Many bloggers begin their blog with the intent of having a creative outlet. What some bloggers don’t know with the start of their blog is that there are ways to make money from your newest hobby. There are many ways of earning money through blogging. Some established bloggers have even been known to charge for appearances and ad campaigns. For the purpose of this article, we will focus on building your way to the top—starting with selling ad space, and eventually centering on collaborations we all covet. Whether you’re blogging about your personal style or fashion editorials, there are ways to profit from your blog, and who knows, you may even have a new job on your hands!
Is your blog sporting a bare sidebar? Why not fill up some of the space next to your Chictopia badge with advertising? This may be one of the most common means of earning income from your blog. After your blog becomes well-known or popular for its niche (check out this article on how to become a successful fashion blogger), it’s time to get to work selling ad space. Google offers a
free program, otherwise known as Adsense, where the blogger is able to choose ads based on the content of the blog, where they will eventually be paid based on how many readers have clicked the ad. If you’re looking for something that could be a bit more rewarding, BlogAds might be the system for you. Although BlogAds requests a fee, their motive is to connect bloggers with potential advertisers, which could have a rewarding outcome.
Have you found a brand that you love so much you’d recommend it to the barista at your nearest Starbucks? Then why not recommend it to your readers?! Many companies, such as Solestruck and Nasty Gal Clothing offer an affiliate program, or a program that offers an ad for your blog, and with each sale (or sometimes clicks), you earn a certain amount. Each company is different, some run through Google’s affiliate network, while others choose to use Amazon’s affiliate program. To get started with affiliates, I chose to google some of my favorite online companies, making sure to include “affiliate
programs” in the search. You’d be surprised how many businesses offer the service! Amy, from the blog Baby Budget Blog, has used both Adsense and Affiliate networks. Although she hasn’t experienced much income from these methods, she suggests placing ads through prime locations on your blog, and to only do so with brands you are truly passionate about. Amy adds that you may consider mentioning the brands whose ads you display. You can even talk about a particular product, which may encourage more clicks on that particular ad.
Knowing the difference between sponsorship and affiliate programs is key to
successfully monetizing from your blog. Sponsors will pay bloggers to display their message, while affiliates will pay for purchases(and sometimes for clicks!). There are tons of different sponsorships to think of: monthly contracts, regular posts, and event contacts are most common, however what you choose is up to you! In order to find a personal sponsor, you’ve got to do a few main things. First, like so many rappers have said, “keep it real.” They know what they’re talking about. If you’re blogging about fashion but you agree to promote dish soap, chances are your readers won’t be thrilled. Next, you’ve got to be prepared. Put together a small document where you introduce yourself and your blog. Be sure to include your niche, your readership demographics, and what you can offer to a sponsorship. Make sure to add what you expect from the sponsorship as well(it goes both ways!). Finally, make sure to spread the word about your search for a sponsor. Those looking to sponsor bloggers are short on time as well, but like the rest of us, they’re using search engines for one of their main sources of information. Make sure they know you are looking for a sponsor! To do this, add a link on the side of your blog making sure to include just enough information to help them find what they’re looking for!
Mel and Jamie of The Wear to go Girls, are working on launching their site. Each blogger came together to build a website with quality content and a platform that would also work well with brands. Mel and Jamie are currently working on sponsorships with both brands and boutiques, but they couldn’t let us in on who these brands are at the moment. What they could do is give us some tips on how they got to the point they’re at now! According to Mel, “[i]f you believe in what you’re blogging about and have passion in what you are doing, then the readers
will come and the company will follow.” In other words, provide quality content, and be true to what you’re posting. Tanvi of the blog The Fabulous Life of the Not-So-Rich and Infamous is another blogger who is new to sponsorship. She lets us in on her journey, saying that she did not seek sponsorship, and that they instead came to her. It was through original content that Tanvi’s blog eventually gained recognition.
Brands and Bloggers
So you’ve mastered affiliate programs, and have even become a sponsored blogger. Now what? It’s time to collaborate with brands. It takes hard work to become noticed by powerhouse brands such as Louis Vuitton, but Chiara Ferragni of The Blonde Salad proved it to be possible. When you capture the attention of any brand—big or small—they’re looking for a few main points: your voice, your vision, and building a relationship with you and your readers. In order to get noticed, you’ve got to make sure you’re posting valuable content. Posting frequently is key! No one want’s to work with a blogger who posts only once a month. The point of working with brands is to try products, and to give your readers insight into different aspects of the brand, which is something the brand itself is not able to do. Patricia from the blog Paradigma talks about her experience with brand collaborations, humbly mentioning that she never expected for brands to contact her. She continues, saying that brands will contact her via email, where they will then work out a plan they both agree on. Patricia started her blog with the intent of expressing her love of fashion, and by posting interesting content and staying true to her niche, she began being noticed by various brands.
Patience is a Virtue
When considering the above ideas, it’s important to know that it takes time and hard work to make money from your blog. Affiliate and ad networks work best with blogs generating traffic. In other words, without readers, your ads will go unclicked. Don’t get discouraged— through commenting and building a readership, you’ll begin to see an overall interest in your blog, and eventually you’ll be making a profit!