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In the age of Instagram and YouTube, it can be easy to forget all about the power of blogs, and the influence of well-placed sponsored blog posts. Although blogs might not be as popular as they were a few years ago, plenty of creators and influencers still keep them.

The 2017 State of the Creator Economy (SOCE) study found that 78 percent of creators used blogs. Blogs are the fifth most popular creator platform, falling behind Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, and Pinterest, but ranking above YouTube, LinkedIn, and Snapchat.

While video and photo-heavy content does tend to be more common and popular than text-heavy posts, there is some value in and benefit to getting sponsored blog posts written about your brand.

What Are Sponsored Blog Posts?

What exactly is a sponsored blog post? In terms of native advertising, a sponsored blog post would fall into the IAB’s “in-feed” category. A sponsored blog post looks like any other post on a blogger’s website, and should have the same tone and editorial feel. The big difference is that a brand is paying the blogger to create the post.

There should be something included in the post somewhere that tells that reader that it’s a sponsored blog post and not something the writer was inspired to create on his or her own. In some cases, readers can figure out that a post is sponsored on their own, but under the FTC’s guidelines, some form of obvious disclosure is still required.

Examples of Sponsored Blog Posts

Just as blog posts can take many forms, so can sponsored blog posts. For example, a cooking blog can create a sponsored post around a particular ingredient. Some bloggers run giveaways as a form of sponsored posts, while others will use a product and write up a review.

Here are a few examples of sponsored blog posts in action:

Man Repeller Giveaway. Every month, the fashion blog Man Repeller runs a giveaway that is sponsored by a particular brand. In the linked example, the blog was giving away a set of luggage from the brand Away.

TheKitchn recipe. A sponsored blog post doesn’t have to promote a particular product — sometimes it’s enough for a brand to sponsor a post that is relevant to its industry. An example is the recipe for pistachio brittle from the Kitchn. The post is sponsored by Frigidaire, but the brand isn’t mentioned anywhere in the recipe.

DesignLoveFest tutorial. Some sponsored blog posts do showcase specific products, such as this how-to from DesignLoveFest that made use of paper flowers from furniture store West Elm.

Benefits of Sponsored Blog Posts

More and more marketers are turning towards visual forms of content. Photos and infographics reign supreme, and influencers themselves are using “quicker” formats (according to the SOCE). So, why bother with sponsored blog posts at all?

For one thing, blogs still have reach and impact. And, creators are still using blogs. The SOCE found that the use of blog content by marketers jumped by nearly 20 percent between 2015 and 2016.

When it came to visit frequency, blogs fell just behind YouTube and Facebook, the two most popular forms of social media. The SOCE found that, in the US and Canada, about 80 percent of users visited a blog at least once during the course of a year.

Finding, Hiring, and Paying Bloggers

What’s the best way to find bloggers to create sponsored blog posts for your brand? One of the most efficient options is to use a creator marketplace. You can browse the web and read blog after blog, but doing so will only tell you so much. When you use a creator marketplace, you not only get to see the blogger’s blog. You also get to review its site stats and see how many page views it gets on a regular basis.

In blogging, page views and comments are as important as followers and likes on a social media site.

Plus, a creator marketplace helps you through the hiring process, including reviewing and accepting pitches and agreeing on a price. Once the blog post is live, you can track how it’s doing and send payment to your blogger.

Speaking of payment, the average cost of a sponsored blog post might surprise you. The SOCE found the average creator charges just $238 for a sponsored post. That’s about $100 less than the average marketer expects to pay.

Sponsored blog posts are affordable, they’re accessible, and they can be custom fit to meet your brand’s needs. Get started on a sponsored blog post campaign today.