I know that the topic of paying to sponsor another blog can sometimes be a sensitive one in the land of the blogs. Some people feel that people who pay for sponsorships are just "in it for the numbers" (obviously I am not one of those people) but in this case I think it's okay that we agree to disagree. I think that sponsoring another blog is a great way to expand your readership and also create friendships. There are a few things I like to keep in mind when choosing a blog to sponsor:
1. Make sure you choose a blog that you are interested in and can connect with.
Don't choose a blog just for the amount of followers it has (yes numbers matter, but I'll get to that later). It is important to sponsor a blogger that will actually read your comments/emails/blog and respond in a meaningful and thoughtful way. One of my first sponsoring experiences involved a "big" blog and we hardly had any interaction... she only promoted my blog through twitter once, on the same day she tweeted all of her other sponsors. And I think she only commented on one of my blog posts. If you're going to be promoting a blog, shouldn't you at least get to know them a little? I think yes.
2. Numbers matter.
But it's not necessarily the amount of followers the blog has. Pay attention to the page views, if they are high on a consistent, day-to-day basis, then you know they have loyal readers that keep coming back for more. Also pay attention to the comments. A blog with consistently high commenters is a blog that has good content, that readers can connect with.
3. Know what you're paying for.
Not all bloggers offer the same benefits to the sponsoring blogs. Furthermore, not all packages on the same blog offer the same benefits. Sponsorship can offer anything from "sponsor spotlights" to twitter/facebook shout outs, high placement on link-ups, guest posts, or just having your button on the side bar. One of my first sponsoring experiences, I didn't read the descriptions carefully enough, and accidentally chose the one that didn't offer shout outs (which are important to me) and I was disappointed at first because I thought I was being cheated, when it was really my fault. You should really take the time to think about what is more important to you (shout outs vs. spotlights, etc.) and choose the blogs you sponsor from there. You don't want to waste your money on something you don't value.
There you have it guys! As I said, I've had some great and some not-so-good sponsoring experiences, with some of the not-so-good ones being my fault for not doing my research. So in conclusion, make sure you are sponsoring a blogger (1) who you connect with, (2) who has readers, not just followers, and (3) who offers the benefits and promotions you are looking for.
How do you choose blogs to sponsor?