So you’ve been contacted to write a sponsored post on your blog. Now what?
Creating a good sponsored post doesn’t have to be hard, but it is different than writing a regular-ole’ post on your site. There are a few different rules that apply, and we’ve got some handy tips to help you get started.
Writing a sponsored post about a new upscale resort in Miami? Don’t just write a long-form review. That’s boring. And sales-y. You can take the post on a number of different routes that are not only interesting to your readers, but also incorporate the sponsor into the post. A few example blog posts for this new upscale resort:
- The Top 5 Pool Bars in Miami: You can highlight a few other amazing resorts, while still placing emphasis on the new resort.
- Famous Chef Brings International Flare to New Miami Resort: You can focus on the restaurant scene in the area, what the new restaurant will bring to the scene, and maybe why the hotel decided to go with this option.
- A Weekend in Miami: Plan a hypothetical 48 hour trip in Miami complete with places to stay (the sponsoring hotel), places to eat, and things to do. Or, write about a terrible weekend in Miami and how you wish you had this amazing hotel to stay in.
Whatever you decide to do, there are a number of ways you can weave the sponsor into the post without it seeming too placed. No one likes an overly sales-y anything, so don’t do that in your blog post, either. Especially if that’s not your schtick.
Maintain your voice
People visit your blog for a reason. Whether you are a travel writer telling amazing adventure stories or a B2B blogger sharing best practices in business, staying true to your blog’s voice is key to writing a good sponsored post. Writing a post that seems out of place can potentially drive away readers, and eventually, advertisers.
Practice good SEO
You’re being paid to write about something you love, so you obviously want to do a great job at it, right? Part of that is getting people to actually read your blog post. How search engines rank your posts is everything. Goal: Show up first.
A Few Pro Tips:
- Search engines give more weight to the first few words in a title, so place the emphasis there.
- List posts tend to rank really well because they are engaging and generate a lot of clicks.
- Give your photos real names. 123_img.jpg isn’t a great name for searching. awesomehotel.jpg is better, awesome_hotel_miami.jpg is even better.
- Use relevant keywords in your title and within the body. But not too many. Google hates that and punishes blogs for being riddled with keywords.
Don’t forget the sponsor
Let’s go back to our Miami example. Whether you choose to write about the “5 Best Pools” or “My Weekend in Miami”, don’t forget to actually mention the sponsor. It might sound mundane, but even the best bloggers forget. The business is paying you to mention their name to your large list of readers, so make sure it’s actually there (and spelled correctly and within their style guide, too!).
This goes without saying that your post should be edited for clarity, grammar, and spelling. But you already knew that, right?
Disclose Disclose Disclose
If there’s one take away from these tips, it’s to make sure people actually realize they are reading a sponsored post. Why? No one likes wool pulled over their eyes. Plus, it’s annoying and deceiving to not let your readers know that you’re being paid to promote a product. Just take it from Anthony Bourdain. He literally switched television networks when he found out the Travel Channel used his voice in a sponsored post and didn’t tell him.
Boy, did the claws come out.