The process of taking sponsorship with your Curated publication happens both inside and outside of the my.curated system.
Below is a typical workflow for bringing on a new sponsor and scheduling their link in your publication.
Before taking sponsorship, you will need to plan out your publication schedule so that sponsors can be aware of when you will be publishing issues. The availability calendar on your public sponsorship information page is driven by planned issue dates so you’ll want to plan at least a few issues ahead.
To do this, visit your “All Planned Issues” page in my.curated and create several issues in the future. The availability calendar will update automatically as soon as you have planned issues.
Be aware that planned dates are just that, planned. There is nothing stopping the modification of these dates and nothing will ever be sent out without the issue being scheduled or sent by you.
Create a Sponsored Category
Log into my.curated and navigate to Settings > Sponsorship > Pricing and Inquiries. Click on “New Sponsored Category” and fill in the necessary details.
You can alter the position of the sponsored category in your issues as well as its look and feel by visiting Settings > Issue Content > Categories.
The Sponsorship Inquiry
A potential sponsor visits your publication and reads about the sponsorship opportunities, they visit the sponsorship inquiry form provided by Curated and make an inquiry.
This inquiry will be delivered to the sponsorship inquiry email address which you specified in the sponsorship settings in my.curated. It will look something like this:
At this point, you should have an email conversation with the sponsor, ensure that they are a good fit for your publication, make them aware of what they are receiving in return for their sponsorship, agree a final price, and how many issues they would like to sponsor. At this point, you should be ready to create the booking in my.curated.
Creating the Booking
Log into my.curated and navigate to the Sponsorships top-level menu item. If this sponsor is new, click on “New Sponsor” and fill in as much detail as you have about the company.
Once the sponsor has been created, click the New Item button and fill in the details of the sponsored content. If you don’t have the final text from the sponsor at this point, just enter placeholder text for now.
When selecting a category for this item, only sponsored categories will be available.
If the sponsorship has been booked for a specific issue, assign it at this point and the availability calendar on your public sponsorship pages will be updated to show a “Provisional” booking for that issue. Bookings are provisional up until the “Paid” check box is checked.
Once the link is scheduled into a specific issue, it’s usually a good idea to send the sponsor a preview of how their link will look in your issue. Visit the issue containing the sponsored link and use the web preview tool to view the link, take a screenshot and send it to the sponsor via email.
Taking payment for sponsored links is handled outside of the Curated system and you should arrange payment directly with the sponsoring company.
Once payment has been received, simply edit the sponsored link in the sponsorship system and tick the “Paid” checkbox. This will update the availability calendar for that issue from “Provisional” to “Booked”.
If you have multiple slots for sponsorship in a category then the booking status will only be updated to “Provisional” or “Booked” when all slots are full.
Publishing Sponsored Links
When editing an issue that has a sponsored link scheduled for publication, the link will already be present whenever you start to edit the issue. This makes it impossible to forget to include a sponsored link after it has been scheduled.
Note: When issues containing sponsored links are published, all sponsored links are tagged with rel=”nofollow” in accordance with Google’s guidelines on paid links.
Maintaining the Availability Calendar
Your publication’s sponsorship information page contains a calendar of availability for any sponsored categories that you have created. Managing this calendar is completely transparent and requires no additional work to keep up to date. As long as sponsored links are assigned to a specific issue and the sponsored category has the correct maximum number of links, the calendar will always be up to date.
Adding Sponsor Logos to your Sponsorship Page
Having the logos of previous sponsors displayed on your publication’s sponsorship information page is a great way to attract new sponsors, as well as giving existing sponsors another link on your site. Curated handles this automatically, any sponsor with an uploaded logo that also has published sponsored links will be listed on your sponsorship information page.
If sponsors want to opt-out of this, simply remove their logo in the my.curated system and they will not be included.