Blogging Podcast, Interviews, Make Money Blogging

309 How to Make Money with Sponsored Content – with Monica Pruett

By Leslie Samuel

Do you think your audience is too small to start making money?

Are you curious about how you can make money with sponsored content?

In this interview, Monica Pruett shares a step by step plan for pitching, landing and creating awesome sponsored content.

Intro:

Listen to the Episode:

About Monica Pruett

Monica Pruett
Monica Pruett, owner of The 6-Figure Blog

Monica Pruett, the founder of HappyandBlessedHome.com. She shares encouraging posts for moms, easy recipes, preschool tools and ideas for family fun.

In 12 months, Monica pitched, landed and created 100 sponsored blog posts. This generated over $22,000 in income for her blog.

She started with only 5,000 subscribers and 25,000 page views. By the end of that year, she grew her blog to over 60,000 pageviews and 15,000 subscribers.

Now Monica teachers other bloggers how pitch, land, and create awesome sponsored content. She does this in her e-course – “9 Essential Steps to Rock Sponsored Posts” on her website The6FigureBlog.com.

Click here to get her free guide

9 Essential Steps to ROCK Sponsored Posts

Monica’s 9 explains the steps using the following acronym: R.E.A.D. P.A.I.N.T.

Here are the steps:

R – Research

To be successful with sponsored content, you first have to do your research.

Google Analytics

You also need to know and understand your audience and what they are looking for.

A great place to start getting that insight is by digging into Google Analytics. By doing so, you can understand get a better understanding of:

  • What landing pages your audience is going to.
  • How they are leaving your blog.
  • Their demographic makeup

Monica also recommends doing a SWOT analysis. This will help you look at strengths, weaknesses, opportunities and Threats for you, your audience and the brands that you want to work with.

You want your sponsored content to be beneficial for your audience, the brands you work with, and your business.

E – Equipment

Investing in good equipment is a great way to create the kind of content brands look for.

If your images are mediocre, it will be harder to get brands to work with you.

Monica uses and recommends the Canon T6S. It has a flip screen and you can focus on the object with the touch of a finger.

This will save a lot of time in editing. Do what you need to do to save time.

A – Avatar

Create a well-defined avatar of your ideal reader/customer.

Create avatar
A well-defined avatar allows you to talk to the brand and say that you know your audience.

Use Google analytics to find out some demographic info. To take it to the next level, do a survey.

Even better, call up people who take your survey and ask them probing questions. What do they love about your blog? What challenges are they facing?

By having a well-defined avatar, you are also able to talk to the brand and say that you know your audience. The more you know, the more value that provides them.

It shows them that you are serious about your community.

D – Develop

Before you write your pitch, you need to develop an idea.

Develop an idea
Develop an idea

What experience do you want your audience to have? What do you want to showcase about the product?

Why would you recommend it to a friend? What is the USP of the product?

Do some more research on the product and see how it works.

It’s not just about you or the product. It’s about your audience.

P – Pitch

It’s time to pitch the brand. Make sure to include:

Pitch the Brand
Pitch the Brand

Let the brand know that you love their product/service. Tell them why you like what they do and what makes them special to you. Another thing you can do is what Monica calls “Having a party and inviting the brand”. In other words, create content around what they do and show them how much your audience enjoyed it.

  • Why you make a good fit? You did your research. Now it's time to tell them how you and your blog fit into what they are trying to do.
  • Why your audience will love the idea. This works best if you have past posts about their product/service that did well with your audience. If you don't have that kind of content, share from what you know about your audience.
  • When you think the post should go live (especially if it’s seasonal). If it’s seasonal, pitch way in advance (like 3 to 6 months).
  • Please respond by this particular date. If they don’t respond, you can follow up a week or so later.
  • Don’t get into pricing yet until you start to collaborate.

    A – Audience appeal

    Once you've won the pitch, it's time to deliver on what you say you’re going to do.

    Drive Audience Appeal
    Drive Audience Appeal with giveaways, coupons, discounts, etc.

    They will often have objectives. Ask them what those are.

    Here are a few ideas of things that can help drive audience appeal:

    • Giveaways
    • Coupons
    • Printables
    • Stunning Photos
    • Good tips
    • Storytelling

    These are the most popular (and easy) things to do that can increase your audience's engagement.

    Spread the word
    Inform, share, and get the word out there about the post.

    I – Inform

    Now that you've created the content, it's time to go crazy with sharing it. Do whatever you can to get the word out there about the post.

    Monica recommends joining a few blogger groups to connect with other bloggers. These are key relationships that can help when it's time to get the word out about your content.

    Help others and you’ll find people who will want to share your content.

    Network
    Connect with other bloggers and network.

    N – Network

    This goes beyond the sponsored content you create. Relationships are the key to taking your blog and business to the next level.

    Go to conferences, meetups etc. Connect with other bloggers in your niche in person. Make friends. Network with brands.

    This will not only expand your reach over time, but will also open up all kinds of opportunities.

    T – Transform

    If you do all the steps mentioned this far over and over again, be prepared for transformation.

    Your audience will grow. Your opportunities will expand. And you will take your blog to the next level.

    In Conclusion

    9 Essential Steps to ROCK Sponsored Posts
    9 Essential Steps to ROCK Sponsored Posts

    It's fascinating to see how Monica transformed her business using sponsored content.

    And she outlined the steps very strategic way that anyone can follow.

    If you want to experience what she experienced, I want to encourage you to TAKE ACTION!

    You can start by downloading her 9 Step Guide to Rock Sponsored posts.

    This will help you implement the steps she went through in this interview.

    And be sure to listen to the interview. She shares a lot more that's not covered in this post.

    Enjoy.

    Resources Mentioned

    Infographic

  • I LOVE this! Can’t wait to listen to the rest of the interview. This course has taught me so much. I started the course with a 10 day old blog and it set me up to start properly. I won’t have to go back and change everything, I hope, because I had the tools to do it right from the very beginning. The course, Monica (YOU!), and our Mastermind group have been such an incredible blessing for my blogging journey! Thank you.

    • Brianna – I’ve loved watching halfpintpartydesign [dot] com grow and grow! It’s exciting to know you are on a brand “watch list” and that you’re connecting in ways that will help you grow your #onlinebusiness. I can’t wait to see what’s in store for you in 2018!

    • Thanks @[email protected]:disqus – yes the Canon is something I use everyday. In fact, just today I took pictures of my kids while they were playing outside. Not only is it great for creating killer paid content photos, it’s captured expressions on my kids’ faces that are completely priceless.

    • I agree Tara. Networking is such an important part of it all. And it packs an even better reward- friends who share similar interests. Great to meet you online and thanks for sharing your insight.

    • Thanks @disqus_vOZFTeMCIM:disqus – networking has been key for me as well. Thanks for stopping by and sharing!

  • I am still new to this. I have a good camera and that, but as I said totally new to this.

    I am checking this all right now…

    • That’s great Mommysup! One of the things I share in the interview was something I heard a very famous blogger say… to find success in blogging he advised others to get off their own blog and visit other blogs. So you’re already off on the right foot but letting us know that this article is something you found interesting. It’s great to meet you online!

  • great tips. i make a lot from sponsored posts and agree with a lot of what you said. i love blogging and can’t wait to do even more.

    • That’s awesome @Ann Bacciaglia! Sponsored work can be a great way to earn an income and grow your audience when done in a way that is authentic and helpful to readers. Great to connect with you online!

  • I have recently accepted my first sponsored post on my blog and I would love to follow all the lovely tips you have put together. Love your info graphic 🙂

    • @khushboomotihar:disqus – Congrats on your first sponsored post! I cover over 15 sources for sponsored content work in my course “9 Essential Steps to ROCK Sponsored Posts”. I am launching a new course session in November. Come check it out if you have a second. Leslie has linked to my business blog above: The6FigureBlog [dot] com.

  • TY for sharing Monica! I love this because we started getting sponsored when our following was still relatively small (its still fairly small compared to others but steadily growing) these are great tips for newbies!!!

    • Yes, even new bloggers can find ways to earn an income with sponsored work. One of my students had only been blogging for a few days when we met. She’s been accepted to six influencer networks and is now on a brand watchlist for future work and all with right around 3,000 page views for month. Anyone can learn how to connect with brands, small businesses and networks. I cover everything in the course. Thanks for your comment!

    • So true @georgiawalsh:disqus. And I share a vast array of research tools for identifying brands to work with that will not only help you solve problems for your audience, but build your e-mail list too. It’s all in the course I teach. Yes, once you get the ball rolling, it is much easier.

    • This process has helped over 2 dozen students get organized and start working with brands and influencer networks. You can read how Julie and Jodie 10x’d their income AND get my free 7 Page 9 Essential Step Guide here: www [dot] The6FigureBlog [dot] com [forward slash] free-9-step-guide [forward slash]

    • @RichardBivins:disqus – even if your numbers are small, I’d encourage you to reach out to brands early on. One of my students is now on a brand “watch list” because her content fits the brand so perfectly. And she got on the list with less than 3,000 PVs per month.

    • You’re welcome! In fact I’m opening another session of the course on Nov 6. Feel free to check it out: bit [dot] ly [forward slash] RockSponsoredPosts

    • Thanks Shari! Yes, once I defined a process, it became easier. Now I just wash, rinse, repeat and it grows and grows! Nice to chat with you here!

  • What great advice and I also agree with Tara, below that networking for me was key to branching into sponsored content way back when. But definitely agree with more or less all of the above as to make money working with companies on sponsored content is a process that time, patience and hard work, as well. Thanks for sharing.

    • So true @JanineHuldie:disqus. It is a process and it takes time. It’s part of the reason why I built the course. I come alongside students for 12 weeks to help them through each step of the way. We run it like a mastermind and review each other’s LinkedIn profiles, business cards, media kits, etc. I help every person create an individualized plan. Then they have a strategy packed with actionable steps to take them forward. So great to chat with you here!

  • I have the most difficult time with networking! As an introverted mom of two young children (6 and almost 2), I cringe at having to network – both because I’m awkward around people and because I have very little in the way of guaranteed time. Suggestions for overcoming that obstacle?

    • I can remember when I was in Jr. High being pretty shy. Our family moved several states north of where I grew up and I was having a hard time making friends. Then my mom had this great idea – she encouraged me to host a roller skating party. I invited some of the girls from school and we all eventually become fast-found friends. Sometimes just showing up, offering a smile, and extending a hand to someone new is all you need. Sometimes everyone else feels just like you do!

    • @Corinne & Kirsty – I specialize in helping bloggers learn how to pitch and how to align their blog and audiences with the best brands and small businesses. I’m opening a class on November 6. Check out Leslie’s link to my site at The6FigureBlog[dot]com above for “9 Essential Steps to ROCK Sponsored Posts” – we’d love to have you join us in class!

    • One of my favorite authors and poets Maya Angelou has said, “When you know better, you do better.” We are all on a learning curve. I’m just glad you found this article and that you can use some helpful tips from it in the future. If you get a chance @disqus_NVshidyG87:disqus pay it forward and share this article with friends. A rising tide raises all boats. And when we lend others a hand we all benefit.

  • I have the most difficult time with networking. I’m always swamped at home with my young kids and it leaves me feeling drained most of the time. I love it when I around others that share my passion though so I pull through somehow!

    • Hi @jenskywalker:disqus – I know how you feel… My boys are only 5 and 7 now, so I’m just now seeing a bit more freedom with my time. You’ll get through it! Early on I made the decision to not try to grow faster than my family could handle. Being a mom is an incredibly important task, and one you can’t go back to and repeat. So, take your time. And sometimes, when you build it slow, you build it the right way.

    • Hi @selene16:disqus – I’m so glad you found helpful tips here. If you get a chance, please let others know about the interview and the course. I’d like to help as many people as I can with the information. Great to meet you!

  • I love to do sponsored posts that gel well with the regular content that I put on my social media. It’s important that it’s relevant to my existing lifestyle!

    • @disqus_LfOC1nnlw5:disqus – That’s great! Yes, having sponsored content that matches your organic content helps you offer solutions to your audience without turning them off. I spend a great teal of time helping my students fine tune their authentic voice when we cover the section on defining mission and vision statements. It’s good to see that you’re clear on your messaging. So nice to meet you here online. 🙂

    • @mindscapeinwords:disqus – The awesome infographic is something @Leslie Samuel created following our interview. I love how it offers a visual overview of the 9 Essential Steps! He and his team at @BecomeABlogger are incredibly talented. I’m glad you liked the guide. You can get a FREE downloadable paper copy that includes links to additional helpful resources. Just stop by and download the guide http:[slash, slash]www[dot]the6figureblog[dot]com[slash]free-9-step-guide[slash] – having a hard copy on hand can be helpful when your working on your pitch, and the guide is a great introduction to my course “9 Essential Steps to ROCK Sponsored Posts.”

  • This is something my sister and I have really gotten the hang of. Especially when it comes to networking; we work very well together.

    • That’s so awesome that you can blog with your sister! One of my set of students are twins – they blog at TheDesignTwins[dot]com – They’re so much fun and incredibly talented. Kudos to you both for blogging together. It’s great to meet you!

  • I am yet to venture out to start pitching, I am not confident enough but I have formed relationships with the brands I have worked with so far and I know I can do more but yet to take the leap

    • @myrabev:disqus – You are in just the right place. Building relationships is fundamental to any business endeavor. I’d love to show you ways to pitch that are tailored to your blog and to the brands you are interested in. We meet once a week live on zoom – that’s where I answer student’s questions and we brainstorm solutions to your specific situation. I plan to start the course on Nov. 6. Why not grab the printable guide and get on the list to be notified when doors open? I’d love to see you in class online. 🙂

  • I agree that you don’t need loads of page views to make money, although it depends on the brand that you are pitching. I agree with Tara networking definitely helped to grow my brand.

  • I will be sure to keep this in mind. Networking has helped me! I don’t want my entire blog to be sponsored, but I do like having the occasional sponsored post.

    • @AiringMyLaundry:disqus – Networking IS so key. So many of the wonderful opportunities I’ve had are due to my friendships with people I’ve met in the industry. Some bloggers shy away from sponsored work because they’re afraid it will dilute their message. I have found the opposite to be true. Using the techniques for “audience appeal” – as outlined above & through the more detailed information in the course, I was able to triple my subscriber base while greatly increasing the articles I was publishing for sponsored work. It can be done, it just takes a little extra creativity. Thanks for your comment and it’s great to connect with you online.

  • I Love this step by step guide! So helpful for new bloggers who think their following might not be big enough to pull in some extra money with sponsored posts! Great Tips!

  • I definitely agree with so many of these key steps and I think pitching to companies that you want to work with is key to success because no one ever gets anywhere by waiting for things to fall in their lap!

    Helen xx

    • So true @helenchikx:disqus. In the course I give students a step by step method for approaching sponsors and small businesses. The right approach makes all the difference when it comes to creating interest and finding businesses to work with. Thanks for your comment and it’s great to connect with you online!

    • Thanks Echo! I can’t say enough wonderful things about Leslie – he’s very prepared, incredibly patient, and he makes interviews like this one easy. I’m just glad to connect with you here and I’m glad you found the info helpful.

  • This is such a great interview! I am going to try all these steps and start pitching companies I really want to work in future. Pinning it….right now!

    • Awesome @disqus_Hao5uEi01U:disqus! If you’re ready to roll, make sure you download the guide – it gives you a step-by-step process that you can use again and again. I’ve also included links to other helpful resources inside the guide – see link above. Good luck!

    • The key to success with sponsored content @emmanueldamian:disqus is to focus on being authentic and create something that serves your audience. When you create an experience for the reader that helps them solve a problem, you’ll get work with sponsors again and again. Good luck, and if you have a minute, download the guide http:[slash, slash]www[dot]the6figureblog[dot]com[slash]free-9-step-guide[slash] – it will give you an easy to access resource and is a great introduction to my course “9 Essential Steps to ROCK Sponsored Posts.”

    • I’m so glad you liked the post, @disqus_BfoGRVetIz:disqus. Some of my students are experts at social media with large followings, they just struggled with monetization and securing sponsored work. After taking my course, now they’re keeping busy with producing sponsored posts and seeing income increases of 400%. If you walk through the 9 steps with each post, you’ll see growth over time.

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