Having sponsors for your blog can be a good way to make a little extra money, but there are a lot of things to consider before jumping in with both feet.
Do you want to drive traffic away from your site?
One thing you really need to consider is that the point of having ads on your website is to get your readers to click them and visit your sponsors. If your goal is to keep your audience on your site and not send them to other websites, then have sponsors on your blog might not be the best idea.
What do you have to offer your sponsors?
Do you have a high number of monthly visitors? Or maybe you don't have that many visitors to your blog, but you have a large twitter following and you'd like to offer your sponsors a shout out. One way or another, you need to figure out what you have to offer to other blogs and businesses that might be valuable to them. If you have no traffic, no following and your sponsors aren't going to get any benefits from paying to be on your sidebar or to get a shout out to your 23 twitter followers, then you're not ready.
Do you have time to manage and connect with your sponsors?
Accepting sponsors isn't just slapping a new ad up in your sidebar once a month. In order to be a good business owner, and yes, that's what you'll be if you start getting paid by sponsors to advertise on your blog, you need to take the time to connect with your sponsors, keep up with what their needs are as well as manage the ads and any other extras you might offer them. For some people this might just take an extra hour or two a month, but if you really want to go above and beyond it will likely be much more time-consuming than that.
What kind of sponsors will you allow?
If you blog about your design business (like I do), will you accept other designers aka competitors? If you're a style blogger will you accept ads from food blogs or printing companies? Not only do you have to take into consideration what types of sponsors you personally want to work with, you also need to consider what kind of sponsors your audience will like. If you're a wholesome mommy blogger, you might not want to accept a sponsor that sells sexy clubwear.
Is it worth the money?
It's very likely you will work harder than you think and make less than you expect, at least in the beginning. I accepted sponsorships years ago, way before my traffic was high enough and only charged $5 per ad because I wanted to be able to start somewhere and say that I made money blogging. I did get a few sponsors, but I worked hard for those sponsors and it not only wasn't worth the $5 in terms of hours worked, it wasn't worth cluttering my blog with ads for so little money.
Right now, for me, sponsor ads aren't really part of my blog plan. Of course, this is subject to change in the future if I feel like it's the best thing for my business and readers.
Do you accept sponsors on your blog? Do you have any questions or tips?