Its happened to me, it may have even happened to you. And chances are, you know at least one other blogger that it has happened to.
You fork out some cold hard cash, for what is supposed to be a kick ass blog ad space, and 2 weeks later you’re pulling out your hair in frustration! Your emails don’t get answered, there are no tweets or mentions, the date for your guest post comes and goes, and worst of all… NO TRAFFIC!
Every bloggers worst nightmare!
It seems simple right? Just do what you say you’re going do. And yet, more and more, I am hearing “horror stories” from fellow bloggers! How awful is that? I have my own horror story. And it makes me sad. I work hard for every penny that I put into building up my blog. If I sponsor another blog it’s because I believe that there will be some benefit in it to me. And I imagine it’s the same for you!
Sites like Passionfruit Ads and Adproval have made posting buttons and promoting other blogs easier than ever! And BONUS! You can make money doing it! But here is the thing, the moment you accept any form of payment for a service offered (aka. Ad Space), you’re in BUSINESS! That means that you are responsible and accountable to the people you accept money from. You MUST follow through on the things you promise.
If you’re currently selling ad space, you’re obligated to do some very basic things…
Life gets in the way at times, but follow up as quickly as possible. I am far from perfect in this area, but 2 days a week, I sit down and go through my entire inbox to make sure I haven’t missed anything.
Write it Down!
If someone purchase a spot that comes with a guest post, offer them dates that work for you right away, and then WRITE IT DOWN! More and more bloggers are working with editorial calendars. Get that guest post on the calendar! And then, for the love of Pete, POST it on the day you told them! Take notes… find out what they are hoping to accomplish by sponsoring your blog and help them achieve it!
Ok… so your email gets hacked (or some such nonsense) and you change your primary email. TELL YOUR SPONSORS! It’s not their job to hunt you down so that you can answer their questions. Touch base occasionally… and not just cause you want something. Turn that sponsor into a friend 🙂
Lots of blogs offer Facebook Mentions and Tweets as one of the perks of sponsorship. Sometimes you’re offered a G+ chat or a mentorship session… All awesome things! But if the price of the sponsorship goes up with those perks, and you don’t actually follow through… whats the point?
I am by no means an expert on the business of blogging, but I do know this… People talk. If you fail to follow through on the things you’ve promised, it will haunt you.
On the flip side… you want to start offering paid sponsorships. Cool! Ask yourselves these questions first…
Do I have the time?
– Can I commit an hour, if not more, a week to answer emails, tweet, connect and do all the other things I’ll need to do?
Can I be organized and follow through?
– Feel free to use this printable (provided by Jac from babeblessings) to get and stay organized!
Do I have the traffic to support/give results to others?
-This is a BIG one. There is no set number of sponsors you should/must have… but if you want to charge the big bucks, you need to have the Big numbers. I’d personally say, that if you have less than 300 followers you should stick to swaps. If you’re in the 300 to 500 range, no more than $5. 500 to 1000 Max $15. Those are just suggested numbers, but that is what I would be willing to pay (max) for a spot with people that have those numbers. If you’re not sure what to charge, ask? There are TONS of bloggers that love helping out with these kinda questions, including me! 🙂
If you answer “yes” to all 3 of those questions… then go for it! You’re ready to get started with ad space. Keep it simple when you start out, build a great reputation, and be prepared to make new friends!
So what is your sponsorship story? Good, bad, ugly? What did you learn from it?