It’s no secret that I make money and receive compensation for my blog. In fact, it’s illegal to keep this a secret and it’s only fair for you to know that sometimes the products that I write about are purposefully handed to me so that I will show them off. Nobody really seems to mind that this is the case and I’ve realized recently that some people are interested in how this whole mythical blogging land works behind the scenes. How do you really make money behind the veiled curtain?
Easy Money from Blogging
There’s no such thing as easy money when it comes to blogging. Basically, the more time and effort you put into something, the better payout you will have… most of the time. I’m familiar with a lot of the ways that people can make money on the internet because it used to be my job to entice people to get involved on the internet to make money. My first post-college job was with 1&1 Internet, The World’s Largest Webhost, and the brainchild of this ad-tastic mutt:
My time at 1&1 was spent surfing the internet for work-related projects, searching the internet for non-work-related-projects, paying my bills online, and learning how other people use the internet very effectively while waiting for the leaders of my company to do the same thing. At the end of my 18 month tenure, I felt that I had learned very little. Consequently, I knew just enough to pique my interest about starting a blog. I simply had to wait for the right inspiration for what to write.
At first, I wrote about money. I was fascinated with green back then, too. I could have made a lot of money on that blog with the right motivation, but it wasn’t there. When Hannah was born, I started writing for another blog to earn ‘cloth diaper bucks’ to help pay for some of the stash that turned me onto green living. It was fun and my family liked reading the posts, so I decided to write my first Mom blog to share everything that I was learning about being a Mother. At the time, it was mostly a journal, until one night I had an epiphany for a fun name and Eco Incognito was born.
Starting out in the blogging realm was exciting. I dove headfirst into Twitter as a way to connect with brands and other successful bloggers. I built my network and I began to build my brand following what I felt was a good path. I’ve taken some advice along the way and mixed it with what I know from the corporate world (which is much less than what Mommies know) to create my own blog plan.
Right now, I don’t make very much money on my blog. I also don’t get very much stuff in comparison to other blogs. But, I do get more than people who don’t have a blog that spend exactly the same amount of time as I do on the internet… if not MORE. So, it got me thinking, what is keeping everyone else from blogging? I know there are fears for privacy issues, and I respect those, but I put them aside for the most part. There are also TROLLS that can potentially write nasty things about you on your very own blog! To them, I say, whatever. I would rather have my great blog where I share about my kids and my life than worry about tip-toeing around everyone’s feelings forever. I have offended people with my writing. I have also helped people find life-changing information and confidence that they might not have found otherwise. The thing that keeps me going is having a network of friends, frenemies, and colleagues that all participate in my blog-o-sphere. My blog isn’t going to be the #1 blog on the planet, but people still read it and that’s enough for me.
That’s also all it takes to make a few bucks here and there. The possibilities for making money through blogging are endless. However, there is one KEY to making money on the internet. Respect your network. When you have an opportunity to join a network, take it and foster that. The internet works in strange ways and the coding on the backend works best to support those who support others. There are many other amazing features of these ‘secret societies’ that offer bloggers the type of support you just can’t buy.
A few weeks ago, my favorite blogging network, the Philly Social Media Moms hosted a workshop on monetizing blogs. Three very smart ladies shared their advice for making money from their blogs. The key takeaway? Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.
First, Mindi Cherry of Moms Need to Know explained affiliate marketing. If you have ever read a coupon blog and wondered how they post so often and find out all the great deals, it is through affiliate networks. By signing up for these, the bloggers get the information delivered directly to them and then make money from the people who click those links. There are big bucks in couponing blogs, but you have to earn every penny. This is a huge time commitment without much leeway because readers expect to find the information at a quick pace. If not, they will find it elsewhere.
Next, I learned from Tina Seitzinger of Life Without Pink how to build a blog as a demonstration of social media skills. By staying connected with an influential group and keeping up-to-date on social media trends, parents who stay home have plentiful opportunities to return to the workforce when the time is right. Even better? Many of the available positions are home-based or offer work-from-home opportunities especially when it comes to freelancing.
My inspiration for blogging is Colleen Padilla of Classy Mommy. Although we blog about very different topics, her enthusiasm for each post and effort in delivering a positive message make her a great role model for bloggers. She even wrote a book called The Digital Mom Handbook. Colleen suggests finding multiple ways to build relationships with brands. Bloggers can begin as influencers by joining networks like Mamavation or The SITS Girls. These early blogging connections can start as sponsored posts or participation during Tweetups and progress to becoming Brand Ambassadors. Companies use a group of ambassadors to help deliver their message and often compensate the bloggers with money or sought-after products. The highest tier of brand sponsorship is to deliver a message as the Brand Spokesperson. In this role, the blogger benefits from being the face of the organization and signs on for a long-term commitment to share the best of what the brand has to offer for a year or more.
Green companies take note – Eco Incognito is actively interested in partnering as a Brand Spokesperson!
Altogether, there are plenty of opportunities to make money blogging. The blogging community also works as a team to help one another in finding and creating these opportunities. The next time you post to Facebook, pin, or tweet something, stop and think. Could I be making money on this? The answer is yes. But, you have to create your blog as your home base so that the brands who want to work with you can find you.
If you don’t know where to start ask a question, leave a comment, or connect with another blogger. Are you inspired?