Recently, I asked you guys what the biggest struggle was when trying to turn your blog into a business and the resounding answer was…
How can I add value to my blog?
I understand completely, knowing how much your online space is worth is one of the hardest things to determine. When you first start out, you may think you are vastly under charging for your blog services, such as sponsored posts or ad content.
Of course you are!
Having confidence in the work you are producing and having the balls to ask for what you’re worth is terrifying! What if they don’t think you’re worth the amount you’ve asked for? What if they go somewhere else and you lose out on the opportunity?
This is where things get complicated.
Knowing when to take a job or leave it
You will undoubtedly come across this situation at some point in your blogging career. A brand comes to you with an amazing opportunity that you would LOVE to take, but there’s a problem, they’re either:
A) Vastly underpaying you
B) They don’t want to pay you at all!
So many brands and agencies will try and get away with paying you peanuts for your time because they either don’t have enough budget for influencer marketing or, in an agencies case, their clients don’t want to pay enough to get good marketing!
This is where you need to make a very tough decision, do you take it or leave it?
Well, here’s what you need to think about to make that decision:
- Will this opportunity benefit you in ways that are not financial? e.g. will it boost your social following and as a result open up more doors to even more amazing opportunities? Will it get your blog discovered by thousands more viewers and therefore massively boosts your blogs value and again, open up more doors to even better opportunities?
- Will it help you to form a great relationship with a quality and well-known brand or business and potentially lead to higher paid jobs in the future?
If the job is just an amazing experience but won’t add any value to your blog or social following, then I would avoid it. Of course, you should always ask for the price you think you are worth before turning it down, but if there’s no wiggle room and no benefit for you, it’s not really a partnership and a bit of a waste of your time.
Remember, if someone approaches you for work, they have obviously seen some value to your blog and can see how you could benefit them, so don’t be afraid to ask them WHY they chose to contact you and haggle with your prices. This will help you to establish what brands are looking for in their influencers and what they determine as a valuable blog.
What is the value of your blog?
Now, we’ve spoken about asking for what you think you are worth, but how do you know what you and your blog are worth?
Well, there are a few things that brands and agencies look for in a valuable blog:
- A high DA (domain authority) number – This is usually for SEO purposes
- A high TF (trust flow) number – This is again for SEO purposes
- Monthly traffic numbers – This is from a PR perspective
- A high number of engaged followers on social media – Again, for PR purposes
All of these things combined will help you to determine the value of your blog. By building these 4 pillars, you’ll have a highly valuable blog that brands and businesses will be dying to work with!
Increasing DA (domain authority)
I think out of everything, increasing your DA and TF is the hardest thing to do, as it’s only partially in your control.
DA or domain authority is a metric that many SEO and marketing agencies will use to determine how valuable your blog is when it comes to SEO value. It can range from 0-100 and as a general rule, anything over 30 is an amazing score and widely looked for when it comes to working with bloggers.
But how do you increase this score?
Well, a lot of it depends on the age of your domain, so if you’ve only just bought and set up your domain name, it will probably have a DA score of 0 or at least under 10.
The best way to increase this number is to guest blog and link back to your website or get people to link to your posts from their own blog. These backlinks to your website helps to establish your domain as an authority.
Increasing your traffic and the time your users spend on your blog, will also help to increase your DA. If you look at a website like bbc.co.uk, that domain has a DA of 100, because it gets thousands, maybe hundreds of thousands of views every month and is constantly linked to as a new source from other websites.
Increasing your TF (trust flow)
Trust flow is similar to domain authority, only it relies more on backlinks from other websites to calculate its score, rather than age.
You want to be looking at your domain from a root domain level and you can do that by using a tool called Majestic SEO. By looking at your root domain, you’ll be able to see how trusted your entire website is, rather than just the home page or a blog post.
Trust flow tells brands and businesses how trusted your website is and it’s a good way for them to determine what websites may be spammy or poor quality.
To increase this number, you just have to make sure any links you get from other websites are of a high quality. So check they look professional, they have a high TF and DA number and they get a decent amount of traffic every month.
Increasing traffic to your blog
The amount of traffic you get every month is one of the most important things, not only does it help to boost all this other nonsense that you need to build, but it also shows that your blog is a respected resource for your audience.
The value in blogging lies in the blogs reach and influence, hence the name we have all been given:
If our blog has the power to draw thousands of people in every month, that’s a huge platform for which brands can promote their products or services. Our ability to make money blogging comes from the emergence of content marketing and marketers realising that the hard sell just doesn’t work anymore.
People now need to be persuaded and carefully lead into making a purchase. We are a lot more clued up as consumers now and being a blogger means building these valuable relationships with consumers.
For those looking for bloggers for PR reasons, high traffic numbers may be the single most important thing. PR people are all about getting eyeballs on their products or services, they’re not bothered about getting their clients to the top of Google, they want their clients to be engrained in our brains!
Getting more and more traffic to your blog comes from promoting the arse off it. Posting your blogs on social media, sharing your own posts with other bloggers, in Facebook groups, in Twitter chats, on Pinterest and through your email marketing. Guest blog on websites that have more readers than you, collaborate on videos on other vloggers YouTube channels. Get yourself out there and put your blog right in front of people’s faces!
Increasing your social media following
Another area PR people might look at when determining the value of your blog, is your social media following.
Now, in this day and age, getting a huge social following that is consistent and doesn’t go up and down like a yo-yo is not an easy task.
I’m looking at you Instagram
The trick is to be consistent, be social, the key is in the name. Too many influencers do follow for follow simply because of the numbers game and the sad part is brands are buying it. This is because social influence is such a new concept in the marketing world, people just see huge follower numbers and think they are the ones to work with, but they’re incorrect.
Although buying followers, or doing follow for follow might seem like the way to get brands to work with you right now, it won’t be long until people start to cotton on and realise that they are getting no real value from these influencers.
Play the long game!
Focus on building followers that always message you, engage with your posts, retweet or share your content. Having an engaged following will give you a much more valuable social media influence in the long term and ensure you’re top of the list when the follower number game comes crashing down.
How much should you charge for a sponsored post?
The golden question, the thing that nobody really knows the answer to, but here’s my educated guess:
As someone that works on both sides of the track, a blogger and someone that contacts bloggers in an agency, to work with brands and clients on sponsored posts, I feel like I’ve got a good understanding of determining blog value.
I’ve worked with bloggers with very low TF and DA from an SEO point of view and the very basic rate I will offer is £100 for a post, and that often includes me writing the post for them. This post will be 500 words long and include a followed link back to one of my clients websites.
That’s the base rate you should be charging someone that contacts you for sponsored opportunities. From that point on, you can start to increase your prices as your following, metrics and traffic numbers start to increase.
Here’s a very loose rate card based on my experiences with bloggers.
- DA: 0-20
- TF: 0-15
- Traffic: 0-500 sessions a month
- Social: 0-500 followers
Price for a sponsored post: From £100-£200
- DA: 21-35
- TF: 16-30
- Traffic: 501-3000 sessions a month
- Social: 501-3000 followers
Price for a sponsored post: From £200-£500
- DA: 36-100
- TF: 31-70
- Traffic: 3000+ sessions a month
- Social: 3000+ followers
Price for a sponsored post: From £500 up to £3000+
These are just very loose prices and are not gospel!
This is just from my own experience working with different bloggers during my time in a digital marketing agency, I don’t know exactly what all bloggers of every walks charge!
Pricing up a sponsored post also depends on how much of your time and resources you have to put into the job. If you are a beginner blogger and fall under the beginner metrics posted above, but the brand has basically asked you to go to the moon and back, then feel free to up those prices.
Putting together your media kit
Make sure you’ve got a media kit/rate card to send out to people looking to work with you. If you haven’t got metrics you are proud to shout about yet, then stick to a simple rate card. A rate card will list:
- The price you charge for a sponsored post
- The price you charge for a simple ad on your blog
- The price for you to create content for brands
- Any other services you offer as a blogger e.g. social media, consultancy
Your media kit will include your rate card, but will also list your blogs metrics, so your domain authority rating, trust flow rating, social following, monthly traffic numbers and logos of any brands you have worked with in the past.
To help you get started, I’ve created a simple media kit template for you to take and make your own!
When editing in Canva, please remember to MAKE A COPY and do not edit the template!
Go to file > make a copy