Do you know what an Influencer is? It could be you! I’m not kidding. If you've established yourself as an individual who can influence the purchasing decisions of other people, you’re an influencer. You create this influence by establishing your authority and knowledge on a specific topic, or nurturing a relationship with your audience – say, by creating a blog, engaging with your readers, and being active on social media. The really cool thing about being an influencer is that you can use that status to monetize your blog.
That’s one of the exciting aspects of creating a blog, right? Not only are you creating content because you love whatever you’re blogging about – this passion of yours can also create an income stream. One way to go about creating this income is by joining a blogging network.
What’s a blogging network?
Blogging networks are middlemen between brands and bloggers. Brands always have specific demographics they want to target for advertising, and bloggers with influence in those demographics are handy partners to have. It means you get paid for the hard work you’ve put into your blog and the marketing department at various brands get a highly targeted ad out.
Some blogging networks focus on ad sharing where you run literal ads, others allow brands to offer product for sponsored posts, and then, of course, you can be paid cash for participating in these marketing campaigns. All of them have different pay structures and payout details. There are a ton of opportunities that are open to everyone, and then there are blogging networks you’ll only get into by invitation. But, for bloggers, all of them rest on one foundation: you must have an active, attractive blog and an engaged audience. Being active on social media is also important to your bottom line.
There are over 100 blogging networks out there, but today I’ve set aside 10 blogging networks that I think offer great opportunities to bloggers of all stripes. There’s something here for everyone, so don’t think your blog is too new or to small to qualify!
Acorn will work with influencers of all levels, from those with just 1000 followers to those who number their followers in the hundreds of thousands. They also connect bloggers with some of the biggest brands, such as Crest, Dasani, Bounty, Dr. Pepper, Cheerios, and more. The influencers who work with them mention tons of little touches that makes Acorn one of the best networks to work with, from an easily navigated site to handwritten notes and gift cards just because.
Activate is all about having the world’s largest influencer network and working with some incredible brands (from Marc Jacobs to Aveda to NARS). They advertise to their influencers that they don’t require exclusivity and that they pay out earnings every month. Activate’s attractive interface lets influencers connect all their social media networks in an attractive media kit can attract brands to include you in their campaigns. A complete profile will ensure you get offered the maximum number of campaigns, and you’ll only ever see the campaigns you’re eligible for.
BlogDash is a network that focuses in on increasing your influence in your particular niche. They encourage bloggers to develop a short pitch of themselves to attract clients (companies trying to sell products or services), while pointing out to bloggers that these relationships can grow you as an authority in your niche. And then there’s the bit where these relationships are monetized, so you can earn from your blog while creating the content you enjoy making. BlogDash also features all their bloggers in their database. Your Klout score and your SEO ranking are important in joining this blogger network.
If your blog’s demographic is mainly women, BlogHer is an excellent platform to feature your content. They’re focused on sharing the best content by and about women, covering topics from news to politics to food to fashion – and they run the BlogHer Publishing Network, a premium ad-sharing network that allows you to work on blog-based sponsor programs and earn a revenue share from ads run on your blog. To join, you must be a woman (or have a demonstrated female audience), have excellent content and engaged readers, update your blog weekly, and follow their editorial guidelines.
Blog Meets Brand is another good blog network that can connect you with brands and get you paid – and their sign-up is dead easy. You just enter your name, email address, and a password to get started before proceeding on to the usual profile creation. Once you’re active, brands can seek you out – and Blog Meets Brand is big on hyper-focusing in on niches, so you’ll likely do better if you have a well-defined niche and an active blog with a large following.
Blogsvertise has the virtue of seniority – they’ve been connecting advertisers with influencers for almost a decade! They're also friendly to bloggers of any size (from newbies to seasoned pros) and pitch themselves to every demographic from the Work at Home Mom crowd to students. Blogsvertise lets you monetize your blog by displaying ads (banners, text links, inline advertising) or doing sponsored blogs and guest posting ads.
IZEA claims they’re the largest marketplace for creators to monetize their content – they don’t just work with bloggers, but with YouTubers and Instagrammers and journalists and photographers and videographers.They've worked with brands such as NBC, P&G, The Home Depot, and Toyota, just to name a few. Depending on the type of content you produce, they can connect you with publishers and brands looking for sponsored posts or other content. They also offer a directory or content that you can share, and you get paid for each click through to that content.
Social Fabric by Collective Bias does more than connect bloggers with brands: it connects bloggers with each other. They’re very upfront about their emphasis on community, and one fantastic aspect of that community is how it lifts each member up. Members of Social Fabric help each other level up their blogging skills, from taking better pictures to writing better stories. In order to qualify, you should have an active blog with an appealing visual design that is easy to navigate and you should engage with your readership through social media.
9. The Sway
The Sway is another supportive blog network that wants to help their bloggers succeed – one of the first benefits of their network they pitch bloggers on is education: that they give bloggers the tools to succeed whether on the site or at the conference they host. They're also big on their proprietary dashboard that matches you with brands, and emphasize that you choose only the opportunities you like and that match your blog's demographics.
TapInfluence matches bloggers with brands so they can either do sponsored posts together or short content (social posts) or both. Signing up is very simple, and one of the bonuses of signing up for a free profile means getting to see your estimated influencer earnings right away after connecting your social media feeds and blog. Once you’re onboard, you are discoverable to brands working with TapInfluence’s software. Considering how easy it is to sign up, it’s leaving money on the table not to check it out.
I hope you’ve signed up for one or more of the blogging networks above so that you can start monetizing your blog today! Honestly, if you’re putting the work in, there’s nothing wrong with getting some money for your time. Just be honest and have fun!