Monetizing your blog: How to get and manage blog sponsors

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Today’s guest post is brought to us by the lovely Leah of Life, Love, & Coffee Stains

Leah is one of two bloggers at Life, Love, and Coffee Stains, a blog for caffeinated 20-somethings trying to navigate the real world. Besides blogging, she works at her 9-5 at Terrapin Beer Co, and as a merchandiser for Chloe + Isabel

You can also find Leah here:

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More and more bloggers are blogging for profit, full time or to supplement other income. With so many options for potential blogs to support, it’s important to stand out in order to gain more blog sponsors or sponsored opportunities. Sponsored opportunities are pretty straight forward, but blog sponsorship can get a little tricky. Blog sponsors are usually other bloggers, Etsy shops, or small businesses that expect some advertising/promotion from you, which varies depending on them, you, and your blog. While theres no clear cut formula for running a successful blog sponsor program, there are a few important things to keep in mind as you create, revitalize, or reorganize your blog sponsor program.

Getting Sponsors

There are several platforms to run sponsorship on a blog: Passionfruit Ads , Adproval , or by accepting payment through Paypal and managing your spots yourself. No matter which platform you’re operating on, the first way to be a great blog option for sponsorship, its best to have multiple “levels” of sponsorship, including a blog ad, and social media attention.

Most of the successful programs that I’ve seen or worked with have a few different options, including a free swap option for fellow bloggers. Not only does a swap option help other bloggers, it also helps you have some activity in your sidebar, which can help you seem like a desirable blogger to sponsor. Other levels you may want to include are product reviews, in post ads, and various sizes of sidebar ads.

What to do when you get a blog sponsor

Once you’ve got someone signed up to be a sponsor (yay!), now what? Be personal. Send them an email welcoming them to your blog as a sponsor, and ask them for any additional information, like social media channels, guest posting information, etc. That being said, you don’t have to ditch the stock email, just spruce it up. Think about your template like MadLibs, for example, “Dear [blank], so glad to have you as a sponsor this month, I love your blog because of [blank].” Being personal helps sponsors feel special which will not only lead to positive reviews, but also possibly a returning sponsor.

Follow through

The next step after contacting your sponsor is to follow through with what you’ve promised. While that may seem obvious, it needs to be said. I’ve seen plenty of bloggers offer certain perks with a level of sponsorship and fall short. It’s not necessarily their fault, most bloggers have a lot going on, but if you want to run a successful sponsor program it’s important to follow through. Bonus points if you go one step further. Sponsors expect what you promised them when they pay for an ad space or set of social media shout outs. If you can give them a little something extra (like more social media love, or reference a blog post or product in a post) you’ve created an over the top experience, that could do wonders for your reviews and your program as a whole.

Blogger/Sponsor Relationships

Your relationship with your sponsor doesn’t end when they’re ad expires. Be sure to follow up with your sponsors and ask for feedback via survey or review. Not only will sponsors be willing to share their experience (especially if it is positive), but if you include their information on your sponsor page, they get even more exposure as a blog or business. Another great way to keep in touch with sponsors is to offer them another month of sponsorship at a discount. While you might not make as much money, you save time trying to find other sponsors, or having a sponsorship spot go empty.

Whether you’re just starting a sponsorship program, or your looking to reinvigorate your current offerings, theres a lot more that goes in to having sponsors and ads on your blog than just making sure your side bar is up to date. Like I said earlier, there’s no clear cut formula, but these tips are a great way to get started. The best part of the idea behind blog sponsorship is that you can customize it to be anything you want. Good luck!

BONUS: Looking to be a blog sponsor? Because Margo and the Blog Loft have been so awesome, I’ve got 50% off ad space at Life, Love, and Coffee Stains by using the code BLOGLOFT

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