I’m doing that thing where I don’t really no how to start this post and so instead I’m just people-watching all the chaps and chapettes hanging out around me in Pret.
I really need a wee but LOL they don’t have a toilet here so yay to achy bladders, y’know?
Since my Leeds talk last weekend with Jaywing PR on all things full-time blogging, working with brands and monetising your content, I’ve had a lot of you reaching out for more advice.
So I thought I’d whack it into one juicy post for you to bookmark and refer back to whenever you’re feeling a bit lost and confused and WHAT THE SWEET JESUS IS AN AFFILIATED LINK.
It’s by no means the right way to make an income from blogging (I mean lol OK, is there even a right way? And should you even monetise your sweet, sweet content anyway?) but it’s the way I do it. The way which has worked for me, and so I hope it offers you a little bit of guidance.
Oh and shout out to all my readers who don’t give a digestive biscuit about money and blogging, maybe skip this post and come back tomorrow when I’m hoping to have something sexy and interiors related.
So lemme break down for you the three main ways I’ve made money during my 18 months of full-time blogging.
When I first started monetising them ol’ bad boy viral lists, this was the main way I made money. I used to make about £1,000 a month from my then-agency from the ads that they would put on my blog. You know the ones – the banner ads and the pop up ads and those big, juicy site takeover ads that act like a photo frame around your content.
They’ve become less popular with both bloggers and advertising companies since I started out – as there’s much more focus on more natural, sponsored posts instead. To the point that I removed my on-site ads last month. They weren’t bringing in enough extra cash to warrant having them, and I didn’t like not having a head’s up about the brands that would be featured on my blog – brands like Seaworld.
A good starting place if you are looking for a little extra ASOS pocket-money is Google Adsense – they’re easy to install yourself and they pay monthly as long as your revenue is more than £60*.
*I think. Don’t hold me to it. I sometimes get lost in my own thoughts thinking about Grey’s Anatomy and muddle up information I’ve read. Soz.
First thing I will say is that assume every product you ever see from a blogger – whether it’s on a blog, on Twitter or in a video description – is an affiliate link.
What this means is that if you click that link, and then two days later think yeah I will buy something from that website, around 7% of the cost of your order will go to the blogger.
After you’ve clicked a link, the cookies will stay on your browser for 30 days unless you clear them. Which means that blogger has 30 days for you to buy something from that website to make commission – unless you click on another blogger’s affiliated link before that 30 days is up, and then it passes to them.
Does that even make sense? I think I’ve confused myself. Wah.
You basically sign up and then install a button on your browser which you can click every time you see a product you like and want to link to and it’ll give you a personalised code to use which is connected to your account.
It’s a great little additional way to make money and some style bloggers make their entire living this way, the one downside is that it can take up to three months from someone buying something using your link for the commission to enter your bank account.
I’ve used the phrase ‘sponsored post’ but really anything from a blog post and video to Instagram and Snapchat can be sponsored by a brand.
The way it usually works for me is that a brand will contact me and outline an upcoming campaign they have and they’ll ask me for my rate card (a PDF document you can make which outlines your fees for various platforms as well as your blog and social stats) or how much I’d charge for the coverage they’re looking for.
Once we’ve agreed a fee and the content I’ve got to produce, I’ll sign a contract and get to creating the content within the set timeline.
(Admittedly only about one in four campaigns actually comes off after the initial introduction email).
Some brands like to see the imagery and words before things go live, others are happy for you to be as creative and you as you please (naturally these are my faves because hello no stress and completely organic content). Sometimes you’ll have to do a couple of drafts or re-film a video, other times everything is smooth sailing and you can give yourself mental high fives for nailing it.
It’s best practice to use no-follow links in sponsored blog posts and also to obvs declare it as sponsored content, regardless of which platform it’s on.
This is when I’d then invoice the brand and am usually paid within 30 days of the content going live, although it’s taken up to three months before.
Some people like to have an agent to handle their sponsored campaigns because a) they don’t like talking about money, b) they want to make sure they’re charging the right amount or c) they haven’t got time to manage all the emails coming in. I personally like doing it myself because it’s taught me a lot about working with PRs, negotiating and talking about money. It’s also really nice to build those easy working relationships with brands so they’re keen to come back to you time and time again.
I know other bloggers who reach out to brands and pitch them sponsored content ideas – which is another thing to try, especially if you find not that many people are reaching out to you directly.
ANYWAY yeah, I hope this helps in some teeny tiny way. Whether it gives you that kick up the bum you’ve been searching for to up your blog ante if you’re looking to make money from it, or whether it helps clear up the HOW DO BLOGGERS MAKE MONEY question that’s been lingering in your brain. (Seriously, I get asked it weekly and I now have an automated response just sitting and waiting in my mouth).
Let me know if you have any questions in the comments below and I’ll do my best to reply and hook a girl up with the info she’s after.