How to Get Sponsors for Your Blog (at Any Level) – Rachel From Joyful Derivatives

Partnering up with awesome companies I LOVE has been one of my favorite parts of blogging, and today, pro-blogger Rachel from Joyful Derivatives is here to share some solid tips for obtaining blog sponsorships and other collab opportunities! Enjoy!

“Hey Pete, are blog sponsorships a good way to monetize my blog?”

Yes, and…

“But are they really? Some seem totally spammy.”

Yes, but…

“But honestly–I don’t have a ton of traffic. Can I still work with cool companies?”

Of course you…

“but I don’t know how to even approach…”

Well let’s learn how, shall we?

Listen to my episode with Rachel from Joyful Derivatives

or listen on Apple Podcasts \\ Google Podcasts \\ Spotify

Let’s dive into some show notes and takeaways 🙂

First, why are sponsorships awesome?

Partnering with brands actually brings a TON of opportunities–not just money-in-exchange-for-blog-post.

  • Gives you authority and social proof
  • $$$$$
  • Potentially free products (my own experience!)
  • Potentially special deals for your audience
  • The X-Factor

The “partnerships X-factor” = When you build relationships with companiess/brands/influencers in your niche, you’re opening the door to great future opportunities you can’t even identify yet.

  • Maybe a company comes back and wants to work with you again.
  • Maybe they offer you a job (I know a blogger this happened to)
  • Maybe the relationship opens up an even bigger relationship

Ya never know, but as my dude Nick True would probably say…

Relationships are the most under-utilized marketing for bloggers.

What is a sponsored post on a blog?

A “sponsored post” is simple when a company pays a blogger to publish a very specific piece of content, which usually promotes or reviews the company’s product.

Before we go any further, there are 2 important “rules”

Repeat after me:

“I shall not accept inbound sponsorship requests for products MY AUDIENCE DOESN’T CARE ABOUT or get value out of.”

“I shall ONLY work with and promote brands and products that I fully believe in.”

You screw either one of those up, and you’ll be selling your readers’ trust.

Stick to companies you love, products you’ve used, etc–and promote them heavily.

Movin on.

Btw, I have a CONCISE YouTube video on getting sponsorships (the first few are more podcasting related, but 90% of the video also totally applies to blogging.

And while we’re watching videos, don’t miss this one on making money from your blog in general:

6 Key Blog sponsorship tips:

1 – Your blog isn’t “small,” it’s “growing…”

No traffic? No problem (sorta).

Whenever you are pitching anybody for anything–it’s important to highlight your prettiest features, not your stinky feet.

So if you don’t have 10k Pinterest followers or a 40k email list or 500k views/mo–perhaps you have some growth to report!

highlight grow
growth % makes you look good

This looks good.

2 – Have a (well-designed) media kit!

Simply put, a media kit is a 1-2 page PDF that gives a broad overview of

  • your blog brand
  • your audience
  • your size
media kit example
My friend Kelan’s media kit is on his site

Kelan is a sponsorship MASTER, and also offers a free “Sponsorship Starter Guide” which you can download on his website here! Totes free.

FAQ: Where should you literally put your media kit?

On your blog about page? Somewhere else?

Rachel’s vote is to treat your media kit like a resume–and tailor it slightly for each pitch!

This requires that you NOT keep it public on your about page.

What else should go on a media kit?

  • your photo–my vote is to make these personal and show that YOU are an influencer. People don’t buy stuff from your blog, they buy it from you.
  • traffic stats
  • email list stats (open rates and CTR too!)
  • audience demographics
  • social proof–in the form of other companies you’ve worked with! BONUS points if you can show results from those campaigns.
  • anything else relevant that’ll show the company you can provide them value.

Brand awareness, traffic via social shares, paid referrals, anything.

3 – How you view $1 and how large companies view $1 is totally different

Let’s say you’re pitching The Home Depot for a blog sponsorship.

I dunno about you, but $3,000 sounds like a lot to me.

However, The Home Depot spends over a million dollars A DAY on marketing. $3,000 is nothing.

It’s important to realize that even small and medium-sized businesses simply look at money in a different way than us broke bloggers!

How much do blog sponsors pay?

The average sponsored blog post can vary between $100 and $5,000.

The amount of money you get from a sponsored blog post largely depends on the size of your audience (and website traffic), as well as what else you’re including in your sponsorship package.

For example, if you also includes mentions in your email newsletter or social media shares (in addition to a sponsored article), you might be able to charge more money.

4 – Make a dream partnership hitlist

If you’re seriously looking to start working with companies in connection to your blog–lemme just warn you: this process is work, and will need to be treated as such.

This is NOT slapping some Amazon affiliate links in your Tuesday blog post.

Working with your favorite brands requires a structured approach to outreach, pitching, negotiation, and collaboration.

And that starts with making a hitlist.

  1. Click over to your fave spreadsheet provider
  2. Brainstorm all the products you use on a weekly basis
  3. Jot down additional companies you’d love to be a part of

Bonus Hustler Step: Make additional columns to rank the companies based on their willingness to work with you, their top social channels you could use to get an “in” as far as outreach, a “date I pitched them” column, and a “date I’ll follow up with them” column.

Once you have a structured list–it’s time to start the real work.

5 – You’ll have to pitch. A lot 🙂

Repeat after me:

“I, [your-name], will not attach my self-worth as a blogger to any FAILED outreach.”

Good, padawan!

Rachel has made pitching brands a CORE part of her business model, and she pitches 5 a week.

You’re going to get rejected. Probably a lot. Count on it.

6 – Employ empathy!

What’s in it for the brand?

What do they get out of this deal? Is it seriously going to bring them anything? If not–find a way to add value.

This applies to ALL marketing, but especially outreach and pitching! Always put yourself in the other person’s shoes and try to figure out what will make saying “yes” a no-brainer.

How small blogs can still land paid sponsorships

Note: this goes for podcasts too!

If you dive back into some of my old income reports, you’ll note I made sponsorship income in month 1.

With less than 1k traffic.

income report

Boom. Made back my initial investment in my domain and hosting.

The “secret” to collaborating as a new blogger = utilizing every referral weapon in your influencer arsenal.

Here’s one of my old pitches (note that I tried to find every angle possible to drive traffic and awareness.)

sponsorship pitch template

The question is–where can you add value?

Furthermore–there was one last thing that helped me land early sponsorships (and have also gotten me access to lots of free blogging tools)…


Or at least convincing brands that I would hustle for them–in fact, I’d literally say something like “I will work my BUTT off to drive more relevant leads to you. I won’t stop until you’re satisfied and feel you’ve gotten your money’s worth.”

Find a unique way to add value to their cause–and show them how you’ll do it.

THAT’S how you make pitching, selling, negotiating, etc, 10x easier.

Drop me a comment below–What do you think of sponsored posts?

Both from a blogger perspective AND reader perspective.

Is this something you want to try?

Keep Reading

31 Responses

  1. I appreciate this article so much! My background is communications, not business, so as I’ve recently started working on establishing my blog as a business I’ve had to literally learn everything (from the ground up) about business. I must say that I’m enjoying the journey, and I appreciate this article as previously I couldn’t really wrap my head around sponsorships, but this article has really given me a solid understanding- ADD VALUE! Thanks Pete!


  2. This is valuable information. I have a website myself which is barely a month old as of today. My analytics show a slow but steady growth. I am thinking of searching for sponsors for my site. I stumbled on this rich information on getting sponsors at any level. thanks

    1. Very helpful for me! Started my own blog just yesterday but totally clueless on how to even start it, lest have sponsorships. ???? so this post is really relevant for me as I use it to “look forward” in this blogging endeavor. Thank youuuu!

  3. I just started my blog yesterday and I am researching ways to bring in traffic with not much social media presence. This was super helpful, thank you!

  4. Great piece, I bump into the article searching for ways to get sponsorship. Many for us should be making enough money through then it just that pitching scared us away from companies we only end up working for so-called SEO marketers [what ever they’re called] who only value your website by it DA and always happy to negotiate peanuts.

  5. I found this podcast so helpful! I’ve started working with brands and feeling my way… really amazing to hear that this could actually generate income instead of just free product. Thank you

  6. Hi there, I hope you don’t mind commenting here, but I can find no other contact details. I am from Wealthy Affiliate and I have commented on your blog a few times in the past.

    Anyway, I would actually like to ask you a favour if I may. Would you possibly be able to remove all backlinks from my website to yours. These are links to my website that I myself left when I used to comment on your posts. You don’t have to remove the comment of course, just my website link. I have recently discovered that leaving your URL on a blog that isn’t in your niche can look like a dodgy backlink to Google and so I am really trying to clean these up. It also does your site no good to have my URL’s on there either! I have loads of backlinks on all sorts of websites from back in a time when I didn’t realise that this would have an impact, and so I’m contacting people about it.
    You can easily find all my comments with links by going to your comments section in the back office and searching the ‘search comments’ box up on the right hand corner (just in case you didn’t know LOL). Just put in Stefanie Taylor and you will find all the comment, just click the edit button and you can remove my URL’s and keep the comment and name quite easily.

    This would be very much appreciated, so thanks 🙂

  7. Pete, such great info on sponsored posts! We have be only focused on traffic and ads thus far. I think we really must get on the stick with pursuing sponsored content. Really appreciate this interview!

    1. You’re welcome Steve! You might also check out my recent YouTube video on sponsored posts–as well as my interview with Andy Hill! (That’s podcast specific–but not really. 90% applies to blogging as well)

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