Monetizing a blog gives the blogger additional incentive to keep on writing. In fact, sometimes it is the only incentive that drives the blogger. Most new blogs rely on pay per click advertising as a way to add some monetary reward for all the blogger’s hard work but this method has drawn some criticism. Many find ads to be tacky and disruptive to the blog; then of course there is the risk of being penalized by Google if a blog has too many ads in the wrong places.
Some experienced bloggers have issues with running these ads on their site for other reasons. Some don’t like having so little control over what ads are displayed while others see it as a waste of time since most visitors are blind to these types of advertisements so the click or conversion rates are extremely low.
Finding the right alternative
Instead of advertising, some bloggers have turned to a couple of fund raising tactics used by public broadcasting stations across the country; relying on sponsorships for funding.
Anyone who has listened to National Public Radio or seen any shows on the Public Broadcasting Station knows that programs here are ”brought to you by…” That organization that brings the content to the air is the show’s sponsor. They pay a bit of money up front to cover the costs in return for a bit of name recognition. Since there is no advertising, the message of their sponsorship is not watered down.
Of course finding a sponsor is not going to come without doing some work; some real work. For one, not many organizations are going to shell out money for a blog that has a small reach. They are paying for their name to get out there and they expect some results. Before even considering approaching possible sponsors make sure that your blog:
Contains great content – good is not good enough.
Is not filled with advertisements – potential sponsors don’t want the competition.
Has an active readership – spark discussions with your readers through the comment section.
Once you have built a solid audience, you can start working on finding sponsors whose message coincides with yours.
Learning from the best
To find sponsors turn to other bloggers who use this method of monetization, but don’t neglect the experts in the field. Check out different non-profit sites like the local NPR or PBS stations; or even national organizations like Unicef. These organizations derive much of their funding from sponsorships and often hire experts who know how to obtain them. Incorporate some of the things you see them doing in your plans.
When you have narrowed down some potential partners, approach them with a plan of how you can help them, what is expected of them and how long the relationship will last. Spell out everything from the very beginning so that the relationship is not soured. Soon enough, sponsors will begin seeking you out with the hopes that they too can establish a relationship with a solid site that delivers on what they promise.