I’m kind of starting backwards with blogger month and I’m starting late, apologies! I meant to have these ‘tips and tricks’ posts much earlier but the ‘how to’ videos took longer than I thought so they’re going to go up in a funny order and all in the last couple of weeks. Regardless I’m still hoping to answer as many questions as possible that you have about starting out on YouTube or setting up your own blog and today I’m talking money.
1. Blog Collectives – Glam Media
These could be called by any name but essentially they a group of bloggers contracted to work with one company who source ads on their behalf. I work with Glam because they did not ask me to sign an exclusive agreement. I am able to work with other people and accept outside advertising without affecting their terms. There are lots of collectives around and all I would say is do your research, obviously the less traffic you have the fewer will accept you but don’t take that to mean you have to go with the first one that does. Glam is not the first company I’ve been contracted to but it’s the best I’ve dealt with thus far. The majority of ads you see on my site are provided by them, they take a cut and pay me the remainder 4 month in arrears. Sounds like a long time but after that it’s a monthly payment so at some point it could go some way to help pay your bills.
2. Adsense – Sign Up Here
This is the most obvious perhaps, especially if you’re using blogger as it’s a Google service but it needed mentioning. When I first started out I was making pennies here and there on Adsense and after a while I took the ads down, they seemed pointless. 3 years on I added them back in on a whim, just to see – let’s just say I will leave them where they are now. It’s not the greatest payout but as your traffic grows you will see improvement and it’s not hurting anyone sitting in your sidebar.
3. Direct Advertising
This could be sponsored posts or even side bar ads. Once your name is out there PR Companies may start to contact you. They will ask your rates and what options you offer and my biggest word of advice would be to find another (more experienced) blogger who you doesn’t mind advising you to discuss these offers with. In the beginning I would accept tiny sums of money and had no idea the value of my site but I was lucky enough to have a couple of other very friendly bloggers be very open with me about rates etc and what I should be asking for. When you start making money it becomes a business and you’re not there to do someone a favour, a fellow blogger yes but if that PR has a £200 budget and you accept £15 they aren’t thinking ‘of how lovely of them’ they’re writing your name down as someone who will work for nothing. I don’t want to come across as mercenary but it’s important to know your worth and once a company is offering to pay you for something you should take that as a sign that your site and your words are valuable!
4. Affiliate Links – Affiliate Window
I have it on good authority that affiliate links make some bloggers a great deal of money but I am far too lazy for that. There are plenty of programs you can join up to and if you frequent a certain site or are blogging and linking one more than others it’s definitely worth looking to see if they have one you can join. Creating individual urls for post links sounds so laborious to me though so although it’s a legitimate monestisation tool I don’t use it.
5. Skimlinks – Skimlinks
It took me way longer than it should have to sign up to skimlinks but as I mentioned in number 4 I am so lazy when it comes to links and having assumed it was just another affiliate scheme I shelved it along with the rest. That was until one of my lovely blogging friends told me the value and insisted I install it.. turns out it’s all automatic and I didn’t have to do a thing. Other than my Glam (which is again all done for me) Skimlinks is my favourite way to make money from my blog because I already link SO many items when reviewing or talking about favourite products and now (almost) every link can make me money. I have a disclaimer at the end of each post to explain this and it doesn’t affect my readers in any way but I can make a lot of money if I drop on a product that everyone’s suddenly interested in. I’m not doing anything differently but now if you click on a link to a mascara and you buy it I get a small percentage of commission which can really add up.
Obviously it goes without saying that even with all of these in place if you have no traffic you will make little to no money. I made no money at all during the first year to 18months and if you start your blog with only that in mind I guarantee you will get bored before you make a penny but if you’ve already been hobby blogging and are thinking about trying to make a little pocket money from it then these are the 5 ways I’d recommend.
*Skimlinks link is a referral link and will earn me money if you sign up using it