If you’re wondering how much to charge for a sponsored post on your blog, here are my best tips for negotiating a fair rate.
I earned more than $30,000 doing sponsored posts for brands last year.
While they aren’t passive income, sponsored posts can be a great way to pad your blogging income each year.
What to Charge for Sponsored Blog Posts
How much to charge for sponsored posts depends on many factors: word count, engagement rates, potential cross-promotion among other platforms, and pictures. Your rate per post may change if a company wants a one-and-done deal or a long-time collaboration.
Everything falls behind engagement, though. The more visitors you have, the more you can charge. Companies want to increase their visibility – and that’s what they’re truly paying for.
Set Your Base Rate
Blog writers have a hard time determining their rates. Most make the mistake of undervaluing themselves to get more work later. Avoid doing that! Know your base rate before you negotiate writing a sponsored post.
Setting your base rate is easy. Figure out how much you would charge for a basic post. Everything else is extra: more words, pictures, bringing social media into the mix, etc.
Your base rate could be per word or hour. How much either one should be is up to you. If you haven’t charged for a sponsored post yet, find out how much similar writers are charging.
Factor in the Written Content
The first thing you need to think about is whether to charge per word or hour.
Hourly rates vary greatly among writers. The formula goes as follows: charge as much as necessary to make a living wage from writing. So, if it took you four hours to write a sponsored post, charge half a day’s worth of work (if you’re working eight hour days).
Charging per word is easier. Most writers start out at 0.05 cents per word and work from there.
Visuals to Provide
Your main job is to write a great post – but you can add pictures and other visual elements (e.g., graphs) to improve an article. That way, you can increase how much to charge sponsored posts.
Make sure you negotiate visuals beforehand! You can’t throw a picture somewhere on an article and expect people to pay you more money.
Companies themselves will provide the visuals you need to use from time to time. At that point, it’s up to you whether to charge them more or not.
Social Media Promotion
Another way to charge extra is to promote sponsored posts through social media. Make sure you have enough followers to negotiate a better rate. You won’t help your case if you have an Instagram account with 200 followers.
Some companies will take social media promotion for granted. Talk about charging extra if they want you to use your social media before doing so.
What Determines Your Rate
Monthly Blog Traffic
How many monthly visitors you have is the most important number when you pitch a sponsored post. How many of them buy stuff from your website (through affiliate links and otherwise) is what companies care about when they hire you.
You will have to wait for a while if you don’t have a lot of traffic. It’d be better to focus on writing and promoting your content than pitching at that point.
Newsletter Subscribers & Open Rate
Blog writers who have a newsletter can use it to increase how much to charge for sponsored posts. Those who don’t have one yet should create their own right now.
You can charge more if you have an active newsletter. Keep in mind similar rules apply here: engagement is the number one metric that will influence your rates. A company will not pay for emails that nobody will open.
Social Media Followers
Another way to charge more is to have lots of social media followers. Make sure they’re organic, though. Companies know you can buy them online – and will not pay to work with social media profiles with fake followers.
You don’t need two million followers on Instagram to pitch a sponsored post to a brand. You need an active social media presence. Brands will pay attention to how many people like your posts every time you upload something.
Engagement is the name of the game. There’s no point in talking to a million people if nobody is listening – and the same thing happens when you write for money.
How many people are reading what you write? Do they like your content? Who’s buying the products you talk about?
That’s what companies care about. You don’t have to be a good writer – but you need high engagement rates for this to work!
Your Work Experience
Your resume matters for certain sponsored posts. Companies will feel more comfortable hiring lawyers with years of experience to promote something on a legal blog. Tech-related blogs will benefit from writers with coding or computer science experience.
Lack of work experience will not prevent you from landing a sponsored post. It will help if you have it. Otherwise, let your content speak for itself.
Is it a One-Time Collaboration or a Long-Term Partnership?
Companies will expect a more favorable rate for a long-term partnership – and that’s okay. Understand you will make more money charging $125 per post for ten posts than charging $150 each in a four-article order.
At the same time, make sure you can follow through with the arrangement. Writers tend to burn out when they have to write similar content for a long time. Plan accordingly.
Negotiating Brand Collaborations
Ask About Usage Rights
Who owns the rights to your content is an important question to ask. Companies may ask you to write a piece and publish it on their website. You may not be able to upload your article on your own or put it in your portfolio if you don’t own the usage rights. Negotiate that before you start writing.
Avoid Exclusivity for Too Long
Exclusivity works in two ways: working for one company alone and allowing your company to have exclusive rights over what you write. Avoid both scenarios. It’s always better to work for multiple companies than one alone. At the same time, you should try to own the rights to your content.
Ask for 50% Payment Upfront
Unfortunately, there are a lot of scammers out there. Shady people will try to use your content without paying. Others will decide not to pay you after you finish working because they don’t want an article anymore. Always ask for half the money upfront – then start to write.
Sponsored Blog Post Calculator
A good rule of thumb is to charge 1% of the number of followers or blog pageviews you have each month. So if you have 250,000 followers or pageviews per month, you would charge $2,500 for a sponsored post.
My tip is to increase your rate each time you do a collaboration. If you do a collab for $2,000 one time, try raising your rate to $2,250 the next time, and so on.