and then she snapped: how I made money blogging

how I made money blogging

Want to know how to make money blogging? I don't consider myself a professional blogger, but I have actually made a little bit of money with this little hobby of mine, and I thought I'd share with you how I did so. In case you're trying to figure out how you're going to afford those new boots you TOTALLY need. Keep in mind that this is just what has worked (or didn't work) for ME. You may be very different.

 
Will Blog for Dollars.
Or Shoes.


JOIN A BLOGGING NETWORK:
There are many networks that will pay you for your posts. I've heard of social spark and business2blogger aside from the ones I joined myself. I'd love to learn about others you've had success with in the comments section.

First off, I joined the Clever Girls Collective. Through the Clever Girls I have applied for numerous paid posting opportunities, and have been selected for a handful of them as well! Companies like Claritin, Yahoo, Crocs, and Walgreens have paid me to write a blog post about them. The assignments usually come with guidelines and specific links that need to be mentioned, and they usually request that the post be tweeted and/or facebooked as well, but the content is always all mine. I decide what I want to write about. And I decide which "jobs" I want to apply for.

Another group that I am a part of is The Sits Girls. I just LOVE the Sits Girls website, and even attended Bloggy Boot Camp last year (and LOVED it!). The Sits Girls have recently started offering some paid opportunities and I have been selected for a few of them. They have paid per post in the form of an Amazon gift card, which works for me, since that way I HAVE to shop.

I've also earned income as a member of the Social Fabric through Collective Bias. Once you are accepted into the community you can apply for "Shopportunities" where you shop for and blog about a specific product at a specific store. I have done just one of these (remember my KMart holiday decor post?), as most of the Shopportunities don't fit with my blog. But I do apply when I feel like the product would be a good fit.

JOIN AN AD NETWORK:
For a time I also ran ads through Federated Media (as a result of my membership in Clever Girls). I opted for the higher CPM (cost per impression), but in exchange for the higher rate I was restricted in doing any other paid posts or ads (other than CleverGirls/Federated Media). This particular ad network paid me solely on page views (my readers didn't have to actually click on the ads), but in the end I decided it wasn't worth it to me. The ads took up a lot of valuable blog space, the payment schedule was V-E-R-Y slow. (I still haven't been paid in full), and my contract prohibited me from monetizing my blog in other ways. If my traffic was WAY more than it is this could be a very lucrative and EASY way to earn a living blogging, but at my current page views it could barely support my latte habit. Also, when I was running the ads on my blog I felt like I was overly concerned with pageviews. Since I stopped running them I don't care as much whether you read my blog in your reader or whatever. BlogHer also runs an ad campaign that I believe may be similar, so if you're interested you may want to apply there as well (or instead).

JOIN AN AFFILIATE PROGRAM:
I'm an Amazon affiliate! There are a ton of affiliate programs out there, but the thing I love about the amazon program is that they will pay out after just $10. The way they work is anytime I link to something available on amazon (like everything on my gear page) I use my special affiliate link. Anytime you click on one of those links and eventually buy something through amazon (even if it's not the thing that I linked to), I earn a teeny tiny commission! The cool thing about affiliate programs is that they don't cost you (the reader) anything. So, IF you are going to buy something from amazon, feel free to start your browsing from my gear page, or one of the "what I shoot people with" links in the right sidebar. I've made about $40 worth of Amazon gift cards in the past year, which really isn't much, I know, but since it doesn't cost me anything (or you), I'll keep using those affiliate links as appropriate.

PRODUCT REVIEWS & GIVEAWAYS:
I've been pitched by companies to review and or giveaway their product. I generally only do it if there's something in it for me (and I like their product). But I have done a few giveaways where I got nothing, just because I love you. I've done reviews or giveaways for clothes, movies, christmas cards, usb drives, bloggy boot camp tickets, a custom framed photo, a photo canvas. I have also done the pitching myself sometimes and had it work! Including a super awesome amazing review and giveaway I have coming up in the next week or so. Seriously, i am ridiculously excited about this one.

BLOG "SPONSORSHIPS" OR SELLING BUTTON SPACE:
This is one area I've had zip zilch nada luck in, in terms of cash money. But I see it happening all over the place, and with blogs no bigger than mine, so maybe this works? I have swapped "ad space" meaning I post your blog button on my page in exchange for mine on yours. It's ok, but really it kind of seems like more work than it's worth. I don't think I've gotten that much traffic from it, and I know I've gotten exactly ZERO dollars from it. If somebody has had better luck with this perhaps they'll share some tips in the comments.

THAT'S ALL I'VE GOT:
I hope that helps just a little bit. It's hard to talk about money among friends, but I just wanted to share what has worked for me in the hopes that YOU'LL share what's worked for you as well (or hasn't worked). Because we are all in this together!

Oh, and PS, if you know anybody at Nikon who might want me to review this lens or maybe this one, PLEASE, feel free to give them my name and email. For reals.

19 comments:

  1. Great post Rachel! What I love about you is that you always give back to the bloggy world! And your mad talent.

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  2. I agree with Stasha. So many who make it big in the bloggy world change their attitude and direction of what's important. They become secretive, sharing hardly anything. You really do care about us!!! SNIFF! Thanks for sharing some secrets!!

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  3. Love this post. And love your blog.

    I really appreciate that your blog doesn't feel like a business, and that your paid posts are still your content. And keep up that Amazon shop... I think I was part of that, you recommended my tripod! :)

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  4. Thanks for sharing. I've been kind of looking for a network to join...does Charlie love his little computer? My son is using his for a stepping stool.

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  5. Thanks so much for this info. I had seen on one of your posts or something that it said you were an affiliate of Amazon. I wondered about it and forgot to ask. All of this info will help me!! My little blog is just small, but I do hope to grow it and hopefully get it to the point of helping me with the cash flow!!

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  6. Thanks for all the tips! I will have to keep this in mind.

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  7. Really interesting - I've been interested in doing something like this and this may help me get started. Great stuff!

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  8. I love that you posted ab out this. I have had similar experiences with most of these opportunities you mentioned. It's hit or miss- some bloggers I know get paid gigs all the time & I can't put my finger on what makes them appealing to sponsors. But hey- I will take whatever comes in as long as it fits my blog & it's something I would post about anyway.

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  9. Thanks for being so honest! Sometimes I feel like everyone keeps their money-making a secret. :) I was just accepted into Clever Girls so i'm excited to see what opportunities come from that! My goal isn't to make money but a few dollars to cover my blog costs every month would ge wonderful!

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  10. wow... there's so much to blogging that I haven't even begun to realize. :)

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  11. thanks for all the great advice! I just signed up for the amazon program--I link to amazon ALL the time anyways so its perfect! :)

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  12. I love that you wrote this - I'm writing something similar on my site. We're doing some of the same things. Boy would this post have been helpful a year ago! Thanks for being an open book and sharing with us. You're amazing!

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  13. thank you rachel! great advice :)

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  14. nice job, sharing is caring :) I do Clever Girls and some affiliate stuff.

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  15. Tis is AWESOME especially for the CHAOTIC NEWBIE!!! LOL!! I am now subscribed to your email updates!!! THANKS again!!

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  16. What a great resource this is! Thank you for sharing your insights. I'm going to mention this to my newbie readers at The Blog Guidebook! Have an awesome weekend!

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    1. That's how I got here, thanks so much for the info, Sarah & Rachel. I'm a lost little newbie, and a long way from earning anything, but this post is marked for future reference. Thanks again! :)

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  17. Thank you so much for this post! Like a lot of these comments I'm pretty new too. Right now my focus is on increasing my readership.
    I've tried Business 2 Blogger. I found it to be companies who wanted bloggers to promote their stuff, and not very good stuff at that. If it works for someone...wonderful! It just wasn't for me.
    Keep up the good work!

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  18. Great advice! I am definitely going to look into the Clever Girls website!

    http://tipsforrealmoms.blogspot.com/

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