How to Succeed with Sponsored Reviews
After my latest income report I’ve received several emails asking what I did to make money from Sponsored Reviews (SR). Granted, the $260 from SR doesn’t seem like a whole lot, but when you consider that I made it from only three posts it becomes a pretty good return on the time investment. Over the 7 months I’ve been using Sponsored Reviews, I’ve made more than $1500, so it has definitely been a good earner for me, however, I didn’t think my experience was all that unique. But judging from the emails I’ve received, SR may not be performing that well for the rest of you.
Assuming I know how to work Sponsored Reviews perfectly would be a bit idiotic considering I’ve had almost 2/3rds of my proposals reject. However, I know precisely what things I’ve done so in keeping with the spirit of this experiment, I figured I’d share with you the steps I take when registering a new blog on SR and how I go about bidding on opportunities.
The signup process is fairly straight forward, however, you are allowed to write a brief description of your blog and I try to make the most of it. Typically I’ll list any statistics I think advertisers would be interested in. For example, I’ll list my Technorati authority and rank, my Alexa rank, my Google PageRank (if I have any), my RSS feedcount, and possibly even some traffic numbers. I’ll also give a brief description of what topics I cover on the blog but this is usually secondary to the stats. I’m not all that sure whether this step helps or not, but it definitely sets my blog apart from most of the other sites in the marketplace. I figure that’s got to be worth something right?
The next step is to bid on the different opportunities available. Once again, this is a pretty straight forward process but there are a few things I do to try and maximize the effectiveness of my bids. I rarely if ever make a bid that’s at the top of the advertisers price range. I figure if I put my site at the top of an advertiser’s price range they’ll be looking at it very critically trying to make sure they are getting the best value possible and chances are they’ll find a reason to reject the bid. Also, I always try to give advertisers a “discount” from my posted price. For example, if I’m looking to make $65 per post I write, I’d probably set my price at $150 so I could then give advertisers a $50 “discount” while still making the $65 for the post like I wanted.
The last step in the process is of course writing the post. Most bloggers feel that they can only bid on opportunities specifically suited to their blog. I’ve always found that a bit limiting so I look at things a bit differently. I try to find a way to do a review, while still providing my readers valuable and useful content. Sort of a win, win, win situation. For example, on my SEO blog I’ll do SEO site reviews. I explain clearly in my blog description that I’ll review the site and offer suggestions of changes to make to the site perform better in the search engines. Then when I review the site, I discuss one specific site but my readers also get a glimpse into the broader principles of SEO and hopefully get a few tips they can apply to their own sites. That approach has allowed me to review all sorts of sites, not just those related to seo, the internet, or even technology. Another approach I’ve seen is to present the reviews as sort of blog commercials. Readers understand it’s a paid or sponsored post, and reviewers can cover all sorts of different topics or sites. Basically a little outside the box thinking will open up a lot more opportunities which will in turn allow you to make more money.
So there you have it, the process I’ve used to make more than $1,500 through Sponsored Reviews over the past 7 months. If you have other tips, questions or care to share your experiences, please feel free to chime in through the comments below!