Social Spark will pay you to write sponsored posts for advertisers on your own blog. I don’t do very much with Social Spark — or any other site that pays for sponsored posts — because most of the time there are no opportunities that really fit with this site. I guess it all depends on your niche.
Getting Signed Up
You have to apply and wait for Social Spark to approve you. In my experience, they are a little picky so don’t get too discouraged if they don’t accept you right away. I think I had to try about three times before I finally got accepted. The good thing about getting rejected is that, unlike other sites, Social Spark will tell you why they didn’t accept you. This makes it easy to go in and fix whatever was wrong so you can try again with a better chance. Read about Social Spark’s standards for bloggers here before you apply.
Social Spark does require that your blog is at least 90 days old with a minimum of 20 posts before they’ll accept you. You also need to make sure you have your blog archives listed somewhere in your sidebar (a chronological listing of posts made by date). That little rule tripped me up a few times with this blog because that’s not a widget I typically use.
How It Works
Once you’re accepted, advertisers will be able to send you offers to write about their products, services, or websites. It will be up to you to accept or decline the offers. You can also negotiate with the advertiser if you don’t feel the price is right. When you accept an offer, you can create your post. The advertiser will send instructions on what they are looking for and you will probably be asked to mention certain things in your post. It’s also required that you disclose your post as sponsored at the end. If that confuses you, Social Spark has some things you can put it place that make it really easy for you.
Once your post is ready, you can publish it yourself. The advertiser will be able to ask you for changes if necessary before you are paid. Social Spark also has something called “Direct Publishing” which I have chosen not to participate in for now, but I know a lot of other bloggers are fine with it. The way this works is you create the post within your Social Spark account, allowing the advertiser to review it before it is published. After advertiser approval, the post will publish to your blog and Social Spark will let you know when that will happen. I don’t really like the idea of things auto-publishing … I’d just rather publish things myself.
I believe people who have agreed to Direct Publishing may get more offers than people who haven’t. This makes sense to me because I’m sure advertisers prefer that method.
You may also sometimes get notified via email that you have a “lead” from Social Spark. A lead is not the same as an offer. A lead is just something Social Spark feels you may be qualified for, but you haven’t been invited to do yet. You can express your interest in the leads you receive so the advertiser knows you’re interested, and it could become an offer after that.
Social Spark actually pays you in points, but these points aren’t really confusing. Every point is one cent so it’s easy to look at your total and know what you’ll be paid. For example, 1,000 points is equivalent to $10.
You can cash out your earnings to Paypal at any time, but if you have less than $50 accumulated, Social Spark will deduct a $2 fee from your earnings.
If you try Social Spark and like it, you can tell other bloggers you know about it and give them your referral link. Social Spark will pay you a commission from the earnings of your referrals and this commission goes up depending on the number of bloggers you refer. The blogger of course has to get accepted by Social Spark in order to count as a referral.
I have done one sponsored post through Social Spark. I’ve had very few offers overall, and I think it’s mostly because they don’t have much that this blog is a fit for. I have had to decline a few offers I’ve received because the subject matter was not relevant. I had a great experience with the one sponsored post I did. I opted out of direct publishing and just posted the content myself when it was finished. The advertiser approved and I was paid.
You can go here to apply for Social Spark. Good luck!
Social Spark isn’t the only opportunity like this. You can also try Pay Per Post, Review Me, Blogsvertise, and Business 2 Blogger among others. Many bloggers participate in several of these to maximize their earnings.