Friday, August 16, 2013

How I Make Money Blogging

 How to Make Money and tricks on how to monetize your blog!

Ok, before I even start this post..I know.  I know a lot of people out there are annoyed by those that choose to monetize their blog.  

This is something I try to minimize on this blog...I know nobody wants to read a blog that is just 1 big ad.  I have ads on the page and the occasional sponsored post.  But just know that the opportunity to monetize this blog has been an absolute blessing to my family.  To be honest, I would probably not be able to stay home with Emma Ramey if it weren't for my income from the blog and blog designs.  

I get the occasional negative comment about this.  That's ok, everyone is entitled to their own opinion.  But before you make a negative comment on my blog or anyone else's blog, please consider what a blessing it might be to that blogger.  There is always much more to every situation than you might know.

THAT BEING SAID...monetizing your blog means you using the opportunity to enhance the quality of your blog, not deplete it.  I think it is the blogger's responsibility to find opportunities that ...

1) ...don't waste your time as a blogger. - Choose opportunities to share things with your readers that are relevant to you and your lifestyle.  Don't promote a product that you wouldn't personally use, or that you don't know the first thing about.  I probably get 3-4 requests a week to promote people and products that aren't relevant to me or my readers - I respectfully decline.  Also make sure you put an appropriate value on your time...don't accept opportunities that pay so little that they aren't worth the effort.  Only you can put a value on your time and energy!

2) ...don't waste your readers' time. - It is silly to post about things that aren't relevant to your readers.  Choose products and promotions that you think they would love.  I usually try to do promotions that include a giveaway for my readers - an added bonus!  Also choose wisely - even if every post is a relevant review, that still means every post is a review...nobody wants to read that.

I have several great ways I monetize my blog.  Here are the big ones, for those that would like to get in on the action!

1) BlogHer - By far my favorite company used to monetize my blog.  BlogHer services the ads that run toward the top of my page...they basically just line up companies that would like to run ads on the page.  Occasionally, I will run a giveaway or review (or both) sponsored by BlogHer.  They even provide opportunities to run ads on your social media platforms.

I apply for opportunities for sponsored content that I think fit my blog through BlogHer and they work with the advertiser to pick the best bloggers for their content...basically, they're the middleman that matches the best blog with the best advertiser.  From there, I work with them to create content for that company/organization.  There is a lot more behind-the-scenes work than you might realize with these posts.  I don't always control the launch date of these, so they might be a little bunched together sometimes (for example, I had three launch in three days a few months ago)...I apologize if that happens!

If you'd like to work with BlogHer: I think their wait list is usually closed, but you can always make an account here and check it out!

2) Google Ads - If you have a Blogger blog, you can probably use these ads!  They are a great "intro" opportunity into monetizing your blog.  This service fills some of the ads you see towards the bottom of my page.

If you'd like to work with Google Ads: Go to your layout page in blogger, click "add a gadget," and click the Adsense your ad size and you're done!  You can check out how these ads are doing by going to the "Earnings" page from the Blogger dashboard.  I would recommend only putting 2-3 of these on your page - any more than that, and they don't seem to perform as well.

3) Lijit Media - Another great company for servicing ads.  Their prices stay fairly competitive with Google Ads.  They service the rest of the ads you see towards the bottom of my page.

If you'd like to work with Lijit Media: Click here to sign up!

4) Private Party ads - I do work with a few companies directly for sponsorship opportunities on my page.  I use Passionfruit Ads to manage these can find full details on my sponsorship opportunities here.

A few months ago, I made the decision to just work with businesses, not other bloggers, for sponsorship.  I just feel like this suits my blog a little bit's really just a personal decision every blogger must make.

In sponsoring my blog, businesses receive ads on my sidebar and have the opportunity to host giveaways.  They are also mentioned once a month in my sponsor posts and, if I see the opportunity, I promote them on my social media platforms.  Remember, these companies are paying you for your time and energy...make it worth it!  I also really try to make a relationship with a company.  I prefer to work with a company on a long-term basis, so I can really get to know that company and really have a feel for their products.

5) Affiliate ads - A lot of times, if I mention a product, it will be linked to an affiliate ad.  I am not just mentioning a product because of that ad, I promise!  I would be talking about that product's just nice to make a little bit of money off of it in the meantime, you know?  And you don't pay a dime for clicking on that affiliate ad...nor do you pay extra if you choose to buy that product.

A few of the great affiliate programs I use are...

-Amazon Affiliate program - I am seriously convinced that 95% of products on the market are sold on Amazon...seriously, they sell EVERYTHING.  So, if I just so happen to be talking about a product, I'll usually look it up to see if it's on Amazon...if it is, I'll link through it's affiliate program.  If someone happens to buy it after clicking that link, I get a small percentage of the sale.

-RewardStyle - this is mostly for fashion items, but will occasionally have a home item too.  It's also just a middleman between big online shopping sites and bloggers...they arrange for you to link to a certain company's site, and in return, you get a percentage of a sale made through any click.  It's a great company with great opportunities!  They are looking for bloggers that have a wide audience and discuss fashion/beauty/home products.  Email me if you'd like an invitation!

6) Linqia - I actually have a pretty limited experience with Linqia...just 1 campaign so far.  But I've been impressed!  They offer campaigns that you promote on social media and your blog, and you are paid for having your readers interact with their companies.

Linqia is looking for bloggers in the "Home and Garden" and "Parenting" niches, mostly based in North America, and that have 1,000+ visitors/followers on Facebook or Twitter.  Click here to sign up!

7) Sponsored Tweets - this is something really anyone with a Twitter account could do!  You set your price for tweeting their sponsored messages, and they alert you when there's an opportunity.  You write the tweet, and they even tweet it for you.  Easy peasy!

(Updated 6/15: This company has now merged with Izea.  Same concept, different name.)

There are a few other smaller opportunities, but that covers the majority of how I make money on this blog!

Again, I know this is a controversial subject.  There is a very fine line between alienating your readers and producing quality content that you use to financially benefit...that's the biggest struggle of monetizing your blog.

If you're looking to get in, start slow. No quality blog was ever built on purely sponsored content.  Try one or two of the methods above, and make sure the vast majority of your content is still unsponsored content that you truly want to write about...the reader knows if it's forced.  Those that blog just to make money typically don't make it very me, I've been in this blogging thing long enough to see many, many people try and fail when they're just here for money.  Blog because you love it, and if you just so happen to make a little bit of money in the process, that's great!

I welcome comments on this, but please make sure it's constructive before you post it.  While I am working to be the best blogger I can be, I don't always succeed.  But know that I'm trying. :)

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