There are many ways to monetize your blog, but perhaps the most lucrative is with sponsored posts. These come in a few different varieties, but are generally split along two lines.
Sponsored posts that you write. This is a technique most often used for product reviews. You're provided with the product and have to fashion a review, including taking pictures and writing the copy. Any brand worth working with will allow you to be honest with your review, though some less scrupulous may stipulate the review be positive. It's up to you and your ethics how you feel about doing that!
Sponsored posts that are written for you. You have to do nothing but upload the post and then receive payment for hosting the article.
Which Is Better For You?
It depends on how much time you have to work on this type of monetization strategy.
Self-Written Posts 101:
These will, for obvious reasons, fit better with your blog content as a whole. You choose the photos, the copy you write and how you present the entire post.
Readers will be happy to see this kind of content, as it is in keeping with your existing style.
These posts are, however, more time consuming for all the beneficial reasons listed above. You have to decide which is more important to you.
While you can obtain sponsored posts through agencies, they will expect a cut of the fee. If you want to retain that for yourself, you will have to run the gauntlet of dealing directly with the client. This can be a fraught, complicated process. There's so much to consider: what if you hate the product they are asking you to review? What sort of links might they want - No or Do Follow? When do they expect it to be posted? When will you be paid? If you're new to this kind of negotiation, then do consider business communication training - you're going to need it.
Sponsored Posts Written For You 101:
This is the easier option if you don't have much time on your hands to dedicate to the above option.
You can choose the niche you receive posts from, so if you have a legal blog then you don't have to accept gift guides.
These posts may be outside of your usual style, and - depending on the agency you work through - may not be written to your usual standard. You can always ask for permission to tidy up any posts to your preference, but ensure it is granted before you do so.
You may find you are offered posts endorsing things you don't like or believe in.
While still lucrative, this option is not as well-paid as writing the content yourself. This, however, may be beneficial for you as well.
Still confused? Let's run through some of the commonly asked questions about sponsored posts..."How do I know which one is right for me?"There's no possible way we can appraise and make personal suggestions. If you're still struggling after the above, then break it down into time. As a simple rule:If you have plenty of time to work on posts, write them yourself.If you don't have time or would rather dedicate it elsewhere to developing your blog? Use full posts pre-written for you. "Where do I find companies who will want to use my blog for sponsored posts?"
Most will find you, but to make sure you're visible:
Work hard on your social media strategy. Companies need to know you exist to want to work with you. If you use one of their products, then tag them into your Tweet/Instagram/Facebook post about said item.
Create a media kit, which contains information about your blog. This should be the rate you would charge for posts, your blog traffic and your social network followers. You can then reach out to companies you're interested in working with and ask if they would like to see your kit. If things go well, a collaboration should follow.
"How much should I be paid for sponsored posts?"This is another question that does not have a perfect answer. It all depends on your reach; your blog traffic and social network accounts. As a rough estimate, work out how long creating/hosting the content will take you, and then figure out what you're willing to work for as an hourly rate. Keep this figure reasonable, however, especially if you haven't hosted content before.Sponsored posts of either type can be a valuable revenue stream for any blog, so keep working and you will see results. Good luck!