How I Make Money Blogging

While I’m not making a fortune blogging, I am making a reasonable amount of extra money and I’m we’ll on my way to turning this into a steady income. It has not been easy by any means and yes, I still look at other bloggers and wonder how they’re outpacing me. At any rate, I’m grateful for this opportunity to earn some extra cash and it seems only right to create a list of resources to share with other bloggers.

So, if you’re interested in monetizing your blog or you already are and just want some new options, this list is for you. As with my Blogging Toolbox, I’ll work hard to keep this updated (so bookmark it) and if you have a resource that’s not on my list, leave a comment and let me know about it. Make Money Blogging

Income from Writing Sponsored Posts

A sponsored post is a post I’m paid to write for a brand that incorporates talking points they want shared. This is different from a review. Here’s how I earn:

  • I receive pitches from PR reps and Brands. They typically lay out the terms of what they would like to pay and if it’s worth it, I agree. I’ve learned not to undervalue my work just to get a partnership. The sooner a blogger learns this, the better.
  • I receive responses from reps and brands who visit my PR page. If you don’t have one, create one.
  • I regularly apply for opportunities from the Blogger Networks listed below. Don’t get bogged down with rejections. Just apply and keep applying. I have gotten to the point where a couple of these networks offer me opportunities directly because I’ve built a long standing relationship with them and always work hard for them. That’s a great feeling!

Sometimes, companies will ask for your rate. I suggest having a solid system for figuring this out or choosing a standard rate that you feel comfortable with. I went ahead and created my own formula for setting sponsored post rates. It simplifies things for me.

Income from Blogging Networks

Here are most of the networks I’m signed up with. You never know where the right pitch will come, so I’m signed up in a number of places. I’m not equally active in all of these communities, but I keep myself on their email lists. I’ve tried to put it in order of my favorites/the ones I’ve worked with most.

Here’s a note, don’t stress out about applications, but sell yourself well. It’s not always about the stats (my numbers are not huge), so don’t let that stop you.

Here’s my list and quick notes about each of them:

  • Social Fabric – awesome community, TONS of educational resources, opps are not easy to get, bring your A+ game.
  • Blogher Influencer Network – I just started working with them, but only on Facebook and Twitter campaigns. I really like doing those as scheduling tweets and posts is much easier than crafting full-blown sponsored posts. Payment is slow though–60 day terms.
  • Clever Girls Collective – I’m doing more with them lately, now that they’ve started content seeding opportunities on Facebook and Twitter. I don’t think my blog stats are high enough to work on most of their campaigns. (I’m a fan, though!)
  • Linquia* – I’ve received more opportunities to work with them lately. They pay per click, which is not my favorite way to earn, but it works. (*referral link)
  • Izea* – They offer sharing opportunities for your blog and social media accounts. You bid for placement in campaigns, but you can only bid 3 times/month for free. I started paying the $5 monthly fee for premium membership and it’s definitely paid off. (*referral link)
  • Best Buy Bloggers – I’ve only worked with them a few times. Payment is in Best Buy giftcards.
  • Firestarter – Most campaigns are pay per click, but I’ve worked with them on flat fee campaigns as well.
  • Social Moms – opportunities to earn points for completing tasks, sponsored posts don’t come regularly but I’ve gotten great opps from them (like eBay earlier this year). It’s a great network.
  • Influence Central (used to be Mom Central) – steady stream of opportunities to apply for.
  • iConnect Influencer Management – another favorite, I haven’t worked on tons of campaigns, but they’re a very helpful community. They used to be Double Duty Divas.
  • Mom Select – I haven’t worked with them in a while, lots of Disney opportunities (they run Disney Social Media Moms).
  • The Motherhood –  I’ve only completed one project with them, but I like them.
  • Mom It Forward – I haven’t worked with them in a while. Recent campaigns seem to require high UVM.
  • The SITS Girls – Great community, I haven’t worked on a campaign with them in quite some time.
  • Cooperatize* – I’ve only worked with them once. The approval process for the post took longer than expected, but they pay quickly after completion.
  • Global Influence – They’ve been around a while but I don’t hear from them often.
  • Tapinfluence – I’ve been enrolled for a year, received 2 campaigns, pitches are rare.
  • Social Spark – now, not a favorite, but it has brought in a bit of income.
  • Markerly – They’re fairly new (I can’t remember what they used to be called). Opps are rare and I’ve only worked with them once.
  • Tastemaker Mom – I’ve signed up but I haven’t worked with them.
  • Advowire – It was Hireinfluence. They offer opportunities to tweet and post on Facebook. The pay isn’t very high.
  • Blog PR Wire – Emails contain pitches from companies. I’ve had a few good campaigns from this, including one with Novica.
  • One2One Network – I haven’t worked on any paid posts with them this year. I think their format has changed.
  • Blogdash – I’ve included them just to mention that I haven’t seen any campaigns from them that I’ve felt comfortable with. I recently declined an opp that requested not disclosing the sponsorship in the top of the post.

Product Review Opportunities

Many of the networks above offer product review opportunities as well. The ones listed below offer them exclusively.

  • Purex Insiders – great community with fun contests.
  • US Family Guide – I don’t do much with them, but we’ve had a couple of fun family activities like the Globetrotters. The biggest challenge is you have to post before they send you the product and I had to chase them a bit for my last two products.
  • Tomoson – I used to do a lot more, but only occasionally find products there that I’d like to review. Their selection process is a mystery to me.
  • Email companies directly. If you’re not sure who to email, google “PR or Media Contact for ____ Company.”

Affiliate and Ad Income

I’m certain I’ve left a lot of ad income on the table over the years, but I’m finally putting some time into learning how to make this work. I will say that posts have resulted in more income than sidebar ads.

  • Commission Junction – eMeals is by far my biggest earner.
  •* – Lots of fun companies to work with. (*referral link)
  • Google Adsense – I refuse to give up on Adsense, even though I haven’t made much. If I crack the code, I’ll let you know!
  • Cleverbridge – I’ve yet to make money with them.
  • Linkshare – I’ve been with them a long time but I’m not very active and haven’t made any money.
  • eBay Parnter Network – I just started with them last year. There seems to be a lot of potential to earn.

I hope this list helps you on your quest to monetize your blog. If you are having success with a particular network, please let me know!

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  • Susan {ofeverymoment}

    You have demystified a lot of the process of monetizing a blog here for me! Thanks for sharing all this great information!

    • Anitra Elmore

      I’m so glad I could help, Susan. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Julie DenOuden

    Great tips and such a great resource to bookmark!

    • Anitra Elmore

      Thanks, Julie!!

  • I always love finding posts like this. I make money blogging, too, but I’m always looking for another network to join. You have some ideas that I haven’t seen yet! One of the best ways I’ve made money so far is through Izea. It’s so worth it to pay the $1 a month to have unlimited bids. I have a feeling they give priority to the people who pay the $1, too, but I could be wrong. The only thing I don’t like about it is that it takes 30 days to get paid and then you have to wait until you have $50 to cash out. But it was sure nice once that money started rolling in, and it doesn’t take me long to get to $50.

    • zonemom

      I’m glad you mention that about IZEA. I worked with them a lot more before they changed their system and I’ve been on the fence about whether to pay. Thanks for stopping by.

  • Barbara Hoyer

    So glad I found your post on The Sits Girls Saturday Sharefest! I need to work on monetizing more, and your notes about each network are super helpful.

    • zonemom

      Glad you stopped by and glad I was able to help a bit.

  • Laina Turner

    Great tips.

  • Dee

    I love how you discussed the companies instead of just listing them. I had the same thoughts about one of the companies you mentioned, and I found some ones that were new to me. Thanks for sharing!

    • Anitra Elmore

      Glad it helps. I figure if you know someone else’s experience with a network, it helps you sort out whether it might work for you. Thanks for visiting.

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