I've been sponsoring three blogs for the past couple of months. Purchasing an ad spot is new to me, even though I used to do ad swap back in
the day of blogging glory 2010-2011. If done right, sponsoring other blogs can be very helpful in increasing your blog traffic and follower numbers. Alas, that's not the case for me. Out of the three ads I've purchased on three different blogs, there's only one success. But the experience has taught me these four things I should have done before sponsoring a blog.
Get to know the blogger first. The very first time I sponsored a blog was by googling for small-to-medium blogs that accept sponsorship. Then I bought their cheapest ad. It was a tacky move as if I was shooting in the dark. I didn't know the blogger and as it turned out, we literally had nothing in common. It was a waste of money and I wasn't satisfied with the result. After sponsoring that first blog, I decided to sponsor a blog that I had known for a while, Sincerely, Sara. It was the total opposite. I got my fair amount of traffic and followers while I also supported a blogger I genuinely like. It was a win-win situation and I'm really glad I did it.
Visit the blog's current and past sponsors. It's important to know that your blog and their blog's current and past sponsors at least have one thing in common. The first blog I sponsored was a beauty blog and their sponsors were also beauty and hair blogs with contents like makeup products reviews, beauty tips and how-to's, and things like that. I, on the other hand, rarely (if ever) write those kinds of post. Sara and I both love YA fictions, Marvel movies, and other geeky stuff, so our blogs are not very different (although her blog is more organised and focused than mine). Her sponsors were all also similar in taste. I didn't feel like an alien when my ad was placed among them. So, another point for Sara!
Study the available ad choices. Blogs that accept sponsorship usually have several choices of sponsorship you can choose from. The cheapest one usually only offers an ad space on the sidebar, perhaps with several additions like a shoutout on Twitter and a link back in a blog post. Other options may give you the opportunity to do a guest post or a giveaway. Study these sponsorship options carefully, so there won't be any misunderstanding in the future.
Choose the kind of ad/sponsorship that suits your blog. For example, if you are a crafty blogger with an Etsy shop for handmade accessories, you may want to choose the kind of sponsorship which gives exposure to both your blog and your shop, e.g. an ad space on the sidebar plus an opportunity to do a giveaway. Also, don't forget to choose the sponsorship in accordance to your budget.
Sponsoring other people's blogs is a valuable experience. It brings new friends and also helps you grow. I hope these tips from me are helpful for you who are new to this whole sponsorship thing ;)
*Blogging Rant is an irregular feature on Hola Darla, in which I talk about blogging and other things related to it.
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