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I've been meaning to post some more blogging tips recently, and as I've started working with a few brands on some sponsored collaborations through my blog in the last year, I'd love to share my thoughts on you with sponsored posts and blogging for money. Blogging tips is something I have been meaning to do for a LONG time, so if there's anything you want me to talk about, please leave a comment at the bottom of this post!
I've been really inspired by reading Jen at A Balanced Belly's blog about how she has transitioned from working part-time, to full-time blogging. I've also spent time talking to other bloggers about sponsored posts, and I've learnt a lot. To me, blogging full time has always been a dream, but it's only been in the last couple of years that I've really started to work on this properly, rather than just posting here and there and hoping someone reads it.
My blogging background
I started my blog in 2010 as a student, back when blogging wasn't really much of a 'thing'. Nowadays, everyone wants to be a blogger, vlogger, or influencer. I visited a primary school recently for work, and the children were all saying 'I want to be on Youtube'. That was their dream: not growing up to a doctor, a teacher, or a zoo keeper (totally what I wanted to do through primary school), but to be a full-time Youtuber.
I work full time, and since blogging and vlogging became on trend, it suddenly became a lot harder. Suddenly, it wasn't just me posting recipes and reviews from my student digs, hoping for a few likes and interactions. Blogging for many had become a career not a hobby, and I was battling for airtime with people doing this for a living; people able to dedicate their entire week to creating a gorgeous post with professional images.
Why do I do sponsored posts?
I work full-time as a journalist, which means I am often working weekends and evenings alongside the normal 9-5.30pm. As well as this, I also help to run my partner's personal training business, so free time is a rarity. And that free time is normally spent blogging. Don't get me wrong, it's not a complaint - blogging and vlogging is my passion and a huge part of my life, and I absolutely love it.
But in short, sometimes it's nice to be compensated for the countless hours that go into a post. For the brainstorming, the food shopping, the recipe development, the failed attempts, the photographing and editing, the filming and editing, typing up the post, SEO, social media - it all takes a lot of time. You see the finished product, but not the hours that went into it. So if a brand is keen to work with me to help me create this awesome material to share with you, and they are willing to compensate me a little to do it, why wouldn't I do it if I feel it adds value for my readers? Wouldn't you?
Supporting other bloggers
I love seeing other bloggers succeed - seeing bloggers and vloggers I love talking about how excited they were to be approached by certain brands they love always fires me up and motivates me. I hate it when people say you're 'selling out' or make other nasty comments. You wouldn't work for your employer for free, would you?
I think it's great to support other bloggers and I'm always happy for people who make the most of these opportunities they have worked hard for, as long as they are open and honest about they and being paid. And if I can help new bloggers with some blogging tips, even better.
Side note: I only EVER work with brands I know, love and trust. I have been approached by companies I either don't agree with, or don't want to promote, and I will turn them down. I only choose to work with brands I feel will be of genuine value to my readers, as this blog is for YOU, not them.
Blogging tips: How do sponsored posts work?
If you're a blogger looking for advice and blogging tips on how to pitch to brands and make lots of money, this probably isn't the post for you. I count myself very lucky that brands have actually approached me wanting to collaborate, and despite the lack of hours in the day, if a brand I love offers me an exciting opportunity, I will make time to work with them.
A couple of blogging tips if you want to obtain more sponsored posts:
- Don't go into blogging with the aim of making money. Make your blog as awesome as possible. Pour your passion into your work, take pride in trying to create a fantastic-looking blog and interacting with your readers and the brands will notice.
- Don't undersell yourself. You know how much your time is worth, and while many brands will pay for it, some won't. Don't undersell yourself, but don't expect the earth either - if you're a relatively new blog growing your following, you can't expect the big bucks instantaneously.
- Network like crazy. Go to every event you can, meet as many people as possible, and interact with other bloggers in your field. I find it very difficult living in North Devon when most of the big events I want to go to are in London - i.e. expensive and a long journey away - but I have made an effort to network with lots of other bloggers and brands online, as well as local gluten free producers.
- Don't get demotivated. You asked if the brand had a budget, but they said no? So what? Use it as motivation to keep going, keep hustling, keep pitching and striving to be better.
Got any blogging tips to share?
I really hope you enjoyed these blogging tips - I've loved writing them and sharing some little pearls of (hopefully) wisdom! If you'd like to see more blogging tips, please leave me a comment below and let me know what you'd like to me to write about! I'd love to know your thoughts on bloggers using sponsored content too - does it put you off, or are you happy if it's a good mix of sponsored and original content?
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All super advice Sarah. I'm in awe of your commitment and time management, you work like crazy lady! I'm only just entering into the world of paid work but, having blogged for two years, I have a following who know me well, if my sytle changed to 'oooh look at this amazing new product, I love it so much I'd take it to bed with me' they'd cotton on pretty quick (maybe a mental example that?) anyhoo...I only blog about stuff I like, my kids like or my hubby likes...if they pass the hubby test then they must be ooober good! Being ourselves is why people found us in the first place, why be someone else! xxx