Everything Bloggers Need to Know About Sponsored Posts

With more and more people starting up blogs, gaining an audience and gaining brand attention, you’d think more people would be writing things like this to help others out. However, it appears instead, newer bloggers are seriously being taken advantage of and I’m not about to sit around and let that happen.
Bloggers that have been doing this for some time now have probably got all the ridiculous emails of sponsored posts for £10 when they want 3 links, 500 words and 3 photos taken by you, but newer bloggers, might not know what to say to this. So, I am going to break it down as politely (well, that I’ll try) and bluntly as possible and try to cover everything. Obviously, the reason people start blogging isn’t always to work with companies, but if you are considering it, have been already, or are an experienced blogger that is confused over the rules, here is my understanding….

 

Everything Bloggers Need to Know About Sponsored Posts

 

What is a sponsored post?
 A sponsored post is where you receive payment for your words and time or to post something prewritten/prerecorded (it could be a blog post, advertorial, infographic etc), whether this be a tweet, Instagram post, Facebook post, blog post, Pinterest post, Youtube Video, etc.

There are different types of posts a blogger can do.

A review with no payment – This is where you say brands can send you products for consideration and you would technically take the product as payment.
A review with payment (and therefore sponsored) – You’re paid to post your thoughts on a product which means they are guaranteed a feature from you.

When should you charge for reviewing items?

Some people will disagree but I really feel like you have to have a lot to offer in order to charge for every single product review. Do you know that your fee + the cost of the item will be recovered by the brand because of the amount of sales they’ll gain from your post? Do you have enough loyal and engaged followers that spend their money on things that you personally recommend? Will that product sell out because you’ve talked about it? These are just my thoughts. I will occasionally ask for a fee to review certain products but I won’t charge for absolutely everything.

So how do you go about low value items? 

Round up posts and social media mentions. Whether it’s a March Favourites or a ‘What I’m Using Today Post’ there’s ways to feature low cost items that you’ve liked enough to feature, without feeling like you’re wasting time trying to find 300 words for a blog post (best minimum amount to keep your website’s SEO happy.)

What does a sponsored post entail?
 It can be prewritten content and pre-taken photos which you are paid to post on your social media channels, or in some cases you can be paid to write your own content on a company/subject that they are requesting. Usually companies will ask how many words you offer and what price, but sometimes they will ask you for a set amount of words, links, and photos, or a set amount of posts on your social media channels.

Who is offered sponsored posts?
Now this is difficult because it could be a brand new blog, or it could be a blogger with years of experience under their belts. Usually, sponsored posts are to gain link backs which would be more beneficial from an established blogger with a high DA (domain authority, the ranking of your page, if you have your own domain and not a blogspot one, which you can find on MOZ), however, now companies are asking bloggers of all sizes and this is why I am writing this post.

Lots of companies will want DO-follow links (see below) because they need to boost the DA of their brand or the client they’re working for, but this is against Google’s policies. Some brands will still want NO-follow links in sponsored posts because in this case they want your reach. This will mostly be amount numbers, some brands want follower numbers, some want unique page views, others want engagement so bloggers of all sizes are suitable.

How can I get my blog to the point of being offered sponsored posts? Do I approach them myself?
Regular and original content, building your online presence, increasing your DA, having a good SEO knowledge and applying it (little drop of my basic SEO guide). Usually I would have said that brands will go for bloggers with a big online presence, but that’s completely depending on the brand and/or campaign. Don’t threat about them though, sometimes they’re more hassle than beneficial.

If you actively want to find sponsored work, join Facebook groups and check Twitter hashtags like #bloggerswanted and #prrequest. Just be careful to check that it’s all no-follow links and arrange all the details before you begin.

Why should I accept sponsored posts? What do I gain from it?
 There are no right and wrong reasons for why you should accept them, it’s completely up to the blogger. I have in the past, basically if I felt the content was a good fit, interesting, I needed some content filler, or honestly, if I’m struggling for money (but I still don’t accept do-follow links.) You don’t gain much from it, original content hopefully is a good reason, money, but other than that…..
I’ve been asked to add a link to an old post?
This is becoming a regular and cheeky ask, especially on my higher ranking pages (pages that have constant traffic, and lots of views, you can find this by setting up Google Analytics). This is basically deep link embedding, I don’t know the actual term, but unless they’re paying a seriously decent amount, it’s relevant to the post, something you’d actually want to link to, and of course, something you want to do, don’t do it.
It’s a hell of a lot more beneficial to the company than it is to you and your readers. Keeping your integrity and being known as an honest blogger is a lot more important to me, but we live in the real world and I do appreciate that people do need money. I often price links like this at a basic £50, IF and only IF they’re actually relevant to the post, non-offensive, and possibly a brand that I actually know/buy from myself. It’s rare to come across a decent opportunity like this.I’ve been asked to add a link in an upcoming post?

If the post you’re writing won’t look completely odd with this link, why not? Seriously the easiest money I make. A quick sentence or paragraph, maybe a photo and an easy £50 to my paypal. ONLY if it is relevant. Don’t write an outfit post and then mention car washes.

 
Should I register as Self Employed if I accept sponsored posts?
In short, yes, you are earning money and should declare it whether it’s £10 or £1000. You have 3 months from earning money to set yourself up as Self Employed. It’s actually not too difficult to do, you can do it all online and then it basically means that you keep track of what you earn and what you spend on your blog. It just means that if your blog money combined with your wages from your other job total up to over the threshold, you’ll pay tax. If you’re spending more money on your blog then you earn, and you don’t reach the threshold, you won’t pay tax. That’s as simple as I can explain it.
Please don’t worry, no one is going to knock on your door if you haven’t registered already and have accepted money from your blog (as long as it isn’t too much anyway), most people say to just register and start keeping track from when you do.
I’m declared as a Sole Trader of She Might Be Loved and you can register here.There are different expenses that you can count such as stationary, cameras, computers etc, but you also have to declare every income. Whether it be £20 from an ad space or £200 from a sponsored post. ‘Gifted items’ or items sent for consideration do not have to be declared as income as long as you are stating that things are sent for ‘consideration’ and not for a definite review. It’s just a technical term. Apparently high value items do have to be declared, but I’d pop up in the UK Bloggers Group on Facebook and ask the accountants in that group if you have any questions.
 
No-follow vs Do-follow?
This really isn’t talked about enough as it can be quite complex, but I will try and simplify it. When you add a link to your blog, whether it be on Blogger or WordPress (or anything else) it will automatically be a do-follow link. You can change that by clicking the ‘no-follow’ option on the blogger pop up, adding a plugin for WordPress or by adding a little html to other sites. No-follow links are what you SHOULD be using when working with companies to review a product and when you’ve been asked to write a sponsored post as you’ve received something in return for that post and that link. If you have received something from the people that are asking for that link, no-follow it. These are Google’s Guidelines and this is what is expected. There is no way around this. Google has recently released a statement which you can read here.
Do-follow links are really beneficial to website as it’s a natural link which will pass on your page ranking to them (not literally but it’s like trip advisor, if one gets enough good reviews sent to it, it’ll be ranked higher, it makes more sense if you think of it that way!) If a company has a lot of do-follow links, they’ll rank higher on Google which is why companies will try and push for one and pay bloggers to post them. You should only do-follow a link when you are really recommending it and haven’t been influenced by money or free products at all. All the links in this post will be do-follow for example. Some people will be naughty and do-follow for extra money. Not only is the against the guidelines, but it can also land you in trouble and get your rank deleted completely. Which means you will be taken off of Google’s search. A Law Firm in Sheffield went around paying for unnatural and do-follow links from bloggers/other websites and ended up having their page rank taken from them and I’m pretty sure the bloggers did too. Which meant they had to start building their ranks again, it can happen, it has happened and it’s not worth it. From what I’ve heard from brands it’s happened to, it’s actually easier to start a new website completely.
It’s that serious, so why risk your entire blog for £30? Or any amount?
Everything Bloggers Need to Know About Sponsored Posts

What do I do about links/anchor text?
 When a company has paid for you to place a piece of prewritten content, it usually comes with a link or links and anchor text already in place and already decided on. When you’ve been asked to write the content, they usually will still ask you to place the anchor text with the link somewhere specific. However, sometimes companies will ask for weird anchor links that naively I’ve added in the past, for example one company made me write the word ‘funky’ to do with hair.
In my disclaimer I have now stated that I do have creative content…’Reviews will always be written from my personal experience of the product and companies may not suggest any terminology or language for the review, even if it is a sponsored post as I will always have creative content.’ This means I put the anchor text and link where I want, especially if it looks ridiculous for my readers.

Of course, this is just because I don’t want to have to write cringe things again, but if you’re happy with what they want you to put in, go for it! As for the number of links, the more links, the more you should charge in my opinion. The max I do is about 2. Sometimes more links can look spammy for a brands stats (as I’ve been told) so they might not ask for many.

Do I have to disclose a sponsored post?
According to new ASA Guidelines, if the content is PREWRITTEN and have no creative control at all, you have to declare it as an ‘AD’ in the title or somewhere really obvious before they click the link.
If you are paid money to talk about a product and gifted that product, AND get to write all of your own words, you just have to state that it is a commercial placing with whichever Brand.
Personally I add in a disclaimer at the bottom which says, ‘This post features PR samples unless otherwise stated. For more details, read my disclaimer here.‘ As it looks neater for me and I work with brands a lot so this is often the case. I was asked ‘how to spot a sponsored post?’, but you really shouldn’t have to spot them, as they should be disclosed if they’re completely prewritten by the brand/outreach company. However, if a blogger suddenly has a post about car parts when usually they write about mascara, yeah, it’s probably sponsored.Most bloggers are NOT declaring at all now, or are doing so in the smallest writing readable and in my opinion, it’s wrong and misleading. In the ASA’s opinion, it’s also wrong. You need to display the text clearly so people know it’s sponsored before even clicking onto it or watching the sponsored piece. Lots of brands and bloggers are actually being pointed out for it.All the advice I can give you is to look at the blogs you usually read, and ask yourself if you really trust them? If not, there’s tonnes of bloggers out there that give honest and truthful reviews, sponsored or not.

Do I have to disclose on Social Media posts?
Yes. A simple #Ad or if it is Facebook/Instagram and you can write more, do that. As far as I understand, this is if you’ve been paid to post about something, not if you’ve been gifted a product.
Do I Declare at the end of the post or beginning?
For prewritten content it must be in the title or VERY clear before they click on the link.
If you’re just declaring because you’re an honest blogger who writes all of their own content, then the end of the post should be fine.
PAYMENT
Now, this part is basically like saying Voldemort out loud, nobody wants to talk about it, help each other out or guide them at all. I like to practice what I preach and therefore, this is my complete understanding on payment for sponsored words. This is not, by any means, law or set in stone, it’s simply my 3+ years experience of the blogging word and my experience in the little PR/Outreach work I’ve done myself.

How much do I charge for a sponsored post?
Basically, you set your rates but that doesn’t mean you can’t have a helping hand doing so. The only advice I ever got when I needed it, was not to accept under £50 for any sponsored post, whether prewritten or not. However, more often than not, I see £30 as the absolute minimum for most bloggers.

There’s a few things to consider. First, if this is prewritten content, you have to judge your fee by how long it will take you to copy and paste, format, and publish the post (I know, not long at all). Then, you have to consider your blog’s rankings and what this company is getting out of you. If you have a new blog, £30 would probably seem like a really good price as your blog is new, most likely has a small ranking and it’s easy content with no effort for you at all. I wouldn’t advise accepting under £30 at all, simply as, as your blog grows, so will that link.

If you’re an established blog, with a DA of 10+, I would consider more.
A really interesting post is from Michelle where she found out ‘What Do Real Bloggers earn?‘ It’s a survey and has some interesting results which basically show that bloggers are seriously undervaluing themselves and should be charging a lot more.

If you’ve been asked to write the content yourself, then you have to consider, how long does it take you to write that piece? Do you also need to take photos? A lot of people have tried to make up formulas of an hourly rate x the hours you work = how much you should charge x 2 or some shit like that. Basically, you’re putting in the time to make this content interesting, on topic to the company, but engaging for your audience. That can be bleak or sometimes just hard to find the words. I would even say to a new blogger to start at £40/£50 for this and then established bloggers a lot more.

I’ve grown from £50, to £75, to £100 with sponsored posts as I’ve gone up with my DA. PERSONALLY, I would put them as follows…Under DA 10 at £30-£50
DA 10 – 20 at £50 – £75
DA 20 – 30 at £75 – 100
DA 30+ at £100+Always when negotiating or asked for your fee, add on something in case you’re knocked down, see more below.
To me, this just seems completely logical and it ensures that everyone gets paid properly. You have to understand that some blogs are just worth more than others and that’s not a bad thing, but it also means that yours shouldn’t be overlooked and undervalued.
There’s also to consider if your blog gets a lot of traffic and comments, as this engagement will obviously be more beneficial to the sponsored post. It’s a mind field to be honest, but please don’t undervalue yourself.

For Social Media like your Twitter, Instagram, Facebook it’s a little harder to price but again, don’t go under £50.
I don’t do sponsored social media posts a lot to have a price bracket that I’m usually offered to even gain an idea but the more followers, obviously the higher the fee.

In times of doubt, aim higher, which brings us on to….
Should I be Negotiating?

 Hell yes! Some brands will have more money than others. Work out roughly how long it takes you to do a post and stick a minimum amount you would accept on that, then add say £20-£30 (my usual number is to add £50) and negotiate. Sometimes you find that the company will just say yes, then well done, you’ve nailed it. Other times, budgets and such will come into play and they really can’t go above £40, but if you still want to (or need to) go ahead! (Obviously providing they want no-follow links and full disclosure, I will not encourage bad behaviour!) If you don’t ask, you don’t get.

* I have been known to just throw a random number at an opportunity that does fit in with my blog, but I don’t necessarily have the time to write something. In this case, money motivates.

How do you ask for more money?
“My usual fee is actually ££, could your budget be slightly higher?’
“I’d be happy to do this for ££, that’s much closer to my usual fee”
So, before I do a sponsored post, what do I need to know?

You need to know how and when you will be paid and what exactly it is that you’re giving the brand/PR. Will it be immediately after the post is published or will you have to wait 30 days? Have everything set clearly between you both before you even think about posting the content or writing it.

– Honestly this is as simple as emailing, ‘so just to be clear, I’m writing a post on BLAH for ££, and you will be paying via what method and when?’

Most companies will either pay immediately or within 30/60 days, 60 days seems ridiculous to me but you know, their rules.
If you are being paid through Paypal, please do remember that you will be charged a small percentage of the money you earn. Take this into consideration and whilst negotiating, add on the small percentage so that it covers the Paypal fees. I always forget to do this and end up with a couple quid less which is rather annoying.

You also need to know how many words, how many links and when the post is expected to be published. Of course, you can negotiate on all of this. I wouldn’t put more than 2 links in or write more than 300 words for just £30 but that’s up to you.

Should I promote a sponsored post?
I think of this in two ways. One, do you want a piece of content on your blog that never has views, is never read and just sits there? Two, but do you want to give the company, link and post loads of publicity for £30 (I keep going back to £30 as it’s a small amount in my opinion for tonnes of promotion and a link).
In the past when I have done a sponsored post, I have promoted it a little (or the agreed amount) and then buried it with funner and more creative content, it’s worked well.
A note to PRs/Outreach Companies/Marketing Companies etc…

Most of us aren’t stupid. We know it is your clients that want do-follow links and only want to spend £10 on them, but at the same time, you have to appreciate that most bloggers, hopefully more now, know the rules and won’t risk their reputations. Please do not be rude to them when they pull you up on the rules, please do not hound them for a reply, please don’t manipulate newer bloggers, take their silence as a no, and please, do not slate them or backlist them for future opportunities when they’re just doing the right thing and you’re not. You’ll end up just being blacklisted yourself, and we all know, bloggers are a lot more valuable to you, than you are to them. Treat us right, all of us.

No-follow links to your clients/brands on the right site are just as valuable as with a blog’s readership. Readers may shop at that brand in the future, recommend them to friends after reading the article, click-through and look around.

What to do when things go wrong?
If you are being hounded, have pushy PRs/companies that are clearly telling fibs, or are in a similar situation, all you need to do is simply respond saying you’re not interested and do not wish to be contacted again regarding that campaign. It’s honestly the politest way to go about it. If you take all the precautions and both sides know what is expected, it should be a smooth, stress free collaboration, but if not, ask for advice. The UK Bloggers group, although quite naughty on do-follow links opps, do have tonnes of advice and loads of people around to help you.

At the end of the day, it’s your blog and/or your business, you run it how you want. This is just my understanding and experience of sponsored posts.
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  • Best post I’ve read all week! New bloggers like myself need all the help and info we can get as you well know there’s lots of people ready to pounce on the newbies and take advantage. I’ve learnt tons of new things!

  • I like it when people post about these things and get it RIGHT. YES! And also when they don’t indirectly tell me I’m charging too much. I am not. Google fucking loves me. So shut it.

  • Great post, I have put a lot of work into posts with 5 or more links for the product, feel like I should have not done that! x

  • This has made everything so much clearer! Thank you! 😀

  • Preaching hands emoji right there! A great, concise and easy to understand post x

  • Neesha

    Great post and definitely important for new and old bloggers to be on the same wavelength as each other on sponsored content!

  • Fucking excellent post Georgina! I’ve just registered as self-employed so this is massively helpful. xx

    • Woohooo! Good luck with keeping track, I seriously need to sort my stuff out ahah! xx

  • I could fucking marry you.

  • Well written, Georgina. Again, according to your views, and others, I am SERIOUSLY undervaluing myself. I think I need to reconsider my fees.

    Angie x | Chocolate & Lipstick || UK Beauty and Lifestyle Blog

  • This is really great, I think when you are new to sponsored posts they can be really overwhelming. I also think a lot of bloggers underestimate their costs, as if you are writing the post then it does take a whole lot of effort! In general, I don’t do sponsored posts but it may be something I go into in time.

    Jasmin Charlotte

    • More often than not I will say no, but at least I can share my understanding of them!

  • I had no idea about the different kinds of links. Great advice! Thank you so much!

  • wow what a comprehensive post! really really useful, thank you. I worked with a PR a few months ago and she asked if it could be a follow link and not disclose that it was a paid for post…..being abit of an unexperienced newbie I went along with it but now realise after reading this that I should have said thanks but no thanks! x

  • Rachel Grey

    I learnt a lot from this as a small blogger, thank you.

  • expatmuaddict

    I didn’t even know what my DA was Georgina! But I used your link and it’s 28 so using the rest of your post as a guideline that seems to be reasonable! This is a really helpful and insightful post xxx

  • Ami Rose

    Such a well written and informative post! You go girl, I love how honest you are wit your blog and on Twitter! I’m guilty of not knowing my worth and accepting next to nothing as I don’t feel I’m good enough but this really helps to understand the benefits your hard work is giving to the brand/company!

    Ami xxx
    ami-rose.com

  • What a fantastic post GG! Honestly this is really eye opening and helpful! Love it!

    Faith xx

  • Sometimes I feel like the only blogger who sticks to her guns with the whole do not follow link thing! I know it’s not the case but so many do it and also don’t disclose, I find it upsetting when it’s a blogger I like. I guess the important thing is I stick to my guns on it, I’ve lost most posts over it but it is what it is. I have to be honest, that is just me! I think I’ve only had a few sponsored posts and they’ve been £20 even though my DA is 22, I guess I am just not big enough yet.

    • It’s really annoying and completely puts me off someone, but I do understand that sometimes under circumstances that they do NEED to. You’re bigger than 20 quid that’s for sure, everyone is. xx

  • Fantastic, helpful post Georgina, thank you! Even though I haven’t done and sponsored posts yet when the time comes I will be prepared 🙂 x

    Mummy’s Beauty Corner

  • catherine ♡

    This is such a clear, helpful post! Thankyou x

    http://cocoamay.blogspot.co.uk

  • Kat Horrocks

    Wow. Thank you for being so honest. This is the first post about sponsored content I feel is full of value and hasn’t left me confused!! 🙂

    Kat | http://www.kathorrocks.com

  • This is all fantastic advice! Thanks so much for sharing 😀
    I will be sharing this in my ‘Five For Friday’ post tomorrow too where I share links I have enjoyed throughout the week. This is too helpful to not pass on!

  • Great post, thank you so much. I find there is so little real, honest info on payment for bloggers in particular. Also good advice re. discussing terms of payment before publishing a post – I should have done that myself recently and may now be in a bit of a predicament 🙂

    • Everyone just looks after themselves I’ve found, whereas I know if I talk about it, and there starts to become a normalisation for bloggers being paid properly, it’ll not only help others but future work for everyone! I hope you get it sorted, it can be a tricky one!xx

  • What a brilliant post! This is so so informative and hopefully people will start to understand that £10 for a post that may take a few hours to do is ridiculous. Really great information Georgina, definitely going to be referring back to this! 🙂

    Fii | little miss fii

  • This is so helpful for a new blogger, thank you so much! It’s the first time I’ve fully understood what the rules are about no follow links despite reading so many posts about them!! Can I ask how long you’d been blogging when you were offered / arranged your first sponsored post (that you were genuinely happy with)? I’m really curious to know what the timelines are for people before they start moving from free product to sponsored posts!

    Thanks!! Vikki xx

    Bristolianbeauty.blogspot.co.uk

    • Pretty early on actually, I started working with brands about 3 months into blogger. I had a rather big online presence anyway from my tumblr blog/twitter, so it took off fast. I wouldn’t worry about any timeline though, takes some months, others years, go at your own pace and always have fun! xx

  • I just had to comment, this post is amazing! so helpful and informative! you are truly an inspiration! xxx

  • Lots of blogging tips posts, while always helpful, can be a bit vague on the details. I love that this post gets down to the nitty-gritty with actual figures. I’ve not yet been offered sponsored posts but when I do, I’ll have an idea of how much I should be asking for. Thanks for such a straightforward, honest and helpful post! xx

    • This is just my understanding of figures, but I thought they’d be no point in explaining why I think the way I do without actually divulging what I’d consider logical! thank you xxx

  • Aliya Hussain

    Wow, what a really informative post! I never really understood the basis of sponsored posts so thank you 🙂

    Aliya x | thecatandthegirl.blogspot.co.uk | https://www.bloglovin.com/people/thegirl09-10150959

  • lady .nancy

    Love this! I have a question: if a PR contacts you for a collaboration, and you say yes and then never hear from them again, should you call them out on your blog for being unprofessional?

    • No, definitely not. More often than not with collabs ideas will be thrown around but then their clients might change their mind, or other things come first, so you might not hear from them for a while, or not at all. A polite chase up email would be best and then just leave it! xx

      • lady .nancy

        Thank you, dear! x

  • Leanne

    fantastic post, it’s great you’ve answered the questions people really want to know. it makes it super clear so hopefully, new bloggers now have a better understanding! x

    http://the-dress-diaries.blogspot.co.uk

  • Laura Jane Vickers

    Honestly, I’ve been earning money from blogging for 4 years and this post has taught me things I didn’t know/have been a bit iffy on for yonks! So thank you very much for that. 🙂 Sometimes we just need things broken down in no-nonsense terms.

    Also, I didn’t realise my own worth either – my blog’s DA is 27 and my Facebook/Twitter reach is over 6000, but I’ve been thinking I should charge waaaay less than what you’ve suggested! Thank you for boosting my confidence! xxx

    http://www.vinspireuk.com

    • Wow what an achievement! I’m really glad I could help! 🙂 xx

  • Hi Georgina, thanks for another great post! I found it really helpful. I just want to confirm, is the DA on Moz he number out of 100? For example mine said 11/100, and the higher the number the better? – Dani from Danielea.com

    • Yes the higher the better! Most blogs will be from 0-50 depending on how popular they are and how long they have been going! 🙂

      • Thanks for finding the time to reply to my question. Much appreciated. – Dani 🙂

  • Wonderful post! So helpful! thank you so much for putting it together

  • This is the best post I have read on this topic. Thank you for the tips!

    Alisha xx
    http://glamulence.blogspot.co.uk

  • Sharing this now, thanks ever so much Georgina, hopefully more people know where they stand thanks to it!
    Just a quick question – is there an equivalent ranking to DA for blogs still with a blogspot – just as a lot of new bloggers may not have their own domain yet (or like me might not have simply had the time to sort everything out and moved to their own domain yet). The DA thing seems to be coming up a lot more recently!

    Katie || knelblogs.blogspot.com xx

    • Unfortunately not, Page Authority basically means how reliable the links on your site are, so the higher the better but I’ve not heard of anything. Some companies will work with blogspot urls depending on the blogger and the content but that’s completely up to them! DA is the best way of measuring a blogger’s influence at the moment xx

  • I love how honest you are! This was such an interesting article! I’ve been blogging under a year and have already had companies ask me for some ludicrous things, so this really helps! Thanks again for putting all this together – great blog post!

    Chloe xx

    http://www.ChloEllio.co.uk

  • Karen

    I’m not a blogger but I have been wondering recently as to how honest and trustworthy a blog review is as if a blogger is being paid to publish pre written context from a 3rd party how can it possibly be genuine and impartial? The same when bloggers are paid to review clothing items, I never see anybody say anything negative about the items, yet I can’t possibly be the only person in the world who doesn’t find every clothing piece she tries perfect in every way?

    • Prewritten content normally isn’t promoting much other than the company as a whole, or a campaign that they’re doing, so I wouldn’t worry those, they’re more of just informational pieces. Bigger bloggers/youtubers often have their integrity questioned when they’re applying the worst makeup and saying it’s amazing, especially when you can see them struggling with it. You should read my posts more often, I might like a product and company and be paid to talk about them, but I’ll still tell you ALL of the negative points without a worry. A lot won’t as more often than not, this annoys companies and they won’t work with you again, I’ve had several brands never talk to me again, but my audience and keeping my integrity is more important.
      It’s completely dependant on the blogger, if they’re just in it for free things and money, they’re probably say everything is amazing, whereas I started for fun and I’m still having it, if a product is shit, you’ll hear about it!

  • Such a great post Georgina, thank you! I’m a little concerned though – I’ve worked with brands quite a bit with being gifted pieces of clothing, usually no one ever asks me to put a link in but I usually do anyway to say where the items are from for my readers and have never changed the link to no-follow as I’ve never really understood it all until now – should I be changing these links to no-follow?

    Thanks so much 🙂

    Maddie x
    http://www.modemadeleine.co.uk

    • Yes these should be no-follow links as you are working with a brand to promote them, money or no money.

      • Yep! Always no-follow when you’ve been given something, do go back and change them!

        • Ok thank you! Oh jeez there’s quite a lot to change! Do they all need to be changed or just start doing it from now on?

  • The pictures made this perfect lmao I love them

    ✿ my blog ✿

  • Thanks so much for making this post, it is great advice for us newbie bloggers so helpful. Thanks for the tips.

    http://my-world-heather.blogspot.co.uk

  • Anushree Ganguly

    Wow! I haven’t stopped reading this and it’s crystal cleared my head Georgina! I agree #Ukbloggers is awesome and so is your post ! Count another regular visitor x

  • Georgina this article has been so helpful! I recently accent my first sponsored post for a lot less than £30… I panicked because I thought they were asking me to do it for free so when I asked about their budget I didn’t actually have a price in my own head! Now I’ve set out exactly how much to charge and currently making a media kit, thank you so much 🙂

  • Kizzy, Izzy & Baby

    Great post, make things a lot clearer thank you. I want to start doing some sponsored posts – have done a few reviews so far – but feel a bit cheeky approaching companies when my blog is still quite small.

  • This post is so helpful! Thank you for sharing actual numbers & useful information! I found your post through Debbie at My Random Musings, I’m so glad I did. 🙂 This is going to make me sound like such a newbie but what does DA stand for & where would I find that information? x

  • Nevermind lol I figured it out with the help of google – I have heard of domain authority but didn’t know the initials, duh! Thanks again hun x

  • This is so helpful, thank you Georgina. I’ve figured out most of it along the way but having everything here in one post is a helpful reference. I wish I had this when I first started! One question I have is how do you respond to PR/brand/outreach emails who don’t initially mention payment? X

  • This was an interesting read! The number were different as I’m in a different market, but the principles are the same. I recently replied to a brand who wanted to me write about their product for free and told them to consider the hours of product use, photography, editing, and writing, and the benefit of exposure they would receive – it would be in their best interest to pay my fee to reach this audience!

  • This is really helpful. I’ve just really started getting into sponsored posts, that is not just free product reviews and I didn’t know where to start. A company offered me $13 dollars for a post with 3 links & 300 words and I just thought, what was the point?! I’m a small blog but I’m doing this for fun & to find new products. I don’t want to waste my time writing a post for £8 & that’s just preference. Thanks for the information & I won’t feel as steep for charging £30 for a post now! 🙂
    P.S Totally didn’t know that about no follow links so extra thanks!

    prettymadthings.blogspot.co.uk // xo

  • Lauren

    Found this so helpful, thank you Georgina!

    Lauren xo
    http://www.laurenselwood.com

  • Great tips. Thanks for a good content

  • Claire Ridewood

    Great post, so very helpful to a new blogger like myself. Thankyou for sharing your insight with such honesty!

  • Really great post. I did my first sponsored post the other day and I really did not know how to go about it – I think in the end I got a bit ripped off as I was unaware of the paypal charges and they paid me in dollars anyway so it ended up being just over a tenner which seemed little for so much effort on my part. I wish I had read this blog before all of that! I am glad I know from now on though. Also, trying to get my head around the no follow link thing – I did not even know about this xo

    Emily | emsalice.com

  • Hi! Really great post, I refer to it frequently 🙂
    What would you recommend doing when a company asks for a quote for blog post and a separate quote for social media shares? Thanks 🙂

    • It’s a difficult one because if you have a big social media reach, you have to have a good price for it!
      I usually roll off set amounts such as £50 per mention on my accounts (which is low for my following)
      Or tell them it’ll be £150 for a post plus mentioned across ALL my channels

  • Hi, thank you so much for this. I’ve asked about his before with no help what so ever!
    The only question I have is what would you charge for side adverts from companies say for a 250 x 250 px for 1 month? I’m currently sat trying to get my media kit together with prices and I want to add this on there but no idea what to charge.

    Caroline xo | http://www.thespottedfox.co.uk

    • Completely depends on your stats, I currently charge £10 a month as I’m cheap and don’t stick with them. But some charge a lot less, or a lot more! Ideally anywhere from £5-£15 depending on what you can offer on a blog with a smaller reach, and then bump it up!

  • hollycarole

    This is the most helpful post I’ve ever read and I can’t thank you enough for sharing it! I hate how this is never spoken about in the blogging world and you’ve made things so much easier for me to understand 🙂
    Love Holly x

    http://www.thehollydays4.blogspot.co.uk

  • Liv Tucker

    such a great post! thank you so much for writing it! It has definately helped clear up a lot of things for me. 🙂

    Livvy
    http://www.livvy-rose.co.uk

  • OMG this post was so so helpful & just the kind of advice I have been looking and hoping for! I was always so unsure about no follow links and you’ve really helped me to understand it better, so thank you! 🙂

    Heather Xx
    100waysto30.co.uk

  • Laura Hadley

    Such a fantastic post Georgina! The amount of times I’ve had emails with companies trying to bully me into creating a post with tons of links and coverage for $10 etc is ridiculous. I’ve already saved Michelle’s post but I’ll refer back to this when negotiating!

    Laura x | http://www.laurahadley.co.uk

  • I’ve just found this post from Becky Bedbug’s blog and it’s massively helpful. I’m thinking of doing a mini research project on the figures of blogging which is anonymous so people feel more comfortable talking about numbers. I know a lot of people don’t talk about it but good for you!

    Lauren – Blonde Vision

  • Hi Georgina, thanks for being so open about all this & sharing your experience, such a great post. You mentioned paid reviews as separate from sponsored posts – can I please check the difference between the two? I’m assuming all forms of paid posts should be declared as sponsored or ad within the post or as a footnote?

    Thanks xx

  • This is a good time to read this post again as the guidelines have officially come out for bloggers. Unfortunately a lot of companies still do not want to pay for sponsored content!

    Carolanne | aliterarycocktail.com

  • Thanks so much for this AMAZING POST! It teaches so much. I’m very similar to you, where I will do sponsored posts or mentions for free or a very small amount just because I’d rather help others out when they’re trying to grow their brands. I remember when I first started http://www.drcori.com (Dr. Cori), and now it’s grown so much into a resource for women who want to grow their confidence, self-love and empowerment. I couldn’t be happier, but I don’t forget that I got there from the support of others!

  • Lara

    Brilliant. Just brilliant, Georgina. Thanks I much for your open and honest post which has helped so many people. I am off to search through more of your posts like this for more advice. Still can’t get my head around no follow links and desperately don’t want to do something wrong so going to look through more of your posts. Xx

  • Great post – super-informative, and an easy read. 🙂 Re: do-follow/no-follow links, this is a pet peeve of mine when I’m being asked for review posts, and the potential client asks specifically for do-follow links on a Sponsored Post. When I cite the Google Regulations and explain that my website and theirs could be at risk if I use a do-follow link on a post I’ve received money for, most clients tend to pull out of the bargaining, because they apparently only want the post for the ranking… despite the fact that surely any interest in their brand should be good interest?

    Apparently not.

    But so far I’ve not wavered, and as far as I know, haven’t (unless accidentally) posted a sponsored post with a do-follow link. Just not worth the paltry amount most sponsored posts are paid.