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Table of Contents? Check.
Beautiful cover design? Check.
Index? (grumble, grumble, grumble) Check.
Everything But the Posts should be hitting shelves (both ebook and real ones) within a month or so, and I’m pretty darn excited.
Though the book is aimed at bloggers who are just starting, I’ve been told by a few veteran bloggers that they learned some tips from it. I’m sharing a sample chapter here that should be helpful for all bloggers. If you know of networks not on my list, please add them in the comments below!
Everything But the Posts is a three part book. Section I is Creating Your Blog, Section II is Building Your Community, and Section III of my book is titled Monetizing Your Blog. Section III contains the following chapters:
Chapter 9: Working With Brands
Chapter 10: Let’s Make Some Money!
Chapter 11: Connecting With Brands
Chapter12: Giveaway Tips
Chapter 13: Blogging Conferences and Sponsorships
Here’s Chapter 11:
Chapter 11: CONNECTING WITH BRANDS
You’ve established your blog, and you’re ready to step it up a notch with regard to your sponsored content. If you would like to begin connecting with more brands outside of your normal sphere of influence, I have a list of blogger referral networks for you to look into.
BLOGGER REFERRAL NETWORKS
Blogger referral networks act as the middleman between bloggers and brands. They set up blogging and social media campaigns for different companies, and then find bloggers who are a good match to work with them in the form of sponsored posts.
Here’s a list of some of the most popular Blogger Referral Networks, but please note there are even more out there that I don’t know about:
- Blueprint Social
- Clever Girls Collective
- Collective Bias
- Daily Buzz
- Global Influence
- Massive Sway
- Mom Central
- Mom It Forward
- Mom Select
- Mom Spark
- My Blog Spark
- Social Media Chicks
- Social Spark
- Tap Influence
- The Blogger Connection
- The Motherhood
Applying to all of these networks doesn’t hurt you in any way—it actually increases your chances of being able to work with a brand on a sponsored post. Most companies make their selection based on number of blog pageviews, blog niche, and of course, the quality of your blog.
Those with lower pageviews or a lower Google PageRank will make less money per opportunity (commonly referred to as an opp) than experienced bloggers who have been around longer and have higher numbers.
With regard to blog giveaways and reviews, it’s important to note that more experienced bloggers often charge a fee to work with brands on a review or giveaway. As a new blogger, I was shocked to hear that but after almost five years of working on my blog I now understand it. I’ve learned that as a blogger, it’s important to not judge anyone based on the decisions they make with regard to their blog—you just never know if you’ll be in their shoes one day.
There are rumors of bloggers charging more than $1,000 to host a review or giveaway on their blog. Why? Well, these bloggers have brands asking for a spot on their blog—the place where they write and share personal stories with the community they have worked so hard to create. As more and more brands ask to display their product in your personal advertising space, your price for doing so may increase a little each time you’re asked.
BEWARE OF THE PRESS RELEASE
In addition to being a member of blogger referral networks, brands or media relations representatives might also reach out to you directly. Once your email address gets on those brand representative lists, you’ll begin to receive a lot of emails. About 10 percent of those emails will interest you, and about 2 percent will offer you a fair rate of pay for what they’re asking you to do.
For example, you will begin to receive press releases with a quick note at the top asking for you to share the information with your readers. These emails come from people who are hoping to get free publicity from newer bloggers who are excited to be on the list, or from those who don’t understand blogging and view bloggers as journalists working for a newspaper and always looking for content. Since bloggers aren’t paid for their time “at the office” like newspaper journalists are, we can’t post everything we are sent without compensation. Like I said before, be picky about the uncompensated opportunities you accept. If you believe it’ll lead to a paid opportunity down the line, it might be a good idea to work with them.
For example, I don’t normally charge local companies to advertise when I partner with them. That being said, I am picky about what local brands I work with. If it fits well into my blog’s focus, I accept it.
You can ignore the press release emails you receive or you can send a polite note letting the brand representative know that you are happy to send your sponsored post rates to them if they would like you to consider posting their content on your blog.
Your sponsored post rate is a personal decision. You’ll find that a lot of bloggers have opinions about how much the base rate for sponsored posts should be. I can’t tell you what you should charge, but I will tell you that when I first began writing sponsored posts I charged $25 and have been paid up to $500 per post. I have also accepted expenses-paid press trips as compensation for writing a sponsored post.
There you have it-the first peek at Everything But the Posts. Thank you all for your support with this book. I truly wouldn’t have written it without you!