Publisher Guide for Sponsored Articles

Last updated on Mar 28, 2024

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Publisher Guide for Sponsored Articles

Popular tech website Techcrunch charges about $24,000 per sponsored article as per Media Ant. Techcrunch has about 14M unique monthly visits per month according to similar web.  In fact most established publications charge similarly for a sponsored article on their website. Sponsored content has the potential to be one of the largest revenue sources for publishers. Advertisers are constantly on the lookout for publishers with high authority whose audience matches their target segment. 

In this article we will cover sponsored articles in detail. Can all publishers do sponsored articles? What are the best practices for sponsored articles? We cover all this and more in this article on sponsored articles. 

What are Sponsored Articles?

Articles published by publishers that are approved and paid for by advertisers are called sponsored articles. These articles have the same format as editorial articles and are positioned to help the brand build thought leadership and gain consumer mindshare. 

These articles are either written by the advertiser or are commissioned to the publisher for writing. The latter is preferred since it matches the tone and writing style of the publisher which readers are already familiar with.

Also Read: Sponsored Content Guide For Digital Publishers

Sponsored Articles are Not for Every Publisher

Additional revenue sounds interesting, right? But every publisher can’t do sponsored articles. Enterprise publishers that have huge organic and direct traffic are the first pick for advertisers looking to do sponsored content. The high traffic naturally brings more eyeballs to such articles which is favorable for an advertiser. 

Publisher websites with high recall and authority also top the list when it comes to sponsored articles.These websites generate a good amount of repeat visitors and have a loyal audience following which is valuable. 

Best Practices for Sponsored Articles

Publishers venturing into sponsored articles need to follow these best practices to ensure they make revenue without denting their brand and credibility 

  • Sponsored articles need to be labeled and tagged as sponsored. Not tagging them sponsored will be misleading to your readers losing their trust in your publication. It is also a requirement by the Federal State Commission (FTC) to do so.
  • While these sponsored articles look like editorial pieces, they are not. Hence it’s a good practice to have different writers for sponsored content. Keep your editorial staff away. It is also recommended to use a “Sponsored” byline for these articles.
  • A sponsored article needs to put the spotlight on the brand sponsoring it, don’t go overboard promoting their product or service. The intent of a sponsored article is to increase visibility of the brand.
  • Don't mention competition in sponsored content pieces. It isn't a comparison piece and shouldn't be written like one.
  • Ensure that the brand image of the advertiser matches with your publication. Afterall you are leveraging your reputation for it. 

Sponsored articles are a good way of earning additional revenue but you can enhance it further by offering sponsored social media posts, sponsored podcasts and sponsored videos. If your publication runs a podcast, that too can be offered for sponsored content increasing revenue opportunities. 

Publishers can do multiple sponsored articles in a month and there is no upper limit here. A good practice would be to maintain a healthy ratio of editorial content and sponsored content. Editorial content shouldn’t take a backseat to focus on sponsored articles 

As a publisher, focus on pushing out quality content, growing traffic, and building a loyal audience. These will help draw advertisers to your website, opening opportunities for sponsored articles. 

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Aditya Shenoy
Aditya Shenoy
Aditya Shenoy is a Senior Manager for Content Marketing at iZooto. At iZooto he's helping publishers retain their hard earned audience. He has spent 8 years in the digital publishing space as a consumer technology reviewer. He has worked with Gadgets 360, India's best technology website creating content across different formats. During his stint with NDTV he reviewed nearly 300 gadgets including smartphone, tablets, and wearables. Aditya was anchoring a show called Daily 360 that used to be streamed live on the Hop Live app.

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