When it comes to blogging this is one of the most interesting and most asked question! How do you make money blogging? Because there is no hard and fast formula for blogging for profit it’s a hard topic to tackle but I’ll try my best to hit a few bullet points that will help you if you’d like monetizing your blog!
Let me start with my own story!
I started blogging in April of 2009, back when craft blogs were not EVERYWHERE and just getting some momentum. I started noticing that I had created a great platform. I had readers and they were coming back daily! It was awesome! I then figured out that I had a place for others to be seen too! So there I was! At a cross roads of sorts! Could I actually sell myself, in essence, and make some cash? I was hoping to just make enough money to pay for my hobby!
So where do I start? I wanted to sell ad space but how on earth was I going to approach someone! What did I have to offer? I had about 25,000 page hits a month so I knew I had an audience.
I started with my friends! I emailed EVERYONE I knew who had a business that would appeal to woman and families cause that was my audience! I emailed them and offered ad space for $5 a month! WHAT! $5!!! Was that even worth my time! YES, and you’ll see why soon!
One of my first sponsors was a friend and their awesome company ” Toy Box Tee’s!” They signed up for 3 months and I had stars in my eyes! I threw in a free giveaway and intro post and I was well on my way to side bar sponsorships!
Others signed up too and all of a sudden I had 6 paying side bar ads! Ok, so I was only making $30 a month but it was the start I needed! They saw the benefits and the pump was primed so to speak! All of a sudden other companies noticed I had great companies who wanted to work with me and advertize and all of a sudden so did they! Emails started coming in and I was booking like crazy!
I remember in December of ’09 I made $100 that month! I was giddy over it! I told my husband ” This time next year I want to be making $250 a month! ” Little did I know that a year from then I would be making over $800 a month just from my side bar ads!
As my readership went up and my page views went up so did my ad rates and it seemed like the more ads I had on my sidebar the more others wanted to get in on the action! I’ve charged as much as $75 a month for ad space. It’s all based on page views and supply and demand!
TIPS for Side Bar ads:
- You have to start somewhere! Email everyone you know and give space away if you have to! Offer a free month to see if they benefit and offer a low rate at first!
- Approach companies you admire and send them a flattering email inviting them to advertize with you! Flattery gets you places!
- Stock your side bar with a handful of great companies and if that means giving it away for free at first or super cheap then by all means do it! When others see that “so and so” advertizes on your great site they too will want to be apart of that!
- When your numbers go up, so should your rates! I raised my prices as my numbers went up AND down! I adjust for both fluctuation. Companies will appreciate when your rates reflect your current traffic. I’ve tested the waters and have found a formula that works for me. For about every 100,000 page views I feel comfortable charging $50 a month. BUT when my page numbers were higher then 250,000 a month it was hard finding people willing to pay over $100 so I adjusted accordingly. See what I mean! It’s a hard science! You will only get paid what the market is willing.
- Know your market! Small etsy shops don’t have the budget to pay big cash for ad space, in some cases! I take bookings on a case by case basis! I’d much rather give a working mom on etsy a break then a large corporation!
-TRADE! Product trades are great! If I see stuff I love from a shop I’ll often trade! Win win!
- I don’t advertize my rates on my site! I would rather have someone email me, start a conversation and work something out. If I give them my rates and they can’t afford it but I really like their site I have room to negotiate. Had they seen my rates and not been able to afford them they would have never emailed! See! Start a conversation!
- Exclusivity: Well sort of! You don’t want to over book the same sort of company at the same time! 4 stamped jewelry companies hanging out side by side on your side bar isn’t very appealing to your readers or the companies working with you! Variety is the spice of life in this arena too!
Working with ad networks is another way you can cash in on your awesomeness! An ad network does a lot of the work for you! They have contracts with companies already who’s ads fit your blog topics. Ad networks can be hard to get in. Some are very selective and category sensitive! There are Food, DIY, Mommy, and Home specific networks and if you don’t fit in category wise with them your partnership isn’t going to work!
As networks work like this. Certian ads pay what’s called a “CPM” with means a certain amount of money for every 1,000 page views. Let’s create an example!
Say this ad runs on your site and the paid CMP is $2.
Some ad networks guarantee a CPM option or at times it can fluctuate. You also have to be aware that the ad seasons change threw out the year. Some months like Oct., November, and December are great! CPM’s are threw the roof: some as high as almost $4. And then come January, when all the companies are done trying to market the Holiday sales, they CPM’s crash: often under $1. It’s a roller coaster ride that’s for sure! Income can drops by over 85% so be prepared!
Here are a list of a few ad networks work trying to getting in on. I am not sure if they are accepting new bloggers but it;s a good list to keep on your radar…
Again, ad networks are hard to get in to. You have to sign contracts that may be very limiting so know what you are getting into before you sign anything!
Working with Brands! Ok…this one deserve a post all to itself so we’ll get back to that one soon!
If you have any questions in regard to this topic please feel free to ask in the comments section. I’ll answer them as best I can as a reply following your question!