February 19, 2013

On Sponsoring

I've touched on the topic of sponsoring before but today I want to dig a little bit deeper. I want to talk about why I sponsor, why I have sponsors, what to look for in a sponsor, when to sponsor, who I've had success with, how do you know what to charge, etc.  Disclaimer: I am far from an expert in this department but these are things that have worked for me and how I've been successful with sponsorship.
The real reason behind this post is you, my readers.  I've gotten quite a few emails recently from bloggers looking to sponsor and those who are looking to start taking sponsors for their own blog and they all seem to have the same set of questions.

When I was starting out in the blog world I would have killed for someone to give me the 411 on these things but I {for the most part} learned them on my own.  I kind of like it that way because it makes me feel like I actually accomplished my "success" on my own, without the help of others, but at the same time I like feeling helpful.  So hopefully you'll find this post worthwhile.  If you think blog sponsoring is dumb, you can skip this post and come back tomorrow for SWW.

I think sponsoring is important these days because this blogging stuff is tough to get into.  There are so many great blogs out there, great writers, so jumping into it as a new writer is intimidating.  In fact, if I were to start blogging today I'm not sure where I'd be.  But, that's where sponsoring comes in.  For someone who is new to this whole gig, doesn't have a lot of followers and is doing their best {via commenting, liking, reaching out on other blogs} sponsoring is awesome.  What better way to help get your name/blog out there than through a bigger outlet?  Having a lag in your follower count {like I did recently}?  Sponsoring someone in a different genre may be just the boost your blog needs.

Let's face it, this is a mommy blog {for the most part}.  A lot of the people that read and sponsor my blog are moms and most of the blogs I read are other mommy blogs.  That's great, those are my people, but at some point I feel like I've exhausted all of my resources as far as reaching other mommy bloggers.  That's when I thought about tapping into a blog completely unlike mine, Messy Dirty Hair.  Kelly has a completely different group of followers than I do, I'm sure of it, but that doesn't mean her followers won't like me, it just means they probably don't know about me.  So with her help and social media shout outs it exposed me to a whole new group of people and I saw my follower count go up for the first time in a while because of it.

I think the most important thing to look for when you are sponsoring someone is what they have to offer.  Do they just put your button in their side bar?  Do they include social media shout outs? What about guest posting?  In my experience it's more beneficial to go with someone who will, bare minimum, do social media shout outs.  I've sponsored blogs where all you get is an ad in their side bar and at first it seems smart, especially if they have a lot of followers, but for me that wasn't enough.

In the past I used to do a sponsor spotlight post, highlighting an individual sponsor for the day.  I didn't see a lot of success for me or my sponsors in doing that so I've dropped that part of my sponsorship program.  That's not to say I won't do it, because I certainly will, but it's just not part of the package anymore.  Becky does a group sponsor spotlight a couple times a month and as a sponsor of her blog I've found it very helpful in the way she does it.

Along the same lines, if you are a small business, independent consultant, Etsy owner, etc, I think it's a very good idea to give the blogger a product to review/promote.  My sponsors that have been the most successful have been ones that have provided me with a product that I can rave about.  Let's face it, there are a lot of products out there and there is no way to have experience with every company, it's extremely hard to promote someone or something you have very little knowledge of or experience with.  If you can provide even a sample or host a giveaway, it's better than nothing.  Just sayin'.

For those of you looking to start taking sponsors on your blog, there's a lot to consider.  When I started blogging there was no such thing as blog sponsorship, now everyone takes sponsors so you have to be smart.  If you are a new blogger with very few followers you might want to consider this: sponsorship is all about getting your name out there, getting seen by more people and using another person to do it.  Consider doing a button swap with other bloggers before charging for ad space.  This helps get your blog out there more which should help get you more followers and then start charging.  For me, I wasn't comfortable taking money for ad spots until my blog had reached nearly 1,000 GFC followers, but that's just me.  You have to think of it from the sponsors standpoint, would you want to sponsor a blog that has the potential to be seen by hundreds or thousands of people?

I sponsor because I love connecting with people.  I love hearing from my readers {new & old}, especially the ones that don't necessarily comment often but then take the time to write me a really heartfelt email.  I love seeing my blog grow.  I look back to wear I started and where I'm at today and it really warms my heart to see how many people are connected in this blogging world.

I take sponsors because I love helping people out.  I love promoting people and I would have loved to have someone help do that for me when I was just starting.  I love getting an email from a sponsor or saying that because of the partnership with my blog they have become more successful.

I know sponsorship isn't for everyone.  Some people don't like to clutter up their blog with ads, some people don't like to read the sponsored posts, it's not for everyone.  I have seen the success it can bring and therefore I am a fan and that's why I continue to sponsor and take sponsors.

While we're on the topic, in case you hadn't seen, I am offering 50% off all ad spaces through the end of today, use code 'haveaheart' at checkout.  If the spot you want is sold out you can always reserve it for a future date.  As I said, all of my ad spots come with the same perks, social media shout outs, side bar ad for one month.  If you are interested in a product review and/or giveaway we can definitely talk more about that too.  Any more questions? Feel free to email me at shannon.r.dew{at}gmail{dot}com.


  1. Thank you for this post! I'm only 7 months into the blogging world and just started the sponsoring thing. Thanks for all the tips!!! Ill def be grabbing a spot with you when I get home this afternoon!
    Angela~ LeMoine Family Kitchen

  2. I am still trying to figure it all out myself. I find myself buying spots on blogs (I have only done 3) that I personally enjoy or want to support because I figure others will do the same. Great tip about the social media as well, that adds so much! I just started doing little sponsorships recently and they're actually kind of fun... i like the idea of spreading the word about other great bloggers :) And am so glad to be sponsoring your blog... I needed to reach into that "mama" community because it's where I am headed!!

  3. Thanks so much for this Shannon! I am still getting Random Crafty Georgia Girl ready for sponsors and it will be around mid March when I think I am ready to go live with it. Thanks again for all your help!
    -Cate from Random Crafty Georgia Girl

  4. Such a good post & it mentions why I haven't started doing sponsors on my blog! I promised myself I wouldn't do anything major till I at least hit 100 bloggers then I'll do my first giveaway. Thanks for the tips!


  5. what a wonderful post & thank you so much for the shout out! it makes me so HAPPY to hear & i love having you!! XO