Have you recently started a blog and want to turn it into a success? I thought I could share my secret on how I earned my first £100 through advertising and sponsored posts.
Writing a blog became one of my biggest passions when I signed up for my first blog in 2007. With over 10 years experience with blogging and my ranking on the top list of Norway’s biggest bloggers, I know a few things about the blogging world.
I moved to London in 2013 and was still writing for my Norwegian blog. After a while, I fell in love with the English language and decided to try for an English blog. Though back then I didn’t know much about WordPress and how to even get readers, I did tons of research and a few months later I found the key.
Why Self hosting Is A Good Idea
Through my old Norwegian blog, I was used to getting revenue and traffic from the platform I was signed to in Norway. This time around it was different because I went to my own domain and everything was now up to me. My blog was self-hosted through one.com and there was no way back!
Today I am happy I made that choice and every revenue I earn ends up in my bank account, which means I don’t need to pay additional fees to some company for owning the rights to my blog. I feel freer and having my own domain has changed the blogging experience forever.
When that is said, I do not earn enough to live on my blog, but I do earn enough so I can treat myself now and then. Most of my revenue is coming from commissions by affiliate programs. I also earn money through collaborations and sponsored posts.
Decide Your Monthly Income
The greatest thing with self-hosting is that you can decide what you want to earn. Depending on your traffic and engagement you can turn your blog into profit, by writing for brands and PR companies. You can also earn money by hosting competitions, which is a great way to give something to your readers. Also, this way you and your sponsors earn money.
How To Keep The Engagement
Without engagement from your readers, you won’t earn any commission. I do not write a blog because of the money, but let’s face it is a bonus if you know how to monetize your blog. You can have thousands of followers on Facebook and Twitter, but if no one is interested in what you write about you will not win. The engagement is everything and once you have learned to keep your readers engaged in your content that is when your blog is turning into a success.
In the beginning, I didn’t earn a thing. I was only focusing on how to build my blog and to put the right content out there. It started by following a few blogs on social media, joining groups on Facebook and signing up to different blog directories. I followed blogs I liked, commented on posts I found interesting and they returned the favor. Writing a blog has taught me one thing and that is engaging with your readers is everything.
If you aren’t familiar with the term Skyscraper content you should continue reading. This is something many bloggers are doing and it ignores the value of quality which leads to the poor reader experience. It is said that content over 400-500 words is better ranked in google and whilst this might be true, it is not always ideal for your readers.
Writing longer blog posts can increase curiosity, but can also make the reader lose their patience. You wouldn’t read a 1000 word long article if it was all written in one column?
I love reading a rich and informative article, but to make it more readable it is always a good idea to break it down into paragraphs. Think quality instead of quantity. What kind of blog posts would you like to read?
Approaching The Right Brands And Companies
Approaching brands and companies can go two ways – either you get a polite email back saying that they are having too much on hand to work with you, or they think your blog is not right for their brand. You might also get a response saying they love your blog and would want to collaborate with you. But, one thing is for sure if you don’t try you never know! If you have tried and get these responses, don’t worry. It happens to all of us in the beginning of our blog careers.
However, If you have tried and get these responses don’t worry. It happens to all of us in the beginning of our blog careers.
When I first tried I contacted different brands to see if they would be interested in collaboration. I always got an email back saying they were either busy, didn’t have the budget or that my blog wasn’t in their niche. Why were they not interested?
Writing Quality Posts
I decided to focus more on my content and how to write good quality blog posts. I got inspired by other successful bloggers and started to write in a more creative and professional way. Back then I used to spend 20 minutes on a post, now I use 1-2 hours just to make it perfect. The more time you spend on your blog the more it will become a success. Read your blog posts a few more times after writing it to check your spellings and typos. I am sure I have reread this article around 50 times already.
After focusing on writing quality posts, companies were standing in line to be featured. I only accepted products/services I would use myself and have always been honest with my readers. Nothing is worse than bloggers writing reviews of products they don’t like, just because of the payment they will receive in return.
The more reviews I wrote the better I got at finding new brands to collaborate with. I knew how to test them, write informative and understanding posts and how to get my readers interested to try the product. I was honest and showed results of the product/service to give a proper insight. You can write very good reviews, but without any pictures, I can assure you that no one will buy it.
How do you get companies to contact you back? – You have to make them interested and tell them why your blog and content suits their service/products. I always show them other posts I have done for different brands so they can see how I will feature their product. This is always a good way to engage the PR’s to invest their time in you and your blog.
Research/Build a relationship with the PR’s – Are you planning to do several collaborations? You should get to know the company/ brand to understand what you will be representing. Do some research before you decide to work with a brand/company because it isn’t always like it seems. The more research you do the better relationship you will have with the “clients”.
How To Earn Revenue From Sponsored Posts
Another way of earning money on your blog is through sponsored posts. It is important to let brands understand that you spend your time and energy writing for them, so you and the brand have to come to an agreement for what the payment should be. It can be a gifted item from their website or it can be paid by transfer or Paypal. You decide the rate, but sometimes brands have a budget and the trick is to only invest in those that are worth your time. Your blog is a product and you have to look at what you are selling. How much is your brand worth?
When you are earning a certain amount it is important to inform your tax attorney. I use this invoice app called “Invoice2go” to keep track on my earnings so that I know when I need to pay tax at the end of the year.
Signing Up To Affiliate Programs
If you want to start earning commissions you have to become an affiliate. Every brand has their own commission rate for each sale. Let’s say someone is buying a product through your links, you will receive 5% commission of the retail price. I earn my commissions through Affiliate Window, it is a really good affiliate program that has private and open brands you can work with. You can sign up here (ad link)
The other program I have been using for a few months is Google Adsense. You can choose the size of banners you want and you earn commission on every click and sales from your blog. Google Adsense advertising for products that are related to your search history and content on your blog. It is a brilliant affiliate program that can help you earn money in no time. You can sign up here
I hope you found these tips helpful and that you will turn your blog into a success one day.
What Do You Think Of The Post? How Do You Monetize Your Blog?