When I started my blog in June of 2014, I never realized that I would one day make a living off of my work and posts! It’s been an exciting ride, but full of blood, sweat, and tears. I often got emails and messages asking for tips on starting a blog and monetizing it. My #1 tip is this: Don’t start a blog for the money or “free stuff”, because blogging is about much more than that. If you start for those reasons, you will burn out so easily and you’ll soon be frustrated at how hard blogging really is.
Once you get to a point where brands are interested in working with you and your pageviews are high enough, these are my top tips for monetizing your blog:
Join Influencer Networks
Influencer networks are companies that connect bloggers and influencers with brands. You apply for campaigns with specific requirements and due dates and then you get PAID for your work. These are called sponsored posts.
Everywhere Agency (say that “Bethanie Johnson” referred you!)
Popular Pays (this one has an iPhone app)
Collabor8 (another iPhone app)
Utilize Affiliate Links
Affiliate links are special links that insert cookies onto the phone or computer of whoever clicks. If they make a purchase after clicking your link, you’ll make a commission.
RewardStyle (email me if you want a referral)
ShopStyle Collective (ShopStyle is unique in that you get paid per click)
Amazon Associates (this one is major because everyone purchases from Amazon)
Also, different brands have different affiliate programs so it’s always worth asking your contact!
Using an ad network to monetize is something even the newest bloggers can do. I started using Google Adsense when my blog was a year old and once I surpassed 100k page views a month, I signed on with Monumetric. Edit 11/9/17: I currently don’t have an ad network on my site. I’m looking to switch to Mediavine. Monumetric was overpowering my site and causing redirects.
Another way to monetize your blog? Sponsored collaborations.
Any time a company or brand emails you asking to send you product, reply with your media kit. Have your rates set and know your worth. Learn how to negotiate and you’ll be set! (Need help setting rates? Send me an email!)
A lot of influencer networks require a minimum amount of pageviews before you’ll be accepted. So, a question I get a lot is: “How do I get more traffic to my blog?”
Social media and SEO are key to building a loyal following and sending traffic to your blog. Some influencer networks don’t have a set number and some networks require 10,000 or 25,000 monthly views before you’ll be accepted. Here are my top tips for gaining PVs:
Pinterest: Having pinnable images in your blog posts (aesthetically pleasing vertical graphics) is a great way to get traffic on your blog. Make sure you’re pinning all the time. I use Tailwind and schedule 50-100+ pins a day (of my own content). I have several viral pins that bring me traffic every day (sometimes up to 18,000 views in a single day).
Instagram: For Instagram, make sure your bio has your email and your blog URL listed. Building and growing a loyal following helps your pageviews because you can direct your followers to your blog! I love Instagram and it’s easily my favorite platform to connect with my readers. As far as tips on growing… That’s a whole other blog post. My number one tip is that it takes time and consistency, so stick with it! Also, remember not to put all your eggs in the Instagram basket. Your BLOG is the only thing you own 100%. Social media could be gone tomorrow, so your blog should always be your #1 priority!
Facebook groups: I’ve learned so much from FB groups! I’m a member of 20+ and have even started my own groups. Some groups are great for asking questions and for support and other groups are great for promoting your content! Make sure you read the rules of each group before participating because each group has a different set of rules and policies. Here are the best ones: I’m So Blogging This! (a community of support for bloggers + engagement threads every week), The Best Mommy Blog Posts (for promoting blog content), Instagram Posse (for Instagram growth), LUXE Access (for photographers, bloggers, and shops), The Rising Tide Society (for creatives), Instagram Fabulous (for IG engagement).
SEO: SEO is short for search engine optimization. It’s something I’m still learning and working on! If your site needs help with SEO, I highly suggest Blog Savvy Creative!
Email lists: Weekly newsletters are great for engaging your audience, keeping them current with your content, updating them on sales and incentives, etc.
Also, media kits can help escalate your brand – I highly recommend having one made! I’ve created and designed media kits for big bloggers and just opened up a website to make it easier to order! Check it out HERE.
PLEASE keep in mind that blogging is hard work and it may take a while before you see results. DON’T GIVE UP! I had been blogging for a year before I realized I could make money off of my hobby/passion. And then it took about 5 months until I made my first buck! Now I help support my family. It’s an amazing feeling!