Can I write my own sponsored blog posts to keep within the theme of my website?
Yes, many companies looking to place sponsored content are also looking for quality bloggers who are willing write up content and include links to their clients website so not only can you charge for live links on your website, you can also charge for your writing services too.
What subjects should I look to cover, is it just gambling and sex websites that place sponsored blog content?
No, though gambling I would say is a frequent request that I see for sponsored blog posts, all subjects are covered from car insurance to pizza delivery. What ever the theme is of your website you can rest assured that there will be many companies looking to place sponsored blog posts with you.
I have reviewed and received sponsored blog content on subjects such as wines, tech gadgets, hotels, lawn mowers, facial implants (not used myself), software, coffee and much more.
How can I increase the chances of me receiving sponsored blog posts?
If you have a decent website with plenty of relevant content along with a strong social media audience then I suggest not only to share on social media that you are looking to place sponsored content on to your website (use hashtags such as #JournoRequest on Twitter), but you also have the confidence to contact companies directly and state this fact also. I have done this on many occasions and many times have received content to post that is paid for. I have also then been directly asked to review products and services and once again been paid.
Are there any pitfalls?
I would suggest that you make the decision to take on sponsored blog posts with long term vision in mind. Yes, you can short term earn good money, but if content you receive is not directly related to the theme of your blog you can start to lose followers and readers and altogether become steered off your initial direction. I suggest on promote and review products and services you are also happy to recommend to others.
How much should I charge for a sponsored blog post and content writing?
Skies the limit somewhat here, being bold can sometimes secure you more money that giving the lead to the company approaching you who will want to pay as little as possible. Work out the value of your time for writing (I charge £150 + VAT for each sponsored post we write) and then decide the value of a sponsored blog post on your website. I would recommend at starting at a price of £35 + VAT and go from there – You will find some companies say yes straight away and not haggle, and others will want to pay 10$.
Remember that some people will use you only once or very randomly and others will be sending you 5+ blogs monthly so maybe ask people if they are going to send you sponsored blog posts frequently and only then offer them a discount.
Note that all of the above is purely my recommendations – Please consult any online legal advice for placing sponsored blog posts / content on your website.