It goes without saying that the Internet is supported by advertising. The reason why you are able to upload and stream all of those videos on YouTube is because Google populates the site with various forms of advertising. The reason why you are able to socialize with your friends on Facebook is because that social network has advertising too. And yes, part of the reason why you can continue to read posts like these on John Chow dot Com is because John makes money from this site, both directly and indirectly, too.
And a small part of the revenue mix for this blog comes from paid reviews. You may have noticed several of them over the years. The thing is that there appears to be a disconnect between the perception an average blogger has about sponsored content and the perception than an advertiser might have. A recent guest post on Problogger illustrated at least a couple of key points that are worth exploring.
I Need a Big Audience Before Advertisers Will Notice
First, many bloggers assume that they need to have massive readerships like John Chow dot Com in order to capture the attention of potential brand partners for sponsored content. However, it’s not just about the raw numbers; it’s also about the quality of those readers. A smaller, more engaged audience is much more valuable to a brand than a larger audience that doesn’t stick around.
Based on the poll published on Problogger, around 35% of bloggers feel that they need to have at least 5,000 unique visitors a month before they should start advertising on their sites. They could be leaving a lot of money on the table, because of the brands polled, around 60% of advertisers said they’d be prepared to engage with blogs with just 1,000 visitors a month.
Granted, having a blog with 5,000 unique visitors isn’t all that much in the grand scheme of things, but many smaller blogs still have a great monetization opportunity if they’re willing to work for it.
I Can’t Make Money as a Smaller Blog
Perhaps an even more eye-opening revelation from the survey was how much advertisers are willing to pay for a sponsored post compared to how much bloggers feel they can charge for that same sponsored post. Using the assumption of a blog with an average of 5,000 unique visitors each month, the majority of bloggers polled said they would charge between $100 and $300.
By comparison, over 30% of brands polled said that they may be willing to pay over $400 for a sponsored post on a blog with at 5,000 unique monthly visitors and aroudn 50% would pay more than $300. However, around 17% of bloggers said they’d charge less than $100. What this means is that they need to find better partners! It also means that getting a $50 sponsored post on my own blog (which has well over 5,000 unique visitors a month) is a steal and getting a $500 paid review on John Chow dot Com is an amazing value, given that this blog gets over 300,000 page views each month.
Sponsored Content Hurts My Visibility
Yes, there is always the concern about Google. We’ve been told before that sponsored posts can hurt your SEO prospects, but this too should be taken with a misconceived grain of salt. As along as the sponsored content is relevant to your audience, you are still providing value to the reader.
Besides, as John has taught us so many times before, if you live by the Google, you die by the Google anyway.