The Do’s and Don’ts of Sponsored Blog Posts

August 28, 2014
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Sponsored blog posts are one of the most popular ways for influential bloggers to make money. With popularity comes confusion over what is effective and engaging and what is not. Are stock photos sufficient for imagery purposes? Do you have to include a disclosure? The next time you have an opportunity to write a sponsored post, consider these tips:

Do:

  • Add a disclosure at the top of your post before any content or photos.
  • Use 1 or 2 SEO keywords in your post title and in the first paragraph of your post.
  • Link one of the keywords to your client’s website as a “nofollow” link. (Find out more about “nofollow” links here.)
  • Make sure all client links are coded as “nofollow”.
  • Include at least 1 “hero” image in your post as well as 3-5 additional high quality original images that support the story. (The hero image is the first thing a reader will see in your post and is meant to set the tone for your story below it.  In sponsored posts, the hero post often integrates the client’s product in the photo).
  • Check your grammar and spelling…and then double-check it.
  • Tell a story about how you incorporate your client’s product into your life.
  • Teach your readers something (how to make something, how to do something)
  • Be professional while speaking in your unique voice.
  • Ask the brand to share your blog post on their social channels.

Don’t:

  • Accept a sponsored post for a brand that does not fit with your blog’s current content.
  • Agree to a deadline you can’t meet.
  • Forget a disclosure in a post and any subsequent social shares
  • Write a review.  People can find reviews on the brand’s website or on retailers’ websites.
  • Use stock photos unless the brand requires you to do so.
  • Badmouth the brand publically. Send them a private message if you are not satisfied with their product…or if working with a blogger network, notify your direct contact.
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