Today I talk to you about how to make money blogging including; affiliate programs, sponsored content, and ad networks.
Hey, it’s Katrina from Thinking Outside the Sandbox and How to Start A Mom Blog. Today, I want to talk to you about building a multi-collaborative blog. On the STS Podcast, we rotate between talking to small business owners and bloggers. Today will be mostly for bloggers, but small business owners will find a few take-a-ways too. If you aren’t familiar with Thinking Outside the Sandbox, it’s a multi-collaborative, multi-author, or group blog… depending on what you like to call it. For us, our contributors are a part of our team. Between Thinking Outside the Sandbox and Thinking Outside The Sandbox Family, we have a total of about 24 contributors, and two owners; myself and Cat Clutchey.
How To Make Money Blogging – Sandbox To Success Episode 012
On today’s episode, I’ll be talking about how you can make money blogging. In episode money we discussed little things you could do to make money outside of your blog. Now that we have that covered and you’re able to cover your bills either with the supplementary income or your 9-5, we’ll move and talk about ways to make money blogging!
There are three ways to make money blogging; affiliates, sponsored content, and ads. You can also build and sell your own products but that’s a whole different thing and not everyone is comfortable doing that. I won’t be talking about building your own products today, but I will be talking about that in another episode.
What are affiliates?
An affiliate is when you sell something for someone else and to thank you for selling products for them they give you a commission (a cut of the money). There are several like Commission Junction, or random companies like GoDaddy, Tea Collection. You find whatever it is that would fit your blog and apply to be an affiliate. If approved you put a link or a few and if someone clicks and buys off that link, you receive a portion.
Generally affiliate programs give you between 3-7% of the sale. For example, if someone buys something for $10 and your commission n is 3% you make $0.30 from that sale. The more traffic you have the more eyeballs you have and you’ll get more people that want to buy it.
For example, we love Tea Collection. Because we love it and promote it, so many people come to us for information and/or product links to purchase from. Some affiliate programs we’ve been with forever and received about $0.10 from and some we’ve received around $200 per day! It’s really up in the air how much you can make because the cut is so small. If you have a niche market however (like a pet blog specifically about dogs) you can write about something like “top ten dog beds” and choose affiliate links to add in for related products. Your readers are likely to buy because that’s what they’re interested in.
On Thinking Outside The Sandbox we showcase free eBooks. They’re completely free to download, but we still receive a cut ($0.10-$0.12) each time they’re downloaded.
There are companies that give a larger portion of the cut. For example on our ebook “How To Start A Mom Blog” we give a 50% commission. If you go to EJunkie.com you can find programs where you might receive a larger cut.
This works when a company approaches you (or you approach a company) and they want to promote. It’s like when you read an interesting article in a magazine and you see that note at the top that says it’s a “paid product placement.” On Thinking Outside the Sandbox we aren’t a review-based blog, so we don’t really write things just to showcase a product. For example, a nail care company reached out. Instead of just promoting their product and how much I loved it (which I did), I wrote a post about making a DIY at home spa and then I organically integrated the nail care company into that post. When I put it in social shares and promoted through social medias you may not know it’s a sponsored post right away. I’m not deceiving my readers, but I’m giving them content that’s valuable to them and that they’d enjoy while still making money on my blog.
If you’ve never done this before you need to look up FTC Regulation first. There’s certain rules if you live in the States that you must follow. In Canada, we don’t have to necessarily disclose, but it is good practice too.
Not every company pays. Some bloggers love getting paid in product. We did a placement for a watch company that I found extremely valuable as my husband really liked the watch. That was worth it to me. Sometimes you get product and money. You have to decide what’s worth it to you.
These are exactly what you think they are. We have them in the sidebar and in the middle of our post. There are two places you can get them; directly or through an ad network. Direct is when a company agrees to pay you a certain amount of money to display their ads for a certain amount of time. We go through an ad network and don’t generally work with people on direct ads. We work with SheKnows media on Thinking Outside the Sandbox and on Thinking Outside The Sandbox Family we work with Mode Canada. There are quite a few different ad networks, and they all offer pretty much the same thing. You put one of their ads on your site (usually in the top center) and they pay you a certain amount of money for the views.
From this, you not only get the ad revenue, but you sometimes get sponsored post opportunities as well. Most of these networks they have minimum pay tree requirements. Ad networks generally don’t look at you unless you have at least 10,000 pageviews a month. Other companies like AdSense don’t have minimum page view requirements and you can start putting ads right away.
Pros to putting them right away is that your readers will be used to the ads and won’t feel you’ve “sold out” after they’re added later.
The con is that you won’t get much money for them initially.
Google AdSense has a payout threshold of $100 so you can’t cash out until you reach that amount. It took us about a year to get our first check, but now that our traffic has increased we’re comfortably bringing in $100 a month easily and we don’t have to work or do anything extra for it!
Diversity Is Important
To make money with your blog I really want you to take into consideration that you want to have a diversification of your income stream. That way if something happens one month, and you don’t make money from one stream; you still have the other streams to fall back on. The more ways you can make money with your blog, the better.
That’s it for this episode! I hope you learned a lot about how bloggers can make money and even if you aren’t a blogger I hope this was helpful to you!
Here are some other articles you may find useful:
Thanks for listening to the Sandbox to Success podcast, with your host: Katrina M. Thom. If you like what you just heard, leave us a message at iTunes or Stitcher. We would also love to hear what you have to say. Use the hashtag #totspodcast to connect with us on twitter. Don’t forget to check out the show notes, which can be found at www.totsbusiness.com. Join us next time for another edition of the Sandbox to Success podcast. Have an AWESOME day!