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!