Many bloggers have voiced their frustration in not knowing where to even start monetizing a blog. There are so many options, it can be overwhelming. And you definitely do not want to try to incorporate them all at once. So today let’s go over some of the more popular options, what they entail and whether they would be a good fit for your blog.
Sponsored Posts and Review Opportunities are extremely popular among some types of blogs, especially those in the family or parenting niches. Companies will pay you to introduce their products to your audience. In most cases they will provide you with a free product to review in an upcoming blog post. In some cases, that is the end of the relationship. There may be no exchange of monetary compensation or further obligation.
In other instances, you may be paid for your review and you may be required to do specific social networking promotion activities (YouTube, Instagram, etc.). It is not unusual to receive upwards of $200 per opportunity. However, you need to have the numbers and desired demographic to garner this compensation. If this avenue is of interest, I highly recommend reading Bloggers and Brands. A few communities for picking up sponsored post opportunities:
Affiliate Marketing tends to be my monetizing avenue of choice. I am a window shopper. I love the research and comparison activities involved in a purchase. I can share my findings and get paid when I help a shopper make their buying decision. Amazon is likely the easiest megastore to get accepted as an Associate and they carry a wide variety of products. Start sharing with your readers your favorite products that are relevant to your blog. Have a foodie blog and love your mixer? Blog about it.
Ad Networks are a favorite among many first-time profit bloggers and those in more information-seeking niches. AdSense is the most popular option, but there are some demographic-specific opportunities as well. If you choose to join forces with one of these smaller companies, read the fine print and protect yourself. In some cases you may not be paid for every pageview or impression. Watch this Google Hangout with Holly from Business2Blogger and Laurie from Mom Blog Money Blog for a little insight.
- Google AdSense
- Amazon CPM
- AdThrive (100K pageviews/month minimum)
- The Blogger Network (90K pageviews/month minimum)
This post is for those with established blogs that are not sure how to start making money. To be accepted for almost any opportunity today, your blog needs to be at least 90 days, receive a minimum of 500 – 5,000 visitors per month and be primarily “unsponsored” content. If you are not yet at this stage in your blogging journey, focus on the writing and marketing first.
Watch out for unethical opportunities. If someone asks you to not disclose your relationship, that is a bad deal. If they ask you to dofollow links in a compensated post, you could be putting your blog at risk. If you are asked to link to a site you are not comfortable with, pass. Selling out on one opportunity could put future opportunities at risk. Another sponsor will come along. Wait for those that meet your standards.
This is just the tip of the iceberg and three of the more popular options. Choose one and give it your best effort (that means more than one week or one post) before moving on to the next. It can take months before you see a real return on your investment. And many bloggers simply give up right before they could have struck gold. The money is not easy. You have to make your blog make money.
Your first blog is always the hardest. If you are a serial blogger, you will likely find over time that you develop a sixth sense for what avenues are likely going to work best in which niches. You will also be able to eliminate some of the wait periods and traffic requirements as you can point advertisers to your more established sites to prove your track record and ethics.