Advertising and sponsorships. The most important thing you can do to grow your blog. It took me a long time to figure this out, and in a way I am happy about that. I blogged for six months without sponsoring and it gave me time to fine tune my skills. It really wasn't until about a month ago or so that I moved from strictly personal style to more lifestyle type writing. I get more feedback and engagement that way and I use my personal style as a backdrop of sorts.
Now that I have my blog where I want to be content wise I find myself looking into ways to create a profit without changing this space that I love so much. More on that later.
I use Passionfruit to manage my sponsor buttons and payments. It is free and easy to install the widgets on your sponsor page. I like the swap option they have, it gives you the opportunity to create a "swap ads" feature, great for smaller blogs and those that don't want to installs ads themselves on their sidebars (me!) I also like running promo's to draw more people in with discounts. It is easy to do all of this through Passionfruit and is quite fool proof, even for technologically challenged people like me.
Traditionally, sponsoring comes in the form of featured posts and ad space directing readers to the advertised site. Most blogs that have a sponsor option have a feature size that includes a guest post (my personal fave) as well as smaller sizes that can include social media shout outs and inclusion in a giveaway. I like to get the most for my money and buy the feature ad as this gets the most readers back to my blog and gives me the most bang for my buck. Currently I sponsor (on average) 2 blogs per month and I like to do the larger ones. That helps keep my name out there and lets me focus on writing quality guests posts.
I have had amazing results sponsoring Lipgloss and Crayons, Dearest Lou, Chalk White Arrow, Living in Yellow, Aunie Sauce, Casey Leigh and The Daily Tay.
It is also so, so important to get your name out there through social media. Create a Twitter, Instagram and Facebook account for your blog. Follow other blogs that you are a fan of. The blogging community is amazing. You will continually find blogger's that are inspiring and who will support you. There is enough room for everyone. One of my favorite things is finding new friends through blogging. Most are really nice and want to help/support you. They can't do this if you aren't using your social media in a savvy way. Treat your blog like a business, you must get your name out there and have a consistent presence. Social media is your (free!) way to do this.
Back to sponsoring. Recently I have been looking at different ways I want to create profit. I am not sure having featured posts from blogs is the way I want to go. I prefer to be the sole author here. For now I do have (very inexpensive!) sponsoring options where I will feature blogs in the midst of a post written by me. I also have a giveaway option.
One of my favorite ways to earn profit is through sponsored posts. I have pitched ideas and have been approached through email. Companies do pay me to feature their businesses. It is still very exciting when this happens! I do not/would not ever endorse a company that I wouldn't use myself. The most obvious choices for partnership would be clothing/accessory/children related items. I would eventually like to support this blog through these kinds of sponsored posts and purchased ad space. I created a media kit and give this out when I am approached by companies (which is still thrilling to be even considered. I'm still amazed.)
Tell me, what do you think about sponsoring?
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