Should Bloggers Request Payment Up Front?

This post contains affiliate links.

For bloggers who write paid or sponsored content to do product reviews, promotion or generate buzz for advertisers and companies you may find yourself wondering the proper protocol when an advertiser approaches you and requests you to write a post for them.  I make a fair amount of money from online companies that broker the transaction between Advertiser and Blogger like SocialSpark, PayPerPost, SponsoredReviews, ReviewMe just to name a few.  One thing I like about using these services is you know the advertisers have already funded the campaign, so you know you will write the sponsored opp and then you will receive payment in X # of days provided the opp was approved and met the criteria…etc.

However, when advertisers contact you directly to write a post (it is cheaper for them, because they don’t have to pay the overhead costs that the broker charges) you may wonder if you should have the same policy to do the work and then request payment after work is completed and the advertiser signs off or requests any changes to be made.  This is how I ran my model for nearly two years, I was taking an advertiser at their word and writing the blog post, once the company signed off I would send them a PayPal invoice or have them send funds directly to my PayPal account.

I ran into several problems later on though with this method, the first being that some companies told me after the fact that they only had AMEX corporate accounts and couldn’t pay PayPal  (PayPal doesn’t allow Amex corporate card payments).  This is good to disclose up front that you can only accept PayPal payments, something I didn’t do early on, the other is that I have written posts and run into issues where advertisers just didn’t pay no matter how many email reminders I sent out.  I have been 60 days without payment on a post or two, and the hassle to track and remind advertisers is inconvenient.  This doesn’t happen often, most advertisers are credible and legitimate, but it does happen.

So now, my policy has shifted to where when an advertiser wants to purchase a review or spot for my blog, I always require payment up front for the work.  I do make sure that sponsored content is top priority and get a sponsors post done within 24 hours, even if I have to stay up late at night to work on it.  I have made compromises for some specific advertisers that I have worked with before, or in certain circumstances, but this route is just better.  This is also one reason why I actually really like using SocialSpark, PayPerPost and other companies that broker the deals between advertisers and bloggers, they take the worry about collecting funds directly yourself.  You can check out my review on the top companies that pay you to blog from my own experience and perspective.

Share your own experience with sponsored content, have you ever had a hard time collecting when an advertiser hires you?

-Justin Germino

Updated: May 3, 2010 — 9:43 am