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How to Start an #Etsy Shop | Get the step-by-step guide on how to launch an online shop on Etsy. Including free guide and 40 free listings!

How to Start an Etsy Shop: The Ultimate 2017 Guide

I have been a creative, crafty person ever since I was little. Doing arts and crafts was my jam, and I used to churn out rainbow drawings like it was my JOB.

I was in my 20’s, working at a non-profit from 9-5, when I heard about Etsy for the first time. An online marketplace for craft sellers. Sounded amazing. I spent hours browsing all the fun products that were for sale, and then totally on a whim opened up my own shop.

I didn’t even know what I was going to sell.

Since I had recently taken up knitting, I figured I would throw a few baby booties up there. Sell a few of those. Man, was that ever a lame idea. It took me FOREVER to make those booties and I think I came away making like less than $5 a pair. But… I was hooked.

I moved onto selling some original art.

Then, after my husband Dan was like “Gemma, make these into prints and then you don’t have to do a whole new painting each time”, and I was all “duh!!”, I moved into art prints. For quite a long time I did mostly custom prints where I would be adding on names or wedding dates to prints of my watercolour map paintings. They sold, but just like a slow and steady stream. Nothing crazy.

I learned and refined what I was doing. My style evolved and I started to work with manufacturers. I now sell mugs, tote bags, pouches, pillows, and art prints (none of those watercolour maps anymore, though!). I sell regular retail but also on the wholesale side to boutiques, which has doubled my revenue. This is my shop.

I took that first 20 cent listing fee and have turned it into a lucrative revenue stream for myself. It’s part of how I have been able to take my blogging business full-time.

Are you interested in doing the same?

I know lots of people who say they want to sell on Etsy, but keep putting it off because they think it’s going to be complicated or because they need to have everything “just so” before they launch. I say to just jump in. Done is better than perfect and it’s always best just to get started and improve as you go.

I’m a perfect example of that.

 

Free Quick Start Guide

Before we dive into the 8 steps, make sure you grab my quick start guide. You can follow it through step-by-step to get your shop up and running!

Sell on Etsy: Quick Start Guide

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Set up your Etsy shop without all the guesswork. Grab your Quick Start guide for the step-by-step instructions on launching your shop!

Powered by ConvertKit

 

Drop Shipping Manufacturers List

You might also be interested in snagging my list of drop-shipping manufacturers. If you want to start an Etsy shop and are thinking of getting some of your items produced FOR you, this is a great way to go. I lay out the manufacturers I have personally worked with, and why you might want to go this route!

Get the List of Dropshipping Manufacturers!

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I'll send you my private list of dropshipping manufacturers straight to your email inbox. The perfect way to get starting with your new online shop!

Powered by ConvertKit

 

How to Start an Etsy Shop

Alright, let’s jump in….

 

Getting Started: Sign up for an Etsy Account

You may already have an Etsy account, but if you don’t have one yet head on over to Etsy.com and create one.

Click “Sign In” then “Register” to create your username and password. Do it through my link and you’ll get 40 free listings (disclosure: I get 40 free too)!

Step 1: Name Your Shop

Once you have your account setup, you will need a name for your shop in order to open it.

This is often where people get stuck. Naming can be HARD.

Do a brainstorming session, write out as many ideas as you can, and let them sit with you a day or two. Ask your family and friends for their opinion. Do some searching online to make sure no one else has that name already.

I don’t want you to get stuck on this step, but I also don’t want you to take it too lightly either. Etsy gives you one chance to change your shop name should you want to, but getting it right the first time means that you won’t have to go through that headache. And you want to just start building your brand from the beginning – changing names midway through is not only a pain, but not great for brand recognition and credibility.

So once you’ve landed on a few good options, head on back to your Etsy account and see if the name is available. If it isn’t, can you add “boutique” or “shop” or “company” to the end of it?

Done? Congratulations. You officially have an online shop!

 

Step 2: Choose Brand Colours

This is a step that a lot of people don’t think about, but at this point I want you to consider your overall brand’s look. Having a shop hosted on Etsy means that you can’t do a ton of branding in terms of fonts and design (you just have to inherit the overall Etsy look), but you can have a colour palette to create an overall aesthetic.

Pick 2-4 colours that you will stick to in your logo and look. By favourite way of doing this is to head on over to Coolors.com and create a palette. Use those exact colour HEX codes anytime you are creating a logo, graphic, or anything else for your shop. It will become like your shop’s “style guide”.

Step 3: Create your Logo and Header

Using those colours you came up with above, and your shop name, it’s time to put together a logo and header for your shop.

If that feels overwhelming to you, don’t worry, there is a super easy way of doing it.

Go to Canva.com

Click on the “more” button to see all of their templates.

Then check it out… one for Etsy shop logos and Etsy shop cover photos!!!! They are perfectly sized already and have a bunch of templates to choose from.

Jackpot, right?

I would start with your logo, and just have a browse through all of the different template options. There will be tons that are free, and others that might cost $1. Go with the one you love. Even if it’s $1, think of what you saved by not having to hire a graphic designer!

Play around with the logos, insert your own shop name and text, and switch the colours to the ones you landed on when doing your branding.

Once you have your logo, go ahead and make a cover photo that matches. Have a look through other Etsy shops to see what they put in their cover photos. Some put some text indicating what items they sell, or coupon codes, etc. You can even change your Etsy shop cover photo seasonally, if you like.

OR you don’t even need a cover photo at all! I personally find that they take up a lot of room and I prefer to have my products right up high when someone lands on my shop. That’s why I skipped the cover photo altogether.

 

Step 4: Get your Photos

Product photography. I would argue that this is the MOST crucial element of setting up your Etsy shop.

If you have lacklustre photos, you are not going to make sales. When was the last time you bought a product online where the listing had crappy photos? Probably never.

So, you have a few options:

#1 – Learn.

Take a course. Play around with your camera. Create backdrops, shoot near a window with lots of natural light, get familiar with editing tools.

If you are going to go this route, then I would start out by keeping it really simple and using a plain white backdrop (you can use white foam board from the dollar store) for your items. Get fancier with your shoots as your photography skills improve.

 

#2 – Use a Mock Up.

If you are selling a product like art prints or 11 ounce white mugs, there are tons of mock up images out there that you can purchase, digitally add your design on to, and then use it as your product photo. The beauty about this is that you can use the same mock up photo over and over again for the various designs you might be selling.

My fave sources for mock ups?

  1. Creative Market – search for just about anything in here.
  2. Etsy – yep, Etsy itself has a bunch of sellers who are selling mock up photos.

Can’t find a mock up you like, or can’t find your product? Get in touch with one of the mock up photographers whose shop you like and see if they do custom work. You could send them your blank product and have them take mock ups just for you.

 

#3 – Hire a photographer.

This option is obviously the most expensive of the bunch, but if you are going to invest in anything for your shop, this should be it. Getting professional quality photos of your products is going to be what makes your shop stand over the rest. If you sell one of a kind items, then this is going to get insanely expensive if you have to professional shoot each individual product for only 1 sale. However, if you make something that you are going to sell again and again, but can just shoot it once, then the return on investment will be worth it.

 

Step 5: Land on a Price

Pricing. Don’t just pull a number out of thin air. You should be pricing your product according to a formula.

Step 1. Calculate your total cost for the product.

Step 2. Add in an hourly wage for the time it takes you to make each product.

Step 3. Add up your total cost and hourly wage, so you know exactly how much each product costs you to sell.

Step 4. Do some market research on price to see how your competition stacks up.

Step 5. Land on your price. Don’t price too low – always aim to be in the mid to higher end. Low price just makes your item appear low value to buyers, and it will take you many more sales to make the same amount of profit.

If you want to sell your items wholesale, make sure you have a big enough margin to do so. Wholesale buyers will generally expect to buy your product from you for half of what you retail it for (so that they can double the cost and re-sell to their customers). This means that your margin needs to be big enough to support that, and still make money.

 

Step 6: Brainstorm your Keywords

Etsy Search Engine Optimization (SEO) is a whole art of its own. There are different rules to play by then what you might be used to with optimizing for Google, so do some reading on how to optimize your listings on Etsy.

Start out by brainstorming all the keywords and phrases that people would use to search for the item you are trying to sell. Check out similar shops and see the keywords and phrases they are using in their listing titles and tags. Keep this in a big excel spreadsheet.

Once you have that list, enter the best keyword phrases into your listing title and tags. You can also get specific in your listing with things like attributes and who the product is for.

Don’t use the same primary keyword phrase for all of your listings, as Etsy will only show you a limited number of times on the first page of search. If all of your listings are trying to “rank” for the same keyword phrase, then you’re just competing against yourself.

Watch how your listings do and edit the keywords every now and again to try to improve how often you are getting found.

 

Step 7: Create your Listing

Now that you have your photos, your price, and your keywords, it’s time to actually create the listing.

In terms of the text in the main body of your listing, what I recommend is looking around on Etsy at other shops. See what other people are writing who sell similar things to do and figure out what you do and don’t like in terms of how the listing is written. Don’t plagiarize anything (obviously!!) but try to take the stuff you like best and incorporate that into your own listing.

It’s better to put too much information than too little. Try to include:

  • A detailed description of what your product is and who it’s for (ex. “A great gift for grads!”)
  • Materials used
  • Size (give dimensions)
  • Any special instructions (possibility of custom work, whether there are printing instructions for digital products, etc)
  • Shipping information
  • Any “as seen on” type of promotion (if the product has been used/featured by a blogger, include a link to the article in your listing!)
  • A small sentence about you, your shop, your values

I also like to include a “back to the shop” link at the bottom of the listing that returns customers to my Etsy shop.

Here is a snapshot from one of my tote bag listings in my shop

In terms of number of listings, generally the more the better.

A shop with 50 listings looks a lot more legit than a shop with only 5. I know this can be difficult depending on the type of product you sell, but I would suggest that you aim to have at least 10 listings to start out with.

 

Step 8: Promote, Test, Tweak, Learn

Once you have your shop up, it’s time to promote it. Reach out on social media, use your email list (or build one if you don’t have one already), pin images of your products on Pinterest, send free products to influencers to see if they will write or post about your product, try to get press features by sending emails to editors. Do everything you can do to create buzz about your shop.

Then monitor what is and isn’t working. Check in on your analytics every week or at least once a month to see what you could be doing better and where the majority of your traffic is coming from. See which listings are doing well and which aren’t. Try to discover why that might be and tweak them to see if things improve.

Don’t get discouraged if it takes a while for your shop to grow. These things can be a “slow burn” and it can take time for it to build up. Just keep working at it and when you find something that works, try to repeat it.

Get on some newsletters by Etsy educators to keep learning. A few I recommend: The Merriweather Council and Makery Space.

And that’s it.

Boom. You’ve just opened up an Etsy shop. 

 

Free Quick Start Guide!

Don’t forget to grab the guide. It’s an 11-page workbook that will take you through every step. Use your guide as you work your way through launching your shop to make it suuuuper easy for you!!

Sell on Etsy: Quick Start Guide

Etsy-quick-start-guide

Set up your Etsy shop without all the guesswork. Grab your Quick Start guide for the step-by-step instructions on launching your shop!

Powered by ConvertKit

 

Don’t forget to Pin it!

How to Start an #Etsy Shop | Get the step-by-step guide on how to launch an online shop on Etsy. Including free guide and 40 free listings!

 

Related Posts:

How to work with a drop-ship manufacturer to create a product line.

6 Reasons To Sell on Etsy 

How to Start a Blog

How to make money on #pinterest with #affiliate marketing | Blogger, entrepreneur or small business owner - you should be using affiliate links on Pinterest. It's a great way to make money.. passive income! Click through for the step by step tutorial with screenshots on how to embed and add your affiliate links to pinterest.

How To Use Affiliate Links on Pinterest To Make Money

Affiliate marketing is one of those avenues of blog monetization that you want to hit from all angles. Often it just brings in little drops of income, but each of those drops will fill a bucket and can turn into a lucrative income stream. So outside of blog posts, you need to make sure you are capitalizing on affiliate linking in your social media strategy: Enter Pinterest.

Pinterest had previously put a ban on affiliate links, but in 2016 they lifted the reins and opened it up again to affiliate linking.

If you haven’t been capitalizing with affiliate links on Pinterest yet, now is the time.

What exactly do I mean when I say affiliate links on Pinterest? Well, I’m not referring to pinning photos from your own blog posts that have affiliate links in them. I’m talking about pinning product images on Pinterest and embedding your direct affiliate link into that pin. When a viewer on pinterest clicks on that product pin, they are taken straight to the product’s website via your affiliate link (and not to your blog).

Pretty sweet, right? We all know that there are tons of folks out there browsing Pinterest for inspiring things to make and buy.

 

Free Workbook

Before we dive in to the step-by-step instruction, make sure to grab this free Pinterest workbook. It’s going to help guide you in creating a better Pinterest profile and show you how to grow your traffic using Pinterest.

FREE Pinterest Workbook

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Build your traffic and your brand on Pinterest with these quick-to-implement strategies.

Powered by ConvertKit

 

Alright, let’s walk through a quick tutorial and show you how easy it is to embed affiliate links on Pinterest.

 

How to Embed Affiliate Links on Pinterest:

 

Step 1 / Find Product

First up is to find the product you’d like to pin. For this example, I’m going to pin some super fun oversized gold clips from Urban Outfitters.

I go find the product on it’s website, and usually there is a pin-it button somewhere on that page. With Urban Outfitters, you can see that there was a pinterest button on the far right side of the page, and also one that appeared when I hovered above the image.

Step 2 / Pin Product

Click on the pinterest button to pin the image to pinterest.

Fill in the description so that it represents what the product is all about. Throw in as many keywords as you can into the paragraph to increase the chances of that pin being found in a search.

Also *always* make sure to put in your affiliate disclosure into the description of the pin, to comply by FTC guidelines. Something like [affiliate] should be sufficient.

Then choose the board you want to pin it to (if you’re with Tailwind*, you could schedule the pin using their “schedule” button like you see beside the search bar in my example pic, but I’m going to proceed with this tutorial as though you were just pinning it normally).

 

Step 3 / View Pin

Right after you have pinned something, a screen will pop up that shows other boards where that same pin lives, but in the bottom right hand there is a red “See It Now” button. Click that button!

Do it quickly, since it disappears quickly.

Step 4 / Edit Link

Then you’ll come to this screen, which shows your pin and a few different options.

Click on the “Edit” button in the top left corner.

This second screen will pop up, which gives you the field where the URL for the pin lives. You can see right now that it’s directing viewers to the urban outfitters link where I got the product image from.

So instead of that link, I replace it with my affiliate link that takes the viewer to the same page.

To get your affiliate link, you’ll need to login to whatever affiliate network you work with and get your URL. I use RewardStyle, but you might be with ShopStyle Collective, Affiliate Window, CJ Affiliates, etc. Here is a blog post that outlines a bunch of affiliate agencies and the brands they work with.

Also know that at this time as far as I know, you are not allowed to use Amazon Affiliate US links on Pinterest (something to do with Amazon’s Terms of Service).

 

That’s it!

You have officially done an affiliate pin.

Oh and I should mention – you don’t have to use the brand’s product photo. If you have an amazing original photo that you took yourself of the product, then totally feel free to use that one instead!

 

Want to take your Pinterest to the next level?

Grab the workbook I have put together below. Some actionable strategies you can using right away to increase your following, get more repins, and grow your traffic!

FREE Pinterest Workbook

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Build your traffic and your brand on Pinterest with these quick-to-implement strategies.

Powered by ConvertKit

 

A few things to remember:

 

Imagery:

One of the big “rules” of creating a great Pinterest feed, which encourages followers, is to have an overall aesthetic to your boards and pins. You want to curate a beautiful experience so when someone lands on your pinterest page, they are immediately drawn to it (if they share the same interests/style!) and follow you.

Keep this in mind when you are pinning affiliate stuff. Don’t pin it just for the hell of it. Make sure it stays true to your look and feel.

I always try to keep to vertical images, so a lot of times a products image just won’t work well with Pinterest. Even if I love the product, if the image isn’t good for Pinterest, I don’t bother.

 

Don’t bombard:

As with anything, don’t go overboard with this. I don’t have a formula and there isn’t a hard and fast rule, but I keep my affiliate pins to a certain small percentage of my overall pins.

 

Mix It Up:

You could create a board that was something like “favourite rugs” or “throw pillows” and pin a bunch of affiliate ones in there, but I personally like to mix up my affiliate pins throughout my main boards. For example, I could pin a product image of a gorgeous marble and wood cutting board into my kitchen design board. Or a gold toilet paper holder into my bathroom design board.

Do whatever feels right for your Pinterest feed, and then go in and monitor how your affiliate pins do a few months down the road. Maybe the ones mixed into your main boards will get more repins, or vice versa. Then build on whatever works.

I started doing affiliate links on Pinterest just a few months ago, so I don’t have a lot of data to report back on about whether it’s been very lucrative for me yet, but I’ll keep you posted on how it goes! The thing about Pinterest is that it only takes one pin to go kinda viral, and you may bring home some serious bank.

Let me know if you try out the tutorial, and how affiliate links on Pinterest do for you!

 

Want more? You might also be interested in:

If you have wanted to try a pinning scheduler, you’re in luck. I put together a comprehensive BoardBooster tutorial. I have used both Boardbooster and Tailwind, and I honestly can’t live without Boardbooster.

How to setup Boardbooster | Put your pinning on autopilot and use this amazing scheduling tool to repin your content and automate new pins. Click through for the step-by-step set up tutorial.

This post has a bunch of affiliate networks to join, if you aren’t a part of many yet. You’ll be able to get affiliate links for a huge variety of brands, like Etsy, Target, Lowe’s, West Elm, and more.

Affiliate Marketing Networks | How to get affiliate links | Make money blogging | Affiliate networks for home and DIY bloggers

This last post goes over affiliate marketing strategy. If you’ve just been willy nilly inserting amazon affiliate links here and there into a few posts, have a read through this one to get a whole lot more strategic and purposeful.

Affiliate marketing is a great strategy for making money blogging. Here are 5 things you can do today to increase your affiliate earnings. Plus, where to get affiliate links, and a free tracking sheet!

*Affiliate link.

Create a Profitable Blog: FREE eCourse

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Sign up for my FREE 7-day email course to get action-packed lessons on monetizing your blog delivered straight to your inbox. Go from hobby blog to legit biz.

Powered by ConvertKit

 

 

Don’t forget to Pin it!

How to make money on #pinterest with #affiliate marketing | Blogger, entrepreneur or small business owner - you should be using affiliate links on Pinterest. It's a great way to make money.. passive income! Click through for the step by step tutorial with screenshots on how to embed and add your affiliate links to pinterest.

Blogger, entrepreneur or small business owner - you should be using affiliate links on Pinterest. It's a great way to make money - a passive income! Click through for the step by step tutorial with screenshots on how to embed and add your affiliate links to pinterest.

Related:

-Boardbooster Tutorial

-Affiliate Marketing Programs to Join

-How to Start a Blog

 

Want to start an online #shop to help grow your #blog income? Get the info on creating a line of physical products to sell on Etsy, Amazon, eBay, Shopify, etc using dropshipping manufacturing. Plus a list of manufacturers to get you started!

How to Create Your Own Product Line with Dropshipping Manufacturers

Want to start an online #shop to help grow your #blog income? Get the info on creating a line of physical products to sell on Etsy, Amazon, eBay, Shopify, etc using #dropshipping #manufacturing.
Want to start an online #shop to help grow your #blog income? Get the info on creating a line of physical products to sell on Etsy, Amazon, eBay, Shopify, etc using #dropshipping #manufacturing.

Have you wondered how to create your own product line without going the handmade route?

If you have been reading this blog for a while, you’ll know I am a big promoter of diversifying your income streams as a blogger.

There are the traditional ways of monetizing – display ads, affiliate marketing, and sponsored work – but then there are some not-so-traditional avenues too.

Selling my own physical products in an online shop is one of the ways in which I have been able to dramatically increase my income. It’s a great way of expanding the potential your blogging biz.

I started off selling knit baby booties on Etsy, then moved into paintings, then art prints, and now carry pillows, pencil cases, mugs, tote bag, and more to come.

Etsy Shop Tips | Thinking about opening up an Etsy shop? Wondering if you should open up on your own e-commerce website instead? Here are the reasons why starting on Etsy is a great idea, and how launching a product line can be a good avenue for monetizing your blog. Click through for the full post and lots of etsy and blogging tips!

 

As currently a stay-at-home mama though, who still spends a lot of time on those “traditional” blogging channels, I needed the online shop to be manageable.

When I first started with the handmade items, making, packaging and shipping each one was OK. But as things grew, orders became overwhelming, I became busier with kids, and it wasn’t making sense anymore.

I thought about hiring a helper, but I wasn’t sure if that was really the best move financially or time-wise (managing a person takes time!). I also wanted to expand my line beyond things I knew how to physically make (ie. I didn’t know how to screeprint a tote bag), but I knew that I didn’t have the budget to purchase a large wholesale bulk order, or have the space to hold all that inventory.

 

Enter dropshipping manufacturers.

If you have a design idea and want to translate that into product, then a drop-shipping manufacturer might be just the right thing to go from concept to reality.

Basically, a dropshipping manufacturer is a company that does two things:

First, they print the product for you. So whether it’s a tee-shirt, a mug, an art print, a tea towel, whatever, they source the product and print it.

Secondly, the dropship part refers to the fact that they will ship the product directly to your customer on your behalf. This is amazing because it means you don’t have to package and ship the product yourself, and you don’t need to order and store inventory.

Before we dig in to how it works, make sure to snag my list of dropshipping manufacturers. I’m spilling the details in here on which manufacturer you might want to use, including the ones I have personally used for my own shop!

Get the List of Dropshipping Manufacturers!

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I'll send you my private list of dropshipping manufacturers straight to your email inbox. The perfect way to get starting with your new online shop!

Powered by ConvertKit

 

You can also get in on my free 10-day email course that takes you through how to launch a shop. It’s packed with actionable advice!!

 

Here is how it works:

1 / You create your design

Maybe you are a hand-letterer who wants to translate your quotes onto products. Or maybe you are a painter. A graphic designer. A photographer. Whatever it is that you design, if it can be made into a digital graphic (ie. a PNG or JPG file), then it can be translated onto a product.

Even if you don’t have experience taking your art and making it digital, do some searching around on Google for tutorials. It’s probably easier than you think and just requires some software and know-how.

Or if you don’t have much experience in graphic design but know exactly what you’d like to create, then maybe take an online course in graphic design or watch some tutorials on YouTube. I self taught myself using videos and courses on how to use Illustrator!

The ability to take design and turn it into a product line is easier than it ever has been.

 

2 / Choose a dropshipping manufacturer

There are a ton of dropshipping manufacturers out there, and you might spend ages down the rabbit hole on Google checking them all out.

You should also know that not all dropshipping companies are manufacturers who print designs – some are simply companies that offer dropshipping of products (anything – tech, home decor, jewelry, etc!) that you could resell online, like through Amazon or your own website. That kind of dropshipping isn’t what I’m referring to here.

I’m referring only to companies that actually manufacture an item that has YOUR design on it. This is to create a brand new product line that has your aesthetic and your branding.

I have used several myself, researched, and talked to friends. Ultimately I have come up with a list of about 20 manufacturers who you could partner with. If you want access to that document, it’s all yours! Just enter your info below and I’ll shoot it over via email.

Get the List of Dropshipping Manufacturers!

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I'll send you my private list of dropshipping manufacturers straight to your email inbox. The perfect way to get starting with your new online shop!

Powered by ConvertKit

 

A word of warning: You’ll want to ask questions and be comfortable with whatever manufacturer you partner with. Find out where the items are made, how many employees they have, what their policies are, etc. I know for me that it’s important that I partner with a company that has strong ethics and fair policies.

Further, if you are going to sell on Etsy, then you need to abide by Etsy’s rules around manufacturers, and apply to have your outside manufacturer approved (you can do that here).

 

 

3 / Order samples

Once you have decided on a company to try out, upload your designs using their interface. You’ll be able to play around with placement, style, etc. and see how your design looks on the product.

I usually do a design in Adobe Illustrator (the graphic design software I use), upload it to my manufacturer’s website to see how it looks on the product mock-up, and then go back to Illustrator to make edits. I do this a few times until I get the product to look just right. Don’t rush it – make sure you take the time to ensure your design looks amazing.

Then once you’ve done that, I encourage you to order samples of the product. I have put an asterix beside the manufacturers I have personally used and can recommend in the Manufacturer’s List, but you’ll want to do quality control yourself.

Usually I’ll order samples of every product in every design and put it through testing before launching.

For example, with my mug line, I ordered the mugs and used them for my coffee every single day for months before actually launching. I wanted to make sure those bad boys held up to my dishwasher, and that I actually liked them before selling to the public.

Similarly, I’m currently putting some tee-shirts and tote bags through quality control testing right now!

Not only do you want these samples for ensuring quality, but you also need them to photograph for your shop.

 

4 / Photograph

Once you have developed your product line you need to actually launch it online.

There is prep work involved here: You need to photograph your products (or use a mock-up if that makes sense for what you’re selling) and write out your product descriptions.

If you aren’t adept at using your camera, either check out tutorials online or potentially hire someone to photograph your products for you. Photos are what sell products, so you want to make sure that yours are STELLAR.

Creative Market* is the best spot to find product mock-ups.

If you are looking for some mock-ups for art prints, stationery, or mugs, Lucie from White Hart Co. is one of my absolute faves. A really beautiful, minimal, style that lets the product shine. I love these  simple black frames* of hers if you are selling art or photography prints…

And aren’t these bright and sweet mug mock-ups* are LOVELY?!

Remember that with any mock-ups you need to make sure the sizing is right. You can’t advertise a 14 oz mug using a mock-up showing an 11 oz, or sell an 8×10 print with a mock up meant for 5×7. See what I mean?

As for writing your product descriptions, make sure you are connecting with your potential customer. Tell them how the product will solve a problem or enhance their life in some way, and then give all of the specifics: sizing, product materials, how it’s shipped, etc. Don’t leave anything out – you want to be as upfront with the info as possible, partly just to reduce the number of customer inquiries you may receive!

 

4 / Launch your new shop!

There are a ton of options for actually selling online.

You can sell on your own wordpress blog by using WooCommerce.

You can use an ecommerce platform like Shopify or BigCartel.

Or you can sell on one of the big sites like Etsy, Amazon, or eBay.

I currently use Etsy and have outlined my reasons for loving their platform in this post. But choose the platform(s) that are going to be the right fit for you. There are pro’s and con’s to each.

(I’m going to test out Amazon this year and will report back on my success over there!)

 

6 / Sell!

Now it’s time to sell!

Unless you are a unicorn, you probably won’t make a zillion sales right away magically. You need to put in the work!

This means marketing. Figuring out how to optimize the SEO for your product listings, having amazing photos, writing blog posts that feature your products, building your email list of customers, connecting with bloggers and influencers to have them promote your product, reaching out to press and magazines for features, etc etc.

Don’t let that overwhelm you though – simply choose one or two areas to focus on first and go from there. You don’t need to do it all at once! I would recommend focusing on SEO and photos first, and then the rest over time as your shop grows in momentum.

 

Free Email Course

Click here to snag my totally free, 10-day email course that takes you through how to launch a shop!

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Want to start an online #shop to help grow your #blog income? Get the info on creating a line of physical products to sell on Etsy, Amazon, eBay, Shopify, etc using dropshipping manufacturing. Plus a list of manufacturers to get you started!

 

 

 

Free Resource

And if you didn’t catch it above, make sure to download my Manufacturer’s List to help you get on your way to setting up your shop. I’ve done the legwork for you – save yourself the headache!

Get the List of Dropshipping Manufacturers!

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I'll send you my private list of dropshipping manufacturers straight to your email inbox. The perfect way to get starting with your new online shop!

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*Affiliate links have been used. Please know I only ever recommend products and services I genuinely believe in and use myself.

 

Related:

8 Bloggers who sell physical products

How to Start an Etsy Shop

How to Start a Blog

Start an online shop on your #blog! Here are 8 Bloggers who sell Products through their Blog. A great way to make money blogging!

Start Your Online Shop: 8 Bloggers Who Sell Physical Products

One of the things I’m always talking about when it comes to monetizing your blog, is to make sure that you diversify your income streams. In the ever-changing landscape of blogging, you do not want to put all of your eggs in one basket.

Why?

If you rely solely on ad revenue, then if your page views take a nose-dive because of a pinterest algorithm change, you’re panicking. If you rely mostly on sponsored posts and there are a dry couple of months when brand budgets are down, you’ll be feeling that too. If you rely only on affiliate income, what if a slow month randomly hits after Christmas?

By diversifying the income streams, if one of them takes a hit one month, then it isn’t really the end of the world. And, let’s have some real talk: it’s hard to build up a sizeable income with only the traditional forms of blog monetization (ads, sponsored work, affiliate marketing). It takes time, a lot of hard work, and the chase for page views.

Selling your own products or services – whatever that might look like for you – is something I recommend to every single blogger who wants to turn their blog into a business. It means you are taking your revenue into your own hands.

 

Free eBook

Before we dive in, make sure to grab my eBook that goes over how to start a product line or service as part of your blog. There are a TON of tips packed in and it’ll be a perfect jumping off point for this new part of your business.

FREE eBook!

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This eBook covers the 101 of selling products & services, includes case studies, and has a huge list of product and service ideas to get your blogging biz booming!

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Selling Physical Products:

So what about going the physical product route? Are you at a bit of a loss of where to start? Thinking about starting a product line can be daunting or overwhelming.

I thought it would be fun to check out what others are doing as a source of inspiration. Here are some amazing bloggers who have all started selling physical products. They are all a little different, doing things their own way, and rocking it.

 

1 // Centsational Girl

Kate from Centsational Girl is one of the original DIY and home decor bloggers. The girl has created an amazing and popular blog, that tons of folks flock to for inspiration and advice. She clearly has an eye for design, so she has used that to create a fabric, wallpaper, and gift wrap line utilizing SpoonFlower. So many people go to her for design advice, so it was probably a natural move to offer something that could help get that “Centsational Girl look” in their own homes.

Spoonflower is a cool way to go, too, since they do all the printing so it’s extremely easy to setup a shop and you don’t need to worry about inventory and overhead costs.

Check out Kate’s shop here.

centsational-girl-shop

 

2 // Craftberry Bush

You guys know Lucy from CraftBerry Bush, right? She does the most gorgeous watercolour paintings – such a talent! She has been able to take those paintings of hers and create a full product line using Society6. Society6 handles the manufacturing of the products, the payment processing, and the shipping, so it’s extremely easy to get started on their website.

Having a popular blog like CraftBerry Bush means that Lucy can direct her readers to her shop. I would guess that it might be challenging to get your stuff seen on a Society6 shop on it’s own (there are so many other sellers out there!), but being able to send your blog readers over to the shop is great.

Check out Lucy’s shop here.

craftberry-bush-shop

 

3 // Dans Le Lakehouse

Tanya from Dans Le Lakehouse has a knack for finding quirky and collectible vintage wares. She has created an engaged and large blog readership by writing about her mission to decorate her lakeside home in a mid-century style (with a lot of turquoise!). Because her readers love that same style, she started an Etsy shop where she sells her vintage finds. Tanya loves the treasure hunting, so this was a perfect avenue for her to increase her revenue by doing something she adores and is good at.

Check out her shop here.

dans-lakehouse-shop

 

4 // The Sweet Escape

Melissa from The Sweet Escape sells the most lovely handmade cake toppers. I wish I could get married all over again just to be able to use one of these beauties. I definitely have a cake topper on my wish-list for James and Maya’s birthdays next year!

Since Melissa is an amaaaaazing crafter and event stylist, this was a perfect avenue for her to take. It allows readers to get some of that signature Melissa-look for their own parties.

Check out Melissa’s shop here.

sweet-escape-shop

 

5 // Vintage Revivals

Mandi from Vintage Revivals has a shop that perfectly reflects her fearless DIY style. From the himmeli wreath kits, to brass planters, to wooden menagerie from her epic nursery design, readers can pick up her products to emulate her style.

I think this is a perfect example of someone who blogs about DIY and design, and who has been able to monetize their blog with products that totally reflect her style and compliment her blog posts.

Check out Mandi’s shop here.

vintage-revivals-shop

 

6 // In The Fun Lane

Holly from In the Fun Lane has incredible style. I love the way she keeps her spaces really neutral and minimalist, but will then throw in little pops of colour in a quirky way. She doesn’t have a big shop, but she has started selling some of her art prints through her blog. They are photographs she took in New Orleans and they have that quintessential “Holly style”. I love them!

Check out Holly’s shop here.

holly-baker-shop

 

7 // East Coast Creative

Monica from East Coast Creative Blog came out with a bedding board game. I know, I know, you’re like ….  “ummm, a what, Gemma?”

No, it isn’t all about sex. It’s about bringing fun and games back into your relationship. Getting you to communicate and laugh with your partner. Just go have a look, it’s pretty neat.  And TOTALLY different from any other physical product I have seen other DIY and Home bloggers create.

Check out Monica’s board game here.

east-coast-creative-shop

 

8 // The Sweetest Digs (me!!)

And me! I have been selling physical products of one kind or another since 2012. I started with knitted items on Etsy (flop!!!) but have learned and made my way through trial and error to a product line that I love and feel excited about.

I sell art prints, pillows, pouches, mugs, and tote bags.

I have used Etsy since getting started, but am planning on getting my products directly available on this site too in the new year. I design everything myself, but then use manufacturing partners to turn my products into real life things.

Check out my shop here.

sweetest-digs-shop

So there you have it.

Eight bloggers who have created physical product lines to help monetize their blogging businesses.

 

Want more?

Download my free list of drop-shipping manufacturers below (including which ones I personally work with!).

Get the List of Dropshipping Manufacturers!

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I'll send you my private list of dropshipping manufacturers straight to your email inbox. The perfect way to get starting with your new online shop!

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Head here to read more about how to design a product line using drop-shipping manufacturers. It’s way easier than you think!

 

Don’t forget to Pin it!

Start an online shop on your #blog! Here are 8 Bloggers who sell Products through their Blog. A great way to make money blogging!

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Related:

-How to design a product line using drop-shipping manufacturers

-How to start an Etsy shop

-How to Start a Blog

#Etsy Shop Tips | Thinking about opening up an online shop to sell products? Here are 6 reasons why you should be using the Etsy platform!

6 Reasons Why You Should Be Selling on Etsy

One of the best ways to monetize your blog is to create a product to sell. The key to building up a successful income as a blogger is to diversify, and by selling your own stuff you are not only in total control, but the sky is the limit in terms of income generation.

If you are thinking of creating a product line (physical or digital products), have you thought about selling on Etsy? I don’t want to discourage you from selling your products on your own blog (if you are setup with that functionality, then go for it!), but Etsy might just be the right place for getting your online shop off the ground.

I first opened up shop on Etsy in 2012. I tried out different things – from knitted baby booties, to paintings, to art prints.

There has been a lot of trial and error, honing in on my niche, and figuring out what works for me. I now sell prints, mugs, pillows, tote bags, and pouches directly on Etsy, wholesale through Etsy, wholesale locally, and sometimes in person at craft shows or pop-up shops. My little experiment selling knitted booties on Etsy totally turned into something way bigger than I imagined, and it has been a significant contributor to my income (you can check out my shop here).

 

Free List of DropShipping Manufacturers:

Before we dive in, grab my free list of drop-shipping manufacturers. This goes over how to partner with a manufacturer to create a product line, and which manufacturers you might want to work with (I have included the ones I have personally used and can recommend!).

Get the List of Dropshipping Manufacturers!

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I'll send you my private list of dropshipping manufacturers straight to your email inbox. The perfect way to get starting with your new online shop!

Powered by ConvertKit

 

Selling on Etsy:

Here are some of the biggest advantages to selling on Etsy and why you might consider starting over there:

 

1 / It’s Easy to Setup

Registering an account on Etsy and then opening up your shop is crazy easy. Of course there is a lot of thought that needs to go into creating an amazing shop: the name, branding, photography, listing descriptions, policies, etc. but the actual nuts and bolts of getting a shop page up is so simple. Here is a link to Etsy’s “Seller’s Handbook” where you can find the answers to just about every question.

If you were to build your own e-commerce site, you would need to buy a domain name, get a website host, design and create an entire website, setup payment methods, etc – a pretty major under-taking, particularly if you are just looking to test the waters with a creative business. Even if you already have your blog all setup, the ability to setup e-commerce on it isn’t always easy or straight-forward if you have an expansive product line. The fact that Etsy has all of that handled and you just need to walk through a few quick steps to get your shop up and running within minutes it’s pretty darn dreamy.

 

2 / The Payment Processing is Organized & Reasonable

Etsy already has payment processing all setup within its’ system. This is gold, since figuring out what payment processor to use and how to implement it properly on your own website can be confusing and more tech-y than most people are comfortable with on their own.

The breakdown of fees with Etsy is this: You pay $0.20USD to list an item and then a 3.5% transaction fee of the item’s cost once it has sold. So if you were selling a $20 item, the 3.5% cost would be 70 cents on top of the 20 cents you’ve already paid to list it — so 90 cents total in fees. You would take home $19.10. Here is the section on the Etsy website where they chat about fees and payment policies.

Those are definitely reasonable rates overall. If you were to be hosting your own e-commerce store, you wouldn’t have the $0.20 listing fee, but you would still need to pay for payment processing, the cost of website hosting, domain name purchase, etc.

 

3 / It Has Built-in Traffic

Although it does have competitors, Etsy has made a name for itself worldwide and subsequently sees huge traffic. According to this website, in December of 2015 Etsy had over 92 million visitors that month alone. Crazytown, right?!

Now, why WOULDN’T you want to be able to tap into that existing traffic base with your own shop?! Yes, it means that it comes with a whole lot of competition (I can guarantee that there is someone selling something similar to you on Etsy), but being able to drum up the visits to your own e-commerce site would be super time and energy intensive.

If you are smart about the look of your shop, how you write up your listings, your keywords, and use SEO (search engine optimization), you’ll be able to be found on Etsy. The more work you put into it, the better you’re going to do… but being able to start somewhere that already has that level of traffic coming through the virtual “door” is such a huge plus.

[this “jeans, tee shirt, top knot” mug is one of my listings on Etsy!]

4 / There is a Level of Trust and Credibility

Because Etsy is such a brand in and of itself, there is a certain level of trust that a potential buyer has when they are shopping on Etsy. If you have your own e-commerce store out there and haven’t built up a reputation yet, you might just look super random and not trustworthy to a possible customer.

Buying through Etsy where there are policies and procedures in place, lets a buyer know that it’s a safe bet and they can trust that the item will actually be delivered to their door (and if it isn’t, there are avenues they can take to make formal complaints).

Another way Etsy helps you build trust around your brand is simply by giving you a legit shop website. If you already sell locally at craft shows or in boutiques, having an Etsy shop can be that extra vehicle to expand your marketing potential. If you want to hand out business cards to potential customers or sell wholesale locally, being able to send them to an actual shop website instead of just having an email address looks way more profesh. It adds a certain level of biz credibility when you have your own website, you know?

 

5 / There is a Community

Sure, Etsy is huge and it means there are a zillion sellers on there, but it also comes with a great community. The Etsy staff are good at providing valuable newsletters and helpful information on the site, and there are seller teams that you can join. Teams may be geographically based or by genre of product, but either way they are a great way of forming a community of like-minded folks. There are also lots of facebook groups out there for Etsy sellers, again helping to form that community.

It’s important as a solopreneur that you have other biz friends to bounce ideas off of, get advice from, share success, and commiserate on frustrations with. Being an Etsy seller is kind of like automatically having an entry ticket to all of those groups out there.

 

6 / A Testing Ground

You might just be playing around with the idea of starting up an online shop, not sure if the product(s) you have in mind would actually sell, or maybe just want to keep it as a very low-cost hobby business. Whatever the case – Etsy is the perfect place to test the waters. The only start up cost is that 20 cent listing fee. It doesn’t get much cheaper than that! For example, listing 20 items would cost you $4 and it would be the perfect opportunity to see what sells.

 

Having said all of that, there are some cons to setting up your shop on Etsy:

 

  • You are limited to Etsy’s overall aesthetic and look. Sure you can brand your shop with your header and photography, but you can’t create a fully customized shop page. In my opinion, this is fine in the beginning and might always be for many sellers, but if you want something really on brand and custom then you will likely want to open your shop’s own website at some point down the road.
  • Etsy has certain policies and procedures set in place that you are bound to. I have never found anything to be much of a barrier, but there might be elements that irk you. You are also always at the mercy of any changes they make.
  • You can’t easily collect email addresses from customers. This drives me crazy. I would love the option of having buyers opt-in to my newsletter upon purchase or have a very obvious “sign up!” button somewhere in my shop, but this isn’t possible with Etsy.
  • There is a lot of competition. It’s hard to stand out in a sea of designers and crafters, so you really need to be on your A-game in terms of marketing your products beautifully, getting your name out there, and understanding how to get your listings high up in the search. You would need to do all of this if you set up your own e-commerce site too, but all that to say that you can’t just throw up a listing and expect it to sell like wildfire without working at it.

Despite those items though, in my opinion Etsy is where it’s at for getting started with an online shop. Especially as a busy blogger who wants to create their own line but doesn’t want the headache of figuring out how to transition their blog into an e-commerce site.

 

Free Etsy Listings:

If you sign up through this link, you can get your 40 first listings FREE! And full disclosure – I get 40 free too. So it’s a win-win all around!

Drop-Ship Manufacturers List:

Don’t miss out on my list of drop-shipping manufacturers. You’ll be surprised how easy it is to design products with the help of a drop-ship manufacturer, and how much time you will save. It’s by far the easiest way to start a shop!!

Get the List of Dropshipping Manufacturers!

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I'll send you my private list of dropshipping manufacturers straight to your email inbox. The perfect way to get starting with your new online shop!

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Don’t forget to Pin it!

#Etsy Shop Tips | Thinking about opening up an online shop to sell products? Here are 6 reasons why you should be using the Etsy platform!

Etsy Shop Tips | Thinking about opening up an Etsy shop? Wondering if you should open up on your own e-commerce website instead? Here are the reasons why starting on Etsy is a great idea, and how launching a product line can be a good avenue for monetizing your blog. Click through for the full post and lots of etsy and blogging tips!

Create a Profitable Blog: FREE eCourse

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Sign up for my FREE 7-day email course to get action-packed lessons on monetizing your blog delivered straight to your inbox. Go from hobby blog to legit biz.

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Related Posts:

-How to Start an Etsy Shop: The Ultimate Guide

-8 Bloggers who are Selling Physical Products

-How to Start a Blog

#Affiliate #marketing for bloggers. A great strategy for making money blogging! Here are 5 things you can do today to increase your affiliate earnings. Plus, where to get affiliate links, and a free tracking sheet!

5 Strategies to Make More with Affiliate Marketing [Blogging Tips]

Affiliate marketing can be an amazing revenue stream for bloggers, but often it isn’t utilized it to it’s full potential.

I wasn’t strategic when it came to affiliate marketing on my own blog, The Sweetest Digs, for such a long time, but when I finally started implementing some strategies and developed a system, things started to click.

Conversions started to happen.

And finally affiliate marketing became an actual revenue stream that brought in more than just a few bucks every month.

 

Free Affiliate Marketing Tracking Sheet

Before we dive in, grab my very own affiliate tracking sheet. I use this tool to organize all of my affiliate networks and links, which makes it super easy to keep everything in one place, and have a go-to spot every time I’m getting ready to publish a blog post or social media post and am adding in my affiliate links.

Want to use my affiliate tracking system?

Affiliate-networks-tracking-sheet

Save time and hassle by using my very own tracking sheet (an Excel document) to organize your affiliate networks and key products!

Powered by ConvertKit

 

Affiliate Marketing Strategies

So what are 5 strategies that you can start implementing today to take your own affiliate marketing revenue up a notch?

Here goes….

 

1 // Optimize Your Best Posts

I want you to go login to your Google Analytics dashboard. From there go to Behaviour > Site Content > All Pages. Here you will be able to see your most popular blog posts. Make note of the top 10 or top 20.

Now one by one, head into each of those blog posts and add in any affiliate links that you didn’t do the first time around.

Is it a DIY tutorial? Link to all the supplies needed for the project using affiliate links.

Is it a room makeover or update of some kind? Have a section with a “source guide” where you link to a lot of the products that are featured in the space (even if you can’t find the exact match, link to something similar so your reader can copy the look).

Ultimately it would be great to optimize every blog post, but getting going on your most popular 10 or 20 posts is a good place to start. You know that the majority of your traffic is going to those posts, so it makes sense to spend the time on them. While you’re in there, you could also upgrade the images or include a Pinterest-friendly graphic, if you hadn’t already.

 

2 // Add Affiliate-Heavy Recommendation Pages

Your ability to add affiliate links to your blog isn’t limited to posts. Have you ever noticed any “Shop Our Home” or “Fave DIY Supplies” type pages on a blog? Well those recommendation-type pages are a great spot to link up to your favourite products in one spot – and all (or as many as possible) as affiliate links!

Chris Loves Julia does a great job of this on their “Shop Our House” page. They show all the photos of their gorgeous home, and then identify where you can get the same products so you can achieve a similar look in your own space.

shop-house1

Pages like this are powerful because they don’t get lost and buried into archives like blog posts do. They live in a prominent spot on your website and are highly visible for new visitors.

Whatever it is that you blog about, there has got to be a related products page you could create. If you are a food blogger, it might be kitchen tools. If you are an interior design blogger, it might be online resources for furniture and accessories. If you are a fashion blogger, it would obviously be clothes and beauty recommendations. You get the gist!

 

3 // Use The Pre-Publish “Affiliate Lens”

You should be integrating affiliate links naturally into just about every blog post you write. If you go through each post with an “affiliate lens” before hitting publish, I bet there are quite a few spots you could add some links without it feeling sales-y.

Most of your blog posts should be offering value to your readers – you are likely teaching them something with each post. Whether it’s how to cook something, how to pull together an outfit, how to style a bookshelf, how to pull off a craft, how to design a room, whatever – most involve products of some kind. Products that you can link to!

Your readers want to emulate what you are doing and teaching them, so make it easy on them and provide the links to the products so that they can do just that.

This DIY driftwood hanger post of mine, for example, has all of the supplies linked as affiliate links (mostly from Amazon). It’s just a simple DIY tutorial but I have ensured that every thing that can be linked, is linked.

affiliate-links

 

4 // Integrate a Round-Up or Review Post Every Month

I hope you are using an editorial calendar to plan your blog content (if not, head here to snag my free editorial calendar printable).

Alongside your regular schedule of content, could you include a round-up or review post every month?

When I say round-up, I’m referring to a round up of products that relate to a particular theme. Budget-friendly headboards, or the best products for infants, or the top 10 online resources to find yarn for knitters. Here is an example I did – a round-up of Fall decorations.

fall-decor

A review, on the other hand, would be an in-depth look at a product that you are using yourself and want to recommend to your readers. Maybe you are a food blogger and have fallen in love with your Vitamix. Or if you’re a home decor blogger, maybe you want to review an armchair you bought for your living room. If you are a craft blogger, maybe you could review your Cricut machine.

Whatever it is, doing an in depth review where you go over the pro’s and con’s and show readers how you use it can act as a great affiliate post if it encourages folks to purchase the same product. Even better would be to review a few things against each other – like the vitamix versus a few other brands of blenders. Obviously this can be more costly, but it will make for a more powerful review and recommendation.

I’m not saying to go out and review every single thing and fill your blog with only reviews (boooooring for your readers!), but if you genuinely use and love something and can write an in depth review that will be helpful for others, then you should do it. I know that I almost always google for reviews of any product over $50 that I’m planning on buying.

With these round-up and review posts, make sure they are well optimized for SEO so that you get the organic Google traffic for them. And like I said, don’t do them too often, but maybe once a month. Then if they are SEO optimized and have a good Pinterest graphic, they may make you money for months and years to come.

 

5 // Add a “PS: I’m loving ____” To Your Newsletters

If you aren’t building up an email list and regularly emailing your VIP, then start now. Seriously. An email list is going to be your best marketing tool for your business (read more about why here).

Your newsletters can be a great spot to add a very casual affiliate link here and there. Just having a “PS. I’m loving these ____ right now” line with a pic of whatever product you are recommending feels relaxed and not too pushy. If those subscribers are on your list, it’s because they love your style and really want to see what you are purchasing and using.

As an example, I get emails from Best Friends for Frosting. I love her content and the pretty pink newsletters! In the bottom of some of her emails are these fave finds. Such a great spot to use some affiliate links.

email-affiliate-1

 

So, those are 5 strategies you can implement today to start ramping up your affiliate revenue. Don’t feel like it’s a lost revenue stream for you if you haven’t had success with it yet. Be strategic, go through all of your content with that affiliate lens, and over time that revenue will build up.

As you get more page views and your evergreen posts continue to gain traction through search engines and Pinterest, they can continue to earn you money for a long time to come.

Super important note?

ALWAYS remember that you need to disclose your affiliate links everywhere you use them. In blog posts, on social media, in your newsletters. Everywhere.

 

Don’t forget that tracking sheet!

Want to use my affiliate tracking system?

Affiliate-networks-tracking-sheet

Save time and hassle by using my very own tracking sheet (an Excel document) to organize your affiliate networks and key products!

Powered by ConvertKit

And in case you missed it, you’ll also want to check out this post where I go over the top 11 affiliate networks you should join to get all the affiliate links you’ll need for your posts.

 

Don’t forget to Pin it!

#Affiliate #marketing for bloggers. A great strategy for making money blogging! Here are 5 things you can do today to increase your affiliate earnings. Plus, where to get affiliate links, and a free tracking sheet!

Affiliate marketing is a great strategy for making money blogging. Here is how to get affiliate links, and which affiliate networks to join. List of networks included for home decor and DIY bloggers!

 

 

Related:

-Top 11 Affiliate Networks You Should Join

-How to Use Affiliate Links on Pinterest

-How to Start a Blog

#Affiliate marketing is a great strategy for making money #blogging. Click for how to get affiliate links and which affiliate networks to join.

The 11 Best Affiliate Networks For Home and DIY Bloggers

Let’s chat affiliate marketing. As a blogger, are you optimizing the potential of affiliate marketing?

It can be a hugely successful strategy to monetize your blog in a way that doesn’t feel sleazy, so long as you are honest and straight-forward about it.

But do you know where to go to get affiliate links?

Don’t worry if you aren’t sure, because I have rounded up the best affiliate networks for you to join.

 

FREE Affiliate Marketing Tracking Sheet:

Before we dive in, get instant access to my affiliate marketing tracking sheet. It’s the exact tool I use to keep all of my affiliate networks and links organized, making it super easy to embed in blog posts or social media posts.

Want to use my affiliate tracking system?

Affiliate-networks-tracking-sheet

Save time and hassle by using my very own tracking sheet (an Excel document) to organize your affiliate networks and key products!

Powered by ConvertKit

How Affiliate Networks Work:

To get affiliate links for products, you need to be signed up for the brand’s affiliate marketing program. Some brands may manage their affiliate program themselves, but most work through affiliate networks.

Basically you sign up for the network, then request join the brand’s individual program, and then once accepted, you can go in and grab links for that brand’s products that will be embedded with your unique referral link. It means that every time a reader clicks on that link from your blog to go to the product, there is tracking and if a purchase is made, you get a commission.

The affiliate networks listed below are the ones that will get you access to a huge range of great brands – from Etsy, Target, Anthropologie, Lowe’s, Wayfair, and so many more. I’m personally a member of 8 out of 11 of them!

**IMPORTANT**  You don’t need to be a part of every single network. Choose the ones that have the brands that best suit your blog and style. The biggest thing here is NOT to link to a brand from two networks (for example, you can get Etsy affiliate links through both Affiliate Window and through RewardStyle). The reason you don’t want to do this is because you run the risk of them cancelling each other out. If there is a brand that is a part of two networks, always stick to using the affiliate links for it through ONE network (you can make a note of this on your tracking sheet!).

#Affiliate marketing is a great strategy for making money #blogging. Click for how to get affiliate links and which affiliate networks to join.

 

1 / Amazon Affiliates

Apply here

This is such a great affiliate program, especially as your first one. Amazon offers a huge variety of products so you can usually find a few things to link to within each blog post.

The other great benefit?

After a reader clicks your amazon link, anything they add to their cart for the next 24 hours and purchase, you get a commission on. Even if it wasn’t the thing you linked to originally. How sweet is that?

 

2 / Share-a-Sale (part of Awin)

Apply here

Another really popular affiliate network! Share-a-sale is geared to predominantly online-only merchants. Think Shutterfly, Wayfair, Craftsy, One King’s Lane, Land of Nod, and Joss & Main.

There are no requirements to join.

 

3 / Affiliate Window (now called ‘Awin’)

Apply here

This one is more popular in the UK, and although there aren’t strict requirements for joining, there can sometimes be a $5 joining fee.

What do I use this network for? ETSY! If you love Etsy products and want to link to them on your blog, sign up for this network.

Anyone who is sweet enough to want to link or promote my own Etsy shop products, I always tell them about this so that they can earn commission on any sales made.

 

4 / CJ Affiliate

Apply here

Even though CJ Affiliate is one of the largest affiliate companies, it is not hard to gain access to. Their brands include Lowe’s, Domino, Indigo, Pier 1, Bed, Bath, and Beyond, and Fabric.com.

Once into the CJ Affiliate network, then you need to apply to the brands directly to get into their individual programs. Note that sometimes getting into the individual brand’s affiliate programs can be more strict.

 

5 / Impact Radius

Apply here

Can you say Target? Yes, this is the network that has the Target affiliate program. Halle-lu-jah! They also have Pottery Barn, World Market, and other goodies.

No requirements to join.

 

6 / PepperJam Network

Apply here

PepperJam seems to have a lot of smaller, online retailers. In the home/DIY niche, they have Ace Hardware, Lulu & Georgia, and Kelly Wearstler.

 

7 / Rakuten Linkshare (formerly ‘LinkShare’)

Apply here

This one is a large worldwide affiliate program and works with companies like Anthropologie, Nordstrom’s, and Macy’s. No requirements for joining.

 

“Sub-Affiliate” Networks:

Sub-affiliate networks are a little bit different. Instead of applying to individual brands within the affiliate network, once you get into the sub-affiliate network, you have access to all of their brands.

 

These are the more popular sub-affiliate networks out there:

8 / RewardStyle

Apply here

RewardStyle is a popular sub-affiliate network, especially with fashion bloggers. They have some great home décor brands too, like Target, Anthropolgie, Wayfair, and more.

They are the creators of the “Like to Know It” app which helps influencers monetize their instagram with affiliate marketing. When a reader “likes” an Instagram image, RewardStyle sends them an email with the shopping list of the products shown in the Instagram pic.

RewardStyle is notoriously hard to get into and usually only accept bloggers with an established following and like a clean, bright aesthetic.

 

9 / ShopStyle Collective

Apply here

With ShopStyle Collective, you earn money per click instead of per sale. They keep track of the clicks that go to retailers and calculate a revenue share based on the volume and quality of the traffic. The more your shopper buys, the higher your per-click rate will be.

They work mainly with lifestyle and fashion bloggers, and include brands like Nordstrom and J Crew. You can check out the whole list of brands here.

ShopStyle has a tool for monetizing Instagram. It’s similar to RewardStyle, and more accessible since it’s easier to get into the ShopStyle program. FYI – if you get into RewardStyle, you don’t need to ALSO be in ShopStyle Collective. It’s an either/or sort of thing.

 

10 / SkimLinks

Apply here

SkimLinks comes with a technology that bloggers might find helpful, particularly if the tech stuff is challenging. The way it works is that it turns all of the links on your blog into affiliate links automatically using an internally-generated HTML or java script code to monetize different brand keywords. There aren’t any requirements to join.

Some publishers who have used them include Apartment Therapy and Huffington Post (street cred!).

 

11 / Viglink

Apply here

Like Skimlinks, Viglink creates a code on your page that turns regular links into affiliate links. No requirements to join but some retailers have limitations, so you may need to directly apply to some brands to be a part of their programs.

Phew!

I know there are a lot, but I don’t want you to leave cash on the table by not optimizing your posts with affiliate links.

I am NOT suggesting that you start writing posts with the sole purpose of dropping affiliate links left right and center (comes off sleazy for your readers), but if you were going to link to a product anyway, have a DIY supplies list, doing a “shop our house”, or wanted to do a round-up, then those links should definitely be affiliates. If they aren’t, it’s totally a missed opportunity.

 

Grab The Affiliate Link Tracking Sheet (Free!):

To keep it all organized I’m sharing my own personal affiliate link tracking sheet.

It’s an excel doc where I drop in the login info, key brands, and key links to individual products that I share over and over again. It’s all filed in here so that I have one quick document to go to whenever I’m writing a post. It saves so much time!!

Want to use my affiliate tracking system?

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Save time and hassle by using my very own tracking sheet (an Excel document) to organize your affiliate networks and key products!

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Strategies to Increase Affiliate Income:

I wrote a post with 5 tips for increasing your affiliate marketing earnings. This one is a must-read!

Don’t forget to Pin it!

#Affiliate marketing is a great strategy for making money #blogging. Click for how to get affiliate links and which affiliate networks to join.

Affiliate marketing is a great strategy for making money blogging. Here is how to get affiliate links, and which affiliate networks to join. List of networks included for home decor and DIY bloggers!

Affiliate Marketing Networks | How to get affiliate links | Make money blogging | Affiliate networks for home and DIY bloggers

 

Related:

5 tips for increasing your affiliate marketing earnings

24 Ways to monetize your blog

How to start a blog

 

The 3 Biggest Blog Monetization Myths (and what to do instead)

Between outdated information and just the huge amount of articles out there, it can be really hard to know where to start or know what really works when it comes to monetizing your blog. There are some general things I hear over and over again, that really just aren’t true.

Let’s take a deeper dive into these 3 big myths about how to make money blogging.

*This post contains some affiliate links. Please see my Policies page for more information.

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Before we dive in, make sure to snag my FREE 7-day email course. This goes over exactly how to start a profitable blog, and you’ll get action-packed lessons sent straight to your inbox.

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Myth #1: The only way of making money is through display advertising

In the early days of blogging, selling display ad space on your site was often all you needed to do in order to make some decent dough.  Bloggers could just throw the ads up there, focus solely on content, and call it a day. Sadly nowadays though, display advertising doesn’t pay much. Even if you test out all kinds of different spots on your blog and put up a zillion ads, you still aren’t going to make an income you can live off of, unless you have crazy high traffic (we’re talking hundreds of thousands of page views a month, or into the millions ++).

So, it’s all about getting smart and diversifying. I started out just with display advertising and still use (even if it doesn’t make a huge amount – it’s still so nice and passive!), but I have focused on creating other revenue streams that are strong. And now I’m making an income that actually pays our bills.

You need to tap into affiliate marketing that is done in a way that is actually going to convert into sales. If you want to work with brands, you need to know how to pitch them successfully and charge a fair fee. You need to think bigger picture and come up with a strategy to develop a product or service that you can sell through your blog. Rather than your blog being the be-all-and-end-all, you need to think about it as the “headquarters” for your larger brand.

 

Myth #2: You can only make money as a blogger if you have huge traffic.

Obviously having a higher readership is going to be good for your revenue streams as a blogger. There is no doubt.

But you know what? It really isn’t ALL about traffic. If you are using outdated monetization strategies and relying solely on display advertising, then yeah, traffic is going to be the only way to increase your income. But if you are diversifying your revenue streams, working with brands that are paying you fairly, using affiliate marketing in an effective way, and using your blog as a marketing vehicle to sell products and/or services, then you don’t need huge numbers to make a good income.

When I started working with brands I had no idea how to pitch and what to charge, and was doing work for waaaaay too little. Even if your traffic isn’t huge, if you have cultivated an engaged and targeted audience and produce beautiful content, that is going to be super valuable to brands. Head over to this post about how to pitch brands sponsored posts.

If you are smart about how to use affiliate marketing in a way that doesn’t feel sales-y and are able to integrate it into a lot of your blog and social media content (particularly blog posts that are going to be popular and evergreen), then you can convert that into sales even if your numbers aren’t high. Some of my favourite affiliate programs are: Affiliate Window (they have Etsy!), Share-a-Sale (they have Joss & Main, Land of Nod, One King’s Lane, Shutterfly, etc), Amazon, and RewardStyle (this one can be harder to get into – but they have sooo many brands, including Target).

I was able to introduce a small product line of art prints when my readership was under 50,000 page views a month and market it in a way that meant I was making about $1000/month (net profit) just from that stream. It depends on the product of course, but Etsy is a great spot to start an online shop.

If you want to introduce a service, sometimes all you need is to book out 1-2 clients a month in order to meet your revenue goals. You don’t need huge numbers for that.

Honestly, it’s not ALL about traffic. If you are smart about your monetization strategies from the beginning, you can make money. And then as you also work on growing your blog and see your traffic grow, inevitably your overall revenue will too!

 

Myth #3: It takes a lot of time and money to create a product line or service

I know that creating a product or coming up with a service to sell seems overwhelming and like a huge amount of work. And I’m not going to pretend that it isn’t – you do need to hustle and work damn hard to turn your blog into a thriving biz. But here’s the thing. It is also totally do-able. I promise.

I bet that you are spending oodles of time creating amazing content for your blog, doing outreach on social media, and sharing your work all over the place right now, right? But with smart systems in place to do those tasks more efficiently (hello, social media scheduling and batch-working!), cutting out the things that don’t provide a return on investment, and re-focusing some of that time toward product creation or providing a service, you might be surprised at how much you can actually get done. You need to have a business plan, set goals, and be strategic about how to get there.

And as for the monetary investment? There are so many product ideas and services you can come up with that cost either nothing or very little to get started (see this post for a big ol’ list of ideas!). From third party fulfillment products, digital products, and online services, there are lots of avenues you can explore. The best thing is to start small and test the waters, then scale up as required (you need to have a plan for scale-ability!).

I started my Etsy shop with a $20 investment and slowly figured out what did and didn’t sell. I went through a few different product ideas before finally landing on something that sold. It took some time and trial and error, but I now have a product line that sells both on Etsy and wholesale to boutique shops across Canada and the U.S. without requiring a crazy amount of time by me.

Blog Monetization Myths | Want to make money blogging? Make sure you ignore these blog monetization myths!! Click through for the full scoop on what they are and what you can do instead. Plus more blogging biz and social media tips!

 

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How To Pitch A Sponsored Blog Post And Land It

Have you ever wondered how bloggers land sponsored posts with amazing brands?

Ever wanted to work with a company but had no idea about how to go about getting in touch with them?

I have done a lot of sponsored work in my blogging career to date (some good, some not-so-good!), and have come up with a system that I use on how to pitch a sponsored post. You can get sponsored work through advertising agencies, but usually working directly with a brand is going to pay better and give you more creative control.

Before we dive right in, I just wanted to give a word of warning. You don’t want to overdo sponsored posts as a blogger. There is a mix you need to strike so that you are generating revenue (this is a biz after all) but also staying true to your brand and keeping your readers as your #1 priority. Don’t do any sponsored work just for the paycheque – make sure the company you’re promoting is one you genuinely like and use. It should feel natural and never forced. Basically, just always keep your readers as your #1 priority.

OK, back to the pitch process.

How to pitch brands to get sponsored posts and campaigns as a blogger. Click for my step by step process, including pitch email ideas and blog media kit templates.

 

Before we dive in, sign up here to grab my very own sponsored post tracking sheet. This bad boy is super useful in helping you organize your pitches and stay on top of it all.

Sponsored Post Tracking Sheet

Screen_shot_2016-12-22_at_1.27.36_pm

Get access to my personal tracking template for sponsored work and campaigns. This baby saves my bacon!

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Now let’s walk through the whole pitching process….

 

THE PRE-WORK

The first thing you want to do before starting anything, is to make sure you follow the brand you want to work with on all social media platforms.

Then make sure you interact with them – retweet their tweets, post about loving  a product of theirs on facebook and tag them, etc.

This is going to get you on their radar and turn yours into a name they’ll recognize when your email lands in their inbox.

 

STEP 1: FIND THE CONTACT PERSON

Sometimes you might randomly get a press release emailed to you from a PR person regarding a brand – and if it is one that you want to work with, then you’ve hit gold and know exactly who to contact. If you want to work with a brand you’ve never been in touch with before though, you need to seek out the appropriate contact person. Most brands will have either a PR department or a PR person who handles blogger collaborations.

Here are the steps I take to find that person:

-Look on the brand’s website and search around. Maybe there is an “About Us” or “Departments” page, or something else that might lead to the right email address. You are looking for their PR or media person (or firm, if it’s a big brand).

-Ask your blogger friends. I find most bloggers are willing to share their contacts, so hit up the facecbook groups you’re a part of, or send an email to your blogging besties, to see if anyone has worked with that brand before.

-Sometimes if you google “brand + press release” you might get a press release that the brand put out. Have a look and scroll to the bottom, as that is usually where a PR person is listed for possible follow-up.

-Because you’re already following the brand on social media, simply ask! Send them a tweet or facebook message. Sometimes even the person managing the social media is the same person who handles blogger collabs.

STEP 2: SEND THE INTRO EMAIL

Now that you have an email address, you need to open up the lines of communication.

Send them a brief, polite email that indicates who you are, a one-liner with what your blog is about, that you LOVE their brand, that you are interested in collaborating with them, and attach your media kit. Don’t get specific here about the project you want to do with them or what products you might want to review. You are simply feeling them out to see if they are even interested in working with bloggers.

A Note: Always send the media kit with this email. This is what is going to make you look profesh. I have rounded up my favourite media kit templates (and laid out exactly what you need to include in your kit).

 

STEP 3: PITCH THE PROJECT

If you don’t hear back after that initial email, send a follow up about a week or two later to see if they got the email. If you still get crickets, just move on! And sometimes it’ll be a flat out ‘no’, and that’s OK too. Onto the next!

However, if you get back some interest (yay!), now is the time to follow up with a more specific pitch:

What product(s) or service of theirs would you like to showcase? Ask if this would be in line with their current campaigns / promotions.

What exactly are you offering in return? A blog post?  Social media outreach (if so, on which platforms)? A video? Product photography (indicate number of photos)? Newsletter mention? Be clear about what you offer in your “package”.

What is your rate? Be clear about what your rates are. Don’t undervalue your work – ask for a fair fee plus the free product you’ll be reviewing. Take into account all the time that goes into creating, photographing, writing, editing, and publishing a blog post or social media mention, plus the value of your audience size and engagement.

Make sure to really sell yourself. Emphasize your amazing readership (even if the numbers aren’t huge, if you have great engagement, highlight that), talk about how your blog post will be an evergreen piece of content on your site, how you will create an amazing Pinterest-friendly graphic to help boost reach on that platform, etc. Whatever you do really well, highlight that.

You want to make it really obvious that you LOVE the brand and that what you are offering will be amazing promotion for them. You want to angle your pitch from a position of how good it will be for them, versus talking about what you want from them.

You can include samples of past sponsored work, if it’s relevant, or testimonials from other brands you’ve worked with.

 

STEP 4: GET IT IN WRITING

You’ll likely have a bit of back-and-forth and potentially some negotiation, but once you’ve got the green light to go ahead, make sure to get everything in writing. Usually just over email is sufficient, but put together a contract for both parties to sign if that makes you feel more comfortable.

Some things to have clear:

  • Deliverables: What exactly you are required to do (Is it 1 blog post + 1 post on each of facebook, twitter, instagram, pinterest? Or a series of instagram posts? A video?)
  • Dates: What is the go-live date for the post or posts? Will the social media go out on the same day? (Note: Make sure to give yourself enough time to create the post. You don’t want to scramble and not produce quality content!)
  • What links would they like you to use within your blog post? (note: these must be “no-follow” links – it’s the law!)
  • Do they require seeing a draft before the post goes live?

You want to ensure a professional approach when you’re working with PR firms and brands so that you can build confidence, trust, and hopefully have a long-lasting relationship.

 

STEP 5: DO THE WORK

Time to create your amazing content!

Always make sure to weave the sponsored product in naturally to your posts. Something that feels forced comes off as so disingenuous and is a total turn-off to readers. Have beautiful photography, teach something, write a detailed post. The best sponsored work is when the reader doesn’t even notice that it’s sponsored – it comes off super naturally and isn’t just a plain review of a product.

Always always always make sure to have a disclaimer at the bottom of a post that indicates it is sponsored. Don’t be breaking the rules, guys! You gotta be honest about this stuff.

 

STEP 6: THE FOLLOW UP

So the day that you post, you need to send in your invoice (unless you had another arrangement where the fee was paid in advance). I create my invoices using Wave Apps and love their software – it’s free and you can make your invoices look super profesh.

I give 15 days to pay, and ask for payment either via paypal or cheque. Within the invoice itself, I also include a link to the blog post, the date it was published, and links to the social media mentions as well.

Usually payment happens super fast, but if it doesn’t come through on time, don’t hesitate to reach out and ask about it. This is a business after all.

Now if you really want to stand out from the other bloggers, do a 2-week follow up email with stats. Include how your post did, any screenshots of comments, shares on social media, views from google analytics, etc. This is really the cherry on top and the PR person or firm is going to be super impressed by this. This shows a level of professionalism that they will remember and want to work with again.

 

And that’s it!

Not too complicated, right? Just remember not to get bummed if you get a bunch of no’s before a yes. Some brands don’t have budgets to work with bloggers, or they might just not realize what a great opportunity it is to tap into an engaged readership, so don’t sweat it. Just move on to the next.

Want to work with brands? Here is my step by step guide on how to pitch sponsored posts.. and LAND THEM! This is a great way to make money as a blogger and monetize your blogging biz. Plus there is a free tracking sheet to download to keep it all organized! Click through for the how-to.

 

Stay Organized With My Free Tracking Sheet

With all those sponsored posts I know you are going to land (!!), you’re going to need to track them. I want you to stay super organized with my excel template.

It’s the exact spreadsheet I use myself to keep all of my sponsored work organized in one spot. From the links, to contact people, to dates, it’s all in here.  Every year I just add a new tab for that year and start fresh. It’s neat to be able to go back and look how far you’ve come and to take a snapshot of how well you did one year versus another. Get instant access to it below.

 

The 5 Mistakes Bloggers Make When They Monetize Their Blog

Back when I started my own DIY + design blog in 2010, most fellow bloggers were also just starting theirs as a hobby – an interest in sharing their creativity and developing a community online. I feel like today there are a lot more people who start blogs for business, with an intention of monetizing their new venture. Either way, whether you start as a hobby and then eventually monetize, or monetize your blog right from the beginning, there are mistakes that I notice over and over again.

If you’re wanting to launch your own DIY + design blog, listen up. Here are the 5 biggest mistakes to avoid.

Oh… and how do I know? Because I made every single one of them myself. #truthtime

Want to make money blogging? Don't make these blog monetization mistakes. Click through to find out what they are and how to avoid them.

Want my free course on making money blogging?

Sign up below.

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5 Biggest Mistakes Bloggers Make When Monetizing:

Alright. Here they are.

The 5 mistakes I don’t want you to make.

– Mistake 1: Under-valuing their work

As a new blogger, one of the biggest questions that I had when I started working with brands was what the heck to charge. I’m pretty sure I did an in-depth blog post and campaign in exchange for one can of paint.

As much as I want to support and work with brands that I trust and love, you also need to get paid for the content you are providing. Freebies are wonderful, but they don’t pay the bills, you know?

As a blogger, you are running your brand and your business. You need to treat it as such. Your time, costs, and skills all have to be taken into account when setting a rate for working with brands. You have taken time and effort to cultivate an engaged audience who trust what you are saying, and that is hugely valuable from a marketing point of you.  You are offering some great PR for a brand when you highlight a product to your readership, and so that needs to be compensated accordingly. You are providing amazing photography, possibly even a video, social media outreach, and a piece of blog content that is going to live on the internet. All of that means something.

Make sure your rates are fair for all parties involved.

 

-Mistake 2: Bombarding readers with display ads

Have you ever landed on a blog and can barely read the article or get a feel for the blogger because there are ads coming at you from every direction?

Yeah, me too.

And I hate to say it, but I have totally been guilty of this myself on my own blog.

There is nothing worse as a reader than getting totally bombarded with ads. You can’t really blame them for quickly exiting from your site when there are a zillion things flashing, popping up, and possibly even making noises at them. And how are you going to build a loyal and large readership like that?

It can be exciting to think that you can make money by placing ads on your website, but you need to weigh that against the experience for your reader. Ultimately the more you are able to grow your readership, the more you’ll be able to make from your blog in all revenue streams, so you don’t want to turn people off. If you do decide to place display ads on your site, you need to do it in strategic spots that are high revenue-generators without being totally off-putting to your readers.

 

-Mistake 3: Not having a strategic business plan

Often when people start a blog they think of it as an online diary. Usually there isn’t any forethought into what the blog might grow into, or what the ultimate business goals are. And that’s totally cool if you want to just be a hobby blogger.

But if you are serious about making an income from your blog, then you need to get your business hat on and realize that you are building a brand. You need to have goals and a direction, and as I mentioned in this post, you need to be thinking about what products or services you are going to start selling. This is how you are going to diversify your revenue streams and have the opportunity to build a business for yourself that is going to pay well.

What is your ultimate monetization goal for your blog and how do you plan to get there?

You need to have a concrete vision of where you want to go with your blogging biz and map out the steps you need to take to achieve it.

Want to start making money blogging? Do it the smart way and avoid these 5 mistakes every blogger makes when they monetize their blog! Click through for the full post and more online entrepreneur biz tips.

 

-Mistake 4: Forgetting to focus on creating amazing content

When you decide to monetize your blog, you can get totally swept up in trying to understand how to do it, optimizing ad placements, reaching out to brands, sharing a zillion affiliate links, brainstorming product and service ideas, and figuring out how to approach marketing them.

But here’s the thing: You still need to focus on creating really amazing content for your blog to build that readership.

None of those avenues of monetization are going to pay you a dollar if you don’t have anyone to sell it to.

Display ads rely on traffic, affiliate marketing relies on having an audience that are going to trust your opinion and buy products, brands are only going to want to work with you if you have a reasonable following of engaged readers, and you aren’t going to be able to sell any products and services if you don’t have an audience to market them to.

So while I don’t want you to ignore monetization, you need to also make sure you spend enough time creating super stellar content that gives tons of value. This is going to be what cultivates that amazing readership who trust what you say, who actually want to hear from you, and eventually will feel comfortable buying from you.

 

-Mistake 5: Not building an email list

You can have a huge instagram following, big numbers on facebook, or large audiences on any other social media platform, but here’s the catch: you don’t OWN any of that.

Any of those platforms can make a change in their algorithm or disappear tomorrow, and you wouldn’t have anything to show for it.

The most important thing you need to be focusing on? Building your email list.

These are folks who are going to let you into their inbox every week – that’s HUGE. It isn’t just some passing pic in a feed that they may or may not see, this is major access right to them. This is going to help you monetize in so many ways.

Want to work with a brand? Tell them how many email subscribers you have and how you could offer a mention of their product in a newsletter.

Want to sell a product or service? You aren’t going to get better conversion numbers than from the people on your list.

Want to do some affiliate marketing? An email list means direct access to people who trust your voice.

Work on providing insane value to your readers so that they not only want to join your list, but look forward to opening that email from you week after week. Create opt-in incentives and make sure you have obvious places on your blog for readers to sign up.

I personally use and recommend ConvertKit as an email service provider. They have so many amazing features and are built specifically for bloggers.

Want to start making money blogging? Do it the smart way and avoid these 5 mistakes every blogger makes when they monetize their blog! Click through for the full post and more online entrepreneur biz tips.

Want FREE blog monetization tips?

As I mentioned at the beginning of the post, I made every single one of these mistakes. It’s no big deal if you have too, but it’s time to course-correct.

Maybe you are just starting out with monetizing your blog, or have been haphazardly trying out monetization strategies without any success. Either way, let’s figure it out and get you on the right track. Make sure you sign up for my FREE 7-day email course that takes you through how to monetize the smart way, right from the start.

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