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Category: Monetization

The 4 Steps to Make Money Blogging

Let’s talk about how to make money blogging.

We all want to know how to make more money online with our businesses, right?

Are you struggling to bring in much revenue with your online business?

I know what it feels like to make pennies. For a long time I barely made enough money as a blogger to cover my coffee habit.

There are 4 main ways to make money as a blogger or influencer. And if you know me, you’ll know that I preach having diversified income streams so that you don’t have all your eggs in one basket.

If you divide and conquer, it means you can create multiple profitable streams of revenue that all majorly add up.

The 4 Steps to Make Money as a Blogger. Build your online business and income as a blogger or influencer with these key tips. Click through for the video and blog post!  #blogging #entrepreneur #onlineshop #businesstips #makemoneyblogging

 

Watch today’s YouTube video for those 4 streams of income, plus which one you should be spending the most time on.

Click here to watch directly on YouTube.

Key Takeaways:

+ The 4 main ways of making MONEY with your blog business: Ad networks, Affiliate Income, Working with Brands, and Selling a Product

+ Which ad network I personally use and recommend

+ Why I don’t work with brands very much anymore

+ The types of products you can sell no matter what niche you’re in – travel, fashion, home decor, food, etc.

 

Launch Your Shop Guide: Instant Download

If you want to learn more about how to launch an online shop in the easiest, most passive way, make sure to download my Launch Your Shop: Get Started Guide here.

 

FREE Masterclass

Want to attend my next FREE Launch Your Shop masterclass? I jam as much info as I can into this 60 minute presentation. Sign up for the next session!

Click here to sign up! 

 

Aaannnd, remember to sign up for my my FREE Facebook Group

One more thing, if you want to hang out with me and thousands of amaaaazing other bloggers and online entrepreneurs, make sure to click here to join my FREE, private Facebook Group!

 

Related Posts:

What is dropship manufacturing?

How I run my online shop in less than 10 minutes a day

Stop Believing These Lies About Growing a Successful Blog

The 3 Phases of Blog Monetization

Have you started your blog but are stuck on how to actually generate revenue from it?

The 3 phases of monetizing your blog. Understanding these will help you grow your blog business, make more income, and establish your brand. #blogging #makemoneyblogging #bloggingtips #entrepreneurtips #onlineshop #monetizing

 

As someone who has been blogging for over 8 years, I have gone through a major evolution with my own blogging business and have watched so many others go through the same things as they build their brand.

There are 3 phases to growing your blog, and it’s important to understand them so you can be doing the right tasks to move you forward and see growth.

Watch today’s video directly on Youtube here.

Key Takeaways:

+ The 3 phases of a monetized blog

+ The 1 phase TONS of bloggers get stuck in, which totally halts their growth

+ WHY it’s so important to transform your community into a movement (and how to do it)

+ WHAT you can do to move through the 3 phases and build a successful business

 

Launch Your Shop Guide: Instant Download

If you want to learn more about how to launch an online shop in the easiest, most passive way, make sure to download my Launch Your Shop: Get Started Guide here.

 

FREE Masterclass

Want to attend my next FREE Launch Your Shop masterclass? I jam as much info as I can into this 60 minute presentation. Sign up for the next session!

Click here to sign up! 

 

Aaannnd, remember to sign up for my my FREE Facebook Group

One more thing, if you want to hang out with me and thousands of amaaaazing other bloggers and online entrepreneurs, make sure to click here to join my FREE, private Facebook Group!

 

Related Posts:

What is dropship manufacturing?

How I run my online shop in less than 10 minutes a day

The 4 main ways to monetize your blog

The 1 thing I did to go from hobby to full time blogger

My early years of blogging when I was fresh on the blogging scene, I didn’t really have a clue about how to create a business or transition into full time blogger.

I was writing blog post after blog post for my home decor and lifestyle blog, but without any kind of direction or strategic goals in mind.

I would spend SO much time creating the project, taking photos, and then editing those pictures. Then came the writing and editing part. Then publishing and trying to promote it all across social media and anywhere else I could possibly think of. Facebook, instagram, pinterest, feature sites, and more. And then doing it all over again. Trying to maintain a ridiculous schedule of 3 brand new posts per week.

I was pouring in hours and hours and hours of time, but I was barely making any money and barely seeing that income needle move every month.

The critical advice and mindset shift you need in order to turn your hobby blog into a full time business. Click to find out what tripled my blog income. #blogging #bloggingtips #entrepreneur #advice #makemoneyblogging #startablog #bloggingadvice #blogger

Can you relate?

Watch today’s video on Youtube so you can hear what my one biggest turning point was in my business.

 

I thought I had done all the things I was supposed to do to have a successful blog, but I just wasn’t getting there.

I felt totally stuck. I didn’t know where to go next. My income and blog growth felt so slow, yet I was pouring in all this energy.

But I kept doing the same thing over and over, expecting a different result.

You keep churning out post after post, like I was doing 3 times per week, expecting a different result after a certain amount of time. You expect that suddenly your blog will explode and so will your revenue, but it just doesn’t happen that way.

I wanted to get to a place where I could create amazing blog content, but on a way more relaxed basis. Something more like 1 new blog post a week would be way more do-able.

I wanted to be earning regular income month over month that was steady and growing. Something that amounted to more than just a few hundred bucks a month. I didn’t need to be one of those “six figure bloggers”, but I did need to be making enough that I could leave my corporate job.

I wanted to have a clear picture and plan for growing my business and scaling it. I didn’t want to just publish blog posts willy-nilly, but instead have a strategic direction with clear tasks.

And ultimately I wanted to have a blog that was a brand. A community. A movement. Not just a random collection of articles.

Does that sound like where you want to go, too?

Where would you LIKE to be right now with your blogging business if you could just snap your fingers?

I know there are a million people out there telling you what to do as a blogger, and countless articles you can read.

Every expert has a different set of advice or different things to focus on, and it’s impossible to do all the things.

But you know what has a huge effect on me and my blog? It was a mindset shift.

I realized that if I wanted to create a sustainable, scalable business for myself, I needed to shift out of this “just a blogger who creates content” mindset and instead call myself a business owner.

I realized I NEEDED to have actual products I could sell in order to take control over my revenue and build toward something that was mine. Where I wouldn’t have to rely on ads, random affiliate links, or brand partnerships. Those were still great and something I didn’t want to give up, but I couldn’t put all of my eggs into those baskets.

I knew that if I could create a store as part of my blog where I could sell products that were in line with my niche, and that my readers would love, I would be able to transform my blog into a brand.

Here’s the thing about creating products and launching an online shop: It helps take your blog from just a website, and transforms it into a community. You are creating connection there with your readers. And then beyond the connection, it transforms your brand into a movement.

Imagine getting a notification on instagram that someone tagged you in their pic. You head over and it’s this amazing photo of one of your products showcased by a customer. How incredible would that feel?

That’s what happens when you sell your own products. You create pieces of your brand that your readers can actually own and have in their own homes. It makes your brand tangible.

By launching an online shop, you not only create that movement, but you are building a sustainable and scalable business plan for yourself. You will generate income every month through a completely new source – your store.

Launching my own online shop as a part of my blog was the number one way I took my blog from just a hobby to a full-time gig. And I get to continue to scale that revenue up month over month.

And you know what? I have been able to reduce my blogging publishing schedule down from a crazy 3 posts/week to 3-4 posts a MONTH.

I no longer have to listen to that advice of publishing  every single week and going crazy with trying to produce SO MUCH CONTENT.

The critical advice and mindset shift you need in order to turn your hobby blog into a full time business. Click to find out what tripled my blog income. #blogging #bloggingtips #entrepreneur #advice #makemoneyblogging #startablog #bloggingadvice #blogger

 

FREE Launch Your Shop Guide:

I have a free Launch Your Shop Get Started guide that will lay the groundwork for you.

I show you how I created my shop with dropship manufacturing partners, which means I don’t have to hold any inventory or do any packaging and shipping myself. There is no financial risk in getting started. I also include a big list in there of manufacturers you can partner with, and what each one of them offers. So make sure you grab that guide through the link. It’s totally free.

Get instant access to my Launch Your Shop Guide (includes a manufacturers list!) here. 

 

Aaannnd, remember to join the FREE Facebook Group:

If you want to hang out with me and thousands of amaaaazing other bloggers and online entrepreneurs, make sure to click here to join my FREE, private Facebook Group!

 

Want more? You might also like…

– 5 Things I Did that Exploded My Blog Income

– More on my shop story, including where I started (hint: I was into knitting!)

How I manage my online shop in 10 minutes a day

5 Things I Did That Exploded my Blogging Income

Blogging is one of those things that people often hop into with huge excitement, and then later realize how challenging it can be to increase blogging income and turn it into a real business.

It isn’t like you can throw a few posts up, be active on instagram, and suddenly rake in thousands of dollars. Those income reports by “6-figure bloggers” sometimes can make it seem really easy, and in reality, it is far from that.

Blogging as a business requires strategy, focus, and a lot of hard work.

I’ve been blogging since 2010, when I started my site (The Sweetest Digs) as a hobby. Just a place where I wanted to update friends and family on our fixer upper home.

Since then, I have been able to take that blog and turn it into my 9-5 job, but it didn’t come without a lot of trial and error.

Here are 5 specific things I did that allowed me to substantially grow my blog income.

 

5 Ways to Increase Blogging Income:

#1: Selling my OWN Products

I started monetizing fairly early on with display ads, affiliate links, and sponsored posts, but I hated relying only on pageviews and other brands for revenue. It felt so out of my control. So I knew I needed to start selling my own products.

I didn’t want to sell a digital product, as I didn’t feel like it fit all that well with my audience, who were generally moms interested in home decor and stylish living.

So, I decided to start an online boutique selling products like tote bags, mugs, accessories, and more. I utilize drop-ship manufacturing for this, so it’s basically as passive as it gets. No making, packaging, and shipping orders myself!

Launching my shop (where I sell both on Etsy and on my blog) was a huge piece of the puzzle for me to make more consistent revenue each month.

If you want to know more about how I launched my shop (it’s SO much easier than you think), then make sure to grab my Launch Your Shop Guide and get on the list for my next free masterclass.

 

 

#2: Focusing on ROI

It’s easy to get sucked into spending hours and hours on social media, or taking photos, or in your email inbox. I’m totally guilty of this!

But once I implemented a system where I was really focused on goal-setting every quarter (I use my own planner to do this!), and looking at the ROI (“return on investment”) for every task where I was spending my time, I was able to prioritize so much more clearly.

For example, I used to spend a lot of time on my blog’s Facebook page. Well, once I looked at the ROI of that time spent, I realized it did not give me enough of a return for it to be worth it. It wasn’t driving a ton of traffic, wasn’t leading to many affiliate sales, and my page wasn’t growing very quickly.

It made way more sense to take some time away from that task, and put it towards other things like building my email list, designing new products for my shop, or updating popular posts with better affiliate links. Those were things where I could easily see a return on investment.

Always monitor the ROI for every activity you’re doing, and do MORE of the ones with high ROI. The more time you spend on activities that bring in income, the more income you will make.

Leave your cell phone in the other room, close down your social media tabs, and FOCUS!

#3 – Leveraging Pinterest

If you haven’t been focusing on your Pinterest account as a blogger, then you’ve been missing out.

As soon as I dedicated time to in-depth learning about Pinterest and understanding how to use the platform to it’s max, I reaped HUGE benefits.

Pinterest can be a major driver of traffic (it has consistently been my #1 source of traffic for years now), which means increased ad revenue, increased affiliate earnings, more traffic so you can charge more for sponsored posts, and way more eyeballs on your products for sale in your shop.

I had my first 100,000 pageview month after I got really serious about my Pinterest strategy.

I recommend registering for Melyssa Griffin’s free Pinterest webinar, where she teaches some of her best strategies.

 

#4 – Consistent Education

One of the things that I did not do for YEARS when I was first blogging was invest in any courses. I didn’t think I needed to, I thought they were all a bit scammy, and I figured I could learn everything for free online.

Boy was I wrong.

The very first course I invested in was Pinfinite Growth by Melyssa Griffin, and it was INCREDIBLY valuable. I earned my investment back within a few months of implementing her strategies.

After that, I was hooked on online courses.

I’m not saying to go out and throw money around buying a zillion courses you may not use, but every time you want to learn a new platform, implement a new revenue stream, or just get better at something, it’s going to save you so much time (and money) if you just invest in a course and learn from an expert.

I still buy courses whenever I need them, almost always buy the Ultimate Bundle “Genius Bloggers Toolkit” every year, and have even invested in a group coaching program. I have never regretted a purchase! I always learn something.

The other way to keep up on your education is to join email lists of mentors and to listen to podcasts.

#5: Built an Email List

This was something I neglected for a long, long time. I didn’t see the usefulness in growing an email list as a blogger. I figured social media was way more important.

But you know what? The people on your email list become your most raving fans. They are the ones who are going to feel the most connected to you, and the ones who will check out every post, want to buy the products you sell, click through on those affiliate links because they trust your recommendations.

Email lists convert waaay better than social media platforms, and that list is all YOURS (no algorithm changes messing you up!).

I wish I had focused on list-building in the early days of my blogging business.

If you’re just getting started, I totally recommend signing up for MailerLite, which is free for your first 1000 subscribers. They are a great email platform, allowing you to create attractive emails, build funnels, and opt-in’s.

Get a few great opt-in’s on your blog and start sending out regular emails. I personally aim to send out an email every 2 weeks to my subscribers.

Here’s a post with a bunch of info on list-building.

Those 5 things really changed the game for me!

Want More? You might like these…

How to Launch a Shop using Drop-Ship Manufacturing

How to Create an Editorial Calendar for your Blog (free templates!)

5 Mistakes Bloggers Make when they Monetize Their Blogs

 

And don’t forget to Join our Private Bloggers’ Facebook Group.

Request to join here.

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 2018 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.

 

 

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!

 

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: Morgan Nield and The Merriweather Council.

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!!

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!

 

 

Pin It for Later!

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!

 

Do you want to launch your own online shop using drop-ship manufacturing?

Then make sure to snag my Manufacturers List here! I’m spilling ALL the secrets in there.

 

Aaannnd, remember to sign up for my my FREE Facebook Group

One more thing, if you want to hang out with me and thousands of amaaaazing other bloggers and online entrepreneurs, make sure to click here to join my FREE, private Facebook Group!

 

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.

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 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!

 

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!

 

*Affiliate link.

Do you want to launch your own online shop?

I went from hobby blogger to full-time biz owner when I launched an online shop as part of my blogging business. Want to know how I did it? Make sure to snag my Manufacturers List here! I’m spilling ALL the secrets in there about the drop-ship manufacturing partners you can work with to do the same.

 

Aaannnd, remember to sign up for my my FREE Facebook Group

One more thing, if you want to hang out with me and thousands of amaaaazing other bloggers and online entrepreneurs, make sure to click here to join my FREE, private Facebook Group!

Want more? You might also be interested in:

Affiliate Networks You Should Join

How to do Affiliate marketing RIGHT

-How to Start a Blog

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.
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. Like launching your OWN online shop, selling your OWN line of products.

 

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!

 

In today’s video, I’m walking you through what dropship manufacturing is and how you can use this to launch your own online shop.

Click here to watch the video directly on YouTube.

My Story:

As a mama of two little ones, I needed myonline 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 drop-ship manufacturing.

I went from selling knit baby booties on Etsy (#fail!!), to art prints (kinda worked), and now carry pillows, cosmetic bags, tote bags, mugs, tea towels, and more. All using drop-ship manufacturing.

Selling my own physical products in an online shop is the#1 way I was able to transition from hobby blogger into full-time business owner.

Drop-Ship Manufacturing:

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 drop-ship 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.

Free Download

Before we dig in to how it works, make sure to snag  snag my list of dropshipping manufacturers here! . 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!

 

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.

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 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.

 

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 Masterclass

Want to attend my next FREE Launch Your Shop masterclass? I jam as much info as I can into this 60 minute presentation.

Click here to sign up! 

 

 

Manufacturer’s List: Instant Download

Don’t miss out. Get instant access to my Manufacturers List here! I spilling ALL the secrets in there.

 

Aaannnd, remember to sign up for my my FREE Facebook Group

One more thing, if you want to hang out with me and thousands of amaaaazing other bloggers and online entrepreneurs, make sure to click here to join my FREE, private Facebook Group!

 

Related Posts:

8 Bloggers who sell physical products

How to Start an Etsy Shop

How to Start a Blog

 

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

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. Free download!
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. Free download!
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. Free download!
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.

 

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!).

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!

blogger-shops-physical-products

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).

#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!

 

Free List of DropShipping Manufacturers:

I went from hobby blogger to full-time biz owner when I launched an online shop as part of my blogging business. Want to know how I did it? Make sure to snag my Manufacturers List here! I’m spilling ALL the secrets in there about the drop-ship manufacturing partners you can work with to do the same.

 

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.

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!

Do you want to launch your own online shop?

I went from hobby blogger to full-time biz owner when I launched an online shop as part of my blogging business. Want to know how I did it? Make sure to snag my Manufacturers List here! I’m spilling ALL the secrets in there about the drop-ship manufacturing partners you can work with to do the same.

 

Aaannnd, remember to sign up for my my FREE Facebook Group

One more thing, if you want to hang out with me and thousands of amaaaazing other bloggers and online entrepreneurs, make sure to click here to join my FREE, private Facebook Group!

 

Related Posts:

-How to Start an Etsy Shop: The Ultimate Guide

-8 Bloggers who are Selling Physical Products

-How to use Drop-Ship Manufacturing for your Shop

 

#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.

#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 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.

 

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.

 

Do you want to launch your own online shop?

I went from hobby blogger to full-time biz owner when I launched an online shop as part of my blogging business. Want to know how I did it? Make sure to snag my Manufacturers List here! I’m spilling ALL the secrets in there about the drop-ship manufacturing partners you can work with to do the same.

 

Aaannnd, remember to sign up for my my FREE Facebook Group

One more thing, if you want to hang out with me and thousands of amaaaazing other bloggers and online entrepreneurs, make sure to click here to join my FREE, private Facebook Group!

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 Posts:

-Top 11 Affiliate Networks You Should Join

-How to Use Affiliate Links on Pinterest

-How to Start a Blog