For many bloggers, earning money blogging about what they love seems like both the ultimate goal and a pipe dream. However, it is possible to earn perks or a small income from occasionally writing sponsored reviews about products and services on your blog.
But before jumping in and accepting any sponsored review offer that may come along, read the sponsored posts of other well-known bloggers in your industry to see the type of language that gets the most natural engagement from your readers. Next, follow these guidelines to make sure any sponsored review posts you write are high quality and still bring in views from your loyal readers.
Have Your Own Opinion
Never accept a sponsored review post request from a company that requires you to write about their company in a positive light. Of course, you may be more likely to write a positive review of a product or service when their company is paying you, but you should always be honest above nothing else. In a recent blog post of mine that reviewed Designer Whey, I highlighted what I did like, as well as what I didn’t. Companies that you want to work with understand that not everyone will love everything they do.
Know What to Get In Return
Have an agreement in writing (or proof through at least email) before writing the post that outlines what you are getting in return. If the company has promised to compensate you for the post, be sure that that expectation is outlined in a legally-bound way. Additionally, you should do some research to know how much to charge fairly for sponsored content.
The FTC requires that bloggers disclose what they are receiving any type of compensation for what they write. Learn more about those guidelines here. Additionally, any income from a single company over $600 will require a 1099 form in the US.
Take the Time to Create Relationships
Companies you want to work with should be the beginning of a great relationship. If you are getting good readership numbers and have a list of a few brands you admire, reach out to them about a review or giveaway post. Many brands are receptive to fans who want to tell others about their product.
Don’t Do It Too Often
A final word of wisdom– don’t let your blog become the Kingdom of Sponsored Content. Do sponsored review posts sparingly, or else you run the risk of exhausting your audience. No one wants to read paid posts on a daily basis.
photo credit: yuki-ona via photopin cc
Kelsey Jones runs her own social media and search marketing business, MoxieDot where she helps clients grow their online presence. She was voted one of the top 100 marketers of the year by Invesp in 2009 and has worked for Yelp, Run.com, and Bounty Towels. Check her out at MoxieDot and on Twitter @wonderwall7.