In the lead up to this series, I knew that it was important to hear from some businesses themselves about their side of this blog sponsorship equation. Why they sponsor blogs and sewing events, how they choose blogs, what do they expect in return for their investment, why it is valuable for everyone involved.
My very first sponsor was the Fat Quarter Shop. I had seen them around a lot of blogs, and I thought that a bigger shop was more likely to have the budget to fit me into blog sponsorship too! So I wrote up a media kit, crossed my fingers and sent off an email. And they said yes! We’ve since had a fun relationship with various blog hops on BHQ like sharing mini charm pack tutorials, experimenting with Triangle Papers, and their generous support with prizes for quilt alongs. Because of this, I’ve been more than happy to return the love and join in on their free pattern blog hops like the Charm Pack Cherry and Fat Eighth Frenzy. So I asked them if they would be willing to share about blog sponsorship from their side of things.
How do you begin the blog sponsorship relationship with new blogs and why?
Many times, bloggers reach out to us for blog sponsorships but we seek out blogs to sponsor as well. We usually consider the popularity of the blog, consistency of posting schedule, and content that they post – quilting, sewing, crafting, or anything that involves fabric – as a factor in considering the sponsorship. We also need to know their monthly visits, how many subscribers do they have, and, how active are they on social media.
We do not have a set guide in place when it comes to monthly cost for bloggers. We usually ask them what their rate is and judge from there according to their monthly stats. But on average, they range from $20 – $50 per month.
What kinds of promotion do you expect as a sponsor?
We expect bloggers to somehow promote our shop by either mentioning us where they purchased the fabric from or hosting a giveaway with us every month or once every 3 months. We also invite our bloggers to join our sew alongs, quilt alongs, and blog hops.
How do you monitor and measure the level of promotion/return for your blog sponsorship?
We will start doing yearly reviews of each blog to see how many click through we get through them. The more click-throughs, which we track with Google Analytics, the more likely we will stay sponsoring the blog and invite them to book tours and events.
Make Modern has burst onto the modern quilting magazine scene with two amazing issues already! This e-zine isn’t just about patterns, but also interviews, articles and more. Here’s what their editor, Jane, had to say about providing prizes for quilting events.
Why do you think sponsorship is mutually beneficial for all involved?
Building community is a really big goal for Make Modern, so up to now we have generally offered giveaways to contributors and people who have helped us in some way – as a way of thanking our supporters. Further to this, we like to support our contributors by putting their blog and social media contacts in the magazine so they’re easy to find – I personally hate finding a designer I love in a magazine and then not being able to track them down online because I only have their name and not their blog brand. We also like to support bloggers who might be new to submitting projects to magazines, or who aren’t rock star bloggers, because we feel there are so many amazing artists out there doing incredible work.
What are your top tips for bloggers when they’re looking at what approaching businesses?
I think it’s important to be brave and put yourself out there – if you don’t ask you will never get. You might get rejections (which is probably more a reflection on their budget than your work), but you may also get a yes.
For Make Modern, offering copies of the magazine for prizes is part of our marketing strategy – remember that every business is trying to grow their profile and is looking for bloggers to partner with that will help them reach their goals within their budget. So as well as asking for what you want from then, it’s useful to outline what you can offer to them.
It’s also useful to approach businesses you love, who will be a good match to your blog. There are certain aesthetics that appeal to each of us and I don’t think that’s even always a conscious thing, on some subconscious level you resonate with certain bloggers, IGers, fabric stores, fabric designers. So if you approach businesses you feel a connection with, you might find they find a connection with you too. At Make Modern we look at a lot of pictures of quilts and a lot of blogs. Some of them are definitely ones we’d love to be associated with, others aren’t a great fit for us – again that’s not to say their work isn’t amazing, it’s just not right for us.
I have loads of great information about all sorts of blogging tips and tricks on my Blogging Pinterest board. Or join the Quilty Bloggers and Instagrammers Support Group on Facebook to “talk business” with others in our niche!
The other posts in this series:
– Valuing Yourself As A Blogger
– What I’ve Learned From My Personal Blog Sponsorship Journey
– Blog Sponsorship: Your Stories and Thoughts
This week, I would really love to hear from you guys about the sponsorship relationship. If you have blog sponsors, why do you? And how did your sponsorship journey begin? Or, if you sponsor a blog, what is it that you look for in a blog when deciding whether to make the investment?