Blogging Tips - 7 Things To Consider When Pitching For Sponsored Content

How to decide what to charge for sponsored blog posts
I recently wrote a post on sponsored content and what to charge, which had some amazing feedback from you all (thank you!). I thought I would do a quick follow up with some key things to consider when pitching for work or putting together a quote for a potential brand collaboration.

Around 40% of the paid for content I do comes to me with a fixed budget from the brand, however the other 60% generally involves a brief outline of what they are looking for and a request for my fees. There are a few things I always consider when putting together a quote for a job, so I thought I would share them with you today.

1. Find out EXACTLY what is required from you – initially you might only get a short brief come over, so ask plenty of questions to make sure you know how much time and effort the job will take before replying with a cost. Are they looking for a blog post/video/competition? Will you need to share content across all of your social media channels? Is there a specific deadline you need to work to? All of these will play a part in your quote. It’s way better to ask up front so you can make an informed decision, rather than finding out halfway through that you need to do additional things that weren’t budgeted for.

2. Is it right for my audience? – people are coming to your blog because they love the content you produce, so while it can be a short term win to write about off topic subjects for payment, you might risk losing readers in the long run. Always consider how you can make the topic/product interesting to your audience – there might be creative ways to do this with stuff you wouldn’t normally cover, but give it a good think before signing up.

3. Look at your reach – staying up to date with your stats is a key part of knowing your value as a blogger. Check Google Analytics regularly and be prepared to send screenshots if needed. Your total reach should give you an indication of what to charge – unique user count, social followers, comments per post and engagement levels. It’s not always the number that’s important, sometimes smaller audiences with hugely engaged audiences are much more beneficial to a brand. If you have 2,000 followers and receive dozens of comments per post, then shout about it! Send over a copy of your media kit with the quote to showcase top level stats and numbers and let brands know they can ask for more detail if they need it.

4. How long will the job take me? – time has to play a key part when it comes to cost. Most freelancers tend to charge a day rate, so it’s another good indication of how to price up a job. Rates tend to vary depending on where you are in the country, but in London, £250-£350 is a standard ish full day rate for a copywriter.

5. Are they looking for ‘Follow’ or ‘No Follow’ links? – Follow links indicate to Google that you’re sending someone to a trusted site and that you are happy to pass your Domain Authority on to them. They really hate it when these are used for paid links as they want the search results to be as natural as possible, and paid Follow links can skew these results by bumping people up inorganically. You CAN be penalised by Google for making paid for links ‘Follow’, so the safest bet is to always stick to ‘NoFollow’.

Most SEO agencies will only pay you for ‘Follow’ links despite knowing it goes against Google guidelines. It’s unlikely you will get penalised, but it DOES happen from time to time and can see you delisted from Google for a while. It's up to you to decide if  that risk is worth the cost of a paid for Follow link.

6. What will the payment schedule be? - for a one-off piece of work, you’ll normally get paid 30 days after submitting an invoice. However, if you’re taking part in a longer campaign, it’s worth finding out if you can invoice at stages throughout the project or if you will have to wait right until the end before requesting payment.

7. Can I commit to this in the time given? – sometimes brands need it all very last minute and it’s just not possible within the time frame, given the fact I work full time too. I’m always very up front about this; sometimes the deadline has been possible to extend and other times not. You win some, you lose some I guess!

I hope this has been useful! It'd be great to hear any of your tips/things you think about in the comments below.

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