If you’ve read anything on this blog, you’re familiar with my incessant nagging to be different. To stand out. And in doing so, to not just agree to something out of fear of losing a job/money.
When it comes to how much you should charge for a sponsored blog post, my stance is staunch.
And just like I said when answering “How much should I charge for freelance writing?” you’re not going to find the right answer in a blog post.
In fact, you aren’t going to find the right answer anywhere but your own experiences.
This means you’re going to undercharge at some point, and you’re probably going to ask for too much at another, and then you’re going to find the sweet spot, and then that sweet spot is going to change…
Anyway, at the end of the day, I think more people are afraid overcharging than charging too little.
Remember this: Who is to say what is “too much?”
YOU are the holder of your time and calendar.
YOU are the one in charge of your finances.
YOU are the one who knows how much brain power and work you need to put into something like a blog post.
YOU are the price setter because you are the expert in YOU.
YOU are the expert in why you’ve chosen to own a blog, and if one of those reasons is to earn money, then gosh darn it let’s make some money.
My point is, I can’t tell you how much to charge for a sponsored blog post, but you can; and you should.
What I can do, though, is help you think about the questions from all required angles, and provide some posts for you to nail into the ground when it comes to constructing your price structure.
(And if you really want a dollar figure, jump to the end of this post to see and example of how I would go about things if I were in your shoes.)
First, who is asking?
When it comes to charging for a sponsored blog post, who is asking for said post? Is it Big Bertha Brand or is it Suzie Small Blog?
In every single scenario there are going to be pros and cons, trade offs, etc. A sponsored post for a big brand could help you make valuable connections and is a great way to promote your writing to what could be a fruitful network.
But in exchange for such exposure, your blog post will probably require more work, and let’s face it, you’re going to pour 10x the sweat, energy, and stress into making sure it’s on point.
On the other hand, a smaller blog could offer value of a “truer” relationship, and, the creation of the content could be far less stressful, and probably take up much less of your time.
So, which is better, and how much do you charge? That’s up to you and your expert knowledge of you.
First, who is asking (part II)?
My advice as somewhat of a writing coach for entrepreneurs is this: treat your website like your home.
You want to make sure it’s tidy and kept up for the people stopping by. You want it to have your own personal style; you want it to be somewhere that someone feels comfortable.
But above all else, you want to be careful about those you invite in to stay for extended periods of time. Meaning, anyone you agree to “invite in” and sponsor a blog on your website better be someone you want to associate yourself with for the long term.
If you’re reading this, you’re a smart person. I don’t have to go any further than that. Just think about the company you keep. You’re not going to just charge more because the blog is going to be sponsored by a site with questionable content. No, you’re not going to charge anything because you’re going to avoid getting involved with them all together.
Just. Not. Worth. It.
And what are they asking for?
I’ve seen sponsored blog posts range from “renting space” to leasing an entire section of the website.
And what I mean by that is, a sponsored blog post can take many forms. Here are some examples:
1) You have a blog about basketball shoes, and everything you ever write is about basketball shoes. You’re approached by Fly High apparel to do a sponsored post, and really, all they want is to slap their name on it.
It’s your content, just another day; a post you would have written anyway, but now it’s going to simply say “This post is sponsored by Fly High, the world’s bounciest basketball shoe that has produced above the rim sky walkers since 1974.”
2) You have a blog about basketball shoes, and everything you ever write is about basketball shoes. You’re approached by Fly High apparel to do a sponsored post, and they want you to review their latest release, the High Flyer 3.0. They’ll send you a pair of shoes, you’ll take them for a spin, and then you’ll write a review.
All of the content will be original, and you’ll need to take your own images, etc. You weren’t planning on reviewing the High Flyers, so you’ll have to fit this in a as a new post into your content calendar.
3) You have a blog about basketball shoes, and everything you ever write is about basketball shoes. You’re approached by Fly High apparel to do a sponsored post, and they want you to review their latest release, the High Flyer 3.0.
Good news is, they have a post already written for you! You have the freedom to post as is or make small edits, but you’re essentially just renting out a blog post for Fly High to do their thing in front of your audience.
This isn’t an exhaustive scenario list, but see how each of these opportunities can go a bit differently? Obviously you’re going to want to charge more when you’re creating something from scratch, and, you weren’t planning on doing so.
Last, and importantly, what does your audience expect from you?
People are funny. We are so proud of the fact that we don’t have to watch TV commercials as much as we did in the past thanks to DVR, streaming, etc. But yet, we have our eyes glued to our phones all day everyday, scrolling social media, playing games, etc.—all of which are littered with ads.
So, we are all as burned out on advertisements and marketing as we have ever been.
As a result, many people need a release…some retreat as far as logging off and grabbing, gasp, a magazine! Others don’t go as crazy, and like to peruse their favorite blogs. In doing so, some might get really turned off by yet another ad, only this time in the form of a sponsored blog post.
How do we know if the audience will take to it or not?
Try it out. Leave comments open and review your analytics. You should expect a little drop off in engagement given it is an advertisement after all, but check things out and see if it’s well received or flat out rejected by those who are most loyal to you.
The last thing you want to do is alienate the audience you’ve been cultivating through all of your original content. (This same lesson definitely carries over to your email list, and the sponsored messages you might send…how much would you charge for something like that anyway?)
So, the million dollar question (or maybe $100 question? Or $500?)…
How much to charge for a sponsored blog post?
Take your hourly rate and multiply it by the amount of time it will take you to create a sponsored post. Then, take that number and multiply it by 1.2 because it always takes you longer than you think. If it’s a post requiring you to “work extra” and to squeeze it into your schedule, multiply it by another 1.2. If the sponsored post is for a brand with which it would behoove you to have a relationship, divide it by 1.2. Last, round up or down if you’re into that sort of thing.
So, if my hourly rate is $150, I’ll multiply that by say the 3 hours I think it will take me to complete the post ($450). I then multiply that number by 1.2 and I’m now at $540, and then another 1.2 because I need to fit it into a busy schedule—$648. It’s with a big brand with which I’d like to have a relationship though, so going to knock it back down to $540 by dividing by 1.2. I personally like a jagged number as it gives the sense that there was actual math behind the calculation—which there was!
Anyway, can some of this be adjusted? Of course, all of it can be. It’s more or less an illustration of the different ways to go about putting a price on your sponsored blog posts.