Facebook Pixel
Join our Facebook Community

7 Powerful Reasons Why Companies Will Pay for You to Blog

Posted By Guest Blogger 27th of September 2011 Blogging for Dollars 0 Comments

This guest post is by Lina Nguyen of Words That Influence.

Influential bloggers are being paid top dollar to write sponsored posts (thousands of dollars per post is not unheard of). They’re gifted with luxury items, cars and overseas trips, and invited to events previously exclusive to A-List celebrities and long-established journalists.

Bloggers worldwide are proving to be fierce competition for mainstream media, as companies decide how to get the best return on investment for their marketing buck.

If you have the following seven things, then your blog and social media networks will be highly valuable digital assets, sought after by major companies.

Even if you don’t quite have the same reach and clout as some of these bloggers, you can still apply these principles to negotiate your own deals with smaller businesses in your niche.

ProBlogger Training Day event speakers Craig Makepeace and Caz Makepeace are travel bloggers who landed a corporate sponsorship deal with a major airline, to cover a high profile international sporting event. At the end of this post, we’ll see these seven points in action, as we take a look at their success in attracting sponsorship from a major brand.

1. Your audience is a profitable niche market

The people in a profitable niche for major companies tend to be decision makers, consumers or influencers in the buying process, for either highly priced items (like cars, technology, travel or finance), or highly consumed items (like food, health products, household goods).

How do you know if your niche is profitable? Just take a look around in mainstream media. If companies are already paying big bucks to advertise to your audience on TV, radio, magazines and newspapers, then you’re in a profitable niche.

2. You’ve built a community

If you’ve created a group of people who gather on your blog and social media networks, then what you’ve created has the potential to be extremely financially valuable.

Companies always want to know where their target market is hanging out and get in front of them. Trouble is, as outsiders, whose primary motivation is to sell, they’re not exactly welcomed.

That’s why they’re willing to pay to get access to your tightly formed online community, which has its very own culture, rules and etiquette. Your intimate knowledge of how your community thinks and behaves has a valuable price tag on it.

3. You have reach

Being in a commercially attractive niche and having impressive reach in numbers (in terms of blog traffic, subscribers and social media followers) makes your community really valuable. A big corporate client will be after the exposure you can give them.

What kind of numbers are valuable? That all depends.

Essentially, it comes down to the demand to reach your niche, how targeted your audience is and what other advertising avenues are available to the company to reach that specific audience.

The more profitable the niche, and the harder those communities are to access, the more money a company will be willing to pay you to get in front of them.

4. Your community is highly engaged

This is what makes a blogger much more appealing to companies for advertising potential than say, television, print media, billboards and flyers.

Bloggers engage with their audience, who eagerly share their thoughts and feelings. In addition, they actively give bloggers permission to communicate with them, by following or subscribing.

Engaged communities also show clear signs of activity, through comments, posts and tweets. This is valuable in the eyes of a potential marketer, because an active community gives the company a way to evaluate and measure a campaign’s success.

An indicator of a successful marketing campaign is one where the target market responds to it, hopefully positively (although a highly engaged negative response can also be seen as successful, depending on the company’s objectives).

5. You have influence

A blogger with a highly engaged and active community is more likely to have influence, which is what’s really going to make a company take notice.

A company will pay for your ability to help get the word out, your referral or your endorsement.

If you can do all three, to an audience who will listen to you and believe you, then you are in a very strong negotiating position to command a price.

A bigger company with a large marketing budget is most likely interested in building brand awareness, exposure and chipping away at a longer-term objective to improve market perception.

The good news for a blogger is that they’re unlikely to expect a huge spike in sales from working on a one-off campaign with you. This eases the pressure off you, relieving expectation that you’ll influence your readers to rush out and buy the product.

Having said that, if you do have the clout to change attitudes, beliefs and market perception about a particular product or service—or you can get people to buy in noticeable numbers—then that will clearly make you extremely valuable in the corporate marketplace.

6. Your brand is strong and clear

If you have all of the above advantages, then what a company wants is to align with your brand. You’re obviously credible and your brand says something that they want to be perceived as being.

They want your audience to think they’re worthy of attention, too.

7. Your prices are competitive

Is your going rate less than the cost of advertising with traditional media power houses, or a celebrity endorsement? Most bloggers are. You’re instantly more appealing, price-wise—especially if you’re willing to accept non-cash payments which the company can offer you at low cost to them.

More importantly, if a major company is willing to do business with you, then they see you as a profitable return on investment.

To demonstrate these seven points, let’s take a look at a blog that’s had success in attracting big-brand sponsorship.

Case study: the yTravel blog’s and Qantas sponsorship deal

yTravel Blog's Caz and Craig Makepeace

yTravel Blog's Caz and Craig Makepeace

After blogging for a little over a year, Craig Makepeace and Caz Makepeace secured a sponsorship deal with Australia’s leading international and domestic airline, Qantas, to travel around New Zealand and cover the Rugby World Cup.

If you would like to hear more about the specific steps they took to secure this sponsorship, you can listen to my exclusive interview with Caz on my blog, Mother’s Love Letters.

Blog: y Travel Blog
Niche and Community: Travelers, world-wide.
Sub-niches: Independent world travel, working holidays, family travel.

  • 50,000+ visitors a month
  • 70,000+ Page Views per month
  • 3,000+ Facebook fans
  • 5,000+ Twitter followers
  • 1,200+ subscribers

Level of engagement: Average 15-20 comments per blog post. Daily social media interaction. Reply to almost every blog comment. 12,000+ Tweets to date. Facebook fan page is the most interactive and engaged in this niche.
Influence: Klout Score: 70

Brand:   Fun-loving, friendly travellers who are about making your life a story to tell. They believe life is all about the memories, so they make sure they live their life in a way that creates many memories through travel. Their goal is to help people get inspired, get informed and get going.

The deal: All expenses paid 12 day tour of New Zealand, doing activities and attending Rugby World Cup matches. Qantas will also be promoting the bloggers. In return, all Craig and Caz have to do, is have fun, blog, Facebook, and Tweet!

What impressed Qantas most: The bloggers’ level of engagement with their active community.

A key secret to their success: Guest posting. This was key to growing traffic.

Their top tips: Be clear about your brand and make it authentic. Network and build relationships in order to build your community. Social media is crucial, but look at offline networking opportunities, too. Value yourself. Consider how short-term income opportunities for advertising and sponsored posts that compromise content quality may affect your blog perception and brand in the long term. Learn how to write a sponsorship proposal. Don’t be limited by the fact that you’re a new blogger. Every big blogger starts off by being a new blogger.

Is corporate sponsorship for bloggers something that’s common in your niche? Are you looking at aligning yourself with a company, as a monetization strategy?

Lina Nguyen is a blogger in the Australian Mummy Bloggers niche. She is also a copywriter, digital media consultant and online communications expert at Words That Influence.

About Guest Blogger
This post was written by a guest contributor. Please see their details in the post above.
  1. Really good list, Lina. I especially like that you included a real-life example of bloggers who have made this work. Very valuable stuff for a young blogger like me:) Thanks!

  2. Definitely, leveraging bloggers and their audiences is increasingly a tactic being used by major companies – especially after classic “SEO” has been shown to be fraught with risk in the last year or two. Instead of risking the wrath of Google by buying up links, they are buying up bloggers instead :)

  3. So glad you added in that last paragraph about being careful what income opportunities will do to your reputation with your audience, Lina. I’m not wild about these types of corporate sponsorships but as long as bloggers are careful about choosing only partners that really add value to their audience, I can see the benefits. Personally I still prefer to build businesses around my blogs and audiences :-)

    • Thanks for commenting with that point, Daniel. I’ve seen bloggers do a fantastic job with producing sponsored posts that have their readers top of mind. The bloggers who get to the level of attracting a major brand, have done so because of their editorial integrity. As independent self-publishers who put their name to everything they produce, it’s amazing to see the creativity and level of service to their readers that have been on display, with this monetization strategy. They have too much on the line, to not continue to add value. In that sense, I’d rather read a blogger’s sponsored post, than in other media forms.

  4. Being new at blogging this article gave me nice boost in the right direction. And talk about a dream job! the yTravel blog has to be the best way to earn a living, I truly admire people that can achieve things like that. I love it!

  5. I can only hope my blog that has that kind of reach. It takes so much! so obviously people are willing to pay to reach those types of targeted audiences.

    • Hi Lucy. Yes, brands are definitely willing to pay for all the reasons stated in the article. We’re really seeing the rapid growth of it now, in Australia.

  6. Great writeup. Most of the time we start with a blog and does not care about whether the niche is profitable or not later on realize this. Second does not care out the network of friends who are most influential and think people should follow me not i should follow them. this is the major problem with the famous blogger. In my opinion if you are following your friends they they will also follow you and take very good care of your. Thus the recommendation will also be followed.

    • Thanks for your comment, Rakesh. Influence is being measured with much more depth now, with the available tools. No longer is influence being judged, simply on superficial numbers. I think the savvy brands are aware of this and are looking beyond just your follower/visitor stats when deciding how to invest their money. Of course, the big numbers will always look impressive, at least on the surface.

  7. Stellar advice. Even if you’re niche is profitable, it’s a tremendous plus if your demographic “gets” what a blog is. The challenge can be educating about blogs in the 1st place, and then the true value of the blog can be realized.

    • Hi Mimi. We’re finding in Australia, that there are brands and PR companies that really get it. It’s a good, exciting time to blog in Australia. There’s a positive vibe. Thanks for commenting :)

  8. I really like how you were able to show a concrete example of what you are preaching in the post. It’s inspirational to see that great things can come out of blogging, I have seen some awesome things that I got through my blogs, but nothing to this point yet.

    • Hi Jamie. Sometimes blogging can feel like you’re standing in the middle of a busy area, busking. You know people can see and hear you, but you just don’t know if you’re making a difference! What I love about y Travel Blog, is that they’re proof that good things can and do happen. It’s great to have a case study like this, to keep you going during those inevitable difficult times, especially in the early days of blogging. Thanks for your comment and for adding to the discussion :)

  9. I’ve heard plenty of stories like this and it’s definitely a great way to make money/experience awesome things. However, you need a powerful site, like the above Travel site, to warrant a company spending that money on you.

    • Hi Rob. In Australia, we’re seeing blogs with smaller audience numbers and visitors getting corporate sponsorships. I think it depends on the brand’s objectives and who they want to target in their marketing campaign.

  10. Love this post for the way it’s written but also the way it has highlighted how the blog and brand relationship is evolving in Australia. Well done to Caz and Craig for building such an engaged and influential community.

    • Thanks, Nikki. It really is an exciting time for us in Australia. Thank you for being one of the Australian bloggers leading the way for the rest of us, in such an ethical, passionate, professional manner.

  11. Your points are excellent Lina and so beneficial to any blogger starting or who has even been blogging for awhile. It is an exciting time to be blogging as we see more brands looking for win win partnerships with those bloggers that are a perfect brand fit.

    It can be such a valuable relationship for both parties. I think Qantas is taking a step in the right direction. They are a perfect brand fit for us so we are excited to work with them and offer them value in return. These seven points you raised is exactly how you can make these partnerships a reality.

    Thank you so much for featuring us as a case study in your post and interview. It was fun!

  12. Valuable information on why companies will pay you to blog. Companies are waking up to the fact that TV ads don’t get watched and radio ads don’t get listened to – and who reads ads in the newspapers anymore? Influential bloggers have the numbers and companies are prepared to pay. Your case study is proof of that.
    Great post Lina.

    • Thanks, Jan. I personally don’t know anyone who pays attention to TV ads… Every time I ask someone, they tell me they switch the channel, go to do something else or, like my husband, he turns the sound off completely during the ads.

  13. As a newbie Fashion Blogger, I found This article to be inspirational! The tips provided were very informative and provided motivation for me to keep bringing this new found art form of mine to the next level. The freedom in giving my creativity a voice has been life changing. I love your blog & shall continue to follow! Keep up the good work!!

    • Hi Allison. Fashion is definitely a huge market with great opportunities for committed, passionate bloggers. It’s wonderful you’ve found a sense of personal freedom from sharing your creativity and voice. That’s definitely what blogging is all about! All the best.

  14. This article has really opened up a lot of avenues for bloggers. The main thing I picked up is being clear about your brand and being authentic. Fantastic, eye opening information. Thanks for writing it.

    • Hi Jackie. Sometimes, all you need is the one tip, that’ll propel you forward. I’m really glad you got something positive out of Caz and Craig’s story.

  15. Great article Lina!
    It is very helpful to know how you can take your blog to the next higher level of success, and not be confined within the traditional roles of blogging. It is also good to know that corporations are realizing the power of blogs and the influence they have on decision making by customers. After all, this is permission marketing, thanks to Seth Godin!

  16. Great article indeed. Interestingly, most blogs never make it to fame (or even close to that). Many blogs that do get traction wind up bring sponsored and blow-up and then monetize and etc…

    • True, Igor. If you ever speak to one of these big bloggers, or really read their stuff, you can tell that they do a lot more than most bloggers are ever prepared to do. It takes a rare mix of skill, passion and persistence to make it all come together. Caz and Craig deserve all the good things that come their way, as a result of generously sharing their knowledge and their unwavering commitment.

  17. Hi Lina,

    Those 7 Powerful Reasons Why Companies Will pay for you to blog are amazing ;) I am learning so much with how blogging works, and what companies are looking for. It has given me direction, ideas, goals, inspiration and getting clear with what I want from life with our blog! Thank you so much for your blog post and your 7 powerful reasons!


    • Thanks, Lisa. It’s amazing when you discover what’s possible and what others have achieved, inspiring the rest of us. Really glad you’ve found a new boost in energy, from all that you’re learning and soaking in :)

  18. This is great stuff – we’ve long admired Caz and Craig for their blog and all the dedication and passion that goes into it. We have a fair bit to do to tick off all of these 7 things but they give me the confidence that we will be able to make it. Thanks so much for posting this!

    • Great to see one of y Travel Blog followers here to support Craig and Caz! As a traveller yourself Aisleen, you’d understand the value of community at very deep levels. Your travel spirit will take you where you want to, with your blog. Thanks for stopping by! :)

  19. Hi Lina
    I like the fact that your article is practical and encouraging to new bloggers as well as those with more experience. I have bookmarked it for future reference.

    • Thanks, Jenny. In my interview with Caz, she was very encouraging of new bloggers. If you think about it, she was only a “new blogger” herself, just a few months ago! Every big blogger starts by being a small blogger.

  20. Cool, I didn’t know about the yTravel story. But yeah, definitely, it can take a heck lot of time to reach that level of fame. What matters the most, however, is you need to have something very outrageously and amazingly unique about your blog compared to the other ones in your niche. Amount of competition is ridiculous these days. You need to stand out of the crowd.

    • Hi Anish. Yes, you’re right. You definitely have to be unique and stand out some how. Sometimes though, all you have to do, is be yourself. There’s only one of you on this planet.

  21. That’s such a great example of success that can be achieved to those who blog with passion and are authentic. Congrats guys and may it continue! Very encouraging :)

  22. Your blog is awesome. I love the way you’ve incorporated images into the blog itself. And, you are so right! Any marketer on the planet needs to have and maintain an updated blog to brand themselves especially. Thanks for the post!

  23. Fantastic success story, just imagine all that for little more than a detailed diary. That’s really all a blog is, a great intsrument for connecting with people who have similar interests and for providing relevant and interesting thoughts, ideas, views and practical information that a person can read, enjoy and take action with if they choose to. A blog is probably the first choice I would suggest someone starts when they ask how to make money online.

    • Thanks for sharing, Dan. I do think that blogs can be a lot more than a detailed diary, but I do agree that using a blog platform is one of the best ways to explore how to make money online, with very little cost and upfront capital.

  24. It’s good that the couple made a great job choice that have them traveling and enjoying life while making money!

  25. Blogging is something that helps you earn a lot. Each and every sponsored post pays a lot to everyone who has got a Good blog.

  26. What a great article, Lina. So much good information. I think a lot of people get hung up on numbers and don’t focus on the value of engagement and influence in your community. You won’t grow unless you put in the work of connecting genuinely with others. Thanks!

  27. I travel a lot and have recently been getting into travel blogs for ideas, advice, what to do, where to go etc

    When you’re overseas you can feel like a fish out of water so I really like to use foursquare, urbanspoon to find my bearings. The thing is you need internet access and all that. I found this blog called A Geek Dad Abroad which talks about travelling with kids, which is a whole different ball game in itself! And tecnology while travelling

    I was recently in Singapore with a 1 yo and not only did I find out where and how to get mobile internet but how to download public transport apps with timetables and more importantly, low-rise buses that would accomodate a pram!!

    srgadget.com is the website. Not a sponsored ad! :-))

  28. Congratulations Lina on achieving a Guest Post for you, and then to obtain a wonderful example in Caz of how the blogging & branding has “worked” for her & Craig.
    You put together a very readable & succinct post where much information was covered in relatively fewwords.
    You took powerful words & made them work as message carriers.
    Our attendance at Digital Parents Unplugged last night gave us not only food for thought as bloggers but powerful information about “growing” the blog & getting some paid work.
    In summing up, your on-the-ball post with the mantra of keeping true to your voice/integrity has twice the relevance because you covered similar themes, without knowledge of what DPU was to be.

  29. Hi Lina,

    Thanks for sharing and enthusing about this:) It’s definitely the way forward and I believe that in future bloggers will be able to pick and choose which brands and companies they work with. I see this as a great way for bloggers to get paid for doing what they love by mentioning brands they love. It has to come from a genuine relationship with a product first though. Readers don’t want to be sold things their favourite bloggers don’t really love:)

  30. Joseph S says: 10/04/2011 at 4:52 am

    Thanks for sharing! We’re learning about how blogs can be influential in the business world and this reflects exactly what we’re talking about. Thanks for these tips!

  31. This was a great article. People often concentrate on search engine traffic only instead of user engagement. This was the learning article for me today.

  32. Great article indeed. Interestingly, most blogs never make it to fame (or even close to that). Many blogs that do get traction wind up bring sponsored and blow-up and then monetize and etc…

A Practical Podcast… to Help You Build a Better Blog

The ProBlogger Podcast

A Practical Podcast…