As marketers and link builders stray from the traditional home page or sidebar text link, their efforts focus on buying a sponsored post from bloggers. This seems to be the hottest topic in the blogging community at the moment, with offers ranging from free to just barely reasonable. We are searching for clarity on what to charge, what variations exist and how it can impact our blog.
Sponsored Post Questions
Seriously, someone is getting $600USD for a sponsored post?
Isn’t $80USD reasonable?
They are giving me free content!
It’s a guest post, why should I charge them?
They are willing to write the article with professional writers.
If it’s a sponsored post why am I writing it?
Is this the same as purchasing a text link in an article?
Why would I charge $500 for that?
Are you hearing these same questions asked throughout the blogosphere? I hear them and I am eager to help provide answers. The best answers, however come from our collective experiences, so please, add your comments below.
I have provided guidelines on what to charge for a sponsored post in a previous article, so if you are looking for exact price suggestions, go there.
Bullshit offers to Bloggers
Bloggers get these a lot, and we will continue to receive them as long as bloggers accept them.
Most recently several bloggers in the travel industry have received an offer from Only-apartments, a multinational apartments rental company. They actively sell text links in the travel blogging community. Their starting offer for a “guest post” (disguised sponsored post) is $80USD. That’s $80USD on a blog that has a Google PageRank of 4, receives 20,000 unique visits a month, has 7,000 twitter followers, 3,000 Facebook fans and a Klout score of 68. That’s just wrong.
I get in touch with you because my company really likes your blog and would like to collaborate with you as a guest blogger. Of course we would pay you for this as the posts would have to include one or two links to our SEO page. We can pay up to $80, I know it’s not that much money, but in return, we can offer you travel related, quality content. I write new articles everyday for several travel blogs. Articles could be weekly, every two weeks or monthly with one or two links. I think both parts gain, my company for promotion, you because of the new, quality content and being paid and I, personally, as a professional.
Some will be frustrated with me for sharing that email, but who are we kidding, this is the majority of crap bloggers receive. I am not saying I won’t work a deal with Only-apartments, but I am saying I won’t work a deal for $80 or anything close to that.
There are many ideas being thrown about in this email request for a “guest post”. They are offering to write it, they want 1-2 text links in the article and they would also consider repeat business.
Recurring Blog Revenue
We love recurring revenue and thats where Only-apartments is going to attract us. For those of us that accept sponsored posts, we know it’s a hard deal to negotiate, agree upon and ultimately close a deal. Repeat business doesn’t sound like a bad idea. Repeat business also means you are expected to discount. How much should you discount?
Blog Advertising Discounts
Discounts are hard to suggest. It’s offered based on the added value you receive from the deal. If you struggle to book monthly deals, then recurring business is important to you. Do you prefer to write the article yourself? Do you prefer placing contextual links in an article which can be written about anything you choose? Discounts can be offered if they write the material, if they sell you two articles at one time, if the content includes images and if there is only one text link.
Contextual Links not to be confused with a Sponsored Post
Pricing is very different for placing a single link in an article of your choosing versus a sponsored post. Be aware of this before negotiating a deal. A sponsored post typically refers to an entire post being handed over to you with 1-2 text links embedded in the article. A contextual link is just a text link that is placed in an article instead of the traditional sidebar or footer. A contextual link shouldn’t exceed three words for it’s anchor text. Example: holiday package deals. If a link builder wants “holiday package deals” placed in your next article, then price it differently, price it lower than that of a sponsored post. Why? Because it’s not impacting your writing, nor your audience. You will write as you always have, but you will find a way to include the contextual link. Some link builders will ask to include a sentence or two at the end of your post with a link in it. Again, the more content they want, the more you charge. This should be priced higher than a single contextual link, but lower than a sponsored post. We will dive deeper into these link methods in posts to come.
What are you and your blog worth?
My feelings are that unless your starving, get what you deserve. We know the efforts put into blogging are tremendous. It’s extremely time consuming and pays little to nothing, but we do see potential. The potential relies on marketing and PR departments gaining an understanding of the benefits working with bloggers for promotion. It relies on company budgets shifting from traditional media to social media. It relies on bloggers hanging in there until business changes. If you aren’t going to starve by saying “No” to a deal that you don’t feel is fair, then say “No”.