How the 80/20 Rule Can Make You a Better Blogger

fashion blogging

When you make the big decision to start monetizing your blog, figuring out how to balance paid content with editorial content can be a bit tricky. To be honest, when I started, just getting a sponsored content was a big deal. But once the ball starts rolling, if you don't have a clear set of guidelines your “ball” can roll out of control. The benefits of taking everything that comes along is that you can make some cash, the downside of taking everything that comes along is the risk you lose your credibility and your readers.

One of the reasons why bloggers shy away from talking about business, partnerships and how they monetize their blog is because they are afraid of losing their credibility. But more often than not, readers understand that a blogger needs to sustain themselves, and what they really want is transparency. They want to know what they are looking at.

The 80/20 Rule

The Pareto principle, better known as the “80/20 Rule” is “for many events, roughly 80% of the effects come from 20% of the causes.”  Examples of the  80/20 Rule is that 80% of your income comes from 20% of your work,  80% of your business comes from 20% of your clients, 80% of complaints come from 20% of your customers, etc. It can be applied to your blog as good rule of thumb to balance your editorial content with your advertorial content.

  • When you write 5 posts a week, then for potential clients, you have one post open for sponsored content.
  • For selling ads… 20% of your blog's real estate can be used for advertising.
  • For every 5 newsletters you send out, you have a spot for a dedicated newsletter.

This sets a clear precedent and rhythm for your readers to understand that your blog is a business, but you have boundaries with what quantifies sponsored content and editorial content.

The Advantage of Scarcity

When you set boundaries with your content, you create scarcity. Not everything you do has to be for sale. You can negotiate, especially if you have a clear product to negotiate. If you're finding your advertising slots sell out consistently, it's time to raise your rates. This is good, because then you're getting paid more for doing quality work rather than stretching yourself too thin by doing quantity work.

Blogger burn-out is one of the biggest reasons why bloggers quit, trying to be all things to all people will burn anyone out. Be flexible, but don't be afraid to be a little scarce. You'll be surprised what that does for your business.



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13 Responses

    • Catherine

      How do you get sponsors? What kind of brands do you get to and how do you get in touch with them? Or is it them the ones who come to you? How long since you created your blog did it take you to start monetarizing? Thank you! You can answer me privately, if you prefer, I’m just so curious about that kind of things, I dont seem to find my way around!


  1. resham

    I have couple of people messaging me for paid reviews or affiliate links.. I am not sure which to choose… or to not choose…

    this will be helpful. Thank you

  2. helen at thelovecatsINC

    great post! really enjoyed reading it, i don’t ever want to suffer from blogger burn out so it’s a great way of dividing up time/content. my blog is only little and has only just started doing sponsored posts (been asked to do three this month), but that’s taken months of hard work for brands to even look at me, but i think it’s slowing paying off. now i’m just trying to work out the right balance to get these posts in in times that suit the sponsors, but without overloading my (not gigantic) readership. so, this post has been really helpful! thank you 🙂

  3. rita

    love this post and applying this principle to blogging. lately some of the blogs i read have consisted solely of paid/sponsored posts and it gets pretty old. i don’t mind a few, but when you are posting series of things that clearly don’t align with your personal taste (ie, higher end fashion bloggers partnering with budget brands) it just makes me feel like a pawn!

  4. Milita

    I started my blog recently so I don’t have many followers yet but I am reading every article I can so I start off the right way and don’t have to go backwards into all my posts and edit or add things later. Thanks so much!

  5. Jessie

    I follow this rule for my site and I find that when discussing collaborations with brands, I’m taken more seriously due to having guidelines. When you run your site a business people take notice. Great piece! I like reading blogs that have sponsored posts – you can see they’re serious about their site. But when I see one that feels more like an ad, I do question their voice.

  6. Ari

    Great post! Im struggling with this now. I have yet to get any sponsered posts but trying to monetize with affliates. You can go a little nutty because once you get a taste of making money for your work that’s all you want to do. But sometime you have to stop yourself and remember who you are and what your blog is about.