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!
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. Some of these are referral links and I’ve indicated that with an *.
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.
- Activate – I find quite a few social media sharing campaigns through them. I’ve been selected for a number of opportunities SheKnows has listed there. They recently switched to a 90 day payment term, so it takes longer than other networks to get paid.
- 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. (I believe their opportunities come through SheKnows now. You can find them by joining Activate).
- Clever Girls Collective – Most of the work I’ve done with them have been on social sharing campaigns. I don’t think my blog stats are high enough to work on most of their campaigns. (I’m a fan, though!)
- 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 gift cards but they’re set to start paying in cash soon.
- The Sway – This network started as The SITS Girls, which was a great blogging community and now still shares helpful posts on the blog. The Sway sends out campaign opportunities via email. I’ve mostly done work on social campaigns with them.
- Tapinfluence – I’ve worked with them a few times, but I don’t often receive pitches from them. 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.
- 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.
- 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 have been rare for me and I’ve only worked with them once.
These are networks I’ve signed up with or worked with in the past and don’t use any longer. I list them here because you might have better luck with them than I had!
- 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
Affiliate companies pay you a commission when someone shops using your affiliate links. Once you sign up with the companies listed below, you’ll get access to a list of affiliate programs for stores and businesses. As an example, I’m an affiliate for Target, Best Buy and Minted, so you’ll see a number of links and posts advertising those stores here on my blog.
- Commission Junction – eMeals is by far my biggest earner.
- Shareasale.com* – Lots of fun companies to work with. (*referral link)
- Google Adsense – It took a number of years for me to start making money with Google ads, but they made a number of changes in 2018 that have made things a bit easier.
- Linkshare – I’ve been with them a long time but I’m not very active and haven’t made any money.
- eBay Partner 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!
Anitra is the founder of The Mama Zone and she’s been sharing useful tips for mom here since 2009.