Sponsored Articles in Blogging: Advantages and Disadvantages

I receive more and more questions around the monetization of a blog and sponsored articles which are often the key lever to make a website profitable.

You should know that sponsored articles offer many advantages to bloggers who are the publishers here, and to brands and companies, who are the advertisers. The latter wishing to develop their business and/or optimize the referencing of their website.

What are sponsored articles?

To make it simple and short, it is editorial content for which the blogger has received compensation. However, you should know that there are several orientations for sponsored articles, and in particular 3 which are to be remembered, because they are far from each other.

A sponsored article can also be; either written by the publisher or written by the advertiser. This is a point to consider when registering for platforms. Some platforms offer pricing with or without writing on the part of the publisher. As for others, the article will be delivered according to a precise brief to be filled in beforehand.

It is a question of substantial savings because the writing can take time, all the more when the content is to be optimized. As part of a tool review, it is necessary to test it and deliver a sufficiently objective point of view. It is therefore a fairly time-consuming job and for which it makes sense to apply pricing for the blogger.

The blogger thus invoices his work: the writing according to a defined number of words, the formatting of the content and its optimization from an SEO point of view, the images delivered, the submission of the content, the possible correction of details, the sharing on its social networks and the newsletter which is often an option.

This pack is of course to be compared to the blogger’s audience and his popularity index. All these points are therefore brought closer to a price, which can vary from $100 to much more than $1500.

1. Sponsored articles to improve your SEO

Some advertisers are only looking for a gain in terms of natural referencing, i.e, to increase their popularity, in order to achieve better positioning on search engines. This is particularly the case when it comes to seeking the first position on Google. We are talking here about netlinking where it is a question of placing backlinks within sponsored content.

2. Sponsored articles to promote a product or service

In the case where it is a question of promoting a product or a service, the content is more commercial-oriented to develop sales. We will then see that it can have disadvantages when writing sponsored articles from this angle.

3. Link placement

In some cases, advertisers may wish to place one or more links within existing articles written by the blogger. We will then see that this can lead to disadvantages, but also advantages.benefits of sponsored posts in blogging

The pros and cons of sponsored posts

Now let’s see the advantages and disadvantages of sponsored posts from a blogging point of view. You should know that sponsored content can be broadcast on any type of platform; whether it is a question of social networks, websites or forums, etc…

We will focus on the blog as a channel because it allows the development of editorial content that can be neutral, as we will see later.

We will highlight these advantages and disadvantages both on the publisher’s side, the blogger in this case, and on the advertiser’s side, behind which will be the brands, companies, etc., and what they bring.

1. Increase advertiser awareness

As soon as backlinks are placed within a blog article, and the latter already has a good reputation, it is the advertiser who will benefit directly for their SEO. This is one of the main reasons why advertisers use sponsored articles.

The more notoriety a site has, the more it will rise to better positions. That said, you have to put everything in a favorable context and that the advertiser’s site is already well optimized and SEO friendly.

Advantage(s): Increase the notoriety of the advertiser’s site by improving its referencing as a result. The writing of the content is often free, which allows the blogger to deliver content from his point of view on a subject that is completely neutral and transparent for the reader. One or two links will absolutely not change the orientation of the article.

Disadvantage(s): A disadvantage that will be found in all forms of sponsorship; the content may be judged as advertising or promotional, due to one or more links detected by the reader. He might think that the writing is oriented, but a mention could compensate for this observation. Another disadvantage in the case where the advertiser delivers the content himself. If it is not relevant and deemed too short and/or inconsistent, the risk is incurred for the blogger.

To remedy this, deliver a second content on the same day to rebalance the perception of your audience.

2. Generate sales and/or traffic for the advertiser

A sponsored article is also intended to generate sales for the advertiser if he wishes to highlight a product or service to promote. In the case where he is looking for traffic, it may be a landing page that will offer a download with the filling of a form for example.

Advantage(s): With a blog where the audience is perfectly targeted, and that it is related to the product or service to be promoted, efficiency will be increased. Especially if the content contains advice and information based on an identified issue. At this stage, we can optimize the content and ensure a longer life if it is positioned well and if the blogger has control over the writing.

On the blogger side, we will therefore note the possibility of producing a neutral sponsored article without an imposed orientation.

Disadvantage(s): The promotional item is relatively ephemeral as an action on social networks, and in the event that the advertiser delivers the content. The latter will not optimize the content in most cases and will in spite of itself obscure the SEO side. A good point here would be to sell a service and to evangelize on this aspect, during deals dealt with directly with advertisers.

3. Boost a product or service launch via a sponsored post

By multiplying his actions with multiple bloggers, an advertiser can play on the “invade the digital space” effect. That is, give the feeling that only him is being talked about over a period of x weeks per example.

It is here a work of image and at the same time promotional. If the sponsored content is in this case oriented, it can have an impact multiplied by the number of bloggers who will ensure the relays. The advertiser can use this lever for a change, of course, a product release, important information to be delivered, etc.

We also use this type of content to promote events, such as webinars or physical fairs for example.

Advantage(s): Being attached to big events as a partner can give a certain image. Backlink exchange is generally recorded during these partnerships, but it remains to be seen whether it is deleted at the end of the deal.

Disadvantage(s): Beware of the “duplicate content” side if the content is delivered by the advertiser and it is more likely to be a press release (CP). Advise the advertiser and ask for unique and relevant content if that should be the case.

4. Attract qualified traffic

Some sponsored articles around various products or services can allow the blogger to gain the trust of his community, and gain influence at the same time. For niche bloggers on a specific sector, it is the possibility of becoming a referent on its theme. This is about focusing on a specific universe and gaining the trust of advertisers as well as that of its audience.

Advantage(s): For an advertiser, it may be interesting to build up a pool of bloggers, who will be ambassadors for the brand represented. The more the interests and qualities of the brand will be identified and disseminated by publishers, the more the advertiser will gain in image and notoriety.

For the blogger, you will be able to feel an increasingly sharpened expertise over the months and years. You can see this point among bloggers who are in technical fields. Examples include the fields of audio and video.

Disadvantage(s): You have to be constant on your theme and deliver objective and neutral articles, without supporting a brand or a company without arguments. The risk is to lose the confidence of its community and its influence in the long term. It is, therefore, necessary to systematically have a hand on the sponsored articles to be written or to be very picky about the brief to be respected.

5. Sponsored articles from influencer bloggers

If you directly manage your distribution of sponsored content to influencer bloggers, it’s a huge advantage for brands and companies. The disadvantages exist but if everything is well framed. There are more benefits to be drawn from it than the reverse.

Advantage(s): Benefit from the blogger’s influence and a generally large audience (> 100K V/month). The reach will be better and the virality too. If the blogger is also present on social networks, the visibility of the advertiser’s actions will therefore be increased.

It can be interesting to work on medium and long-term partnerships and gradually refine your strategy with the blogger. This allows better monitoring of the performance of the content broadcast.

Disadvantage(s): For the blogger, this means being consistent and posting content very regularly while fueling their influence. The advertiser must feel a keen interest and a real benefit from working with him. No room for error (unmeasured).benefits of sponsored articles in blogging

6. Control of the budget and privileged relationships

Sponsored articles offer the possibility of managing its communication and marketing budget which will be controlled, by using bloggers or specialized platforms. By working regularly with the same bloggers, special relationships are formed and thus allow for better engagement on both sides.

Advantage(s): Advertisers generally have pre-known or easy-to-obtain rates directly from bloggers or via specialized platforms. With data in terms of audience and accessible metrics, they have better visibility on the performance of actions. Actions will thus be controlled from a budget point of view if they are brought closer to advertising. This is more uncertain, especially via social network ads platforms, which are losing their reach.

Disadvantage(s): For the advertiser, you have to be able to register over time. You should also regularly provide sponsored actions to your bloggers. For the blogger, it is necessary to avoid as much as possible highlighting competing brands. They should be objective in all cases, even if a good understanding can sometimes skew this point.

7. Advertising versus sponsored article

By dealing directly with the advantages and disadvantages of one over the other, it is clear that sponsored articles do not appear as advertising. All the more so when it comes to link placement for SEO purposes. This would be less the case if the advertiser delivers oriented promotional content. At this stage, it is up to the editor to straighten out his brief or put up barriers in terms of content. Otherwise, the sponsored post would rightly be perceived as advertising. If we had to give it this name, well written and optimized, we would then speak of native advertising.

The ad is aptly named and remains identifiable as such! The danger would be for the blogger would be to oversell a product or service, under the pretext that he is paid for it. It is important not to work like this. Otherwise, you will lose the trust of your audience, or even lose everything (audience, influence, and partnerships).

A sponsored article is therefore not an advertisement if it is well framed by a brief, or if it is written by the blogger to be neutral.

Important point for advertisers  

A product or service does not necessarily need to be the subject of a frontal promotion by exposing it. Instead, think of a problem that leads to your solution as few know it. If we don’t know you and if we don’t know your product/service, Internet users will search on Google targeting the problem encountered.

Are you developing a tool to search for influencers? then think about dealing with the subject “how to find influencers”. You will then aim for SEO work that will be more sustainable. Thus, you will avoid the ephemeral reach of your sponsored article.

8. Use platforms that offer sponsored articles

Finally, it is interesting for advertisers to go through netlinking platforms, which offer sponsored articles. Already because they have a substantial portfolio of publishers, and above all, because they cover multiple themes.

In addition, advertisers can easily analyze online profiles and inform themselves of the rates for each of them. Another good way to contain your budget and to be able to be accompanied by the platform which also plays the role of agency or adviser.

In summary

By this post, I hope I have answered many questions on the advertiser and publisher side. If you have any others, feel free to leave them in the comments.

Sponsored articles offer a double benefit; promotional and SEO. If done well, it can be well positioned and continue to benefit the advertiser. For publishers, it is a way to gain influence, sometimes to overcome a lack of content and to be able to gradually make a living from one’s activity.

It is certainly necessary to diversify its sources of income and to look at advertising content as medium and long-term partnerships to establish the profitability of its blog.

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