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4 min read

BrightonSEO: Sam Charles – How to incentivise bloggers without spending money

This article was updated on: 07.02.2022

Sam Charles is the founder of Float digital. Her main digital aim and the foundation to her work is to make SEO accessible to anyone regardless of budget. On a daily basis she thinks creatively to create new and exciting content for clients on a budget.

Rewinding a little bit

Sam gave us a brief summary of how she got to where she is today and why she is an expert in understanding what is is that bloggers want!

When doing outreach for clients and link building Sam received some shocking emails, with one reading the following: “I receive 50+ emails a day like this, therefore I charge a fee of £200 per post plus the iPad.”

Admitting that her greed took control a little bit Sam decided to create her own blog. She struggled with analytics in the beginning and recommends that if you want to learn analytics fast then get your own blog! She also wanted to flex her creativity as well as making money.

Through her blog she has had the following bonuses:

– International press trips and awesome freebies

– Brand collaborations money can’t buy

– Making money on the side.

– Developed her SEO knowledge and got Google analytics certificates

Sam realised that the blogger was right – you do receive a lot of emails every day. Even without writing new posts and without a lot of blog activity you still get 25-30 emails a day.

5 tips to incentivise bloggers

It is not impossible to get links from bloggers. Sam admitted that even though her blog was originally set up to make money, she still gives out free links when there is a mutual gain from both sides.

1/ Source bloggers with press pages and create content about them on your blog

By doing a simple google search of ‘Press intitle:lifestyle blog’ you can find bloggers with press pages who you will be able to write content about. This search will give you a

list of lifestyle blogs with press pages which you can then go through and click the relevant ones. Tip: press pages are often integrated into about pages.

Building relationships with bloggers is more than just ‘I enjoyed your last blog’ – get on the phone and build a relationship. They will write and share the content, all you have to do is hunt down who the top bloggers are who do this.

2/ Outreach as usual and incentivise bloggers with time instead of money

If you can’t offer money, then offer your time. It can be far more valuable. When Sam first started blogging she was looking for information on how to manage taxes as a blogger. There was good search volume around the terms and no solid information in SERP’s. Sam never took that opportunity to write the content and rank for those terms, but a little while later she was contacted.

Sam wrote ‘A bloggers guide HMRC: declare your income and expenses’ and is a blog post that still drives traffic for her today and she ranks in the top positions for these key terms.

3/ Offer advice or resources to support bloggers to improve their websites

Dedicate a little bit of time in return for a link. The following services/work would be needed by a blogger at any time, so if you are looking for a link or a partnership and are a professional in one of the following areas, exchange your services:

Seo consultant

Graphic designer

web developer




4/ To create an ego-bait infographic of 30 of the best bloggers and share it with them

Nobody wants to host infographics; they’re usually ugly, generic and *surprisingly* readers don’t engage with them. Sam usually ignores emails around infographics.

But there was one infographic that caught Sam’s eye, even though she thought she was completely against them. This infographic was accompanied with an article about the 30 best bloggers and was relevant to Sam. Tip: create an infographic that is relevant to the blogger and their past posts.

5./ Promote content on your brand social channels or company newsletters

At least of 80% of these agreements don’t go ahead, but why not?

– The account you are promoting has fewer followers on social media than the blogger so therefore it is not mutually beneficial and will probably be ignored.

– You’re not playing fair: don’t agree to promote content through your newsletter or social channels and then go silent. Bloggers can often go to twitter and be aggressive.

3 Rules to get what you want from a blogger

Rule #1: Never pretend to be somebody else

Be up front and honest about who you are and what you are delivering. Do not allow people to get negative images of your brand.

Rule #2: Don’t be afraid to tell us what you want

Don’t be scared to explicitly state what you want and to show that it will be mutually beneficial. Have an initial honest conversation.

Rule #3: Keep e-mails short and to the point

Bloggers will not read it all – only tell them relevant information


  • Target bloggers with press pages
  • Incentivise with content instead of money
  • Offer website support to a blogger
  • Create ego-bait infographics
  • Play nice!