If I'm being completely honest, it has taken me a long time to really come around to the advertising/sponsorship part of the blog world. I wasn't really a believer at first, and wasn't convinced that it actually "worked". But in the past few months, I've been eating my words. (again). Not only do I accept sponsorship here on A Sorta Fairytale, but I also advertise my own blog elsewhere, as well. I have found so many great things about it. So I wanted to share a few...
ONE // Income. Obviously, the main reason that people offer sponsorship opportunities, is to make money. How much money? Well... that would totally depend on the size of your blog, what you offer, and the price of your ads. And while making money is a major benefit, I think there are so many other great reasons to get involved with blog sponsorship, and so let's move on to the rest of my list of reasons why I think it's important.
TWO // Visibility & Audience. This is probably obvious reason #2. Depending on who you are sponsoring and what they are offering, you will more than likely gain more visibility to your blog. Every time someone goes to the blog you are advertising on, they will see your banner. I have been known to click on those banners many times, sometimes because a certain button has caught my eye as I'm reading a post (so there's some advise, make your banner catchy to the eye!). Along the same lines, sometimes I'm just in the mood to find a new blog to read. The first place I go, is to the sponsors of my favorite blogs. I will just go through and click on every single button in search of finding a few good reads.
And I'm definitely not the only one clicking on those banners on people's sidebars. I have a ton of traffic from the blogs I sponsor. So obviously people are seeing my big fat face on people's sidebar, and thinking "wow, who is this chick in the bright yellow cardigan, holding her cell phone and making a ridiculous face?".
People ARE clicking on this random/silly photo of me and then they arrive and my blog and they see what I'm all about. And hopefully they stick around for a little while!
THREE // Growth. I'm not just referring to numbers here. Yes, you may see a gradual increase in your blog followers, facebook fans... etc. But the growth I'm talking about, is development as a person and blogger. You're probably wondering how sponsoring a blog can help you grow? Well here is what I've found. I've noticed that as I'm being promoted more, and in turn, gaining new visitors, I've been pushed (in a good way) to want to do better. And by better, I mean that I have more of a desire to be open & honest (which seems backwards), but it forces me to reflect back on myself quite a bit, actually. I can't tell you how many things I've discovered about myself since I started blogging, but more so, when I started sponsoring other blogs.
FOUR // Inspiration. This sort of goes along with the above mentioned topic of Growth. As my blog grows, thanks to blog sponsorship, I've been more & more inspired. I have so many ideas and my thoughts are sometimes bursting at the seams. I bet that you'll find that as you place yourself in people's ad spaces, you will have a totally different mindset as you go forward as a blogger. It's almost like you feel a different need to "perform". Don't let this be mistaken for the need to compete, because that is a completely different monster. But I mean, that when you buy an ad spot, you are sort of selling yourself in a way (a very good way! lol), and in the back of your mind, you always know that at any given time, a complete stranger could click on your banner while they're reading so&so's blog, and come to visit you. That is inspiring. I promise.
FIVE // Community. This is the absolute BEST aspect of blog sponsorship. In the past several months, I cannot tell you how many amazing people I've met because of buying and selling ad space. From personal experience, when someone purchases one of my ads through passion fruit, and submits there's banner to me for approval, I get so excited!! And no, not because of the money. But because this person has chosen me to help them promote, and I feel an awesome need to get to know them, so that I can do my best to help others get to know them as well. I have made some amazing friends through sponsoring other blogs. I've gotten to know people through group giveaways, community sponsor FB groups, twitter mentions, and so forth. Blog sponsorship benefits not only the person buying ad space, but the one selling it. It goes both ways, 100%. And it truly brings a sense of community to the blogosphere!
So if you have been on the fence about whether or not to advertise by sponsoring someone's blog, I think you should try it!
One tip, though. Don't look at numbers. Just because someone has a "big" blog, doesn't mean it will benefit you more. Look for someone who gets to know their sponsors and works hard for them. Do some research, ask around -- and give it a shot! This isn't a plug to sponsor my blog, I promise. If you want some suggestions of great people to sponsor, I am more than happy to give you some recommendations :)
What are your thoughts on this??