How-to-create-sponsored-posts-that-dont-look-spammy

I was recently asked to write a follow-up article on a post I wrote a while ago on getting paid to work with brands on your blog. This is always a hot topic on the lips and minds of bloggers – for some people making an income from a blog is the main goal, and it is only recently that rules and regulations for advertising through bloggers have started to be standardised.

A sponsored post is paid for by a brand, and will usually feature a small attribution comment or link at the bottom of the post to show this. The post may be written by yourself or by the brand, and sometimes the brand will have specific requests on the content of your post or how it looks. However, including brand work on your blog can result in a change in content, style or tone of voice of your posts – something that loyal followers can notice quite quickly!

So how do you write a great sponsored post that’s exactly what the brand is looking for, as well as keeping your regular readers happy at the same time?

Keeping your readers happy

  • Your readers’ trust is one of the most important things to you as a blogger, so being clear and upfront about working with brands will help you stay in their favour. A small disclaimer on somewhere like your ‘start here’ or ‘about me’ page will let your readers know that you’ll always state where posts are promotional, so that they can expect a product or brand to be featured in the post.
  • You know your audience and what they like to see from you more than anyone. Whenever accepting a brand related post, always aim to tailor the brand promotion towards your audience. Can you promote it in a tone of voice, or from an angle that your readers recognise and are comfortable with?
  • Authenticity can give you a really strong connection to your readers – make sure you’re still yourself when promoting paid-for posts. Don’t hide the fact that a brand has asked you to work on something for them, but also maintain the relationship between you and your readers.
  • A brand has likely contacted you because they are impressed by the connection you have with your readers, and would like to utilise it in order to promote something that they think your readers would find interesting. If you don’t think this is the case, don’t be afraid to turn a brand opportunity away.

Keeping brands happy

  • The first thing you should do when receiving a sponsored post opportunity from a brand is to review the information provided, and make sure that you are completely clear on what it is they are looking for. What links have been specified, do you need to promote the post a certain amount of times on social media, are there any specific points to be included? This way you will ensure that you’re not going to have to amend or take down your post once live to meet all the requirements.
  • If you haven’t taken payment for a sponsored blog post before, consider putting together a media pack.
  • Use the supplied imagery from the brand if they ask you to, but you’re more likely to impress if you weave their product into ‘normal life’. Featuring their product within your own personal setting is likely to be what a brand is looking for with a sponsored post.
  • Tag the brand in a Tweet or Facebook post once your post is live.
  • If you have any objections to paid-for posts being live on your blog permanently, and would prefer to use a model that specifies how long the payment will keep the post on the blog for, be upfront and clear with this from the beginning with prospective brands. You don’t want any disappointed clients coming to look at your post to see it’s disappeared after a month!

Do you have any other tips for working with sponsored posts? Share them in the comments below!

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