Behind the Sees: How I Do Sponsored Posts

Several of y'all asked how I do sponsored posts, so I thought I'd share a "Behind the Sees" post (I'll see myself out with that joke) and give you a peek into that process. I can only speak for my experience, but this is a general idea of how it all goes down.

The Pitch

There are two ways here: you pitch a company/brand or they pitch you. I don't pitch to brands usually, just because I am okay with the amount of sponsored posts I do--I average two to four a month that's fine for now. When you get pitched, there are general two ways: a blogging company or the brand contacts you directly, or some blogging companies do an open call where anyone can apply for an opportunity. In the latter, you will then pitch to them your idea about the product. If you meet the criteria, you might be chosen. 

The Details of the Pitch

So if a company pitches to you, they will discuss the product, the theme of the post (like this one on holiday moments that make me feel beautiful), the requirements (usually a post and a certain amount of social shares), the deadline, and the payment. If everything is agreed upon, you will sign a contract or fill out a form or agree via email that you're in.

Sometimes I've had some great offers and then the company changes their mind--like budget, timing, or we just can't agree. It's frustrating when that happens, but I see it as it's not meant for me at this time. This goes with any business, but I don't share info any opportunities I'm discussing with brands with friends/family until it is set in stone.

The Decision

I don't chose a sponsored post opportunity unless it works for me/my blog. Let me repeat that: I don't pick a sponsored post unless it works for me/my blog. That burns my biscuits when I get a negative comment on a post I've worked so hard on and thought my readers would love as well! I've discussed sponsored posts in a series that begins here, but I don't feel comfortable opening my space and losing my integrity over a product that was awful. If it works for me, I share it with you. I usually don't go for opportunities that don't fit the feel of the blog (I use the example of not doing a sponsored post for caulking your bathroom because that doesn't fit my blog). Not all bloggers feel the same way and that's their business, but I don't feel good about it for me. I've turned down a lot of money because of that, and I've been told that's dumb, and maybe it is, but I go with my instincts.

The Pics

I like to do the pics first. I will think of an idea (I call it a story) that goes along with the post. Most brands require a certain amount of pics and will insist on certain shots, like two product shots. I will then get out my props and shoot the pic. Above is a rough idea of my set up and below is a rough example of a possible finished pic (I didn't edit this one, but you get the idea). This can take 5 minutes and it can take hours. It just depends. Sometimes the vision doesn't match up once I take the pics. Sometimes I will end up completely different than where I started. I know when it feels right or if something feels off. I take pics until it feels right. I do lots of shots. Like for the one above, I took pics of the product in front of the background, the product in the tinsel, the tinsel in different spots behind the product, etc.  If you would like me to go into detail of how I take my pics and set them up, let me know and I'll be happy to do a post!

unedited shot

The Post

Usually a sponsored post is written a month or so in advance--sometimes months in advance. There are a couple of blogging companies that let you post sight-unseen, but for me that is not usually the norm. You (or someone will) shoot the pics, edit them, and create the post. Sometimes you send in social media examples too for review. The blogging company, the brand itself, and sometimes legal (usually if you are dealing with any pharmaceutical) will review your post/pics/etc and then edit them or suggest edits. This usually means you are doing double the blog work--your regular posting plus your future posting. 

You need to be okay with constructive criticism. I see it as I want to do the best job I can, so that means I have no problem fixing what they are looking for if I need to. I don't always agree with the edits, but I do make sure it is nothing that morally bothers me--example: that has happened with a few posts that weren't sponsored, where I had an item for review and they wanted me to change my opinion on it. Nope. I'm not going to lie and say a product will erase wrinkles forever, for example.

It's Time To Post!

I don't always have a post go up when it is supposed to. This can be frustrating since I like to schedule things out months in advance, and it's even more frustrating when I am doing another sponsored post and then end up having 2 in one week! My advice is to be flexible, and it doesn't hurt to ask the company if you can move the date around. 

I usually will post by a certain date and time and then promote it using the given hashtags. Some brands want a shot pulled from the post for Instagram, for example, and others will require a new pic not from the post. Some brands will need to see your social media text beforehand and some don't. It just depends.


Per your agreement, you will be paid in a certain amount of days--30 to 90 is normal. Some will send a check, some will do direct deposit, some will send via Paypal...it just depends. And others you will send them a PO where you bill them for the post and then they will cut a check. My advice--get organized and stay on it!! I slipped up and forgot to get paid for a post--I thought I was paid already--luckily, the company emailed me and realized they forgot to pay me--9 months later! You will need all of this info for taxes, so again, take my advice and stay organized!

All in all, one sponsored post takes me about 3-4 hours to do--writing, editing, taking pics, editing, writing social shares, scheduling social shares, etc. I enjoyed sharing my sponsored post process.
I hope you found this post informative!

Any questions?
Extra Elle:
I took down my decorations for fall/Halloween. Then I went to Target and got way too excited over the Christmas decorations! They've got some good stuff out this year! Definitely in the mood now to decorate!


  1. this is such an informative post and so important for bloggers to know so we are all relatively on the same page. Thanks for sharing!

    Whitney & Blaire
    Peaches In A Pod

  2. Very interesting post :-) Every blogger is different and is searching for different things ;-)

  3. This is so informative and helpful! Very similar to my process so I'm glad that I'm on the right track! Thank you for sharing!

    Doused In Pink

  4. Wonderful post Elle! Thanks for sharing your process.


  5. Great post! I don't do sponsored posts but it's interesting to hear how the process works xx

    Beautylymin| Urban Decay Bundle Giveaway

  6. I think you do sponsored posts EXTREMELY WELL!!! You make them visually nice & they all do stay in a theme that fits you &your blog.

  7. I love all this information! I don't know much about sponsered posts and how this work, so this was great to read! And I totally agree about not doing posts that fit with the style of people's blogs etc. it's so weird when people do and review things that's totally nothing related to what they usually blog about

  8. Thank you for sharing this information! I got a few odd ones that have nothing to do with food before and refuse to do them because that would be weird! I am excited to see these Target decorations!

  9. I love that you don't take sponsored posts that don't fit your blog- yesssss, ma'am. Gotta stick to your brand! :)

    Le Stylo Rouge

  10. What a wonderful breakdown, my process is somewhat similar! Thanks for sharing! <3 - http://www.domesticgeekgirl.com

  11. I love the fact that you only take sponsored post that fit your blog. I also do the same thing.


  12. Thanks for sharing this Elle! I haven't seen many beauty type sponsored posts mainly lifestyle and food. I am on social fabric and she knows (which is very confusing to me) and massive sway. I have never been accepted for any campaigns but it is good to know the process if I ever did get accepted to one.

  13. Great post, Christine and I just broke this down on our podcast last week also. It's interesting for people who aren't immersed in the blogging world to know how it all works!

  14. I love reading posts like this! I just discussed this topic on my Podcast and I find it fascinating how each blogger/YT'er handles sponsored work and reaching out to brands! I've found that we can all learn from each other and it's fun for people who aren't in this whole crazy world to understand how we get work!

  15. I think that it's awesome that you do sponsored posts, and I think that you do the perfect amount where it doesn't seem like you're writing sponsored post after sponsored post after sponsored post. I actually just got my first sponsored post where they reached out to me, and I'm so excited!

  16. I should keep track of how many hours I spend on a sponsored post, I am such a perfectionist that this gets me in trouble sometimes! I really need to find some better photo backdrops, I'm getting tired of the ones I always use!


  17. Everyone has a different approach to sponsored posts so it was interesting to hear yours. I like to take my photos first as well.

  18. Loving the behind the scenes! It's interesting to hear your perspective!


  19. Love this, Elle! I've only done a handful of sponsored post, but my process is very much like yours. I like to take pictures first too. May I ask...where do you get your pretty backdrops? I've looked online and Amazon but haven't had much luck.
    And I like the fact that you don't accept anything that doesn't fit your blog! :)
    xo, Lily
    Beauty With Lily

  20. I have done a handful of sponsored posts as well and this is such great read, Elle as I am still trying to learn what to do and how to negotiate. And yes to a post on how you take your pictures please, I definitely need to improve my photography.

    Shireen | Reflection of Sanity

  21. I've done and still do sponsored posts. This was very informative! I'm like that too, I don't review things that don't fit my blog and I always give my honest opinion on products and companies.

  22. Hi Elle
    Very interesting post :-) Every blogger is different and is searching for different things ;-)

  23. Your pictures always look so good and I have so much respect for you in regards to sponsored posts. I know I'll never come to your beauty blog and see a sponsored post on potting soil. I'd love a post on your photography. I need to stop being lazy and do better pictures!

  24. This was so interesting to read!! I like seeing how other people do sponsored posts. I love how you're so on top of things! You go girl!

  25. This is awesome! I love learning about the behind the scenes for other bloggers :)

  26. I loved reading this! I think you do such a wonderful job with your sponsored posts. They flow seamlessly with your normal blog content. And I think your photos are amazing! I would love to hear more about your photo taking process!

  27. Loving all of this info! I agree staying organized is key, slipping up is so easy to do!

    <3 Shannon
    Upbeat Soles

  28. Such a great post. Thanks for sharing.

  29. This was a very good post, really nice to know how you work on sponsored posts! The post you forgot the payment, being paid 9 months later, wow, thankfully they realized that! I seldom accept products to review, but writing about nice dresses, blankets (I love!), and hair is something that I like. Many times I decline offers because of the same thing you mentioned - they don't fit the blog and my likes, so... very nice to know about your way, although one can tell that you would be so, cause you are honest!

  30. Such a great, informative post! Staying organized is so important for me. I live by my planner!

    By Lauren M

  31. Thank you so much for this, super helpful! The constructive criticism is definitely that hardest part, and we all know I really need to work on my pictures. *Fingers crossed* for a DSLR for Christmas! Your posts are always beautiful perfection <3
    Green Fashionista

  32. This is an awesome post! Thanks for putting it together! I need to do more planning and reach out to do more sponsored posts!

  33. I love reading about other peoples' experiences working with brands and their processes. Thanks for sharing :)

  34. I dont think that some people realize how much time and energy goes in to sponsored posts...or any post really! I am so ready for Christmas decorations! I am going to try my best to get ours up this weekend.

  35. This was really interesting to read, and I think it really goes to show just how hard so many bloggers work. I haven't done too many sponsored posts, because right now I just don't have the time to commit. I totally agree though about only doing posts about items that fit your blog--I think that's a smart decision.

  36. This is so helpful. You are amazing. You are the blog queen :)

  37. Thank you for sharing, was really interesting to read :) . Love your pictures !!! X

  38. I think there's a healthy amount of sponsored posts and you never cross that line. I think there are a few people that ruin it for others, but no one should ever be hateful toward posts like such.

    We decorated yesterday. Our house is all Christmas-fied. (;

  39. It's always tricky to do sponsored posts.. and like you said it gets annoying when the client goes back on their word and change their mind.

  40. I've definitely turned down sponsored opportunities before. No, I won't blog about a dress that I can't review myself. No, I won't blog about some miracle vitamin supplement. No, I won't add a do-follow link to an existing blog post, not even for double what I charge for a full-on sponsored blog post.

    When non-bloggers see our sponsored blog posts, I don't think they realize how much we turn down to maintain our integrity. I'm proud of the sponsored work I do.


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