If you’re new to the world of blogging and content development there’s a good chance you were sucked in with the promise of fortunes beyond your wildest dreams, the truth of the matter is that very few bloggers are successful at creating a full-time income from their blogs and even fewer become rich from their efforts.
One of the biggest reasons bloggers fail to make a living comes from the fact that they attempt to monetize their blogs through sponsored posts before the time is right.
So what’s the big deal? You throw up a few sponsored posts and you make a few dollars. The issue comes down to authority. If you’re new readership realizes that your posts are all sponsored by company’s you don’t have the ability to develop an authoritative voice free from intervention from outside forces.
Waiting For The Right Time To Monetize – Post and Traffic Numbers
I typically make the rule that I don’t offer sponsored posts until my personal websites have reached at least 300 posts with a monthly following of at least 10,000 pageviews per month. The time you wait should be based solely on your own authoritative goals, for example if big name external websites and smaller known sites begin linking to your blog and referring to you by name right from the start you can argue that you already have an authoritative following. If you have written sponsored posts on authoritative websites those posts may also weigh into your decision.
Tie-in To What You Already Report About
Another good rule of thumb is to begin offering sponsored posts when they tie-in to the posts you already offer. For example if you run a tech blog and you write about iPhone peripherals on a regular basis a sponsored post about the new Incipio iPhone 4S cases will likely be a good fit for your website. If however you write about laptops and you start offering iPhone sponsored posts your attempts to cash in on your readers loyalty will quickly become known.
Allow Sponsors Your Readers Want To Know About And Sponsors You Trust
I personally like to offer sponsored posts when my sites visitors begin to ask questions about products and services that are looking to sponsor a slot on my websites. If I’m writing about VPS website hosting and WiredTree reaches out for a sponsored post I’m likely to accept the sponsored post request since I believe in their services, while a less known, less reliable sponsor will be turned down since I don’t want to lead my readers astray. Remember that if you’re readers begin asking you questions you have developed a voice that they trust, this is a good sign that sponsored posts will work for your blog.
Create A Strong Statement Of Sponsorship Disclosure
You need to develop a strong disclosure statement. For example when I write posts about Smartphones that have been sponsored I don’t just state “This is a paid sponsored post” since that statement makes it seem like the company wrote the article and I just posted it. Instead I might use something that shows editorial control over sponsored content such as, “This is a sponsored post. The author of this post has more than 15 years experience in the field of mobile telecommunications and all information provided was written with the sole discretion of the writer.” I mention this tactic because it shows that even when posts are sponsored the voice of the writer and their authoritative acceptance is still used.
Remember that your blog needs to be YOUR blog, if you hand it over to sponsored posts before you have an authoritative voice you might as well start a PR agency and not a blog with a definitive voice.