I’ve been blogging for a little over a year now, and in that time, I’ve really gotten to know a lot of the sponsored post networks that are out there. In case you aren’t familiar, these groups work with large companies to bring bloggers an opportunity to write about their service or product, and get money for it. They are super helpful to get your foot in the door with some companies you may not have otherwise had the opportunity to work with.
As you might have guessed, there are a lot. And I’m pretty sure I’ve signed up for just about every single one of them. I have quickly come to learn which ones I absolutely love, and which ones I’ve started just clicking the “delete” button with whenever I get an email. So, instead of giving you a huge, comprehensive list of all the sponsored post companies out there, I thought I’d share the ones I feel are most worth signing up for. While it might be tempting to just sign up for every single company out there, I recommend finding your favorites, and building relationships with the people who work there. I’ve seen quite a few lists out there with all the companies list, which is great, but I thought it might be nice to share a list of the tried and true companies I love. (affiliate links are used, but I’m not being asked to post about any of these.)
TapInfluence: I think this is definitely one of my favorite companies. I have had about 10 campaigns with them since I signed up, and I always really enjoy them. The campaigns are pretty fun to work on and typically have a unique angle worked into them. What I really love is that they encourage creativity and don’t try and make you create a super ad-like post. You don’t have to apply — they just contact you when they find a campaign that’s good for your blog. They pay very well.
IZEA: This is the first company I signed up with, and for awhile, I was not impressed! All I got were really weird leads, that had nothing to do with my blog and paid pennies. However, once I finally was able to accept an offer, and do a good job on it, I started getting more leads. As soon as I started getting more traffic, the amount I got paid increased, as well, and it’s actually the highest paying sponsored post company I work with. They have a huge variety of companies they work with, and you can even negotiate the price.
What I love about IZEA is that their campaigns don’t require a lot of “fluff” work that many companies require, and they pay a lot. When you fill out your profile, be sure to put a bunch of tags related to your blog, as that will help you get more campaigns. I also recommend setting your preferred price to whatever they suggest (which is based on your Google Analytics traffic.)
One 2 One Network: This is a pretty good company that I’ve worked with a few times. They email you when there is a relevant campaign to your blog, and they pay pretty well. The campaigns are usually pretty simple and fun, and they don’t typically have a ton of requirements. I recently did one with one company, and in addition to payment, we received a really nice cutting board, packages of lunch meat, and full-value coupons for more lunch meat.
Influence Central: This is another company I really love. They typically pay with gift cards and occasionally product. For instance, we got four large boxes of diapers awhile back, and to me, that’s just as good as money! The campaigns don’t always pay as much but they require very little work. I’m very impressed with the people at Influence Central, because they are always so quick to answer questions and resolve issues. Forrest and I both do campaigns for them quite often.
Mom it Forward: Whenever I have a campaign with Mom it Forward, they tend to pay pretty well. I love that they typically give you a lot of notice before your post is due (once I had two month notice), which isn’t typical with blog campaigns (I’ve been giving two days notice with some companies.) Even if you aren’t a mom, you can join this group, but most of the campaigns do require you have children. I’ve noticed that a lot of the campaigns they’ve released recently require quite a few page views, but that isn’t always the norm. Mom it Forward is an incredible website though with a great community, which is worth joining even if you aren’t interested in their sponsored opportunities.
Markerly: I’ve only done a few campaigns with Markerly, but I’ve been pretty impressed, mainly with how fast they pay. With most sponsored posts companies, you’ll find that they pay in about 20-60 days, but with Markerly, they paid within hours of me finishing the campaign. They are very simple, very few requirements, and they contact you with opportunities.
Social Fabric: I probably use Social Fabric the most for sponsored opportunities. They do require the most amount of work (plus you have to fill out an application for all of them,) but they pay decently, have a great community, and the campaigns are with pretty large companies, which gives you an opportunity to be featured on those companies’ websites. I usually do 2-4 of these campaigns a month and Forrest and I both apply for them. You have to have been blogging for at least six months before you can apply here.
Pollinate Media: I like Pollinate Media, more or less. I’ve only done a few campaigns, and there always seems to be a lot of competition for the few campaigns they send out each month, but when I have worked with them, I’ve enjoyed it. They tend to work with the same few companies quite a bit, so if you don’t really have a blog relevant to the companies they work with, you might not enjoy working with them. However, they pay on time, the instructions are very clear, and they have an awesome community. I believe you have to have over 20,000 monthly page views.
Weave Media: Weave is actually a sister company to Pollinate, and it was created specifically for bloggers who are either men, or have under 20,000 monthly page views. I love that this was created, because so often, bloggers who get fewer page views feel discouraged when they can’t get sponsored opportunities. Forrest works with Weave through the men’s blogger program, and he has really enjoyed the campaign he did.
The SITS Girls: I actually am a community lead for the SITS Girls right now, and I LOVE their community. Not only is their blog amazing, but they have a lot of fun campaigns. Some people complain because most of their campaigns require that you be a parent, but I am okay with that (since I am a parent…if you aren’t, there’s obviously lots of other companies out there for you!) The campaigns pay very well, though payment is oft times slow.
WOLF at Best Buy: If you want to work with Best Buy, this is definitely the company for you! They don’t have a ton of campaigns, but when they do, they either pay in a Best Buy gift card or in product. The posts are very easy to put together, and we’ve gotten some pretty cool products from them.
Linqia: I have mixed feelings on this company, but I know a lot of people like them, so it is definitely worth looking into. Basically, you are paid based on how many people click on your links. At the beginning of the campaign, you are given a certain amount of links you need to get. You get paid up to that amount (so if your goal was 95, and you get 115, you only get $95, but your click goal goes up the next time.) I don’t really like doing them, because it’s a lot of work to get so many clicks, but they aren’t hard posts to do, and I know some people are very successful. I find my time is better spent with other campaigns, but I’d definitely look into it, especially if you aren’t a part of very many other campaign networks.
Blueprint Social: I’m actually not a part of this group, because it’s not really in my niche, but it’s great for DIY and Craft bloggers. I know a lot of bloggers that have enjoyed working with them.
Know what you are worth:
This is easier said than done, I know. However, it’s important to know that your time and effort is worth something! You’ll get emails from companies that want to work with you, and they’ll pay you a very small sum for what they want you to do (or, even worse, just offer you coupons!) Now, I’ll admit, I’ve worked for free or in exchange for product in the past (and sometimes, I still do), but that is typically a rare situation. If it’s a product that I really want, and I wouldn’t be able to buy otherwise, I’ll typically consider doing it just for the product. However, if a company contacts you to do a post about a product that is junk, don’t accept it.
It’s hard to know how much you should be paid for a campaign, especially when you first get started. And unfortunately, there is no magic number. With a lot of the companies I listed above, there isn’t a lot of room for negotiation, but they typically pay pretty fairly. However, if you are contacted directly from a company
Don’t accept every offer:
It can be tempting to accept every offer that comes your way, especially if you are hurting for money. And while I am not against doing lots of sponsored posts (I’d be a hypocrite if I said otherwise,) it’s important to stay true to your brand and your image. Your readers will trust you more if you only do campaigns and sponsored posts for companies that actually fit with your niche and point-of-view. It’s a lot easier to be authentic if you truly believe in the product or service — it’s my personal philosophy not to do a campaign if I haven’t actually used a product or service! Do what’s best for your blog though, and most importantly, don’t be a sellout!
Don’t Get Discouraged
It can be discouraging when you see other bloggers doing sponsored posts, and you don’t get accepted for any! However, with almost all bloggers I’ve talked with, the campaigns eventually come. It takes patience, and time, but if you focus on making your posts, pictures, and blog the best it can be, eventually you’ll have more offers than you’ll be able to accept! Companies want people who are genuine and work hard at their blogs, and if you do this, you will get the campaigns. Try not to compare yourself to others, and remember this — they once were where you are now.