Wow! It’s hard to believe this is my 10th post in the series on How to make Quilting your Business. You can get links to the other 9 posts here. Today’s topic is Monetizing Your Blog. This can be a somewhat controversial topic but still, I think it’s an important one to cover. Here are just a few ideas to get you started:
Most often, paid sponsorships are those square buttons to other shops and products that show up, usually on the right (or left) column of a blog. Though I have never had paid sponsorships on my own blog, I have paid other bloggers to advertise when I was doing the online quilt shop thing full time. Here’s what my button looked like:
If you think of going this route, my best advice would be to put together a media kit with your advertising rates and exactly what you will offer in exchange. For me personally, I loved bloggers who would offer a discount for booking several month’s advertising up front. That encouraged me to sponsor them for a longer period of time. I don’t currently advertise on blogs anymore since I’ve taken my business in a new direction, but it was fun to interact with the bloggers when I did.
Affiliate links are links to products, services, or stores where bloggers get a commission when someone clicks on their link, goes to the linked website, and makes a purchase. I think these can be very effective as long as they are not too “in your face” and as long as what’s being talked about in the blog post does not sound like a commercial.
The most effective links are when a blogger links to a product or service that he/she actually uses. Then it’s more like a helpful lead, rather than a blatant promotion. Some of the more popular affiliate links are to Amazon and Craftsy, but most larger business offer them, so it’s worth checking into if that’s something you are interested in. Some companies also offer affiliate links embedded with photos, but I personally think that’s pushing it a little too far.
Many times companies like to reach out to bloggers by sending them free products like fabric, tools and supplies for them to use and review. While I have never received monetary compensation for any product review I’ve written, I’ve received a few fun freebies on occasion (though most of my reviews are non-sponsored – they are just for fun!) For me personally, I would never review a product that isn’t related to quilting, or anything I’m not actually interested in.
A fun freebie I received in exchange for a product review on another company’s website.
Don’t be shy about contacting the company whose products you are interested in. I’ve gotten many a free quilting book by reaching out to the publisher and offering an honest review in exchange for a copy of the book. I think that’s been a fun, fair trade. :-) Plus it gives me more fun things to share on my blog!
In my experience, I’ve never received any money for any posts I have written directly on my own blog. However, as many of you know, I blog for Craftsy and I do receive a small fee for each post that’s published on their blog, so that’s kind of fun.
I also have a couple of friends who have been successful writing for larger crafting and sewing blogs on a pay for post basis. If that’s something that appeals to you, start contacting these companies and letting them know you are interested. They are always looking for fresh, new content to share and it’s also a way for you to gain more exposure.
These are just a few ways I know about to monetize your blog. I did a quick google search for “monetizing your blog” and found several articles that delve into this topic in more detail. Here are a few (non-sponsored!!) links you can try for further reading: