What Goes In To A Sponsored Blog Post

You may see the words #Sponsored or #Ad in a social post and not think much of it, but a TON of work goes in to every sponsored blog and social post. I thought it would be fun to share what goes on behind the scenes and the steps I take to make each sponsored post successful in my eyes. I started this blog in 2011, and I started working with brands in 2015. Over the years I've worked with HomeAway, Carter's, Athleta, Wayfair, Fossil, Hanna Andersson, James Avery and more.

My paid sponsored posts are mostly done through third party agencies or when brands reach out to me directly. Agencies have dashboards with their available campaigns, and I sign up for the ones I'm interested in. When I say "sign up" I mean filling out a form with all of my blog stats as well as my ideas for the collaboration. The agency we'll review all the blogger submissions and if I'm chosen I will get an email letting me know I've been selected.

In my selection email it will enclose the contract which includes blog post details, amount to be paid, image requirements, length of post, things not to say, due date, etc. I will have a few days to sign and return. If a particular product needs to be shot, they will mail it to me as soon as I sign the contract.

I then look at my calendar and figure out when I need to shoot the photos to make sure I have enough time to write the post, edit photos, and send in a draft for review before the blog post goes live. If I have a YouTube video to shoot I need much more time. I like to shoot on the weekends since I have more light, but if I'm not home one weekend I might have to shoot during the week. Summer nights are my best friend ; ) If children are involved I have to work around naps and make sure to take we're shooting during the "happy" times of the day. Photo shoots where my kids need to be in the photos are by far the most stressful!

Every once in a while I might have to buy a prop or two. For instance when I worked with Campbell's Soup I purchased a few cloth napkins because we didn't have any. Paper towels wouldn't have looked so cute in the styled shoot ; ). I try my best not to spend money on props because I want my photos and posts to be as real as possible. Honestly I'm SO over styled shoots, especially the ones with elaborate tablescapes.

I try to warn Alex when I need him to take photos so he can mentally prepare himself for the stress..haha. It's gotten better over time, but I'm not going to lie and say we don't argue almost every time. He dreads taking photos, but I remind him every time of the compensation and how helpful that will be for our family. Once photos are done I will edit them after the kids go to bed and write the blog post. This can take 2-3 days and longer if I'm editing a YouTube video.

Most of the agencies require I send them a draft of the blog post and social media copy so I'll send that off and once I get a green light I will post on the designated day. My paper calendar is very important and I carry it with me at all times to make sure I'm up to date on all of my commitments. I make sure to have my contract on me when I'm posting so I make sure to include the right hashtags for the campaign.

After my blog post is live I am required to fill out a form that includes all of my links (blog post, social posts, IG story analytics and screenshots). I also like to follow up with the account rep I've been working with and let them know I enjoyed working together. If I'm not working with a third party agency, I will have to send an invoice. I usually get paid 2-3 months after a post has gone live.

There you have it! There are a ton of small details in between all of these steps and lots of emails back and forth, but overall these are the steps that are involved in one sponsored blog post. When a brand approaches me about working with them, I first consider if the product is a right fit and second I consider if all the time and effort that it will take to publish one post and/or create a YouTube video is worth it.

The way brands work with bloggers is evolving every day, and I'm excited to see what a sponsored blog post looks like in 5 years! If you have any questions feel free to ask!

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