Friday, November 9

Are You Sponsor-worthy? Part I

First, let me just preface my post by stating that this is my opinion, and it is based on my experiences in sponsoring others as well as being sponsored myself.  Also, this is not an article about working with companies and brands - its an article specifically addressing blog-to-blog sponsorship.

So what makes a person sponsor-worthy?   What is the best indicator that you will get your money's worth from sponsoring someone's blog?  Is it their high number of followers?  Their stats?

Reciprocity >> This is the starting point for me.  It really comes down to the Golden Rule.  I believe sincerely in the power of treating others the way I want to be treated.  I know how I want to be treated when I pay someone to advertise my blog on their blog.  I want to be treated as a customer and I want good customer service.  So when someone purchases an ad on my site, I want them to know they are valued and important to me - and that I am grateful.

Practically speaking, I do this by communicating with them in several ways:

I have a welcome email that I send out to every ad space holder - at the beginning of their month of sponsorship.  This email is gold - it is filled with what I will be doing to promote their blog (based on their level of purchase), how I will do it, and what they can expect from their partnership.  It also gives them a calendar of events and important dates for events that will be on my blog (ways for them to grow - connect - and be featured.)

I follow them on everything.  The next step for me is to follow/subscribe to their blog and/or shop, and all social media that I can find them on.  I do this because I want them to know they are on my radar.  I'm going to be looking for ways that I can promote them and will need to know where they are active online.

I visit and browse a bit.  I do a little blog-stalking to see what kinds of things the sponsor has going on, and to learn about them - you know their name, kids and hubbies names, what general area they live in -etc.  I also note their size, niche if they have one and general posting rate.  Basically I try to get to know a little about them.  Plus, I need to make sure they are not a crazy phishing site or adult site or some other nonsense.

Relationship >> This is the heart of it all.  To me sponsorship is more accurately termed partnership.  In a sponsorship I am seeking funds to help me reach my goals.  In a partnership I am seeking funds to help us meet our goals.  Feel the difference?  When it comes down to it, the more I get involved in blogging the less time I have to read a ton of other blogs- so when someone sponsors my blog - they are going to be one of my regular reads.

It makes sense that I would build a relationship with that person - as I am often connecting with them over the length of their ad.  I'm not expecting to become BFF's with everyone who buys ad space but I do think that a big part of my reason for blogging is the community aspect.  So, to conclude this point - building relationships through sponsorship/partnership, being friendly essentially, is a key component to being sponsor-worthy.

Reputation >>  This is a big deal too!  Just like in your real life, your reputation matters.  It is especially true in blogging where a negative encounter can leave heavy repercussions.  Read: Treat your (sponsors) customers like the gold they are! They are precious and their positive or negative testimony of sponsoring you can spread easily through their dm's and private emails!  I know this firsthand because I've had others share with me frustrations with blogs they've sponsored.

A good idea is to under promise and over deliver!  Anytime I have gotten more than what I paid for, I've been a happy customer.  Well, I can think of exceptions to that but they have nothing to do with blogging.  Definitely offer something beyond just ad space - and then follow through always - go above and beyond often!

I believe if you keep these three R's in mind you will have the foundation set for being sponsor-worthy!

Stay tuned for more practical tips on sponsorship!  Have a specific question you want answered?  I'm collecting a bunch for an upcoming vlog, send me an email and I'll make sure I answer yours!

18 comments:

  1. I completely agree with you! But then, you may have already known that! :)

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  2. I'm going to be honest. In the beginning I was kind of nervous that this was going to be a post that was about number of followers, etc. However, I completely agree with everything that you mentioned. These are also things that I have recently started working to improve. :)



    -Jessica
    www.sugarinmygrits.com

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  3. Amen! I strive to do all the things you listed above for my sponsors. :) And I expect more than just having my image slapped on a sidebar when I buy an ad. One more point I would add is that any blogger who accepts sponsorships & gives away an ad as a prize should treat the blogger who won an ad just the same as the blogger who purchased an ad from them. I have won several ads (supposedly premium ads) in group giveaways, & most of them did little more than put my ad up and then maybe mention a blurb about me in a sponsor introduction post, and that was it for the whole month! Some of them didn't even bother to follow my blog! No joke... needless to say when my ad came up for renewal, I chose to walk away. Ad winners could be potential new paying sponsors for the following month. That is how I ALWAYS view my sponsors who win an ad with me. ;)

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  4. Great tips!! You treat your sponsors like gold!!

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  5. dotinthecityNovember 10, 2012

    Courtney, this is spot on. I agree and approach sponsorships in a similar manner. and I can't wait to read more in the series!

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  6. Loved this post and I featured it on my ~A Little Sunday Potluck~ post today. :) Please check it out if you have a moment...

    http://www.thefrugalfoodiemama.com/2012/11/a-little-sunday-potluck-111112.html

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  7. Chelsea FrancisNovember 11, 2012

    great tips! I just got my first sponsor and want to do it right. thanks for sharing!

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  8. What a great post, and especially interesting as over here in the UK we don't really sponsor each others blogs in the same way. But all of your points are valid anyway as lots of UK bloggers carry adverts and badges etc. Will be sharing this post, thanks :)
    xx

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  9. I agree with so much of this! I've ended up sponsoring bloggers who didn't do anything for me. They never talked to me, they never mentioned me on their blog or social media, and so I felt like it was a huge waste of money even if they did get a lot of eyes on their blog. I just felt disappointed! So I wont ever sponsor them again.


    It's the ones that go out of their way like you mentioned (and I do the same for my sponsors, I like to promote a ton) that I will come back to and keep up with.

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  10. So true! It's very important to build relationships with your advertisers! After all, they help keep the blog up and running :)

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  11. I think we've all experienced the disappointment of paying for an ad space and having nothing come of it, and it is incredibly frustrating!

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  12. Glad you found some of the info useful! & Congrats on your first sponsor!!

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  13. Thanks so much Carrie for mentioning it! <3 <3

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  14. Thanks Beth!! <3 How are you!?

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  15. la petite luluNovember 14, 2012

    Thanks for your tips! The concept of sponsoring a blog is something quite new to me, and as I am currently trying to build up my blog/etsy business, it's something I've been wondering about but have no idea what to expect. This is a great post!

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  16. I'm glad I was able to provide a few insights! I hope to get part two up soon! <3

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Thank you so much for your lovely comments! I don't always have time to respond to each one, but I do read them! XO