Thursday, July 11, 2013

How To Make Money Blogging



"How do I make money blogging?"

It's one of the first questions that a person asks. One that I get asked frequently. And one that a beginning blogger wants to know all about. When I first started blogging? I didn't even know that that was a possibility. To make money blogging. I didn't know that you could actually get paid to write. Well, okay, I knew that you could get paid to write, but I didn't know that you could get paid to blog. There is a different right?

For me, it was a hobby. It is a hobby. Initially, it was all about connections. It grew into wanting to capture our story. And now it has become something much more than that. And then I discovered over a year ago that I can actually make money blogging. Never would I have imagined this to be true, nor the different ways that making money would be possible.

And for those that think that making money blogging is being a "sell out" or "only doing it for the money," then that is such a shame. I do not get to put the amount of time that I would like to into this blogging gig, but if it means that I get to enjoy what I do and also make a little money in return? Then I call that being smart. And nothing else but that.

So? I'll share all my secrets. Okay, not secrets. I'll just share what I know. How about it.

TIPS

1. Clean design, regular posting, and consistency is appealing. To companies. So I hear? Do I think that you have to follow all rules? No. But if you are really serious about wanting to possibly make money, I have learned that companies are more willing to work with a blogger when they are consistent in their posting. Having a clean, professional design is also important.

2. Have a planner/map out your ideas. I say that, but I don't have a planner. I always try. I make to-do lists on my phone. I'll make some on paper as well. I even used to write things out on a planner. But then, like I do with everything else I write down, I just failed to go back to look at it. I've heard there are some great blogger planners out there, and if you love to be organized and if that is what gets you on track, then go for it. I'm actually contemplating getting a journal myself.

3. Media Kits are great. That being said, I don't necessarily have one.  If I am trying to work with a big company, then I will throw something together. Other than that? I just give them my most up to date numbers. However, I have seen some great media kits, and if I were a company? I would probably want to work with the people that have their stuff together. So I should probably get on that.

4. Don't be afraid to email companies! Some of the best ones that I have worked with have been when I contaced the company myself. Comapnies are great at getting you hooked up with their PR person and the process is much more simple than one would expect. And? It's not as nerve racking as you may think. Honestly. What's the worst that can happen? They say no? No big deal.

5. Traffic is important. You can be a part of every network, but in order to make the money from the advertising, you must have the traffic. Traffic therefore takes work. Which means advertising with other blogs, linking up with other higher traffic blogs, and putting yourself out there. Yes, work, but work that can one day pay off.

6. Promote through social media! Many, and I mean many of my referrals have been made through social media and if you do not already have a twitter and facebook, and pinterest, then I highly suggest getting it. Not necessarily for the socialization {which can be a benefit in moderation}, but for the promotion necessary to promote yourself and other companies!


OPPORTUNITIES to Monetize


1. Ebates$150-500 every 3 months. 

So far, the lowest checks I have received have been 150, and the highest 514. Again, free money. You receive money for shopping online {no gimmicks}. You sign up to Ebates, you search on their website for the place you want to shop at {walmart, best buy, target, etc}, it then directs you to that website and tracks your purchases. You then get a percentage back from that purchase {and future purchases}. And for signing up for the first time? You get a free $10 gift card {place of your choice} after your first purchase {that you plan on making anyway} of $25 or more. Guys... again... it's just that easy! Oh and refer your family and friends {who I'm sure all shop online anyway} and get bonus money back! Like what I'm doing here ;)

2. Affiliate links/banners: $100-200+ month.

My favorite, hands down is zulily.  Zulily offers $20 credit or every new friend referred that makes a purchase. In the past year and a half that I have been affiliated with Zulily, I have made over $3,000 in credit. They have so much great stuff that the credit never seems to last long. It's one of the first sites that I check out in the morning, and definitely the first {and usually only} one that I share now. I have had great experience with shipping turn over, and quality of the products received in comparison to other sites. There are so many other affiliate programs out there, but I definitely suggest that you are familiar with the company before promoting it to others.

How to sign up? Usually the websites that offer affiliate programs will have a place at the bottom of their website or in the navigation that is titled "affiliate." Go through those steps and then start promoting!


3. Amazon Affiliate Links: $50+ month

I did not learn about the amazon affiliate program until about 6 months ago. Even then, I was not too hyped about it and it was a slow process for me to actually "jump on board." Initially, I placed a gadget on my sidebar with some of my favorite products and thought... welp, that's that. I gave that a couple of days and then took it off. Been meaning to put it back on. Then I wrote a post including links to baby items and boom. Just like that it took off. I still make money off that post. And so whenever I write about a product that I am loving and purchased from amazon, I am sure to provide a link. How to sign up? Go to amazon.com, scroll to the bottom and click "become an affiliate." Follow the steps to register. Once you are accepted, just search items and then add HTML to your posts! That easy.

4. Clever Girls Collective: $100-300 month

Clever Girls was the first company that I worked with as a publishing network, and I have been very pleased in the past year that I have been with them. There are always plenty of opportunities to apply for, and I get a minimum of 1 writing gig a month and sometimes upwards to 4-5 in a month. Sometimes {often times} free products are involved on top of the payment, so that is yet another perk of working with them.

5. Pollinate Media Group: $125-$150 month

Another publishing network that teams up with companies and bloggers for writing material. There are not as many opportunities, however, they come often enough and have definitely been growing. The pay out per post is also nice, and the companies that they have worked with have all been ones that I would recommend. I'm interested to see what this next year will look like.

6. BlogHer Publishing Network: $200-300+ month ads + $150/month touts

I want to punch myself {not really} every time I think about the fact that I could have been with BlogHer for over a year now. Instead, it's only been a little over a month. You see, I applied a long time ago, got accepted, and then for whatever reason just never got around to setting up my account. When my brain finally kicked into gear, my open application had already expired and I had to therefore reapply. Unfortunately, at that point, there was a waiting list. So I waited, and waited, and waited. And finally a spot opened up, and you better believe I jumped right on it! And? Best decision ever. I have already increased my earnings by $350+ a month, and the process has been nothing but easy and smooth. I was even featured on their website, and have been so excited with every new thing that has come my way. I cannot wait to see the different opportunities that will become available.

7. Sponsorship/advertisment: $250-500 month

It is definitely not for everyone, and I know it is not a route taken by all. However? I have had a great experience working with other blogs and small businesses and have thoroughly enjoyed sharing each and every one of them with my readers. The feedback I get from these sponsos have been exceptional, and therefore, I am always very excited to welcome someone new on my sidebar. It is definitely not my main source, however, at one point I was averaging 600-800/month. I have definitely simmered down from there, and mainly because I am focusing on other monetizing aspects and trying to give as much exposure possible to the blogs and small businesses that join me every month.

8. Google Adsense: $150-250 month

No work involved. Another one that I get so upset with myself for not setting up long long time ago. In fact, this is one that I have had only since February. At minimum, I have made $150/month from it. Maximum $300 in a month. And? This is literally just free money. No writing posts. No promoting. Just installing ads and getting paid for the clicks. That easy.


9. Product Reviews: free products varying from $50-$400 in value

From blow dryers, to baby clothes and hair bows. Free vacuums, gift cards, and more. Product reviews are a great way to get "free stuff" and promote those companies to your readers. It's been quite some time since I have done a product review and therefore do not actually count them into my "earnings" for the month. I used to do them a lot more when I started out blogging, however, have lost the time and interest. There are times though that I will personally email a company {do it! don't be afraid!} when I wanted to try something out.  Companies are always quick to respond, like I said... what's the worst they can say? No? It's totally worth a shot.
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Overall, at minimim, I average $1200/month {not including reviews} and up from my blog. And yet... I have not even ventured out to buy that LV bag that I've been talking about for years {you hear that husband}. I truly believe that in order to make money you have to put the time into blogging. I have definitely not had the time that I had back in the day, but I hope to get back into the groove of things and start promoting this little space of mine more than I already do.

So. Overwhelming? I promise it's not! But just remember, if little old bloggers like myself can make a little cash on the side... then so can you!

33 comments:

  1. LOVE how you laid this all out there, Becky! I just started applying for campaigns, selling ad space, and doing product reviews as well as working with Linqia! If you haven't checked them out, I would! Super, super easy to work with! All you really have to "share" is a link every so often in order to add up clicks! :)

    This post was crazy helpful! Love it, friend!

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  2. Great post, I've always wondered how much bloggers make. I'm not sure I really want to put the time into it like that though, maybe if I was SAHM. I guess I better grow my blog first. Thanks!

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  3. Thank you for doing a post on this! Very helpful and informative!

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  4. One of the best posts I have ever seen!

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  5. THANK YOU Becky!!! I'm a fairly new blogger and I'm trying out all the options but some of these I have never even heard of! :)

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  6. This is a great post! There are so many ways to make money online. In June I made over $10K from blogging and it was fun to make as well :)

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  7. Thanks for sharing, I knew of most but always nice to find new ones and see other blogs helping each other out!!

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  8. Thank you for sharing these tips! I've often wondered about the benefits and top recommended companies to work with!

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  9. I love this. Thank you so much for sharing!

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  10. Great post Becky! Also, I just want you to know how much I appreciate your complete transparency on everything. You are such an inspiration to me.

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  11. Thank you! This is really great info. It's also really good to know that you can make money blogging while still staying true to yourself - love your space here!

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  12. Awesome post, I want to get into it again and really give it my all, but where did you learn to set up your templates and all the technical stuff?

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  13. also when did you start your blog?

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  14. I wish it was that easy! I find that it is dependent on how many page views I get and I don't get enough to make very much! I'm trying though!

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  15. Do you need a tax ID to be paid by any of these? Is it a complicated process if so? The whole tax thing kind of scares me away from the motivation to try to make money/promote my blog.

    Thanks!

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  16. Thanks for the tips!!! I've been wondering about how to get started with this.

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  17. Thanks for this post, vry helpful and fab for a blogger to be so honest!!

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  18. Thank you SO much for posting this. I have always wondered how you do it and I really like how you laid it out. I need to start some of these!...

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  19. Thanks so much for posting this! Very very helpful:)

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  20. Thank you so much for this post!! :) :) I am going to apply Blogher. :)

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  21. Thanks for sharing!
    Brandi
    injohndeeregreen.wordpress.com

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  22. Thanks for taking the time to write this, Becky! Great info and much appreciated :)

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  23. Thanks so much for puttin this together! While reading- already signed up for Amazon! :)

    Question though- I'm not afraid to email companies for product reviews, but how do you know who to email? That's my problem!

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  24. Very helpful information and so kind of you to share. Thanks so much! katy http://www.birdseyeviewoftheworldofthekatydid.blogspot.com

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  25. Hey Becky - question on becoming an Amazon affiliate, I believe I saw in some post that you live in IL, is that right? I too live in IL and tried to become an affiliate through Amazon and it won't let me, it says IL and several other states are not allowed to do this, could you tell me if there is some secret way around this?

    Thanks!

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  26. There are a handful of things you need to do to be able to start making money from blogging. This includes: set up a bank and pay pal account, and create a media kit. How To Make Money Online

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  27. Interesting! Very versatile in your ability to turn writing into a supporting career! Thanks a lot for sharing such a vast resource about get paid to write. Can you please let me know about such a portal which pays for writing or rewriting news articles? please help, if you can.

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