Thursday

5 tips for offering sponsorships on your blog

This is the second part of my advertising and sponsorship blog tips post. You can read them in any order so don't worry if you haven't read the first part yet. Yesterday, I wrote about advertisement so it's time to talk about sponsorships.

First of all, let's recap my definitions so we understand how I differentiate between advertising and sponsorship:

Advertising
Charging brands (including other bloggers) to display their advert somewhere on your blog, usually the sidebar. This may, or may not, include other benefits such as sponsor spotlight posts and shout outs on social media. 

Sponsorship
Writing about a brand in a post in return for compensation, whether money or a product. This includes reviews of products, featuring a product in an outfit post, or being paid to include a specific link in a post.

Let's talk about exactly what I mean by sponsorship in a little more detail. There are three main ways:

A) You write a post about a brand or product in return for money. This might be a review of an online resource, a wishlist of your favourite items from an online store, a showcase of a brand's latest looks. That sort of thing- You're telling your readers about a brand or product and they're paying you.

B) Receiving a product to review or feature in a blog post. This could be an item of clothing to show off in an outfit post or a beauty product to review. These usually aren't paid in money but you get to keep the product.

C) You add a link within a normal post in return for money or a product. Obviously, this would need to be worked in a way that isn't just slapping a link at the end of the post. Something like: "I had a great day shopping with Laura. We stopped off for a coffee in Bedbug's Coffee Shop" (Clearly I made that up!) 

1. When should I start offering/ accepting sponsorships?
As I mentioned with advertising, there's no magic point. It all comes down to when you feel ready. You'll probably find that, as your blog grows, companies start getting in touch with you. If you are happy to work with them, then go for it! Don't worry about whether you have enough views, followers, etc. If the brands are contacting you, they must be happy with your reach!
2. How can I start accepting sponsorships?
The first thing you should do is make it easy to contact you- Display an email address somewhere accessible on your blog. Most people have a "contact me" button at the top or in the sidebar. 

As I said above, you might find companies beginning to contact you as your blog grows. They will usually start by saying something like "We'd like you to work with us on promoting our client. Is this something you'd be interested in?" My advice: Always ask what compensation they offer. They might say that they can't offer compensation, in which case you can choose to work with them anyway if you so wish, but there's no harm in asking. 

Unless you're reviewing an item, in which case the brand obviously needs to send it out before you write the post, most brands will pay you within a couple of days of the post going live. The most common methods of payment are Paypal, or filling in a BACS form (a bank account transfer). 

Some people email brands asking to work with them. Personally, I'm not comfortable with this and I think it's poor etiquette. I can't see a reason why people would do this beyond trying to get free stuff. 
3. What should I accept?
What you accept is up to you. If you want to write about cat litter, go ahead. However, it's a good rule of thumb to accept something in line with your blog content. I'm not going to say "If you're a beauty blogger, you can't accept jewellery!" as that's just silly. I don't think there's any harm in drifting away from your niche a little so long as it's a brand or product you genuinely care about. I've turned down plenty of great brands purely because it wouldn't be genuine. For example, I was once contacted by a well known florist company. Although I have nothing against the company, I am not a fan of flowers and I wouldn't have felt comfortable bigging them up. However, I have worked with companies as varied as ghd, BeauCoo and Parcelforce. What do they have in common? I genuinely believe in all of them.
4. How much should I charge?
Everyone wants to know the answer to this and it's a difficult question. It relies on a lot of things- Your reach, the client's budget, the length and nature of the post, etc. Generally speaking, a dedicated post with pictures will cost a brand more than a sponsored link. When I first started being asked my rates, I freaked out! I had no idea what to charge, so I asked the brand what their budget was. This is how I always start negotiations now. If I don't think it's enough, I'll explain that but, if I'm happy with their offer, I'll accept. After being sponsored by a few brands, I got an idea of the average offer and worked out my rates from there. I assess every offer on a case-by-case basis so the amount I receives changes with each post. 
5. Do I need to disclaim when a post is sponsored? 
Yes. Yes. Yes. Always! Let me say that again: Always disclaim when a post is sponsored. Under the Unfair Trading Act 2008, media outlets (and that's what blogs are) have a responsibility to ensure that consumers are able to make a fair assessment of brands. In fact, not mentioning that a feature has been paid is an outright prohibition of the law (part 2, section 6.1 (11)). 

Lately, I've noticed some brands asking bloggers to keep their posts disclaimer-free as Google is cracking down on paid-for links. Do not do it. It is illegal. Feel free to email them the act if they insist. The penalties for committing this offence are a fine of up to £5000 or up to two years in prison (part 4, section 12.9).

The Unfair Trading Act does not specify how you should disclaim but it does mention that it needs to be clearly stated. I add a little notice at the bottom explaining that the post was sponsored. With sponsored links, I put a little asterix next to it and, in the case of gifted products, I use c/o and explain within the post that it has been sent to me. It's worth having a disclaimer policy somewhere accessible on your blog. Mine is in my FAQs and also on my sponsor page

I hope that's helped. Don't forget to check out the advertising tips if you haven't already and, don't forget, I'm always happy to answer any questions. 

10 comments :

  1. Loving these tips Becky! I'd no ideas about these laws if it wasn't for you! x

    August Favourites|The Bare Minimum

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I spent quite a while looking into the legalities of it!

      Delete
  2. Thank you so much for including the legal information at the bottom of this post. I've always been a bit unsure of what the law is in the UK, probably because most of these types of post I read are written by US bloggers and I'm not at the point where I've needed to do the research myself. I've heard that companies are asking bloggers not to disclaim when something was given as part of a sponsorship and it blows my mind that they would ask bloggers to do something illegal. I mean, it's most likely the companies advertising dept that is contacting you, the idea that they wouldn't already know the law is kind of ridiculous. A gentle reminder that you are aware of the law is a much more classy response than I would have come up with xo

    ReplyDelete
    Replies
    1. I found it really frustrating only finding US information so I had to look into it.

      It's amazing how many times I have to explain to companies that it's illegal, and I reckon they still ask other people to do it!

      Delete
  3. This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.

    ReplyDelete
  4. Thank you so much for sharing a lot of this good content! I am looking forward to seeintg more! Digital Marketing

    ReplyDelete
  5. Really great tips! It's such a mine field - I get so worried I'm going to get it wrong or miss out something important.

    Becky - thelifestylebloggeruk.com

    ReplyDelete
  6. Some really great tips! It's such a mine field. So easy to accidentally miss something out too.

    Becky - thelifestylebloggeruk.com

    ReplyDelete

I read all comments and appreciate every single one, even if I can't always reply. If you have a question or need a reply, feel free to tweet me @BeckyBedbug- I always reply to tweets!

Blog Design by Get Polished | Copyright Becky Craggs 2017