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#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.

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

 

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.

 

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:

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

24 Ways to monetize your blog

How to start your own shop with drop-ship manufacturing

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.

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!

3 Blog Monetization Myths:

 

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

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).

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.

 

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 Launch an Online Shop with Drop-Ship Manufacturing

24 Ways to Monetize Your Blog

How to Pitch Brands for Sponsored Posts

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!

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.

 

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.

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!

Blog Editorial Calendar | Free editorial calendar template | How to use a blogging content planning system | Blogging tips

 

Related 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!

Blog Editorial Calendar | Free editorial calendar template | How to use a blogging content planning system | Blogging tips

 

Related Posts:

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.

The 5 Mistakes Bloggers Make When They Monetize Their Blog

Back when I started my own design and lifestyle 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 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.

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 your 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.

 

 

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!

Blog Editorial Calendar | Free editorial calendar template | How to use a blogging content planning system | Blogging tips

 

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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 to make money blogging? Here is why you NEED to sell products or services on your blog and how to get started. Blogging biz tips you don't want to miss! Click through for the blog post and FREE eBook download!!

How To Make Money Blogging Selling Products and Services

How to make money blogging. It’s one of the most popular questions I get asked!

Blog monetization can look different from blogger to blogger, genre to genre. Everyone has a slightly different revenue mix, depending on what monetization strategies they have put in place.

There are 4 main streams of income generation as a blogger:

#1 / Display advertising
#2 / Sponsored work
#3 / Affiliate marketing
#4 / Selling products and services

Streams 1-3 are the more “traditional” forms of direct blog monetization, but if you want to have an income stream that YOU are in control of, has the potential for large growth and major financial reward, then #4 is where it’s at.

The most successful bloggers know that the keys to really making money blogging is diversity and selling your own product or service.

Want to make money blogging? Here is why you NEED to sell products or services on your blog and how to get started. Blogging biz tips you don't want to miss! Click through for the blog post and FREE eBook download!!

Selling your own stuff is all about using your blog as a vehicle to highlight your product or service and sell to your readership. This is the “secret sauce” to making the dolla dolla bills, you guys.

You need to think of yourself as an overall brand – not “just a blog”. If you look at the most successful bloggers out there in the DIY and design space, they pretty much all sell something. Even the blogs that get insanely high traffic aren’t just relying on display ads and sponsored work – they want in on a piece of that selling action themselves! From apps, planners, eBooks, interior design services, coaching, prints, pillows, mugs, whatever – most are selling something.

Here’s the thing. As a DIY + design blogger, you are a creative person by nature. I can pretty much bank on that. And because you have started a blog and are thinking about monetizing, that also tells me that you are entrepreneurial. I know… it’s like I know you, right? Ha.

Well, this combo is epic. Creative + Entrepreneur = BOSS.

 

THE ADVANTAGES:

In case you haven’t already guessed it, you have so much opportunity with this stream! It can be easily the most rewarding and exciting part about your blogging biz. If you really want to make a full-time income, then you NEED to think about this stream of revenue. With the other 3 streams you are relying on other brands and companies to pay you, whereas here you are paying yourself. YESSSSS.

The biggest pro’s:

Highest Income Potential

You are selling your own stuff, so the sky is the limit here. Figure out the right product or service, hustle hard, and this could be hugely rewarding financially!

You are in Control 

No relying on other brands for sponsored work or ad agencies for campaigns, this is ALL YOU. You decide each biz move you want to make.

Major Creative Opportunity

I can safely bet that part of the reason you started blogging was because you wanted a creative outlet. Take that one step further with a product line or service. You’re going to love it!

Better able to rely on Income

Sure you still can’t rely on this revenue stream as you would with a 9-5 paycheque, but once you are selling, you will be able to get a good sense of what you can expect month over month. Plus, if it’s a service that you are offering, you can book yourself ahead of time with clients and have a clear idea of what your pay will look like.

 

THINGS TO THINK ABOUT:

If you haven’t already guessed it, this stream is also going to be the most time consuming and daunting. Figuring out what products or services to sell, manufacturing, liaising with customers, marketing, and all of the elements that go into operating a successful business are going to be hard work.

Some of the con’s?

Time Investment

Obviously developing, manufacturing, shipping a product line or offering a service, plus all the marketing and other elements that come with those, is a big time investment. Are there things you are currently doing in your blog biz that aren’t seeing a good return on investment? If so, I would try to eliminate those tasks so that you can free up your time to focus on this. Are there other tasks you can streamline better (like for example, scheduling social media or writing your blog posts in batches)? Get those systems in place.

Potential Start-Up Cost

Whether it’s materials, website development, software, courses, whatever … there is likely going to be some level of start up cost associated with developing this new arm of your biz. I suggest trying to bite off only small chunks at a time so that you aren’t going in way deep right from the get go. It can take a few try’s to figure out what is and isn’t going to work.

Higher level of Risk

Both in terms of money and time. But highest potential pay-off, too.

Scary!

It’s hard enough to put yourself out there on a blog, let alone trying to sell something that you created. It feels all kinds of personal and scary. But you know what? You just need to put it aside and get out there. You’ll never know until you try.

 

WHAT COULD YOU SELL? 

I listed a whole bunch of ideas in this blog post, but there are generally 3 categories of things you might sell as a blogger: Physical Products, Digital Products, and Services.

1 // Physical Products

I would recommend starting with a base product line of 10 stellar items. These can be the same general item, but with variations (for instance – a pillow line with 10 designs).

One of the great things about physical products is that you can sell online through your existing blogging biz and on a third party site (like Etsy), but also move into wholesale to boutiques. This is what I have done with my own shop and it has been a good way of testing different avenues of selling, and building up a solid income.

See this post all about how to launch your own shop using drop-ship manufacturing (like I have!).

2 // Digital Products

Digital products are items that are virtual – there is nothing physical about them. The product is sold and delivered online to the customer. The best thing about digital products is how passive they are. The time commitment upfront can be huge in terms of prepping the product, but once you’ve completed it and have it for sale, there is usually almost no activity required on your part. Just listening to those cha-ching’s, as the cash hits your bank account. YESSSS.

3 // Services

Like with products, the sky is the limit here on what you could offer. Here are some key questions to consider:

  • What are you especially skilled at?
  • What do you love doing?
  • What is it that your readers are always asking for your help on?
  • Are there other folks offering the same or similar services? If so, what would your unique slant be?
  • Do you want to offer your services solely online, or are you interested in in­-person services as well? 

If you’re really stumped, or want some feedback on a few ideas, I suggest surveying your readers. They are your target audience and you want to be sure that whatever you offer would appeal to them and answer a problem they might have.

Obviously there is a cap in service-based biz in terms of how much you can do. If you have a clear idea though of the number of clients or hours of work you need per month to make the income that you are shooting for, then this will be your goal. Down the road you could always look at hiring parts of your services out to an employee in order to expand and take on more clients.

 

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!

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How To Make Money Blogging: 24 Ways To Monetize Your Blog

Have you ever wondered how to monetize your blog?

If you want to actually start making a profit from your hobby blog, keep reading… I’m going to give you the insider scoop.

Want to make money blogging? Here are 24 creative ways to increase your income as a blogger and online entrepreneur.

Every blogger has a slightly different revenue mix, depending on what monetization strategies they choose to put in place.

Most successful bloggers will diversify their revenue streams, so that there is money coming in from a variety of sources. It’s a safer bet that way, rather than putting all of your eggs in one basket.

There are 4 main streams of income for bloggers:

  1. Display advertising,
  2. Sponsored work,
  3. Affiliate marketing, and
  4. Selling products and services.

 

Here are 24 ways that bloggers can monetize:

 

STREAM 1: DISPLAY ADS

 

1 // Display ads through a network

Sell advertising space on your blog through an advertising agency. The network or agency acts as the middle man between you, the blogger, and the brand. Most popular ad network? Google Adsense.

I personally work with MediaVine and LOVE them.

 

2 // Privately sold display ads

Sell advertising space on your blog directly to a company or brand. More work for the blogger as they need to find those companies and manage the relationship, but the income generated is typically higher than with a network as the blogger gets 100% of the profit.

 

looking-to-start-making-money-from-your-blog-24-strategies-for-monetizing-your-diy-and-design-blog-click-through-for-the-full-list-and-a-free-workbook

STREAM 2: SPONSORED WORK

 

3 // Sponsored blog post

A sponsored post is when you write a blog post that reviews a company or a particular product. You are highlighting that product to your readers and including product photography and a link to purchase or learn more.

 

4 // Sponsored social media post or campaign

Similar to writing a sponsored blog post, but on social media instead. This could be a sponsored instagram post or instagram series, facebook campaign, etc. where you are highlight a company and its product(s).

Sponsored work in general can really vary from collaboration to collaboration. Packages could include a blog post + social media outreach, or different combinations of work. You may get sponsored work through an ad agency if you work with one, or can pitch brands yourself and develop relationships and collaborations with them.

 

If you work with brands on sponsored work, make sure to check out this post on how to pitch brands and how to create a media kit.

 

STREAM 3: AFFILIATE MARKETING

 

5 // Affiliate product links:

Incorporating affiliate links within your blog so that when a reader clicks that link and purchases the item, you receive a commission. Commission levels vary from around 2-10% for a physical product to up to 50% for a digital product like an eBook or eCourse.

For example, having a “shop your house” section like Chris loves Julia has, would be a great spot to embed affiliate links.

clj

 

Check out this post for 11 Affiliate Marketing Networks you should join, and this post on how to create a strong affiliate marketing strategy.

 

STREAM 4: SELLING YOUR OWN PRODUCTS + SERVICES

This is the secret sauce to building a blog biz and really making money. You aren’t selling anybody else’s products – you are selling your very own. Yes, this stream is going to take more work, but the potential for major revenue is so much greater.

This is really where you are turning your blog into a brand and thriving business.

There are loads of potential product and service ideas….

 

6 // Freelance writing

Write blog posts for other brands and companies or articles for design magazines and other publications.

 

7 // Brand social media management

Freelance as a social media consultant and manage facebook / twitter / pinterest / instagram / etc accounts for other companies and brands. You have become a social media expert with you own blogging biz and many others would love to have your insight!

 

8 // Brand campaign creative management

Run creative campaigns for other brands and companies. Use your talents and network as a blogger to run a campaign that uses blogger outreach, social media outreach, etc.

 

9 // eBook

Write an eBook from scratch or re-purpose some of your existing content into an eBook. Sell on your blog and/or through avenues like Amazon.

 

10 // Create an Online course

Develop an online course that addresses some of the most popular questions you get asked as a blogger. It’s important to think about your target market and be sure you develop something that they need the answer(s) to. Your course could take a number of forms and include workbooks, written content, videos, etc. What do you teach on your blog already? Sewing? Decorating? Hand-lettering? A software? Turn it into a course.

 

11 // Host a Paid Webinar

Paid webinars where you offer your expertise in a 1-2 hour session.

 

12 // Printables

Create printables like worksheets, organizational tools, event printables, and others and sell either on your website or using a selling platform like Etsy (use this link to get your first 40 listings on Etsy free!).

 

13 // Digital artwork

If you are familiar with graphic design, you could sell digital art prints on your website or using a selling platform like Etsy. These are direct downloads so the consumer buys the JPG or PDF version and prints at home.

I used to do this in my own Etsy shop.

looking-to-start-making-money-from-your-blog-24-strategies-for-monetizing-your-diy-and-design-blog-click-through-for-the-full-list-and-a-free-workbook

 

14 // Photography

If you have become an amazing photographer, you can sell your photography (directly on your blog, through Etsy, or another external platform). Sell as prints or as digital downloads.

You can also sell photography to be used as stock photography for other business owners (this is HUGE right now!).

 

15 // Handmade goods

If you are a DIY and design blogger, you likely make amazing handmade goods. Ever thought of selling any of them? Opening up an Etsy shop or selling directly on your site can be an amazing way for readers to get a little piece of your creations!

 

16 // Interior design e-services

Your readers probably love your style (that’s why they keep coming back to your blog!). Offering e-design services allows them the opportunity to hire you to help them with their pressing design needs. Usually the product delivered is a moodboard and a design plan with layouts and links to purchase products.

 

17 // Virtual assistant services

As a blogger you have developed a bunch of very sought after skills, like writing, editing, social media knowledge, graphic design, and more. These are super valuable and you can market yourself as a Virtual Assistant (VA) for other bloggers.

 

18 // Web design

Have you become a web design rockstar? Market website design as your new service for clients, or create wordpress/blogger templates and sell those.

 

19 // Sell graphics, fonts and/or clip art

If you create amazing graphics or fonts for your blog, try selling them through Creative Market, Etsy, or other platforms out there. There is a big marketplace out there for that.

 

20 // Sewing patterns

Do you blog about sewing? If so, start selling your patterns! I bet your readers will snap ’em up.

 

21 // 3rd party fulfillment products

There are so many more options these days for selling physical products where another company handles the fulfillment so you don’t have to buy and store a bunch of inventory (and handle shipping!). You do the original designs, and then they take over: printing on tee-shirts, mugs, posters, tote bags, whatever. Check out Society6, Zazzle, and other websites to compare pricing and products. This is a really great option for selling physical products but in a passive way.

Kate from Centsational Girl sells photography and styling services, in addition to a fabric lines through Spoonflower, and other products through Zazzle. That is some stellar diversity!

centsational-girl

22 // Subscription newsletter

Offering something super valuable in a weekly newsletter? Lessons or downloadable content? Then turn that into a paid subscription.

 

23 // Membership community

Create a member login area to your website where you share valuable content for your readers. These are usually offered as monthly subscriptions where you promise to upload a certain number of new documents / content each month for your users.

 

24 // Public speaking

There are lots of conferences and training events all over the place that are constantly looking for outgoing folks to speak about their experience and knowledge. Market yourself as an expert within your niche and/or as an expert in blogging. This can be a great way of getting introduced to new audiences, too!

 

The Bottom Line?

I have tested and tried out various monetization strategies myself over the last 5+ years of blogging and have found different levels of success with each.

Unless you have super enormous traffic, selling your own products and services have the potential to be your biggest revenue earnier. Don’t hesitate to dive in to one of these product or service ideas, or something else you’ve been dreaming up. Even if it scares you a little, just push that fear aside and give it a go.

It may take some trial and error before you find the right product or service that sells and brings a good return on investment, but don’t hesitate to get started. Done is better than perfect!

 

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!

Blog Editorial Calendar | Free editorial calendar template | How to use a blogging content planning system | Blogging tips

 

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