When you get right down to it, every post on your blog is a sponsored post. You’re either making money with affiliate links or you’re earning ad revenue. In the end, somebody is paying your to blog otherwise you wouldn’t be doing it. That said, the next question is a little more specific: Should you solicit advertisers and write specific relevant content in exchange for money? Are you losing money by not selling sponsored posts?
What are sponsored posts?
Once you have an established blog and you’re bringing in plenty of traffic you’re going to start receiving requests for sponsored posts from advertisers. Typically, they’ll offer to pay you money to write a review of one of their products and publish it on your high-traffic blog. In some cases, they’ll even send you the product so you can use it before you write your review.
Some bloggers advertise the fact that they’re willing to accept sponsored posts and include this service in their business plan. There are a lot of highly respected blogs out there dedicated to product reviews.
What are the benefits of sponsored posts?
Advertisers understand how readers view the Internet. They know that most readers have “ad blindess” which means they don’t even notice those banners you have in your sidebar and at the end of your posts. They know that the best way to get someone to click on a link is to put it right there inside the body of the article, surrounded by highly relevant content.
They also understand that if your blog has a consistently large number of visits each day then you must be doing something right. You have a ready made, targeted audience and they hang on your every word.
Blogger who publish sponsored blog posts benefit by either being paid a fee for publishing the post or receiving free products or services.
Does it sound too good to be true?
In most cases it’s a win-win situation for both parties, the blogger and the advertiser. But publishing sponsored posts on your blog can have a couple of drawbacks:
It’s important to let your readers know that you’re being compensated for your review. If you don’t, and they find out from someone else, then you immediately lose credibility and get lumped in with all the other scammy bloggers on the Internet. You’re also required by law to let your readers know you’re being compensated, either with money, products or services, endorse a product.
On the downside, if you have a well-established blog known for your great personal pearls of wisdom your readers might resent it if you suddenly start posting nothing but paid product endorsements or reviews. So you want to use sponsored posts wisely. On the other hand, if that’s your blog’s central theme and if that’s the audience you want to attract, then have at it. Like I said, this is a business model for a lot of blogs in a lot of different niches.
Two words of caution: If you’re going to use sponsored posts on your blog use no-follow links to link to that advertiser, especially if they’re not well-known. They can change that salespage over night and you certainly don’t want to be lending link authority to another pharmacy site.
The second, and most important caution is this: Only use sponsored posts that are relevant for your audience. The reason that manufacturer approached you is because of your traffic numbers and you know how hard you had to work to get your blog in the position it’s in today. Don’t risk it by publishing something completely off-topic just to make a quick buck.