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, but 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. Please note, some of these are referral links. I’ve noted those with an asterisk. (Last updated 6/26/17)
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 email companies directly. When I find a brand I really want to work with, I pitch them by email. To find out who to contact, simply check their website for a Media or PR contact name and email address. If you can’t find it there, google “PR or Media Contact for ____ Company” or check on Linkedin. I recommend Brandi Riley’s Pitch Session book if you’re stuck about what to say.
- 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. A few years ago, I went ahead and created my own formula for setting sponsored post rates. I don’t really use it much now, but it simplified things for me and gives newer bloggers a starting point.
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’ve worked with them 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!)
- Tapinfluence – I’ve worked with them a few times, but pitches are rare. I’ve been told brands and agencies search Tap for influencers regularly and it’s important to keep your account and media kit updated there.
- 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.
- Social Moms – Sponsored posts don’t come regularly and I’m not sure how active they are at this point.
- Influence Central (used to be Mom Central) – steady stream of opportunities to apply for.
- iConnect Influencer Management – Most opps are for moms with babies. They’re payout is 90 days, so I don’t apply often.
- 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.
- Linquia* – They pay per click, which is not my favorite way to earn, but it works. (*referral link)
- Blog PR Wire – Emails contain pitches from companies. I’ve had a few good campaigns from this, including one with Novica.
- Markerly – Opps are rare and I’ve only worked with them once.
These are networks I’ve worked with in the past but don’t use any longer:
- 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.
- One2One Network – Many of their opps were low payment, contests or payment via Amazon gift card. I don’t work with them any more.
- Firestarter – Most campaigns are pay per click, but I’ve worked with them on flat fee campaigns as well.
- 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
I don’t work with networks on reviews any more, but I’m leaving the list here for those of you who do reviews. Many of the networks above offer product review opportunities as well. The ones listed below offer them exclusively.
- Email companies directly. Check their website for a Media or PR contact name and email address. If you can’t find it there, google “PR or Media Contact for ____ Company” or check on Linkedin. I recommend Brandi Riley’s Pitch Session book if you’re stuck about what to say.
- Social Insiders (previously Purex Insiders)-there was a fun community and rewards opportunities when it first started. I’ve only heard from them once recently and the pay was very low. Hanging in there with them for now.
US Family Guide– I left this network, but I did have a couple of fun family opportunities like the Globetrotters. The biggest challenge is you have to post before they send you the product and their response/follow up is slow. Tomoson– I used to do a lot more, but only occasionally found products there that I wanted to review. I’ve cancelled my account with them.
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.
- Shareasale.com* – 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!
- 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.
- Grove.co Influencers* – I love Grove Collaborative. They sell natural cleaning and beauty products (think Yes to Carrots and Mrs. Meyer’s). They invite influencers to participate in campaigns and they have a good payout.
- Impact Radius – They manage affiliate programs for a number of stores. I’m currently only signed up for Target.
- Zaycon Fresh Influencers* – Earn $15 per new customer and $5 for each influencer referral.
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!