Yes,  lost, not earned!

I don't want to focus too much on blog monetization at Successful Blogging but today it's time to talk dirty. It's time to discuss blogging and money.

We've already established how you can make money from blogging. Now let's talk about how much.

My Blog Advertising Philosophy as a New Blogger

Soon after starting blogging in 2009 I decided not to put any advertisements on my travel blog Get In the Hot Spot. Mainly because blog adverts look ugly, but also because, when your blog is new and has limited visitors, you won't earn much from advertising anyway.

So why sully your brand and lose visitors who leave your blog via the ads, in return for a few dollars a month? It doesn't make sense.

I also hate the idea of having multiple or competing ads on my blogs and animated ads would drive me nuts.

But it's not just the idea of plastering ugly ads on my blogs that distresses me.

The vocabulary that goes with blog advertising and especially the word “monetization” sounds grubby and sordid. It doesn't fit with my personal or business values which are more oriented towards fun, adventure and relationships than money.

My Blog Advertising Philosophy After Two Years Blogging

So up until recently I'd been happily blogging away and counting myself lucky because I do make money from blogging in three main ways. They're listed here from most to least lucrative:

1. By selling services – web or blog design and web copywriting.

2. By selling my book – Successful Blogging in 12 Simple Steps for writers and small business owners.

3. By selling affiliate products – mainly blogging resources like other people's books, courses or membership programs.

My income from selling affiliate products is so small it's more a service I run to help my readers and other bloggers who've spent time developing new products.

My Blog Advertising Wake Up Call

But in June 2011 I sat on a blogging panel organized by The Creative Collective with Yaro Starak.

If you haven't heard of Yaro, he's the big blog monetization expert at Entrepreneurs Journey and a lovely man who I met at the Problogger conference in 2010.

I always talk to Yaro about web advertising because he's a leading expert and this time, to see if I was making the right choice by keeping my travel blog ad free, I asked him how much I could earn on Get In the Hot Spot through advertising based on blog traffic of around 20,000 visitors per month.

Now I don't want to hold Yaro to his off the cuff comment, but his guesstimate of $1,000 per month got me thinking.

$1,000 a month? Was it possible?

Was I losing $1,000 a month by not advertising on my blog?

Blog advertising and sponsoring
Yvette Adams from The Creative Collective with Yaro Starak, me and Nikki Parkinson

$12,000 a year is too much money for me to ignore just because advertisements look ugly.

Now I wondered how much money I'd already lost because I don't advertise on my blog, and how much longer I'd lose money for.

The answer is not much longer because it feels as if, in the light of this estimate, my no ad decision isn't idealistic and moralistic. It's just plain idiotic.

So since July 2011 Get In the Hot Spot has undergone some advertising experiments.

My Blog Advertising and Sponsorship Experiments

1. Google Adsense

First I tried Google Adsense which I already knew was doomed to fail and proved to be so.

Not only did I earn just AU$9.59 a month but I hated handing over control of my blog to someone else.

Although Pammy Anderson seems nice enough, I don't want to see her face and cleavage on adverts on my blog. My ideal reader doesn't either.

2. Selling advertising myself

Now I'm selling my advertising at Get In the Hot Spot like Yaro does at Entrepreneurs Journey.  Although it will take time to set up and organize, the payment could be worth it.

There was a bit of preparation involved but in September 2011 I set up an advertising page and created a media kit.

My media kit is a 10 page document which includes information on:

  • Who I am;
  • What my blog's about and who reads it;
  • Advertising rates.

3. Sponsored blog posts

I also created a section in my media kit about sponsored blog posts because they are something Nikki Parkinson from Styling You, another fabulous Australian super blogger who was also on the blog panel with me and Yaro, has had great success with.

My Blog Advertising Success

So, with many thanks to Nikki and Yaro for their advice and inspiration, I made the first steps into blog advertising and sponsoring.

Since my media kit took me ages to create, I was keen to use it.

Every day I get emails from people requesting text links on my blog which I delete. Now, instead of deleting them I replied attaching my media kit and saying I looked forward to helping them more.

I refuse to negotiate on my blog advertising rates or packages and I also kept the prices high because I don't want to devalue my brand.

Yet to my surprise within one week I sold my first sponsored blog post. For US $799.

More on Sponsored Blog Posts

Some bloggers charge less but I believe my price for sponsored blog posts offers excellent value now and is worth double the cost.

I set a high but not crazy rate for my sponsored blog posts because I wanted to test the waters and because I will only accept a sponsored post from a reputable company and if I write it myself.

I don't want to run the risk of having boring content on my blog and losing readers in exchange for money. So I need to be paid for my writing time, for building a conversation around a brand and for making the brand look hot through their association with my blog and community.

That endorsement is much more valuable than just an incoming link.

It's a personal recommendation from someone my readers know and trust (me!).

So I'm glad I've laid clear ground rules for me and my advertisers.

I'm also glad I can make money from blogging by selling advertising and sponsored blog posts so I don't have to keep developing new products and flogging those. I don't like that model of blog monetization although I know from experience it's important to have multiple income streams from your blog if you want to run it as a business.

Blog Sponsorship and Ambassadors

My real dream, one I've had for years, is of having one corporate sponsor for my blog whose values I share.

That would create a personal relationship between the brand, me and the readers which would be a natural extension of how I blog and how our community engages on and offline.

Right now many brands are thinking about working with bloggers but don't know how to go ahead. So instead they stick with what they know – generally throwing a lot of money at traditional advertising on television or in print.

Many brands who do work with bloggers don't pay them, instead offering payment in kind.

I experienced this myself when Coca-Cola headhunted me for a vacation with perks including business class flights and a VIP trip to Shanghai.

It's a social media barter system where bloggers write posts in exchange for a product or an experience. That can be fantastic but bloggers can't live on free drinks, free clothes and free parties can they? I wouldn't mind trying it but my kids might get a bit hungry.

There needs to be a balance of blogging perks and financial remuneration if you'd like your blog to be a successful business.

Bloggers and brands need to work together and decide what's a fair trade. Sometimes an exchange of goods or services works fine, other times cash is king.

Eventually I hope my blog will be endorsed by and endorse a product I really love. I can't fake it – I'd have to really believe in the brand and product.

That presents a challenge as I'm not a huge consumer so the options are limited, but for my travel blog, possibilities include travel companies, airlines, luggage, clothing, hotel chains and gadgets like cameras and iPads.

My Sponsor for the Problogger Conference 2011

The Tailor, Luxury Travel AustraliaSo I'm excited to be sponsored by The Tailor for my trip to attend the Problogger conference in Melbourne in October.

The Tailor is a luxury travel company that creates and organizes Australian and African travel experiences for discerning travelers.

Sounds good doesn't it?

The Tailor have very kindly organized for me to spend four nights in luxury at The Lyall Hotel in Melbourne and tour the city. In exchange I'm looking forward to writing about those experiences on Get In the Hot Spot.

The Future of Blog Advertising and Sponsoring

Blogging is a more cost-effective and effective medium than traditional media because it can help brands reach a targeted audience and get endorsed by someone consumers view as a trustworthy friend.

It's also fast to roll out a blog marketing campaign.

While today many brands don't want to work with bloggers, or don't want to pay them, in the future they'll be fighting over them.

So don't sell yourselves short bloggers. You work is valuable and worth paying for or exchanging for something of equal value.

But remember, while I might have lost thousands of dollars by not advertising on my blog sooner I can live with that. Because fun, adventure and relationships really are more important to me than money.

Blogging is all about building relationships and community so that's not something I'd ever compromise.

What do you think about blog advertising and sponsoring?

We'd love to read your ideas and experiences in the comments.

Is blog monetization a dirty word or should I have monetized my blog sooner? Do advertisements detract from the blog reading experience or are they a necessary evil? Do you have a selling point and if so what is it?

Happy blogging!

Comments

  1. says

    Okay… I need to stop and reassess where I am at!!! Right now, this week!!! I always wanted to make some extra cash from our blog, we have eight kids say no more!!!, but that was never the reason for blogging… I dived into a few affiliates and was well not very successful – I couldn’t stand the endless “Flat abs” of google Adsense… but that was quite a while back. Like three years back!!! Times change and stats definitely change… As usual you are waking me up!!! My goodness I have just written a post that should have been sponsored, the idea just never ever occurred to me. I am just so not into self-promotion but you are right, as usual, I need to think about just exactly what our blog is worth and do something about it sooner rather than later!!!

    • says

      Hi Se7en,

      Yes, the kids are a bit of a money pit and I’m not seeing much ROI in my investment either;)

      3 things:

      1. Glad you’re not blogging for money.
      2. Agree re affiliate marketing and adsense.
      3. For most bloggers I think it works in your favour that you set up and establishes a blog and commnity before you start trying to make money. That makes is so much more valuable to everyone:)

      There is a balance between over-commercial and profitable. Let’s aim to strike it:)

  2. says

    Well, you know my thoughts on this topic, Annabel! Thanks for linking to me. I truly believe you can create the right balance of reader interest and income that can feed your family (which is also a bonus in our household!).
    There’s a lot of education to be done with brands and how to best work with us but we are in a good position if you create a media kit and do as you have done – value yourself and stick to your rates and what you can offer.

    • says

      Hi Nikki,

      Thanks for sharing your tips! You’ve got a great model on your blog and love what you’re doing there. Balance. Yes:)

      We’re really pioneering this so there are bound to be a few problems along the way but I know the best brands will get informed and do great things with bloggers.

  3. says

    I’m bookmarking this and sending it along with my media kit in response to the PR pitches I get where I’m expected to hawk a product for free… love your work!

    • says

      Lol, thanks Veggie Mama, good idea! Love what you’re doing too.

  4. says

    This has to be one of the best written blog posts on this topic! Loved reading this post, it is so simple, yet engaging and definitely useful. I totally agree with you.
    As I blog about brands a lot, sometimes I think that the posts I write should be sponsored, but I have not yet explored that side of things.
    Definitely a excellent post that all bloggers and PR’s should read and know about it.
    Thanks Annabel for writing such a great post!

    • says

      Hi Danni,

      Glowing from the lovely feedback, thank you! You can explore it when the time is right for you.

      Blog advertising and sponsorship works when you have a professional blog to showcase with related posts and an engaged community. That should get prospective blog sponsors and advertisers to take you seriously and make them keen to work with you.

      Then you just have to let them know about your blog:)

  5. says

    I know it’s said a lot but it really is an intersting time for bloggers and brands. This is a great post Annabel, thanks for writing it.
    I love blogging and I’ve started to make some income from an ebook but would love to do more and make it sustainable for me. Can’t wait for the Problogger event this week now.

    • says

      Hi Christina,

      Great to see you and your shiny tresses here:) Look forward to meeting you! Please come say hi if you see me first.

  6. says

    Hi Linda,

    Thanks for the lovely feedback. I remember that feeling so well. One step at a time and remember you’ll never know everything. I certainly don’t and that’s part of the fun:)

  7. says

    Hi Annabel

    You have such a way with words. As a very newly blogger, I really get such great inspiration from more experienced bloggers like Nikki (@stylingyou) and yourself.

    Thank you

    • says

      Hi Steve,

      Oh, that’s brilliant. Great to see you here and fantastic that you’re getting into blogging. You’ll find a lot of tips in my blogging book that will get your started on the right foot and help you avoid the (many!) mistakes I made:)

  8. says

    Ahhh, so you’re telling me I should sell my own ads? Sounds good, but do I need to do more than just set up a price sheet. Obviously, an advertise here which links to info on my site would be helpful, but after that is it, build your page, and then advertisers come? I guess I thought I needed to find people to advertise, and that is where I get stuck. How do you contact the right people at the right companies?

    • says

      Hi Taylor,

      You can sell your own ads. You’ll earn more but have to take care of admin and seeking advertisers and sponsors.

      Yes, set up an advertise page.

      Think which industries or types of company you’d like to work with. See if you can find them on Twitter and politely ask for an email address for who ever’s in charge of marketing. Or get on the phone, get a name for the marketing manager or digital marketing team.

      These are quick answers. I should probably write a blog post about that too! Thanks so much for asking:)

  9. says

    Hi Annabel,

    Nice write up and photo from our talk. Glad to hear you are becoming more active in your monetization efforts and winning rewards as a result.

    I’m about to go through a change in the monetization for my own blog too, including adding things like sponsored reviews, which we haven’t done in years.

    Also I wanted to let you know that my ad management service is now available in BETA format. That means it’s not finished and there will be bugs, but the core function is working. Updates are coming out weekly too, so it’s getting better and better each week.

    It’s at Crankyads.com

    It’s my new main project so I hope you benefit from it!

    Enjoy your time in Melbourne. I wish I was there too.

    Yaro

    • says

      Hi Yaro,

      Lovely to see you here and very excited Cranky Ads is up and running. I know we spoke about how ad management can be time-consuming and it sounds like a great solution. I’ll be checking it out.

      Also interesting that you’re mixing things up and looking at other ways to increase your income. It’s good to know that even bloggers like you are still trying new things. I’m sure your sponsored reviews will prove popular.

      Yes, very sorry you can’t make the blogging conference in Melbourne this year. Hope to catch up again soon though:)

  10. says

    This is such an informative post, on what can be a sensitive subject. Like VeggieMama, I often have PR companies contacting me expecting me to work for free. I think the key is, as you said, not to sell ourselves short. Thanks for a great article. I just stumbled on here via Twitter but will be subscribing 😀

    • says

      Hi Jennifer,

      Great to see you here. It is sensitive but we need to get it out in the open:)

      I get it all the time too. People offering me interesting content to write on my blog as if I don’t have enough already!

      Brilliant to see you’ve subscribed, look forward to seeing you around more!

  11. says

    No other way than to be blunt and say I’m horrible at monitization. I’ve read, I’ve listened, I’ve read more, and read again some more and still can’t figure it out. I even have one of those fancy ninja plugins that are supposed to make adding affiliate links easy and I have no idea how to use it. Paid for it 6+ months ago and have never used it. I make a few dollars a month from Amazon, about enough to pay my hosting. I have a hard time thinking about turning my blog into one big flashing ad and turning off all my readers.
    I love writing, sharing and helping people, but when it comes to the money I’ve always been terrible at asking for people to pay. But I keep working at it and trying to figure it out, hoping to have an ‘a-ha’ moment any time now.

    • says

      Hi Sara,

      Well, me too but starting to fix that now. Hope you can find a way too. Your blog seems ideally suited for financial products and also household goods – supermarkets and anything kid or family related so I’m sure the opportunities are out there for you:)

      I hear you though, it all takes time!

  12. says

    Hi Annabel,
    I liked reading about your thoughts on running adds. I don’t have the traffic on my own site to make it a worthwhile project right now, but it’s something I would struggle with doing even if I did – if the adds didn’t suit my own style & were incongruous with my audience and annoyed them.

    I write weekly for Yaro on Entrepreneurs Journey which I love doing & learn a lot from it. When I’m not so crazy busy with other projects, I’ll do the work to build traffic to my online biz, it’s fun connecting with people and sharing cool stuff online;)
    Cheers, neroli

    • says

      Hi Neroli,

      Lovely to see you here, sounds like you’re on the right track and doing well. Great to connect with you.

  13. says

    The great thing about blogging and in particular bloggers is that they’re so collaborative.
    Because its so ‘new’ and everyone’s having to work it out as they go along everyone is sharing what they find along the way – which in turn is benefiting the industry (which is what its becoming) as a whole.
    Bloggers Unite 😉

    • says

      Hi Linda,

      That’s so true:) We’re all pulling each other up and making the blogosphere a better place.

  14. says

    I don’t know, but I wish I’d read this earlier! I am starting to receive some great opportunities through my blog but I need to pay the bills. I just sold my first sponsored post – for way too little I suspect – and I’m getting ads via Nuffnang. My ad is to get a good sponsor so I can attend either Blog Her 2012 in New York, or its equivalent in the Asia Pacific region. Fingers and toes crosssed!

    • says

      Hi Maid!

      Absolutely, keeping everything crossed for you. Sometimes it’s fine to sell cheap first way round so you have a portfolio to show others. You can always increase prices when demand is there:)

  15. says

    Awesome post Annabel, more so as you are talking about your personal experiences that makes it a learning experience for all of us.

    Honestly speaking, I have just about started with my journey as a blogger and am in the process of switching over my blogs to WordPress, so this sure is a real educative post for me. Many things seem known but the way to go about them surely gets better after reading your post!

    Thanks so much for sharing 🙂

    • says

      Hi Harleena,

      Glad to hear your switching to WordPress already. I did it too and love that you can learn from those who’ve been blogging for a few years. It should make your journey faster and more fun:)

  16. Mrs Woog says

    Heart singing.
    Head nodding.
    xx

  17. says

    This is really interesting. I’ve just, after 5 years, placed my first ad on my blog (BlogHer). I’m going to Problogger too, I’ve been toying with emailing you for some help as I’m close geographically to you. However, now I know what you look like, I can at least come and say hello.
    Best regards,
    liz N

  18. says

    I’ve been following both your blogs for quite a while in my RSS readers and enjoy your great stories and here your valuable lessons. I have several websites and find that it’s hard to find the right balance between talking about brands on blogs, working with PR agencies , reviews, sponsored posts etc. I think you’re right that building relationships first is very important; something that I’m focussing a lot more on now. I find it very interesting how Nikki seems to manage it all with applomb on her blog. I hope you will continue to share your experience with advertising and sponsorship on this blog so I can continue to learn from you! I should find out when the Problogger conference is on, even though it’s in Australia. It would be so nice to meet some fellow bloggers!

    • says

      Hi Sylvia,

      Thanks for the feedback, subscribing and commenting. Nikki uses an advertising agency which takes a lot of the work out of it though cuts the income. Definitely an option I might look into as I can see finding and administering advertisers and sponsors could be a full time job and I want to write more:)

      Absolutely recommend you go to any conferences or just organise a tweet up in your area!

  19. says

    This was such great advice Annabel! Thank you so much for kicking my butt into action. I have to do this now. Enough about ‘junking up’ my blog. I have shared this all over the place.

    You are always generous and helpful and I am grateful!
    b

    • says

      Hi Barbara,

      Love the attitude. Good luck! Stick with it and you will get there.

  20. says

    Hi there Annabel, thanks for this very clear and also very comprehensive post. At first I was thinking that it was all far say for me, then I remembered that I sell books from my site, and that was one of the reasons I set it up professionally with you guys!

    Perhaps more will come, but for the moment, I just need to keep learning, build up high quality content and readership.

    But first, the kids’ breakfasts!

    • says

      Hi Seana,

      Yes, kids and food first:) Blogging next. So glad your blog is helping you sell more books. Advertising is definitely a possibility down the track with your tight niche on Sydney for families there will be plenty of opportunities.

  21. says

    Awesome post. It’s like your reading my mind. If you get a random request for a partnership and it does not relate to your blog, do you go for it?

    Thanks again for the great advice.

    • says

      Hi Dinah,

      I’d think carefully about if it’s something that might interest your readers or if you share the same values. Otherwise I’d probably avoid it. Unless they were offering megabucks:)

  22. says

    Hi Annabel, I saw the presentation at the Creative Collective earlier in the year by you, Nikki and Yaro and it was very inspiring! I’m just starting to blog and am very interested in connecting with my target audience through my writing (because I love writing) and also making a passive income from blogging.

    I’m a psychologist and I need to create some stable passive income so I can give to my clients without being stressed due to finances. Online initiatives are essential these days for sole practitioners unless you are lucky to have other financial support.

    Thank you for your great blog, it’s very interesting and I want to find out more. Have a great day, Vanessa

    • says

      Hi Vanessa,

      Loved reading about how you found me and your blogging story. Blogging should help you establish your expertise and get new clients too. If you can develop products to help those clients then the “passive” income can come from that. It’s not really passive though as you’ll have put a lot of work into your blog and products but I know what you mean:)

      Love to help you more if you need a hand with blog design (http://www.successfulblogging.com/blog-design/) or anything else give me a shout:)

  23. says

    Excellent!
    I wrote a similar post about this as well: mojitomother.com/2011/09/bloggers-brands-and-pr-relationships-a-new-manifesto/
    Craig and I are really focused on the corporate sponsorship. I really believe there is going to start being more of this. It is more cost effective and relevant than hiring celebrities- people who “normal” people usually cannot relate to and are not going to inspire me to do much- at least in terms of travel.
    We are focused on a few companies we like and trust, that way we don’t have to irritate our readers with a ton of ads, products and links etc.
    Pay attention brands you have a good thing with us bloggers- use us and use us well. Love the free stuff, but I love feeding my children more

    • says

      Hi Caz,

      You’re doing brilliantly:) Love this: “Love the free stuff, but I love feeding my children more!” So true. As I say, we can’t feed out kids freebies can we?

  24. says

    I purposely keep advertising off my blog for much the same reasons as you. I have a fantastic day job and though I’d love the extra money (I’m not far from retirement age), I’m not going to alienate my readers for it.

    Thanks for outlining NEW model of useful and responsible marketing, Annabel! I’ve been waiting for this.

    • says

      Hi Debra,

      Fantastic. Here’s hoping we can all find a balance that works for everyone:)

  25. Dave Doolin says

    Struck a positive chord with this one, Annabel! Yaro hisself, even.

  26. says

    I love this post Annabel. If we don’t make money from what we do then we can’t continue. You have given me some things to think about. Thank you

  27. says

    Thanks for this post Annabel. Is there any indication of the traffic volume suggested before seeking paid advertisers?
    Peace & blessings, Sharon xx

    • says

      Hi Sharon,

      No hard and fast rule on this one as it depends how tight your niche is. If your blog is very targeted advertisers may want to be featured even if you have lower traffic because you have the right audience.

  28. Sonia Marsh/Gutsy Living says

    I can relate in a way. I felt cheap talking about commercial stuff, however I would feel more comfortable with travel related topics since I love to see other places. I’m sure you know what I mean.

  29. says

    Love your work, Annabel.
    With fearless blogging pioneers such as yourself around, the blogosphere, brands and consumers will ultimately benefit.
    Well done.

  30. says

    Hi Annabel – This is a very neatly laid out post on how to monetize a blog, I have been using many of these methods, but yet to start realizing any income from my blog which is just 5month old.

  31. says

    I have recently been approached by PR companies wanting sponsored posts on my blog – but they want to have their “experts” write the content. Is it just me that feels very uncomfortable about this? Surely our blog is our voice/brand, and readers come for our opinions. I always declare when a post has been sponsored, a product for review provided, and that ALL opinions expressed are my own.

    I’d be keen to hear your opinions.

    • says

      Hi Janmary,

      No I don’t like that idea either. I know my blog style and what my readers like so I’d prefer to write the content myself and make sure my blog isn’t peppered with generic articles.

      You are absolutely right to declare when a blog post has been sponsored, a product for review provided, and that ALL opinions expressed are my own:) It’s so important to be honest with your readers.

  32. says

    It has always been surprising to me to see you run such a successful blog but not monetize it. Glad that you have taken a step in the right direction and not miss out on potential revenue. I hope that your readers would understand the fact that you eventually lose out of money if you dont monetize your blog properly.

  33. says

    Hi Annabel,

    Just wondering if you could share more on what’s a blog sponsor and what is the best way to get advertizers to start advertizing on my site. Beyond just building the following, what else could we do? Is there a normal time frame for seeing some results?

    • says

      Hi Jimmy,

      Every case will be different. I would make sure your design has space for advertisements and that you run a professional blog with an engaged community. Then when you’re ready to find sponsors they will find a blogger and blog they have confidence in.

  34. Stephanie Vendetti says

    Hello Annabel,

    I want to thank you for this wonderful post! My sister and I started a blog in January called How to be a Redhead with a goal to bring redheads of the world together (and we have been very successful with building a community and establishing a connection with our readers). Now, we are focusing on making money and your post has helped us start that! We have been working on our media kit and cannot wait for it to all come together! For ads, do you use a special program to actually post the ads and receive the money? I think that is the where we are stumped…

    Thanks so much for all your wonderful advice!

    Red Wishes,
    Stephanie Vendetti

    • says

      Hi Stephanie,

      Yaro mentions a solution he’s developing higher up in the comments. Then there are blog ad agencies you can go with who will do a lot of the work for you but take a cut:)

  35. says

    Started blogging about a year ago only to experience and learn how it really works. Every time I look up making money online blogging seems to be the number results I get- But I must say it is not as easy as most people make it sound. Not everyone can have a successful blog. Thank for this post.

  36. says

    I agree with James, its not as easy as it sounds. I think the hardest part is figuring out where to start and if your blog is worthy of advertisers. I really hope that I can find a way to be successful as well. Thank you for this post! It’s nice to know that someone else understands that even though advertising is ugly it can help pay the bills while still sharing something you love with others.

  37. says

    Hi Annabel,

    Very interesting post, as well as informative and inspiring.
    I like that you want to maintain the high standards of your blog even with sponsored posts. Sometimes a sponsor’s post within a blog just doesn’t fit and just seems like a long-winded advert which is a waste of a dedicated reader’s time.

  38. says

    Hi Annabel —

    I too knew from the start I wouldn’t be slapping ads all over my site. So far, selling my own classes, ebook, and now my membership community have worked well, along with a few select affiliate-sales opportunities.

    I don’t know if the sponsored post approach would work in my niche, but definitely looks like a great fit for travel! And I love how you’ve set your prices high. That’ll save you dealing with a lot of flakes.

    Great food for thought —

  39. says

    My gosh, 799$ for a sponsored post? maybe i ought to reevaluate my rates – what kind of traffic are we talking on this travel blog?

    • says

      Hi Alexandra,

      Traffic is around 20,000 uniques. Your rate should depend on wether you want a high volume of advertisers or fewer higher paying advertisers.

      I know many bloggers are offered and accept rates as low as $50 for a sponsored blog post. You will need to decide on the value of what you’re offering and of course if you price too high you won’t find many clients.

  40. says

    I just wished I had “met” you before I started my blog:) I can write, but I have always been horrible about selling myself. I started blogging to practice writing, so see if my voice can be as strong in English as it is in Serbian, and to bring my children closer to their roots, traditions, and food.
    I have had a few PR companies approach me, but the relationship seemed lopsided to me, as I could not see any benefit to myself or my blog (and a few edible products they offered in return for a post were not even worth mentioning; I only wish they added up to $50.00:)
    I know people that make some nice money from sponsored posts in the food blogging community, but I am not one of them. I did not set up my blog to be PR-attractive, but one of these days I’ll have to apply everything I learned so far and start a new blog:) So much of what I learned came from you. I feel like you are my sister, but wiser and a lot less naive:)

  41. Leigh says

    Thanks for this artcle. I’m into week 2 of my blog and this has been very inspirational. I have drawn up a goal sheet of where I want to be by when. I think it is achievable and these types of articles help a lot of us get to where we want to be quicker. For me, if I can replace my corporate (yawn) job with running my blog I’m sure that I will feel like I have ‘arrived’. Eventhough there are so many blogs out there we all have something quite unique to share even if it’s a quirky part of our personalities. I’m loving the blogging journey and long may it last.

  42. says

    well, its very serious matter and every bloger should keep it in mind, mostly newbies I mean new bloger put ads everywhere in their blogs even visitor leave the blog because of junk ads. I mostly leave these kind of blogs because they hide the content actually which is bad for visitor like me. so really good writing for newbies… keep it up.

  43. says

    Love your site – so much helpful info. I loved your article on Charging for Sponsored posts with your proforma of rates – very enlightening. I was wondering if you have any info/details on Brand Ambassador rates. It would be helpful to have a benchmark in mind when negotiating with PR companies. It is so much more than just a sponsored post – with regular posts, and links across all social media platforms. Just want to make sure we don’t sell ourselves short:)

  44. says

    Congratulations on all your successes. It’s an inspiration for me and my blog.

  45. says

    Have you experimented with sponsoring existing posts? E.g finding a good fit (one that will drive relevant traffic) for a post and asking a brand to sponsor the individual post for a monthly fee? If so, how do you determine pricing for sponsoring a post?

    • says

      Hi Daniel,

      I haven’t but I know bloggers who have offered existing posts as sponsored blog posts. It’s actually a smart idea because you can give them proof of how much traffic the post gets and works well if a post ranks well with the search engines.

      I’m not sure how you’d price that but an annual fee would be great.

  46. James batey says

    Hi annabel,

    I am trying to start a blog, very early stages, reading as much as I can here, really good information, I am into foods that heal?

    I need help to sort things out, just not sure where to start?
    I did have a website years ago, I would love to write about things I have learnt about food and it’s healing properties!

    I know about WordPress I have a free account just to try and learn more as I don’t have much money ATM!

    Anything to can share would be good news?

    Thank you
    Best Regards,
    James.

    • says

      Your best bet is to start a blog on Blogger, WP.com or Medium for free and begin there.

      Good luck!
      Sue

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