Should Bloggers Accept Sponsored Posts?

4
  August 2, 2021 blogging tips 🕑 7 minutes read
blogging writing tips

Istanbul, Turkey

 

Some bloggers boost their income through sponsored content.

 

Other bloggers warn against the dangers of publishing sponsored posts.

 

Should bloggers accept sponsored content?

 

I intend to share pros and cons for you to make an informed decision.

 

My personal experiences with sponsored posts nudged me to write this blog post. I accepted and published sponsored content for a bit but stopped publishing these posts over the past year. Weighing each pro and con below moved me in that direction. However, you may decide differently based on varying factors. Every blogger is different.

 

Bloggers often struggle to generate sponsored post revenue for a general lack of clarity regarding the income stream. Seeing this channel solely as a way to make money does not mean you should publish sponsored posts. Think about your objective. Build a monetizing plan based on the needs of your readers versus the ego desire to profit. Dwelling on your reader’s needs first and foremost gives you greater clarity concerning sponsored posts.

 

Will your readers benefit from learning about the businesses reviewed on your blog? Do your readers express a keen interest in these ventures? Or do you just want to net a quick $100? Be honest in assessing your motive. Every blogger has a right to profit but seeking a quick pay day may be an expensive mistake over the long haul.  Both Google and your readership may tire of your frequent sponsored content.

 

Both Google and your readership may tire of your frequent sponsored content.Click To Tweet

 

In some cases though, communities deeply appreciate uncovering beneficial businesses that meet their pressing needs. Happy readers and blogging profits make for a delightful duo.

 

Bloggers have driven steady income through sponsored posts but some have been burned by publishing sponsored posts. Understanding your audience and deciding on your prime sources of blog traffic nudges you in the proper direction. For example, if your readers largely find your blog through channels other than Google you may want to explore sponsored post opportunities. However, if most of your blog traffic comes from Google exercise caution before publishing sponsored posts.

 

Weigh the risk-reward scenario on your:

 

  • objectives
  • readership
  • traffic sources

 

as you process both pros and cons below.

 

Pros

 

Solid Profit Per Transaction

 

Most bloggers who publish sponsored content receive $50 to $200 or more per blog post.

 

Generating $50 to $200 per post makes for a strong blogging income stream in terms of payment per transaction.

 

Sponsored content is not a big ticket revenue channel per se but greatly exceeds pennies per click or dollars per eBook on a transactional basis. Publishing a volume of sponsored posts can net a decent blogging income through this channel on a short term basis.

 

East Cape of New Zealand

 

Predominantly Passive Income

 

Sponsored post revenue is largely passive income.

 

Bloggers accept and publish sponsored content to receive payment.

 

Little time or work commitment goes into accepting, publishing and receiving income for sponsored posts.

 

Generating passive blogging income frees your schedule. Instead of trading time for money you enjoy more time offline. Bloggers receive $100 or $200 plus per post for a few moments of work.

 

Passive income flows to you around the clock whether you work, sleep or spend time offline enjoying life away from the laptop.

 

Powerful Referral Marketing

 

Placing one sponsored post tends to magnetize your blog to businesses keen on placing sponsored posts.

 

Sponsored post revenue grows heavily based on referral marketing. Since most bloggers do not place sponsored posts seeing a post sponsored on your blog attracts people with advertising budgets and a willingness to to choose your blog as a marketing destination

 

Versus proactively advertising sponsored post opportunities you simply allow interested advertisers to find you based on prior sponsored content published to your blog.

 

Cons

 

Advanced Income Strategy

 

Advanced bloggers with a high volume of targeted traffic earn sponsored post revenue.

 

The amount of time, energy and work required to generate steady sponsored content profits is immense.

 

Businesses invest only in maximum exposure in front of a highly targeted audience. Driving a high volume of hyper-targeted traffic requires years of generous, patient and persistent work.

 

Phuket, Thailand

 

Sponsored post opportunities are hard to come by because persistent bloggers are rare individuals.

 

Most new bloggers have unrealistic expectations regarding ad revenue through sponsored channels. Advertisers do not pay for access to 100 untargeted visitors daily to an unproven blog. Even intermediate bloggers struggle to generate sponsored profits because businesses want to advertise in front of large, highly targeted audiences flocking around trusted bloggers.

 

Minimizes Search Traffic

 

Google demands all sponsored posts:

 

  • be fully disclosed
  • contain No Follow links

 

However, almost all businesses who submit sponsored posts demand a Do Follow link because these individuals intend to buy Google traffic through the sponsored post. Virtually no business places a sponsored post with a No Follow link unless you drive 10,000 to 20,000 highly targeted people to your blog on a daily basis. Even bloggers sporting those gaudy numbers rarely get paid to place No Follow sponsored content since businesses need Do Follow links to make their investment Google-worthy.

 

What happens if you place Do Follow links in your sponsored content? Google penalizes your blog. For all intents and purposes, Do Follow sponsored content kills a source of high volume, highly targeted, passive search traffic.

 

The question to ask yourself: is $100 today worth 100,000’s of highly targeted, passive individuals finding my blog through Google over months and years?

 

Visit Anil at Bloggers Passion to understand how much money you can make driving a high volume of targeted traffic through Google to your blog by publishing SEO-optimized, in-depth, long-form posts virtually 100% of the time. Following his blog may alert you to what you’re sacrificing over the long term for $100 payments now versus turning down the 100 bucks and writing a rich content asset that pays you exponential returns over the long haul.

 

I don’t want to convince you to reject sponsored post revenue because each post adds up over the long term. But being clear on the potential problems of publishing sponsored posts frequently gives you an honest idea of the upsides and downsides of this approach.

 

Low Quality Content

 

Sponsored post content rarely delivers in-depth, detailed, high quality content.

 

Most sponsored posts serve as running advertisements for a business touting it wares.

 

Publishing low-quality content:

 

  • damages your reputation
  • injures your search engine traffic potential
  • lessens your credibility

 

Publishing an in-depth, detailed, thorough post simultaneously promoting a business thoroughly is virtually impossible because how-to content and advertising copy are diametrically-opposed.

 

Earning blogging income through multiple streams depends on readers trusting you and your content. Publishing a steady volume of sponsored content may net you advertising income through that channel but erodes profits you earn through other income streams.

 

Free, in-depth, highly-detailed content is your most profitable blogging asset.

 

Readers:

 

  • buy products
  • hire you
  • click ads

 

based on the thorough, valuable nature of your blog posts.

 

Inle Lake, Myanmar

 

Receiving $150 for a 1000 word sponsored post seems like a good trade but sponsored content ages poorly because its purpose does not generate multiple streams of income. Readers tend to click the business link if the post meets their needs but few if any buy products, hire you or click on ads based on sponsored content solely because business ads do not show off your:

 

  • knowledge
  • skills
  • experience
  • credibility

 

like an SEO-optimized, 1500 word, highly practical post dripping with details does.

 

SEO-optimized, long-form, practical posts heavy on details potentially generate profits through multiple income channels based on the merit of the post itself. Observing your know-how through the post goads readers to buy your eBook or to hire you.  Sponsored content does not show off your know-how, experience or expertise. Never mind the fact that businesses can and do dissolve for many reasons quite quickly in a world of entrepreneurial instability. Sponsored content becomes irrelevant the moment the business folds.

 

Potential Legal Issues

 

In the United States, the FTC demands full disclosure for sponsored content. However, most businesses demand not disclosing sponsored content for fear of losing sales based on the admission. Owners generally fear that nobody will click on their business link if your audience discovers that you were paid to place the post.

 

Not disclosing sponsored content as a US-based blogger can lead to legal problems in the United States. Disclosing covers you legally but dramatically lessens sponsored content opportunities.

 

Conclusion

 

Make a decision based on your goals, your blog traffic sources and your reader needs.

 

Every blogger has a different experience online. Assessing both pros and cons gives you clarity in deciding whether or not to publish sponsored posts.

  1. Lisa Sicard says:
    at 5:39 pm

    Hi Ryan, I do some myself but I’m finding I turn more away lately as they are either the same from previous posts or have content that is not related to my blog at all. It can be hard to turn them away when the money is there but you must understand you are in it for the LONG Haul. Why risk losing all your readers for short money? I also require that I can write them in my own voice and add and delete as I see fit when it comes to sponsored posts 🙂 Like everything, there are good and bad.

    • Ryan Biddulph says:
      at 11:59 pm

      Writing them in your own voice is huge Lisa and is one reason why your sponsored content flows seamlessly, naturally and becomes so beneficial to your readers. I also note the off topic pitches as well as the repeat crowd.

  2. Arfa Nazeer says:
    at 1:30 am

    Hi Ryan,

    Thanks for writing this up. I agree with all what you wrote. If I get sponsored work that is completely irrelevant to my audience, I turn it away. Because, I don’t want to risk my readership based on few sponsored posts. But, yes, I do some if they are helpful for my blog audience, and also the rates are good. Of course, your blog credibility comes first and you don’t want to end up doing shady links that might hurt your site in long run.

    I think finding a balance, and knowing the pros and cons eventually help you in making the best decision for sponsored content.

    In the end, it’s up to bloggers how they would want to monetise their blogs.

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