70 thoughts on “Sponsored Posts: What bloggers & brands should know

  1. You’re right. In any case, add a disclosure policy to your blog as a separate page, so brands and readers are in the know about it. Gift or sponsored, be open and clear πŸ™‚ It’s an excellent way to monetize the blog. Good luck, Aditi.

  2. Very helpful post! I have been thinking of doing sponsored posts but have to find the right brands first. And it is sponsored only when they pay right? If brands offer free products in exchange of a blogpost, you should mention gift in your disclaimer?
    There are so many dos and don’ts about collaborating with a brand that I’ve stayed away till now. But I agree, it is a good way to monetize your blog.

  3. I have been unsure about the whats, hows, and buts about sponsored posts, but this post does put a lot of things into perspective and with words from fellow bloggers, all the more helpful! thanks.

  4. Very helpful post, for beginners and bloggers who’ve been there for a while. I learnt all the things you mentioned the hard way, with no guidance or worse still, wrong guidance.
    I will be sharing this post a lot.
    Thank you for writing it.

  5. I often wonder about this, but my blog style won’t be suitable for many (if any) brands I don’t think – so I’ll just carry on promoting myself. πŸ˜€

  6. I’m with you on this one. I’ve considerably reduced my blog reading, especially if bloggers persistently write posts without the sponsored tag. I think it’s a value that you, as a blogger, owe to your audience.

  7. So I know you’ve written this a year ago and I’m only just reading it…these are great tips but I’d like to add one more. Bloggers should disclose they are writing a sponsored post and brands need to be ok with it. As a reader I feel cheated if I’m reading a post and halfway through, realise the real agenda is to promote a brand. On the other hand, if it has been disclosed and I’m reading it by choice fully knowing that, it’s a different feeling. No t sure what your thoughts are on that.

  8. Quite an interesting take on PR and paid reviews. I think a common ground should be reached with emphasis on quality content and good pay. I did refuse a couple of time but not for money reason. Rather, personal since the blog is quite personal. You see, the journalist in me! Hehe

  9. Thank you so much Shailaja! I really appreciate your time and efforts. Your reply was really informative and helpful.

    Look forward to reading your future posts too!

    Thanks again:)

  10. Hi Manjusha, Thank you so much for reading and for raising pertinent questions. I agree that writing sponsored posts improves visibility in the online space. There’s a reason most bloggers don’t divulge their rates for posts though: For one, it depends on how long they’ve been blogging. For another it depends on the quality and reach of their blog. That will vary significantly from one blogger to the next.

    For you, I suggest joining a platform that connects you to brands such as blogmint or Influencer so you get a clear view on what is expected of you. After 6 to 8 months of consistent branded posts you can try and create a media kit of your own to showcase to brands who reach out to you personally. I am not sure of the prevailing rates, but anything less than 5/= per word is not worth it, in my opinion. Please understand though that this will depend on the quality of writing, the brand’s faith in your ability to bring them traffic and how comfortable you are balancing both.

    Wish you all the best.

  11. Thank you Shailaja for such an awesome and much needed post. I found the post very useful as a blogger and yes you did answer many of my queries related to a sponsored post. However I must say when it comes to discussing brand payments, bloggers aren’t very comfortable sharing that information with other bloggers. Also for beginners, writing a sponsored post help them reach audience and brands who might consider them for future posts.. and that’s one reason bloggers end up writing free of charge as they feel the brand is also adding value to their blog that might get them more brand invites in future. Your views on this?

    As you rightly said, we get underpaid most of the time, what according to you is the best way to find the market rate for sponsored posts… as each brand might offer different rates ? Do you suggest bloggers sticking to a fixed rate for all brands or we should vary according to the popularity of the brand.? Would really appreciate your views on this. Thanks again😊

  12. Okay this is weird. I distinctly remember replying to this comment. What is WP doing with my replies?! Thanks for the support and the timely comments for this article, Sid πŸ™‚

  13. Thank you for your detailed response, Jai. I am so sorry for the late reply. Cannot imagine how I missed these comments!

  14. Thank you so much, Zera! I am glad you found it useful πŸ™‚ So sorry for the late reply! I must have missed this notification.

  15. I am so glad you’re spending time on Twitter πŸ™‚ To be honest, there are more opportunities for paid writing available on Twitter over FB. FB is a very social network where people share pictures and moments. Twitter is very work-driven and if you use the right hashtags when searching as well as sharing content, you find some valuable tips for writing, blogging, publishing and more. Trust me on this πŸ™‚

  16. Such a detailed, well thought-out and well-structured post, Shailaja! This is an area I’m not familiar with and have not given it much thought. It’s, however, similar to the many paid projects open to writers out there. The quotes are never clear or discussed and chances of being exploited are high. This information will definitely help bloggers who aspire to venture into the monetizing aspect.

    Just in case you’re wondering about how I landed on this post after so long, I’ve been spending some time on twitter..had even forgotten my password :-p

  17. This post is very informative. And a true guide that one can use while approaching a sponsored post issue.
    The reviews of other bloggers seriously helped!

  18. Thank You for putting this together Shailaja. This is a very great list for both bloggers and brands to follow . Thank You for featuring my responses.

  19. That’s really interesting, Shilpa! Yes, i think the more we collaborate and share quotes, it’s easier for us to function as a group. But there may be differences in terms of blog quality/readership/writing style that may impact the quotes. Certainly helps to have a benchmark figure though. Worth thinking about.

  20. It covers it all. Great post, Shailaja. I am all for sponsored posts, it’s a win-win situation. The price quoting part is something that bothers me. Have experienced the effects of both under and over quoting. In the last Tata Zica meet at Goa, a fashion blogger was sharing that all the bloggers in her niche share their price quotes for various things viz blog post, tweets, youtube video, photos etc… so all are aware of the market rates and there are no hurt feelings.

  21. Your post made me to understand about sponsored posts clearly. Thanks would not be sufficient for sharing your knowledge with us. Love to you, Shailaja.

  22. I think you need to share all those stories on your blog soon. We’re all waiting to hear it in your inimitable style πŸ˜‰

    Thank you for sharing your quote on the topic! πŸ™‚

  23. Hey thank you Rubina!

    As for book bloggers and reviewers, my take is a bit mixedt. I understand the need to be paid for the effort of reviewing a book, but as a reviewer who has a responsibility to the readers it would help if the review is always balanced and honest. What I’d suggest is to do the reviews on the blog , initially, because you enjoy doing them and do it in the authentic voice and not worry about sponsored posts.

    Then, if you do get asked for a commissioned review, it should not affect the voice at all. Meaning, you won’t change it just because you’re being paid for it. I feel this would help both parties involved, to be honest. It would also ensure reliability of the blogger as a good reviewer who has no personal axe to grind, so to speak.

  24. A much needed posts, as I know many bloggers who are still iffy about doing sponsored posts. Good to read others’ perspectives and thoughts. I have so many stories to tell about this topic! It is sad that not all brands come through as professionals or keep their commitments.

    Thank you for including my quote. πŸ™‚

  25. Well curated and very informative Shailaja. You are right many bloggers do shy away from sponsored post. One of the major reason is not all bloggers find their niche. And many of the book bloggers are still toggling with between should I or should I not do sponsored reviews. It is one of the biggest delimna a book blooger is facing. Your thoughts ?

  26. Of course, I like the post. I’m mentioned in it multiple times πŸ˜›
    Just kidding, Shailaja. A much needed post for the present times and lots of handy little tips and suggestions that can be taken abroad by both bloggers and brands.
    Thank you for featuring some of my responses and here’s hoping for a better ‘connected’ future for bloggers and brands.

  27. Thanks Jaishree. Yes, it’s time we spoke out for bloggers everywhere, especially to the naysayers and the ones who sneer at those of us who write sponsored posts.

  28. Right? I mean they ask us to submit on time, which we do and then go silent when it comes to paying us. Why?

    Thanks for reading, Ankita πŸ™‚

  29. Very valid points there, Shailaja. Bloggers I think tend to be taken for granted or projected as the favor seekers in any situation

  30. This is an excellent post Shailaja. I remember being so confused when I was asked for my first quote… as to the expectations from brands.. that is so right… Why does the blogger have to run after them for the payment?

  31. I’ve been asked to write for far less, Rekha and it was tough for me to learn to say No initially. If I really love a cause, I will even do it for free but that’s my prerogative and cannot be imposed. Like you said, I hope more brands are listening and paying attention to what the bloggers are saying.

  32. Perfectly curated! And I agree with each of the blogger comments above. I have turned down so many sponsored posts because of vouchers. I do not understand why it is so difficult for the brands to pay cash. I have been in marketing and I know how it works. And that tells me why they want to save (or make more) money by issuing vouchers of well-known brands. Works well for the brand as well the one issuing the voucher. And quoting the right price makes all the difference. I have myself under-quoted most of the times. I hope this post reaches the right ears and helps brands as well as fellow bloggers like us.

  33. Hey thank you so much, Jaspal! Do you have any other questions that you’d like answered? Do let me know πŸ™‚

    Thank you so much for stopping by and welcome to my blog!

  34. It helps to go through a platform at first, Anamika, say like Blogmint, when you are still building your visibility in the blogging space. Once you’ve been out there long enough, brands tend to approach you directly and you have a little more flexibility in terms of the assignments you can choose.

    Good luck and remember that you can always reach out to any of us mentioned in this post for any assistance πŸ™‚ Good luck!

  35. Very well said, Rachna. I think we need to be kind to the brand too provided they are reasonable in their demands. I’ve only had one bad experience as you know and that was I think resolved after they changed the person handling the campaign. It must certainly be fascinating for you to see it from both sides of the coin!

  36. I used to be the same way. I wouldn’t like getting ‘paid’ for my writing and then I figured, hey, I write so much for fun anyway, might as well make some money doing it and spreading the word about relevant campaigns.

    I am very very choosy when picking brands to associate with, so you don’t see too many sponsored posts on mine. Ultimately you have to go with your gut and decide if the post is worth writing or not.

    You’re most welcome and I hope you do take up more posts. Knowing you, you’ll do a fab job of it too!

  37. Aww thanks Sreesha! You know me, a bit OCD about the layout and the format of posts πŸ˜‰ Trust me, if you do take it up, you have plenty of people at BAR who can help you out with tips/suggestions.

  38. Thank you so much, Anju! It’s been brewing for a while and I thought it’s finally time to talk about it πŸ™‚ Thanks for visiting!

  39. I’ve not ventured into the sponsored space. I want to, but never knew where to start so I just let it be, never actively tried.
    This post is really useful and may I add: It looks so crisp and professional.

  40. I’ve done sponsored posts just once in a while and never did take to them mostly because it is such a grey area. For a long time I have felt money and writing don’t mix too well for me. I’m never sure whether I am under quoting or over quoting – whether I’m doing justice to the brand and/or to the readers or to me and my blog. But your post makes me rethink. I wish more people would do posts like this – serves to demystify the whole idea – making it sound doable. Thanks Shailaja.

  41. Nicely covered, Shailaja. I think what is also very important is for the brands to know why they want to do a certain campaign. Sometimes their confusion drives the blogger nuts as they are not really clear as to what they’d want. Bloggers also need to know that while they need to be honest while doing reviews it must be constructive criticism. No brand world pay for h astrally worded paid reviews. Be kind to the brand while yet maintaining your integrity. There is a tricky balance on both sides when it comes to Sponsored posts. As I operate on both sides of the spectrum, it is quite interesting to watch.

  42. Thank you Shailaja for writing this post. It is helpful for a new blogger like me who wants to try out sponsored post. I have not been applying for any as of now especially after the bad experience, with blogging site/brand, I had previously. It was my first time and I wasted a lot of time in trying to contact them numerous times through different mediums to know the fate of my draft (revised as per their directions) whether it was accepted or rejected but they never responded. I hope the brands are noticing our voices through your post.

  43. Indeed it isn’t and it’s also not easy money as other people make it out to be. We put in a lot of effort! Thanks for sharing, Parul.

  44. Thank you Shailaja for being our voice. This post aptly sums up our concerns and why writing for a brand is not a personal favor.

  45. Completely agree. So often the brand that approaches you has no idea about your audience demographic and it’s up to you to learn how to say No. Sadly, many bloggers make the mistake of accepting the brief just for the monetary angle. That hurts them more than they know.

    Thanks for visiting, Red! So good to see you here πŸ™‚

  46. I don’t know much about sponsored posts. Yet to venture into that. But I do agree that not all brands are to be written for. Life youb said choose your niche and stick with it.As a reader, if I spot someone writing something that so doesn’t suit the blog they have been maintaining, it just lowers the interest on that blog and the expectations from that blog.
    Brands should also be punctual with their payment timings.

  47. Agree, Naba. I hope brands understand that the traffic generated to their site through our posts is actually far more valuable to them. Quoting a good market price will ensure this, in my opinion. Thanks for stopping by πŸ™‚

  48. You have covered everything here, Shailaja. What annoys me at times is when I’m told instead of payment me writing for them will ensure traffic on my blog. I think they need to understand that they are not doing us a favour. We will write even if they don’t give us work. Moreover, they don’t even have to pay us as much as they would have to pay an advertising agency. So, they need to do the math and not swindle us..

  49. Thank you Inderpreet πŸ™‚ I also know that many bloggers shy away from sponsored posts because they aren’t sure about the nuances. Hopefully this will help them out. Thanks again for your input πŸ™‚

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