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How to Get Sponsors for Your Blog

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Little Miss Momma: How to Get Sponsors for Your Blog

Thursday, January 27, 2011

How to Get Sponsors for Your Blog

How to Get Sponsors and
Advertising for Your Blog


I have received this question in my inbox a lot lately, and I have struggled to respond because there is no quick answer to this question--and what works for me may be different then what will work for you. So this post will give you an overview of what has worked for me.

When I started my blog on February 22, 2010,
not an advertiser in the world would take a chance with me.
I was new.
I hardly had any content on my blog
and I only received hits from my Mom, Nina and Brittany.
There was nothing in it for them.

So I started small.
I started with giveaways.
Of my own products, at first.
Then I convinced some of my friends to give me product for a giveaway.
And once I got to a point where people were actually reading my blog,
I went in search of real advertisers.

How to Find Sponsors For Newer Blogs
{the beginning}

FOCUS ON THE CONTENT:
Before you spend too much time worrying about getting sponsors, make sure your blog is something that other people want to read, make sure your readers will trust your endorsements, and make sure that you have an established and loyal following--this doesn't mean make sure you have a lot of followers. Followers do NOT necessarily reflect the popularity of a blog {although it can often be used as a good indicator}. By "following", I mean, be sure you have a group of people that visit your blog regularly and are interested in what you have to say. Once you get to that point, advertisers will know you have influence when you promote their products.

LOOKS MATTER:
Before I decide to advertise the LMM Shop on another blog, I take careful consideration of the blog appearance. Is it clean, easy to navigate, etc. So be sure, you have the "look" of your blog down before you focus on making $. For tips on Beautifying Your Blog, visit Nina's helpful series here.

Once you have developed your content, cleaned up your blogs appearance and established a loyal following, you are ready to find sponsors.

FINDING YOUR FIRST SPONSORS
{they will not find you}:
When you have a newer blog, you are most likely going to have to go out and find your sponsors--they will not come to you. I recommend four place to look first:

1. friends and family who have a business.

2. etsy: this is a great place to search for companies and products that you think will be a good fit for your blog. And, just like you, these businesses are usually home-based, and looking for affordable advertising.

3. other blogs similar in size and content to yours: find other blogs out there that are like yours. Then figure out who advertises on their blog. You can start by approaching them, because you know they are already open to the idea of advertising on blogs.

4. Product Features: In the beginning of my blog, I did a lot of "etsy features"--where I showed you all some of my favorite items on etsy from non-sponsors. After the post went up, I would send those shops an email that said something like "i just featured you on my blog" and give them a link. If they write you back saying thank you, then you can consider sending them an email about sponsorship {see what this email should include below}.

Once you have your list of potential sponsors, you need to write a letter.

DO NOT MAKE THIS LETTER GENERIC!!! POTENTIAL SPONSORS HATE THAT!

In fact, if I get an email from someone who wants me to advertise LMM on their website, but I can tell that they blasted it to 100 other shops, and the email started with "hi", and they didn't even bother to insert my name--I put it right in my trash box. As an advertiser, I am waaayyy more likely to go with a blogger who has familiarized themselves with my product, who has taken the time to look around my shop, and who LIKES what I sell.

NEVER ENDORSE A PRODUCT YOU DON'T LIKE!

Start your letter with Dear "name of the shop owner {not the company}".  In the first sentence point out that you LOVE their shop. But then ALSO be SURE to mention exactly what it is you love about their shop {so they believe that you actually visited}.
For example:

Dear Nichelle,

I am in LOVE with your Etsy Shop, Vintage Wanna Bee!
My favorites are the Chloe, the Sadie and the Hannah--in fact, I have even hearted many of your items to hint at my hubby for Christmas. You have some talent girl!

Now, Nichelle will be motivated to continue reading my letter, and even more likely to visit my blog to consider advertising with me. In the next part of my letter, I would write a brief one sentence description of my blog--then point out that her shop would be a big hit with my readers. I end the letter by letting her know:

If you would like more information on FREE promotional programs on my blog, please let me know.

That's right, I said FREE!

In the beginning, you can't really expect to get paid, until you have established yourself as a legit promoter. I offered all my advertising for FREE {or in exchange for product} for the first few months of my blog. Even though it is FREE, businesses will still turn you down, because they are giving up product, which is an expense for them {so be prepared to be turned down more often than you get a "yes"}.


WHEN THEY SAY "YES" to MORE INFO:
When one of your prospects requests more information, you will need to send them a second letter outlining the promotions you offer and EXACTLY how they work.

This letter should include details on giveaways, reviews, and side bar ad buttons. I also like to include a link to past promotions I have run for other businesses so they can take a look at what a "product review" would look like once posted.

In all reality, you will probably send out 50-100 of these letters in your first few months. Once you have about a dozen giveaways and/or reviews under your belt, you have likely worked out the kinks, it is likely that businesses will start approaching you.

Once enough businesses start approaching you, you are probably ready to start charging.

HOW DO I KNOW HOW MUCH TO CHARGE:
When I went to the Causal Bloggers Conference they gave us this formula to figure out how much we should charge per month {see below}. I think this number is a bit inflated.

FORMULA
Take your page views per month, round up or down to the nearest hundred, drop 3 zeros, and then multiply the amount by 1.25.

Ex: 200,000 page views per month. Drop 3 zeros = 200, Multiply by 1.25 = $250

According to this model, I should be charging $250 per month for advertising.
I DON'T CHARGE THIS MUCH! Due to current economic circumstances, I don't expect my sponsors to pay anything close to this for a monthly rate. But you can use this as a reference and make your own decision.

CREATE A MEDIA KIT:
Once you know what your prices will be, I think it is very important that you create a media kit, outlining all your promotional programs and blog specs.

Your media kit should include:
-a brief description of you and your blog {make it interesting}
-a brief paragraph about why you are a great blog to advertise their product
-blog stats
-prices
-specific information on promotions {giveaways, reviews, ad buttons}
-links to sample posts

I HAVE SOME SPONSORS, NOW WHAT:
Now you go to work promoting the hec outta them!
Work hard for them.
Facebook ,tweet, link up,
do whatever you can to get the word out about them.
Because when they grow, you succeed too!

TRUST ME, there is no better feeling than watching someone you care about succeed and knowing that you played some small role in that success--so CARE about your sponsors!

Love them,
and then your readers will too!
Be sure that you get along with them,
believe in what they do,
and enjoy their products.

Because if your relationship with your sponsors isn't sincere,
your readers will see through it,
and they will stop trusting you.


Labels: ,

63 Comments:

At January 27, 2011 at 2:39 PM , Blogger CherishedBliss said...

Thanks for this awesome info!!! Just what I needed to read : )

Ashley
www.yourcherishedbliss.blogspot.com

 
At January 27, 2011 at 2:41 PM , Blogger Stephanie said...

THANK YOU!! I am a newbie at this too, and I am participating in my very first blog hop, and having my very first giveaway. Three items, I got on my own, and two items, I convinced friends, lol! Thank you again for such awesome information!

hirschhousehold6.blogspot.com

 
At January 27, 2011 at 2:41 PM , Blogger MyDearJenn said...

Thank you for the info! I will most definitely come back to this once my blog gets a little bit bigger!!!

 
At January 27, 2011 at 2:46 PM , Blogger Ashley said...

Great, great post my dear! Xoxoxo

 
At January 27, 2011 at 2:47 PM , Blogger Heather said...

Thank you for this info! I have been slacking when it comes to my blog since having my sweet girl Ariel...hopefully I will get back on the wagon...I am actually thinking of starting a new blog...like starting fresh and especially since I am new to this mommy journey as well.

Thanks

 
At January 27, 2011 at 2:47 PM , Blogger Stephanie said...

OH BTW Ashley- your blog has one of the largest followings that I've seen! It is very impressive, and quite amazing! I don't have many followers, I don't have a niche, I just write whatever, whenever. I am so new to the blogosphere, in a way. I'm learning, so thank you for the wonderful information! I can't wait to start applying it!

 
At January 27, 2011 at 2:58 PM , Blogger Maria-Isabel @ Agape Love Designs said...

This is wonderful, Ashley! Thank you.
I was actually just starting to work on sponsors and wanting to do giveaways on my blog.. and maybe trade for advertisement. I wasnt sure how it all should work. So I was going slow, I created a section for sponsors, and created a page (which is blank for now) where I will put info in about advertising with me and such.
I figured I would need to approach people about it, before they would come to me, but this post really helped with how to approach, and more! So thank you so much.
I am such a big fan of your blog. You are so sweet, genuine and helpful! You rock!
~Maria-Isabel
Agape Love Designs

 
At January 27, 2011 at 2:59 PM , Blogger Whitney said...

SOOOO useful! Thank you for the great tips :) I dont think my blog is really established enough yet but Ill be looking into this once I get there!

Happy Thursday!
Whit

 
At January 27, 2011 at 3:01 PM , Blogger Johanson Family said...

I think its truly amazing how open and helpful you are to everyone out there who follows your blog. I think that is the biggest reason why people keep coming back... you are just being YOU and laying it all out there!! You have really come along way since your started almost a year ago!! It really gives a lot of bloggers hope!! Thanks for everything!!

 
At January 27, 2011 at 3:01 PM , Blogger Danielle said...

Ashley, I would just like to say you run a WONDERFUL blog. I was sucked in from the moment I found you. You are the BEST at supporting you sponsors. And that is what I like to see because I am one of those people that pays for Ads. So kudos to you girl for representing your sponsors so well!!
-Danielle :)
Two Lilies Boutique
Whipperberry.com

 
At January 27, 2011 at 3:01 PM , Blogger Helena (XOXO Parisky) said...

Thank you so much for this!

 
At January 27, 2011 at 3:03 PM , Blogger Craftberry Bush said...

Thank you so much for this information...I've been wanting to ask some one but have been to shy ...so I appreciate it !I think you answered pretty much every question I had...yay!..
by the way I love the rings, the white roses to be precise.. ;o) (see I'm a fast learner..lol..but I do love the ring!) Thanks again !
much love,
Lucy

 
At January 27, 2011 at 3:06 PM , Blogger Raige Creations said...

this is valuable information. thank you. i have been contemplating offering ads, but hadn't worked out how to begin yet. This is great food for thought. Wanna advertise on my blog? for free to start of course! :)

 
At January 27, 2011 at 3:16 PM , Blogger Linen and Tulle said...

Thank you for being so open with what you do. It is great information.

 
At January 27, 2011 at 3:42 PM , Blogger Jaimie said...

cool post, thanks a lot! i've kind of always wanted to do sponsors on my blog, but never knew how to do it and i always felt awkward, but i feel better about it now that you wrote this.

 
At January 27, 2011 at 3:45 PM , Blogger Brittany Lynn said...

I love this, and you for being willing to share. I would love to have sponsors and an amazing blog that everyone would love to read! But I am the kind of person who just blogs about life in between naps. I have no idea how to make my blog something that people would be interested in. But thank you! I will keep this information in mind for the future. :]

 
At January 27, 2011 at 3:47 PM , Blogger tickled. said...

Great tips ... As always! Thanks so much Ashley!

~Lauren
www.tickledonline.blogspot.com

 
At January 27, 2011 at 3:52 PM , Blogger *Andrea* said...

I love this!...this is just what i needed! thank you so much for sharing this, I love your blog it is my FAV!! :)

XOXO Andrea

 
At January 27, 2011 at 4:00 PM , Blogger Alyssa said...

I really love this post! Yes I do! I love that you started your blog LAST YEAR and you have over 3,000 followers!! This is great! I have a blog too and have always been wondering HOW to get as many followers as you! Thanks for this Post! You are awesome!

-Alyssa

moda-chic-boutique.blogspot.com/

 
At January 27, 2011 at 4:02 PM , Blogger gina luv said...

you are super fab lovely! This info is really helpful even for a blogger who has had small sponsors for awhile:)
gina

 
At January 27, 2011 at 4:04 PM , Blogger Madigan at madiganmade said...

Wonderful words of wisdom! I love the advice to 'love' your sponsors. Thank you for sharing your experience!

 
At January 27, 2011 at 4:04 PM , Blogger Kristi Hoskins Gifts said...

Thank you so much for posting this! Much needed info.

 
At January 27, 2011 at 4:15 PM , Anonymous Debbie - Families and Literacy said...

Wow, great stuff! I've honestly never even thought of doing sponsors, but it sounds like it's working great for you!

 
At January 27, 2011 at 4:22 PM , Blogger Amber said...

thanks for the GREAT tips!

 
At January 27, 2011 at 4:32 PM , Blogger Heidi Ferguson said...

Thanks so much for answering my questions...this is great info. I know how busy you are!

 
At January 27, 2011 at 4:40 PM , Blogger Tianna said...

I'm so glad you posted this! I am a nutritionist and a fellow nutritionist friend mentioned today about how she wants to do a nutrition blog with me, but the thought of actually making money from it sounded so impossible! Thanks for the tips! :)

 
At January 27, 2011 at 5:03 PM , Blogger Chrissy @ Boerman Ramblings said...

not sure why so many are amazed by your awesomeness! :) Another great post and SO HELPFUL. thanks for sharing Ashley it means a lot to ALL of us!

 
At January 27, 2011 at 5:09 PM , Blogger Katie @ EyeSpyDIY said...

Wow, thanks so much Ashley for the amazing information! It is very useful for a newbie like me! Love love love your blog!

 
At January 27, 2011 at 5:10 PM , Blogger Kara said...

sooooooooooooooooooo helpful Ashley!! Thank you bunches!

 
At January 27, 2011 at 5:53 PM , Blogger Cecilia said...

Great post!! Very useful information!
Thank you for sharing!

I just wanted to tell you I gave you an award in my blog!
http://soteitei.blogspot.com/2011/01/i-got-award.html

 
At January 27, 2011 at 6:04 PM , Blogger Erin said...

All my favorite blogs seem to be posting about how they all begun or how to spice up your blog...what perfect timing! I just recently started an art/crafting blog a few months ago. Thank you for the honesty!

http://erinscreative.blogspot.com

 
At January 27, 2011 at 6:22 PM , Blogger April said...

Just a wonderful post packed with great info....I will tuck this away for when I am ready for sponsors....hoping to get to that point someday...thanks so much !!

have a happy dya

 
At January 27, 2011 at 6:31 PM , Blogger ohboy said...

Thanks so much for the tips Ashley! My dream is to make my blog as successful as you...I know big shoes to fill. Day by day I appreciate all the info!

By the way I gave you an award on my blog!

 
At January 27, 2011 at 6:56 PM , Blogger Amanda @ Serenity Now said...

Ashley, this was an AWESOME post. I have quite a bit less Followers than you do, but we run our Sponsors sections very similarly, I think. I waited until I had been blogging consistently (ie. on a regular schedule) and had an audience who interacted with me on a regular basis before I entertained the thought of adding a sponsors section. One of my pet peeves is seeing a brand-new blog with 40 Followers and no content out desperately soliciting Sponsors. It's all about being patient and working hard to build your content up and gain the trust of your readers.

Great post!!!

 
At January 27, 2011 at 7:04 PM , Blogger Natosha @ Seven One Six said...

Thank you, Ashley!

I am just in the process of hosting giveaways (first one is tomorrow!!) and am offering free sponsor ads to those who are hosting giveaways for their product.

This was a great read and has really great into that I've bookmarked to revisit in the very near future!

 
At January 27, 2011 at 7:59 PM , Blogger michelle dean said...

Thanks so much for this post! I have really been wondering how people get so many sponsors! http://polkadotsandpizza.blogspot.com

 
At January 27, 2011 at 8:46 PM , Blogger Lovin-Life-Piersons said...

Thanks so much Ashley. I have been wondering how people get sponsors for so long now. My blog is still a bit too small right now, but I have been wondering a lot about how to get them when the time comes. Is it worth it to get sponsors? Does it give the author a descent amount of money?? I have been wondering that too.
Also does anyone know if those google ads are worth it? Is it worth it to sign up with the google ad sense program or not?

 
At January 27, 2011 at 8:48 PM , Blogger Our Seven Dwarfs said...

Thank you so much for this post! You answered so many of our questions! We are a new blog of only 2 months. We are rapidly growing though. We have already hit 30,000 hits this month! Love it. Your info will be a huge help! Thank you again!

www.oursevendwarfs.com

 
At January 27, 2011 at 9:34 PM , Anonymous Andi Adams said...

I love it! Thanks for sharing what you have learned! This specific post has helped me see, some of my instincts were correct about what to charge for sponsors! Thanks!!

 
At January 27, 2011 at 9:52 PM , Blogger Karri said...

Wow - that's awesome! Thanks! Its been awhile since I've been in the biz world, and when I got my MBA, blogging wasn't all the rage it is now. Yikes! That was helpful!

 
At January 27, 2011 at 10:00 PM , Blogger Tia Brumbelow said...

Wonderful Advice! Thank you for taking the time to share :)

 
At January 28, 2011 at 5:56 AM , Blogger Mindy said...

Thank you for posting this. I think I need to see the postive reinforcements every day. I have been struggling with my Etsy shop and trying to stay postive about it.

 
At January 28, 2011 at 6:42 AM , Blogger Beth @ Free Stylin' said...

Thank you so much for the information!! This is exactly what I've been needing. It's like you wrote it for me! I'm getting to work on the steps right now!

 
At January 28, 2011 at 6:44 AM , Blogger Lindsay @ Yams said...

This is so amazing! Thank you so much for taking the time to share this information with us! I am a HUGE fan of your blog and am so happy I found it!! :]

 
At January 28, 2011 at 11:10 AM , Blogger Pedey @ Do You Smell That!!? said...

GREAT write up. Thank you.

Sponsorship is something I've recently been thinking about but I just didn't know what to do our how. I appreciate your tips & look forward to trying them out for my cooking blog!

Thanks, again, Ash - you're always so real & open & honest & helpful & I appreciate you!

 
At January 28, 2011 at 12:21 PM , Blogger Camilla said...

Ashley, That was an AWESOME post. That was very informational for me. I will have to bookmark it and come back to it often. I have had a family blog for many years but I'm new to blogging for ANYONE to see. I've started a craft blog and would eventually love it to make $...This was great to read.
Thanks again,
Camilla
www.firstladyofthehouse.blogspot.com

 
At January 28, 2011 at 1:36 PM , Blogger Ashley said...

Like many others, I just wanted to say THANK YOU! This post was incredibly informative for me and exactly what I've been working on lately. :]

 
At January 29, 2011 at 6:43 AM , Anonymous Melissa D. said...

Thank you so much for your info! I am new to getting "serious" about blogging for real with my blog. I'm in the process of re-doing my blog and hope it turns out half as nice as yours! You have given me a lot of ideas for when my blog takes off (I hope). By the way I love your crafting stuff and your blog!!! I'm an aspiring sewer for money and you've inspired me to go for it! :) Thank you!

 
At January 29, 2011 at 8:43 PM , Blogger Jayna Rae said...

Thanks for all of the wonderful tips, as always. This is part of what makes you so wonderful. Like most people, I would love to have more readers. However, right now I am taking it slow. Hopefully in a few months I can come back to this and be ready to make some bigger moves.

 
At February 2, 2011 at 8:06 PM , Blogger InCircle Interiors said...

good stuff, thanks for the tips!!

 
At February 7, 2011 at 11:14 AM , Blogger Annie said...

Great post, thank you so much. I am going to use that formula u gave to find out advertising rates on my blog.

 
At February 22, 2011 at 9:44 AM , Blogger Mary Ickert said...

So glad I found this blog and this post. Lump me in with the rest of the others Mama's out there trying to make a go with their blog. I feel overwhelmed half the time and clueless the rest. So I love reading about other bloggers and I learn so much from posts like this. Thanks for the great info and content. I am definitely a fan of LMM.
Mary

 
At February 23, 2011 at 4:09 PM , Blogger Cassi said...

This was so motivating! I love how everything is step by step. It like 'The Dummy'd Guide to...' Ha Ha thats JUST what I need. Thanks so much. I'm definately going to follow you!

Cassi Speer
www.TIMETOPLAYMOM.com

 
At March 18, 2011 at 8:58 PM , Blogger Juliette said...

I am extremely happy I came across this post. I am a new blogger and was wondering how I should go about contacting companies. This was great inspiration for me. THANK YOU!

http://shoesnjules.onsugar.com/

 
At April 12, 2011 at 2:56 PM , Blogger Hyphen Interiors said...

Thanks so much for the info. Is there a resource on how to structure the promotional programs... an example of how it should read? I have an interior design blog and would love to do giveaways via etsy shops, but I want to make sure I'm in line with others when approaching shop owners. Thanks!!

 
At April 15, 2011 at 4:11 AM , Blogger Inspire Me Heather said...

Great post, thank you. I linked this to my blogging post as well, for great advice!

 
At April 20, 2011 at 4:20 AM , Anonymous Courtney said...

Thank you so very much for sharing this information! I have been searching for about a month on info about sponsors and yours is the first one with some great info that is actually useful! I found your blog through another blog about your hair curling post. I'm off to try that one as well! Will be stopping by often! Thank you!!

 
At April 22, 2011 at 7:17 PM , Blogger Keianna Johnson (KeeKeeAllNatural) said...

This post has really blessed me as well as motivated me all at the same time. Your post has given me idea's on how to examine my blog, it content and the things I offer to others. I want to keep my readers interested and happy. I love Blogging and this post has given me another perspective. Thanks

 
At May 7, 2011 at 9:01 AM , Anonymous Leslie @ Natural Domestic Living said...

Ashley-Thanks so much for the great info! I've been contacting some Etsy Shops and some of them had said yes to more info...Now what?! Do I tell them I would like to sample a product before I write a review? I feel like that sounds rude?

 
At June 7, 2011 at 2:43 PM , Blogger Randi~Dukes and Duchesses said...

Thank you so much for that post ... it answered so many questions I've really been wondering about lately. Thank you!

 
At June 7, 2011 at 6:46 PM , Anonymous Debbie--http://refreshrestyle.com/ said...

Thanks for this! I am going to bookmark it, for when my day comes of faithful followers, I can use this!
Debbie

 
At July 6, 2011 at 4:59 PM , Anonymous Sajjad Shah said...

Hello i find sponsor for my website and blogs

 
At July 24, 2011 at 5:11 AM , Anonymous xJosiax said...

Thankyou so much for this post. It was THE MOST helpful page i have found on the topic so far. The others were ok but they were geared more towards people who already have a large following not for people just starting out who really want to make a go of it! I've already started to take your advice and i really can't wait to get into this. I was feeling a bit disheartened about blog sponsorship because I really didn't know where to start but you've given me a starting off point and for that I am so thankful!
Thanks for the post.
xJosiax

 

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