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So random fact: I’ve watched the entire Sex and the City series in its entirety no fewer than 100 times. Because I’m a millennial woman, I’m certain that this statement shocks and surprises you right to the core. But it’s true—I’m absolutely obsessed with the show.
However, it took a really long time for me to realize exactly why I was so obsessed with the show. I have zero interest in fashion, could care less about watching the occasional steamy scene, and have never really related to any character other than sometimes Miranda and maybe Aiden (that country cabin is so my jam and Carrie is crazy).
The thing that keeps me watching Sex and the City over and over again? Besides the fact that all 6 seasons are now streaming on Amazon Prime, I’ve always been in love with the fact that Carrie had the ability to spend her days pacing around her apartment, wearing whatever she wants, writing for a living.
It always looked so dang ideal. She could pop out to a coffee shop when she wants, meet her friends for lunch when she wants, and really live her life with this flexibility and freedom that has always felt even more impossible to achieve than being able to afford a wardrobe that must have cost upward of a million dollar while living in Manhattan as a freelance writer. Surely there’s no way to actually achieve that kind of freedom, I’ve always thought to myself.
But—here I am. At home in the middle of a weekday. Writing for a living. Wearing my yoga pants and some really fluffy socks. Sipping on coffee. All thanks to this wonderful blogging journey that I started a few months ago.
One way that I’ve really increased my earnings from blogging has been booking sponsored blog posts. Last month alone I earned over $1,200 from sponsored posts, and have already booked even more for this month.
Since this is such a great way to monetize a blog, I wanted to share my 3 best tips for booking sponsored blog posts that have helped me rapidly increase my blogging income.
3 Tips for Booking Sponsored Blog Posts
1. Apply to Join Sponsorship Networks
Yes, it’s possible to book sponsored posts by reaching out to brands directly. There are lots of bloggers who do it successfully on a regular basis.
However, if you’re relatively new to the world of sponsored blog posts, a more effective place to start is with sponsorship networks.
There are lots of them out there, but some of my current favorites are:
- Linqia (Where I booked my 1st sponsored post ever!)
- Blog Meets Brand
- Influence Central
- Social Fabric
Keep in mind that each sponsorship network will have a different set of requirements (for example, Linqia requires you to have at least 2,500 followers across all social media channels or unique monthly visitors to your blog).
One super important note here: If you’re brand, brand, BRAND new to blogging and don’t have much content or your essential social media accounts set up yet, focus on that before you start applying for sponsorship networks. They will review your blog and social media accounts before allowing you to join. If there’s not much there, your chances of being accepted are much lower.
2. Don’t “Just Start Applying for Things”
During August 2017, I made a goal for myself to apply for 50 sponsored blog posts. Yep, 5-0. I actually did it, too.
Wanna know how many sponsored posts I booked out of those 50? Zero.
Throwing out generic applications for sponsored blog posts is about as effective as throwing out generic resumes for open job positions—not effective at all. Sure, you may get lucky and book something once in a while with this approach, but you’ll also be missing out on sponsorship opportunities that you could have booked with a little extra effort.
In September 2017, I applied for fewer sponsored posts, but carefully chose what I was applying for. I ended up making over $1,200 in sponsored posts alone that month (over $1,000 more than I made in sponsored posts the previous month).
To increase your chances of booking a sponsored post, make sure your sponsorship application is:
- Always tailored to the campaign you’re applying for.
- Written in an upbeat/optimistic tone (This doesn’t mean exclamation point!!! and CAPITALIZE the crap out of your post. Just make sure anyone who reads your application is left with an overall positive vibe.)
- Focused more on what you and your platform can do for the brand and less on how badly you want to book this post.
- Free of any spelling/grammatical errors. (Grammarly is a great little tool if you need some help in that department.)
3. Get Specific With Your Pitch
This is one of the big “make or break” moments when it comes to applying for sponsored posts. Any time a brand asks you to propose an idea for a sponsored post—get specific!
Avoid these types of responses:
- I’m flexible—I can do anything you want!
- I’m going to do a *insert something incredibly vague and completely cliche here* tutorial!
- I’ll come up with something really terrific to represent this brand!
Put yourself into the shoes of whoever is reading this application.
They don’t want to have to come up with an idea for you (they are busy enough already, y’all!).
They definitely don’t want to hold your hand all the way through a sponsored program. They want a professional who can rock a sponsored post all on their own.
And they don’t want to take a chance on getting a post that really doesn’t fit with the campaign (that you would likely have to re-write). This makes more work for them, and could jeopardize their relationship with the brand that they’re working with.
Instead, carefully read the campaign outline to get a solid sense of what they’re looking for, and then get really freakin’ specific when answering these questions.
Try for something like this instead:
Let’s say I’m applying for a campaign for Really Easy Sanitizing Wipes (not a real brand, y’all) that is looking for mom and family bloggers to promote their product in a creative tutorial.
My pitch would probably look something like this:
“I would love to write a tutorial called “5 Tips for Keeping Your Kid’s Playroom Clean”. In this post, I would provide 5 tips for families who struggle to keep their child’s play area tidy, including the importance of cleaning toys on a regular basis. In this step, I would highlight how convenient Really Easy Sanitizing Wipes are for getting those toys clean in a snap.”
Whoever is reviewing the application now has the name of the post I’ll create, and can clearly see how the product will be featured. This means if my idea is a good fit (again, make sure to carefully read any information provided on the application)—I stand a way better chance of being accepted.
Now, even with all of these tips, keep in mind that sometimes you’ll apply for sponsored posts and you won’t book them.
Sometimes they won’t like your idea. Sometimes they’ll have a really badass pool of applications and you won’t quite make the cut. Sometimes they won’t like your blog. Or your social accounts. Or something else. It happens.
But remember those 50 generic applications I sent out in August? And how zero of them were accepted? I went from a 0% acceptance rate in August to a 67% acceptance rate in September without making any changes to my blog or social media accounts. I literally just changed the way that I applied and it made a huge, HUGE impact.
Value your time. Apply for less. Apply strategically.