11 Mar How to Make Money Blogging
***Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post, but it may contain affiliate links.**
Are you losing out on making income from your blog? Did you know you can make $50K+ a month from blogging?
That’s exactly how much Michelle Schroeder-Gardner makes – and by following her methods from her course or checking out my tips below, then you can be on your way too. You can check out her blog ‘Making Sense of Cents’ to see her monthly income reports. I recently completed her online course called ‘Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing’. I learned a lot about the things I was doing wrong as well as what I wasn’t doing, when it came to capitalizing the growth of income for my blog.
Prior to taking this course, I already knew about affiliate marketing – what’s available and how to use them. I honestly thought I knew enough and that the only problem was I didn’t have enough traffic to my site. I assumed I had researched enough on my own and so I was reluctant in purchasing the program. But, after seeing her monthly income reports, I was very intrigued and had to find out how she was doing it and definitely needed some pointers from her because it’s clear that she’s very successful with her blog. I highly recommend taking the course if you know nothing about affiliate marketing or if you need a little boost and guidance.
If the course is currently out of your budget, then find out what I’ve used and what she’s also recommended below. These are some information I’ve gathered up so you too can learn ‘How to Monetize Your Blog‘. I started blogging in 2014 and it’s something that I do as a hobby when time permits. When I first started, all I wanted to do was share my reviews on beauty products I’ve used. I never looked at it as a possible source of income at all. Within a year, I was contacted by companies to collaborate with, where I would receive monetary compensation – in exchange for honest reviews on products they send me.
Overtime, I continuously researched and looked for other ways to monetize my blog. I do have a full-time job which is my main source of income, but hopefully with the tips I’ve learned (and will be sharing with you) – blogging will eventually lead to full-time. There are people who already do this for their career and have been making enough income monthly to support themselves. Some of them started part-time like myself, others are stay at home parents, and some are in between jobs– and just started blogging as a hobby or to pass time.
Most people don’t know about affiliate marketing or unsure on how to monetize their blog – these include people who have high engagement on their site and social media. This is the best time to monetize because your readers are clearly interested in what you have to share and want to know where you got that product or want to know about your recommendations. You don’t need to have high traffic to your site but if you’ve got a great blog layout and catchy content, then that’s all you need to get you started.
One of my favorite ways to monetize my blog is using Affiliate Marketing Companies. These sites have a huge selection of programs you can apply for. They manage a lot of companies like Guess, Tarte Cosmetics, Macy’s, Nordstrom, and more. The process is pretty straight forward and easy. And guess what? Joining is absolutely free! The main information required are your contact details, website info, content niche, and be at least 18 yrs old. Once you’ve registered, you can start looking for companies you’d like to become affiliated with. Some of the advertisers automatically approve applications based on your original registration information, and some are reviewed by their own marketing manager for approval. Once you’re approved, you can search thru your list of advertisers and find links you want to add your blog – these include text links, banners, search box, videos, etc.
Payments vary for each advertiser and could be a set dollar amount or a commission percentage, then paid out once you’ve met the minimum payment threshold. This information can be found under the Payment FAQ page for most Affiliate Companies. A great advantage to this form of advertising, is that there are also ‘Marketing Managers’ for each company. Based on my experience, these marketing managers may reach out to you directly, mostly by email, and will offer to collaborate, giving you free products to try out, to offer a higher commission for a certain period, or may provide you a set compensation that you both could agree with. Joining Affiliate Networks is probably the best way to earn the most income. Below are the various networks I’ve registered with and examples of companies that are available to join. They’re some of the most popular networks that other bloggers and websites have been using. The list of available merchants are extensive and so they’ll work for any niche.
Fitbit, PicMonkey, Pixi Beauty, Gel-V Corp, Warby Parker…
Murad, Philosophy, The Shopping Channel, The Hudsons Bay, Beach Body…
Guess, Marciano, Steve Madden, Laura Gellar, Macy’s, Nordstrom…
Tarte Cosmetics, Urban Decay, H20, Hautelook, Kate Somerville…
Target, Too Faced, Vichy, Yves Saint Laurent, Paula’s Choice…
Nike, Nordstrom, eBay, AliExpress, Bebe
I recommend joining several, if not all, of the above Affiliate Networks because not all brands are available under one umbrella. It’ll give you more options for monetizing your site. Depending on what types of ads you’d like to advertise, you also can do some research beforehand to find out which network a company is affiliated with. How do you find out which network a merchant is with? Go to one of your favorite company websites and scroll to the very bottom of the page, there you’ll find a link that says ‘Affiliates’. See picture below. Once you click on that link, it’ll provide you with more information on how you can join their program. Some websites don’t have this clearly labeled so you may have to check their FAQ page, otherwise that merchant may not have an affiliate program at all.
This simple to use program provided by Google called Adsense, allows you to place ads on your blog by installing a plugin or a code to your site. You don’t need to pick advertisers or place any ads yourself. Once you apply the code to your site, they will automatically target the visitor based on their internet and shopping habits. Companies pay Google to advertise and you get a very minimal cut of that by placing those ads on your site. Payments are made to the publisher (you) once the minimum threshold is reached, and can be deferred to a higher amount if you prefer to accumulate it first. The amount of income you make thru this format is very minimal compared to the above options, but it’s definitely the easiest. Just place the code to your site one time and it will do the work without you having to update the ads yourself.
Also one of my favorite ways to monetize my blog is using ‘Skimlinks‘. It’s similar to the Affiliate Networks above, except you don’t have to apply to individual merchants and wait to get approved by their affiliate manager. Once you’re approved to the program, you can search pretty much every merchant and start monetizing. The list of merchants available is endless (somewhat). The application process is similar to the Affiliate Networks and works for all types of online publishers and it’s also free to join. You can install the plugin directly to your site or install the Skimlinks Editor to your browser toolbar. Check out their ‘Getting Started‘ page for full information on setting it up.
I highly recommend installing the toolbar because it’s so convenient and saves you so much time. When you visit a site that has an affiliate program, the icon on the toolbar will open up to notify you that an affiliate link is available. The image below shows the Skimlinks Editor toolbar, it shows the amount of commission and a short link for you to use. For example, if you have jeans you purchased thru American Eagle (seen below) and you want to add an affiliate link to a picture on your site, head over to AE’s website, find the item, then use the short link provided by the editor and paste the link to your content (image or word). That’s it, super easy! Payments are issued after 60 days from the transaction date so they can confirm with the merchant. Then commissions are paid out monthly once you’ve reached the minimum threshold of about $10 USD. Really convenient and user-friendly.
The Amazon Associates program allows you to get referral fees or commission on products purchased through Amazon. If you share links for items that you’ve purchased or can purchase through Amazon on your site, then you’ll get a commission for what someone buys after going through your link, and it doesn’t have to be for the same product. It’s also free and easy to use. You can even create an aStore showcasing a range of products and post it on your blog. This is a great way to share your wish list, favorite Amazon products, etc. For WordPress users, there’s also a plugin that you can download called the Amazon Associates Link Builder. This plugin allows you to generate links from within your blog while you’re writing up your post. You just highlight a word or a picture and a button will pop up that says ‘create link’, and from there you can search through Amazon products to link to.
There’s even a ‘Bounty Program’ where you can earn fixed fees for certain ads like these:
One format I recommend and have been using on my blog posts – is the customized ad option. This is a great way to recommend similar products that fit your blog post – a product, ebook, audio, service, etc and place it anywhere on the page. I personally prefer it at the very bottom of your post so it looks cleaner and less obtrusive. To create these customized ads, you’ll need to search Amazon to get the product code – best to have a separate tab on your browser so you can do both at the same time. Then find 4 items that you want to recommend. Afterwards, copy the product code for each item, then add them to your customized ad. Once you have 4 items, it will give you a code that you can embed to your post or page. You can create several customized ads, just keep in mind, your Amazon account doesn’t store these. So once you’ve got your code, it’s probably best to create a title and save it to your notepad in case you need to refer to it in the future.
On my next post, I’ll be sharing the different ways you can put these affiliate ads to play. So make sure you’re subscribed to my blog and get updates on new posts, giveaways and highlights. Hope this gave you some insight and do share your tips on how you have been monetizing your blog below in the comments. Have a lovely day everyone, I’ll see you soon!