As part of the natural evolution of the blogger, you get to the stage where you’re starting to monetize. One of the ways to make money with your blog is to take on sponsored posts. This is when a company comes to you to get you to help promote a certain product, promotion, contest etc. The company will either provide you the content to post on your blog or you have the freedom to write a story that relates to the campaign. You post it and when you do, you get paid.
Now these opportunities are hard to come mainly because you won’t have the contacts to find out what travel brands are looking to work with bloggers. The ones you do receive through e-mail are usually fishing for unpaid sponsored work or sketchy link buying schemes (i.e. casinos). So what do you do? Well that’s precisely why platforms like IZEA exist.
IZEA is one of many platforms that is built for bloggers to be able to connect us with brands. In a nutshell what happens is that a brand has a campaign and wants to work with bloggers. Often times brands (or PR companies that represent them) don’t have the time to reach out and handpick bloggers to work with so they approach a company like IZEA to host their particular opportunity in a listing type of format. For us as bloggers, we join platforms like these because we want to make sure we are informed of these opportunities that come up.
How does IZEA work?
When you sign up, you start with the “Free” plan and what this means is that you get only a maximum of 3 bids per cycle. Your cycle reset date is basically when you sign up so every month your number of bids gets reset back to 3. If you want to upgrade, you can do so but I wouldn’t really recommend it despite the price being so low just because its not like there’s a flood of opportunities on IZEA.
So what’s a bid? Well a bid is basically every time you see a listed opportunity that you like and you pitch to the brand what you’d charge to do keeping in mind their maximum. You will not be able to bid an amount greater than the maximum. You will also have an opportunity to write a short pitch as to why they should pick you. Make sure you read the requirements carefully to make sure you even qualify.
Taking a step back for a second, the below is a screenshot of what you’ll see when you first sign into IZEA. The sponsorship page is your dashboard for all available opportunities, bids that are pending, direct offers (you’ll learn about that in the next section) and bids that have been accepted.
While most opportunities are in the form of sponsored posts, IZEA also has social campaigns available on occassion.
After your bid is in, all you have to do next is wait. Some advertisers don’t even bother replying but if they do you’ll get an email and you’ll find out if you’ve been accepted or rejected.
While I wish I had screenshots of the next process, you’ll have to settle for me explaining it. After you’re approved, the next steps are to write the actual article. I will typically do this in WordPress to get it all formatted in the way I want to and to be able to drop in the images. What you have to take note of is that the opportunity will have specific pieces of link code that you need to include. You want to make sure you implement it in the exact same way as they ask. I say this because the system won’t allow you to submit your piece until you have all the required links in place.
Once that’s done, I simply copy and paste this into the text field that IZEA makes available for you to submit to the client. The client will review your work and request a change or approve it.
After it’s approved, you’re free to post it on your blog and when that’s done, you’ll have a box available on IZEA to enter in the link to the post after its been published. Again, the system is very picky so you need to make sure your post is unchanged from the approved post and in particular those mandatory links they ask for.
When that goes through your job is done and typically a month later a credit will appear on your IZEA account which you can then deposit into your Paypal account (minimum $100 threshold).
My experience with IZEA
So why don’t I talk about my personal experience with IZEA. To date, I’ve gotten two big opportunities from them but I will mention that for each of them, I was contacted by the client directly through the platform for a specific opportunity. This is called a “Direct Offer”. What happened was I got an IZEA-templated-email from two big travel brands about a campaign they were running and were interested in paying me $X – accept or reject. Both offers I got from the above brands were above average and since I knew how I could craft a post around these opportunities, I accepted.
Nothing has come up in 2015 yet.
What I like about it
- All the opportunities on the platform are legit and vetted.
- E-mail notifications of new opportunities so you don’t have to constantly log in and check.
- Writing guidelines are very clear.
- Clients are very well informed and so far none have asked for do-follow. In fact they specifically ask for no-follow.
- Payment via Paypal very easy.
- You’re never handed a written piece to post. You are always in full control of the content that you end up posting.
What could be improved
- Final copy of the sponsored post needs to be approved by client before posting. Now I don’t have a problem with this but I know a lot of bloggers don’t like to go through an approval process with the client.
- The platform for submission is a bit glitchy in that if you copy and paste it over from WordPress it doesn’t come over completely the same but I usually just ignore it.
- Almost all the offers on the platform are low-ball. Come on, maximum of $50 for a post? You gotta be kidding!
- No way to filter by category so I end up doing a CTRL-F on “Travel” to see what shows up.
Is IZEA worth your time?
Now this is a question I constantly get from other bloggers. I know some bloggers haven’t had a lot of luck with it but my line of thought is that you really can’t lose by signing up.
If you’re someone that’s at that stage where you want to take sponsored posts, I encourage you to apply to any and all platforms you find because you never know what might pop up.
It’s really just a matter of filling out your profile completely and letting it sit there. The beauty of IZEA is that you’re going to get update emails whenever new opportunities come up so you don’t even need to log in periodically to check to see what’s available.
How do I sign up?
Just click on the button below and you’ll be on your way to getting set up.
If you have any questions about IZEA please feel free to ask in the comments below.
24 CommentsLeave a comment
Got any tips for getting sponsored post campaigns? I’ve gotten a few sponsored tweets but nothing in the way of posts.
Hey Bethaney, my biggest tip would just be to make sure your profile is complete. Otherwise, a lot of it is just being patient and waiting for a good travel offer to come along. The good thing is that IZEA sends out periodic updates on new offers that go up on the platform.
Would you say this platform is also interesting for bloggers who blog in another language than English and don’t have a US-audience? I often find that many of these platforms are very US-based and completely uninteresting for my audience based in Western Europe.
Hey Esther! Thanks for dropping a line. I’m not going to lie, there are definitely some opportunities that explicitly spell out that they only want US bloggers but there are plenty on the platform that are open to bloggers from anywhere. At the end of the day it’s all about your reach and your numbers.
I have a twitter account that has 23,000 followers with a Klout score of 58. Currently, I am getting an average of 1,000 followers per week (subject is politics) which still amazes me to this day.
So last night, I took the plunge and signed up for the pro plan of IZEA. Nothing yet. Also – I left a message for IZEA because I am having issues connecting my twitter account to them. With 23,000 followers and growing – I’m thinking I won’t have any problems getting a few opportunities.
Hey Mark, let me help with a follow up from my end to see if they can help expedite things. What’s your Twitter handle?
Great post! I’ve been working with Izea for a few weeks now and have already done a decent amount of campaigns with them. I was wondering if it was just something they did to keep new users hooked but your post makes it seem like it’s not! Thanks for the detailed review!
Thanks for stopping by Diane! Great to see that you’ve been successful with IZEA. Keep up the good work! Have most of your campaigns been ones where they approach you?
I have had them reach out to me a bit but it’s mostly been me applying to them. It’s not going to make me rich but if I can pay for my phone bill and a few other things…I’ll take it!
Hello, Will! Thanks for sharing this post re: this influencer network. Do you have any new updates re: your experience thus far? Would love to gain more insight re: this network as I’ve read mixed reviews.
JD – altamontefamily.com
Hey JD. I’ve actually had a pretty good experience with it. The offers that are on their dashboard aren’t the greatest but somehow I’ve been getting personal outreach from their IZEA opportunity managers and getting really great sponsored opportunities from them from large brands. I really can’t complain!
Hi Will, I’m having a problem connecting my website to it, as my gmail google account doesn’t seem to be working? It connects to my personal account rather than the travel website, are you able to help with this?
What you want to do is log out of your personal g-mail and log into your blog’s gmail first and then try to do the link. Let me know if that works!
How is the new platform for Izea working for you? I’ve gotten all opps by having the IZEA people contact direct but nothing through the bidding process. So many of them are very low.
Hey Curt! Yeah I’d say it’s roughly the same for me. I only had a little success with the bidding but I’ve gotten a ton of awesome opportunities where they’ve contacted me directly.
I have been member of Izea for 2 months so far. I have over 2.200 followers but I haven’t received even one offer yet. would you please let me know what is the reason for that?
It’s definitely hit or miss when I’ve talked to other people that have used the platform. I will say that all of the good campaigns I’ve been on have been ones where they’ve directly contacted me instead of me bidding for offers on the site itself. Continue to boost your numbers and branding and there may be something coming your way in the future. No guarantees though!
Do you know if the tweet posts accepted and posted are compensated per click or for the single post?
Hey Tony, it’s per tweet/post and not per click.
That’s a nice article!! I signed up for IZEA too. But I kinda forget how many followers, I need for getting accepted to sponsorship deals. Currently, I have around 1.8K followers @blazingashwin. But, I am more active on @ajlnbblog these days which has helped me to get the best user engagement.
what is the cancellation process if one decides to not go through with it no more?
Hey Sonia, what happened in your case? Cancellation of a gig that you approved you mean?
Hi I’m a military spouse blogger, is this a platform that would be appropriate for me to really put my time in?
Hey Jennifer! I think with platforms like this, they’re all worth joining just to keep your eyes to the ground for new opportunities. Personally I’ve gotten quite a number of projects through them just by being there even though I’m not actively checking. I think it’s always a good idea to have a profile up so that there’s the CHANCE of someone discovering you if you meet their requirements.