I am back to wrap up this series on Becoming a Successful Blogger! Now that you know how to put all the basics together you will want to know how to start generating an income, right? This is not a conclusive list but I think it will be a great start to finding ways to start making an income from your blog. Missed one in the series? You can find them here:Part I, II, III, IIII.
These are easy to incorporate into your blog, but may not be the most aesthetically beautiful. Once you upload them to your site the ads will start generating based on your content or what your visitor was previously searching for. For a new blogger it is probably one of the fastest ways to implement a way to start reaping the benefits of blogging. You can learn how it works here.
I love how subtle affiliate links are, they don’t effect your design and they make sense for multiple types of bloggers. An affiliate link is when you link to a product in your blog post and receive a small commission for it. One of the biggest affiliate programs is Amazon. In the state of North Carolina where I currently live you can not become an affiliate, but it is available in most every state. When I was living in California they had stopped the affiliate program but have since reinstated it (so check if your state qualifies). You do have to list a disclaimer on your blog in most countries if you decide to use affiliate links. I like Amazon and I mention it here because it is a reliable and established company that carries just about everything so it will be easy to incorporate for design bloggers, mommy bloggers, craft bloggers, etc. You would be surprised how many times you are promoting an item or asked about an item and are linking to it without potential compensation. Even though the commission is minute (4%) it can add up. I believe that if you are linking legitimate items that make sense with your post that most people reading will have no problem that you are making a small commission. In fact it is a wonderful + easy way for individuals to support your blog. This blogger has made over 400k with his Amazon affiliate program!
Rstyle is aimed at style bloggers but if you are already doing style posts on a regular basis and linking to retailers such as Anthropologie than why not earn a small commission from it? It is the same concept as the Amazon affiliate links above but you can also link photos.
Paypal has a donate button code that you can embed on your site. This may seem a little tacky but I have seen a couple blogs that write a charming quip such as ‘if you liked this please consider buying me a cup of coffee’. The donate button is great for blogs that often give freebies away such as The Coffeshop blog.
Some blogs will have a monthly/yearly subscription option which allows readers access to premium content. You can set this up via Paypal as well. Most subscriptions are priced relatively fairly and if you are visiting a blog daily and utilizing their resources why not invest? It allows the blog to continue to create even better content and possibly grow to hire other experts to make the blog even better. PSD Tutes is a good example, so is Hello Bee which has a premium subscription service as well. Of course, I am not saying to have people pay to read your blog, but if you offer some other premium information that you feel has value and can be monetized, than it may be a good route for you to get your blog on the road to monetization.
You will need to have a certain number of daily visits before you can approach an ad network. Most companies are already to capacity with bloggers so your blog better be getting lots of love before you consider approaching. I tried to get you sample numbers but couldn’t find them easily for you. Last I spoke to a pal that was with a network they were requesting 3k-4k visitors per day (some more) to qualify. Here are some ad networks to check out when you get to that level-here, here, and here.
My feeling on this is that I don’t feel the side banner ads work. I have never once clicked on an ad on a blogger’s side bar. I have placed ads on a few blogs but didn’t feel the results warranted the fee. I love to support blogs I enjoy reading but I think there are other ways I can do so instead of my placing ads not in my budget. If you want return sponsors than you need to figure out more creative ways to get your sponsors exposure.
I think it is fine to have a post sponsored by a company if it is a post that allows you to write the same content as you usually do. I don’t know how well those posts perform for an advertiser/sponsor, but at least you get to maintain the integrity of your blog. Where I see a problem with a sponsored post is when the sponsor/advertiser writes it. Most readers will skip over it, which is a complete waste for your sponsor also most readers will be turned off which will effect your return visit rate.
QUICK SEO TIPS
SEO stands for search engine optimization. I mentioned that there are sites that post multiple times a day, this is important for search engines to find you because it means you are updating your site regularly and it shows that you are a relevant resource. Of course you don’t have to write multiple times a day, but seriously if you are going to try to compete with mega blogs like Design Sponge than you better start ramping up those posts.
Make the titles of your blog posts SEO friendly. I used to come up with clever + cheeky titles for my blog posts, but I had the good fortune to work at a place that hired a top notch SEO expert and he explained the importance of creating SEO savvy titles for the post. For some reason it seems that when posts have numbers in it, it gets higher rankings when you are searching. The more specific the better. So instead of writing “AWESOME CRAFT RESOURCES’ as your blog title you should write ‘5 AWESOME PAPER RESOURCES’. It’s a minor tweak that could start getting more eyes on your blog. I notice a lot of the bigger blogs don’t do this so hopefully this will be something that can give you a little traction to get your blog noticed faster!
I hope you have enjoyed this series, I move cross country on Monday so I have some special lettering goodness lined up for you next week! Please let me know if you have had any experience with any of the above or disagree with me on any of my points (like side bar ads). I am always curious to learn your perspective!
P.S. A huge thank you to Jules for helping me with a frantic last minute email on ad networks!
Miss Tristan B. is the proprietress of Besotted Brand and the writer of this delightful blog. She recently re-located to the country with her handsome husband and two pups and will be re-locating back to the city in the very near future.