Guide > How to set Rates for Sponsored Posts

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I’ve been feeling all advice and knowledge sharing for the past couple of days, what with the new GFC for WordPress hack that I wrote. So last night’s discussion with the lovely Jessica from Star Violet Beauty about disclosing payment rates for sponsored posts really inspired me to share my own thoughts. Maybe they’ll help one or the other blogger. I’m by no means an expert on this, but it’s been working for me so far.

So here are my two pennies.

Assess your Blog

You need to know your blog and how it compares to other blogs. Like if you are a UK beauty blogger, have a look at the size of following and traffic other bloggers, small and big, so you can figure out where you are. This is of course guesstimation work more than anything, but SEOmoz for example lets you compare some SEO stats of up to 5 websites at a time. Of course you also need to know what your own website does – Google Analytics for this is great.

Also figuring out the “market” that you are in. I know it’s such a business-y term, but basically what I mean is for you to figure out who else writes about the same topics as you. As a girl blogger, regardless of whether the main topics are fashion, beauty or lifestyle, there’s many, many blogs out there. if you’re a girl and you write about tech / geek stuff, you’re a rarity. If you’re a male blogger, you’re lucky if you write about fashion, beauty or lifestyle ’cause there aren’t many of you. If you’re a guy blogging about technology, etc.. You get the idea.

Set A Price

This is by no means an easy task, but here’s some advice to always keep in mind: Companies approach you for articles, that means they want something from you. And more from you than the gazillion other bloggers.

Remember that, but of course don’t be arrogant either. But them coming to you for sponsored posts, which normally have SEO purposes, means that your website can contribute to some extent to their SEO performance. The better the blogs that link to them, the higher they in turn show up in the search engines. So clearly when they approach you, they think you’re one of the better blogs and that you can contribute to their SEO performance.

Maybe also thinking about what you normally get in PR samples, if you get any, might help. Think of what the products you get retail at and take the average. Being sent products for review purposes is ultimately an alternative way of paying for advertisement by these companies. That’s how they justify the costs to send out products.
So pick a price for a start, best to start with maybe £10-20.

Negotiate Confidently

This is of course the trickiest part of them all and sometimes it can be a massive pain in the ass. But it’s part of capitalism. 2 marketing directors in 2 different companies doing the same things don’t necessarily get paid the same money, because they negotiate and whatnot.

Here’s where the remembering that the company came to you comes in. They came to you. So if they try to dictate a price – push back (unless it’s more than what you would ask for of course, haha). Your blog, your rules after all. A lot of companies try to trick bloggers into disregarding their worth, or that they are doing us bloggers a favour. No, no, no. They come to you, they want something from you.

So when they email you and try to dictate a price make it obvious that you know your stuff, that you know they’re coming for SEO/advertisement purposes and that you normally set the fee of x, but that you’re happy to negotiate.

If more often than not your price gets rejected, then lower it. If it gets accepted more often than not, then maybe raise it and see what happens. Your blog grows (hopefully) in readership and traffic and as such your fees can reflect that.

Or try different amounts for different companies. Think about the company’s potential advertisement amounts. You will eventually find a good fee point and then take it from there.

Also, a lot of times companies themselves still don’t quite know what to pay for sponsored posts, as SEO marketing is relatively new in the great realm of marketing.

Special Tip

From my experience and from talking to other big and small UK beauty and fashion bloggers, I think there seems to be some kind of rule of thumb of what people charge / get paid. Mind you I haven’t spoken to millions of bloggers, so I guess this has to be treated with caution.

Blogs with 20k+ unique visitors per month – £50+ per post.
Blogs with 0k-20k unique visitors per month – £10-50 per post.

Please don’t shoot me when you try to charge this amount because of your stats and you get rejected. Treat this with caution. Especially if you’re not a UK beauty & fashion blogger as that’s the only people I know in terms of this. As I said, start cautiously and see where rejection/acceptance/negotiations take you.

I know this is still all a bit vague, but I hope this helps a little bit. Let me know your thoughts!! Good luck!!

PS: In the UK there’s ASA guidelines that force bloggers to declare sponsored posts as such, so make sure you do it xx

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24 Comments on “Guide > How to set Rates for Sponsored Posts

  1. Godfrina

    Great post, Maria.

    In the German-speaking blogosphere lots of bloggers are trying to establish themselves & fair treatment by companies too (so I can really only speak from that point of view.)

    And to be frank, a post like this would probably never get posted. I feel that some rather keep knowledge to themselves or sell it as e-courses (and selling well apparently).

    But what should change anywhere if nobody shares with "newbies"? Young bloggers (in terms of how old the blog is, not the author) CANNOT know what to do, and telling them is helping established bloggers to keep their rates, too, no?

    It's such a controversial topic, esp. as German mentality is not encouraging to talk about money, but I think you know where I am coming from here.

    Oh and also – I think those rates are too low even! Companies try to negotiate anyway so best start higher. £100 per post (esp. on fashion blogs, which get great deals here!) shouldn't be big of a deal for big companies – a backlink is a backlink is a backlink. I would also suggest to tell them right away that you are putting nofollow links to avoid punishment by google (heard about their new craziness regarding paid posts etc?)

    And just out of curiosity – how's the law in UK regarding earning money with advertisement through blog (trade licence etc)? Resp. is there an obligation to label sponsored posts? … as there is in Germany/Austria and such, just curious :) x

    Reply
    1. Miss drifted Snow Wh Post author

      Hey Godfrina,

      Thanks for your comment! I'm glad you found this post helpful.

      I wasn't sure whether to post it or not, because of the controversiality (is that a word?) around it. But I've always wanted to share my knowledge. It's the same with my photography tutorials as well as my HTML tutorials. Yes I could probably sell this knowledge, but I'm not that kind of person. I get a kick out of saving other people pain and frustration :)

      Regarding the legality of things, apparently there are some ASA Guidelines that make you have to declare a sponsored post as sponsored.

      I'm not sure about whether it's fair to charge more from bigger companies or more in general, of course companies want to keep the costs low, but at the same time, I think it's better to start low and sort of negotiate with them to an OK price, that way you might get to work with them more than just once, you know?

      xxx

      Reply
      1. Godfrina

        Indeed, I offer tips and tricks on my blog as well – where others start charging their blog colleagues. I am still uncertain what to think of this tbh.

        I see what you mean regarding lower price but really, for a company like, let's say Asos or L'Oréal, £100 pounds for ~10 bloggers from medium to wide reach is nothing in comparison to their usual advertisments on tv or in mags. And they even get their feedback/market research done in one go, as a blogger writes their opinion and lots of others comment on it.

        It is quite common around here to divide between a startup, niche brand and a mainstream brand. I fully believe that if they like you, your work and the outcome of it they will come back to you no matter what you charge. That's my experience at least.

        Ah interesting, so you don't need a trade licence for this kind of advertisement I guess. Nice and uncomplicated haha x

        Reply
        1. Miss drifted Snow Wh Post author

          Actually with a lot of sponsored posts you get the articles and just edit them, most of the time, so it's not really market research.

          But that's why they send out the samples willingly, they get advertisement & publicity and market reseach data in one go, like you said.

          Oh regarding actual licenses, people technically need to register as a company when they earn money this way, like I'm registered as a business (which is why it's also on my CV hah). But a lot of people don't do it.

          Reply
          1. Emily

            You don't have to register as a company to earn money this way- as long as people declare all their income appropriately and pay the relevant tax/ national insurance based on being self employed etc there's no need for creation of a company at Companies House. Sorry for intruding but just don't want anyone to have the wrong information!

  2. Maitha

    Hi Maria

    Thanks for the post, I know why you'd be worried about sharing to start off with but like you say it's a guide and people should use it as (very helpful!) advice and then make their own decisions.

    Thanks again for sharing useful info :) x

    Reply
  3. Amy

    I have to say that most of this post is not at all like my experience has been with sponsored posts. The tips in the "negotiate confidently" section are good, though!

    Reply
  4. Kieron

    I'm quite unique in that I'm:

    a) a male fashion blogger

    and

    b) have a day job working in SEO

    As such – have a different perspective on this than most folks but… I think you've got your advice pretty much spot on!

    Reply
  5. Natalie Wo

    This is really useful information as have had magazines contact me I like the point know your worth after all they seeked me out.

    Could you direct me to easy to understand SEO posts. Thank you for sharing your knowledge

    Reply
    1. Miss drifted Snow Wh Post author

      Hey Natalie, just go to SEOmoz they have some brilliant info on what SEO is, how marketeers can influence it and what Google in turn does against it (because obviously they'd rather have the marketeers pay them for advertisement and not manipulate the search engine results!)

      hope this helps xx

      Reply
  6. Sarah

    This is a useful post, but I have to agree with the person above who says you are undercharging! The least I've ever been offered for a post was £35, so £10-20 is definitely too low. I'd say more like £50, as a start.

    I work in marketing and one day thought to ask our SEO manager about our own approach to sponsored posts. It turns out that we, the client, pay our agency a set rate for sponsored posts – about £300 or £400. Of that, £100 is designated as the blogger's fee. If a blogger only charges £50, that's profit the company is making (which won't impact on the client saving money or the wages of the person who approached you).

    While this isn't the case for every post of course, since discovering that info, I've gone in high with my rates and most companies have cheerfully paid £100+. I've also never been asked for my stats.

    Another tip I would add is to ask the agency what their budget is. A friend always does this, whereas I didn't – that bit of insight meant that she was getting more than double what I was charging! Sometimes they won't tell you but it's always worth asking. One agency will pay up to £180 for a post.

    I would also add to talk to other bloggers about their experiences, and recommend other bloggers to the company for the post! :)

    It's a great topic though and one that I'm always interested to hear other bloggers' insight on!

    Reply
    1. Pearl Westwood

      Totally agree with these rates for an established blog. I find its better to wait out for the ones who will pay you a decent rate and forgo the ones offering you peanuts. In the long term it works better too as you build up a good reputation for your blog. Itsn't all about stats either this is true, its about so much more!

      Reply
      1. Miss drifted Snow Wh Post author

        Of course it's not just stats, it's about what you do with your blog and what your market is too, like I said in the first part.

        But you are very right, maybe I've been undercharging – this discussion is really helpful to learn how other people do it!!

        xxx

        Reply
    2. Miss drifted Snow Wh Post author

      Thanks so much Sarah for sharing your own experiences! That's really useful, especially that clients pay a flatrate to their agency per post and then it's up to the agency to make a profit! Very interesting!!!

      xxx

      Reply
  7. Stephanie

    Thanks Maria for raising the subject! I always like to read about the marketing and money making aspect of blogging. I haven't started to do it for mine though, but I would like to one day.

    Reply
  8. Kylie

    Great post Maria! and very helpful to new bloggers

    I very rarely put sponsored posts on my blog. Some blogs seem to be full of them and they have lost my interest.

    I set up an additional blogroll called shop mode for sponsored posts. The company is getting the link juice they want , but it is not jeopardising my main blog content and integrity. I would charge £30-£50 a post on there.

    I wouldn't put the link as 'no-follow' as then the company is not getting what they have paid for. I know the words 'sponsored' or 'advert' hurts the blog and I want to be open so instead I make the words sponsored post an image and call the image something other than 'sponsored' etc.

    Xxx

    Reply
  9. Pearl Westwood

    It really is a tough one but I'd never take less than £40 for a post even as a very new blogger. When I was first approached I decided I wasn't going to sell my blog out 'on the cheap' and declined most early offers as £20-30 for post wasn't enough value for me. I now know what rates I can command but still my advice is always ask for more than you want as you will be bartered down by around 30% – everyone love to feel like they got a deal! Earning links for a brand is much more valuable than sending out an average sample – unless we are talking designer samples. Sure some companies will have bigger budget so I also talk to the company and work out what they want, Im happy to do more or indeed less to work to a budget if its a great company. Remember anything you do for a company is beneficial to them and they should pay for that, dont be duped into doing work for free -posting a sponsored post in exchange for a link back on some random site or a twitter tweet is not a good deal! My golden rule is ask for what you think your work and your blog is worth. That's all Ive ever done and it's worked for me.

    Reply
  10. Emily

    I don't do sponsored posts so I can't really add much although the cost to a company of providing a product is very different to actually paying someone in cash- both in the fact that the cost of a product to a company is less than the retail price of an item, and also paying out in cash is very, very different to providing an item of equivalent value!

    Reply
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