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so, you've started your blog and feel like you're ready to start accepting sponsors but have no idea where to begin. if i had to guess, i'd say about 97% of bloggers with advertisers have been exactly where you are right now. so, don't worry, you're not alone. 

when i started my blog, i was in a unique position because my sister was just in the beginning phases of blowing up on pinterest. she would refer to me and link to my blog, which directed a lot of traffic to it. my page views were crazy for a beginner blogger but i knew that i had to have interesting content if i wanted to sustain the little thing and keep people around. once i grew a little more, i put out a "call for sponsors", if you will, and had some people respond! i was so excited! 

i think my first ad rate was $10/month, but it's increased significantly since then. here's a few tips i have for you:

- if you think you're ready to start accepting sponsors, you probably are. there's not a specific number of followers or page views that says "you're ready". you just kind of feel it. 

- before you let people know that you're accepting sponsors, draft a post or e-mail that let's people know why they should advertise on your blog. provide some numbers and some value-added information -- what will they get out of advertising on your site, besides traffic to their own site. will you feature each new sponsor? will you give them shout-outs on twitter/facebook, etc.?

- a great way to start advertising is to "swap" with other bloggers that have a similar following to you. find them through weekly link-ups (insert shameless promo for my High Five for Friday posts here) or through other bloggers that you follow. once you find some that you think could work, send them an e-mail and see if they'd swap buttons with you, which is where you put each other's butttons/ads on your sidebar and advertise for each other. it's a great way to gain some street cred (wait...is that a thing in the blog world?) with other bloggers and to possibly get some people that are willing to pay for advertising! 

- you don't need to have sponsors on your blog. it's not a requirement. only do it if you're interested in it. and you also don't need to get paid. if you don't like that, don't do it. it's 100% up to the blogger because, well, it's your blog. do what you want to do and how you want to do it. 

- once you think you're ready to accept paying sponsors, create a media sheet that outlines your total page views, followers on social media, rss subscribers, etc. for me, if i was going to pay someone to have my ad on their website, i would want to know what to expect to get from it. numbers can help with that.

if you're interested in using an ad management website, i recommend passionfruit ads. i started using it about a month ago and love it! it makes life so much easier!