Can you make money with a Mom Blog?
As someone who has made a full-time living from blogging and sold 4 blogs in the last 10 years, I know how important it is to monetize your blog. My feeling is, you should be getting paid to blog. You can’t tell me that you spend hours blogging, posting to Facebook, and Instagramming the perfect picture of your dinner plate for the fun of it. Heck NO! You are spending your time doing these activities and you SHOULD be compensated!
Making money with your blog can mean the difference between staying at a job you hate or blogging about something you love. Making money with your blog can also mean you get to stay at home with your children. Whatever your reason for monetizing your blog, I want to help you! Below I’ve listed out the TOP ways that professional bloggers monetize their blogs.
But before we dive into the world of blog monetization we need to talk about your blog. There are certain things that you will need to do before monetizing it to get it ready and attractive to prospective advertisers. Below, I’ve listed the 3 things you should do before monetizing your blog.
Things you MUST DO before monetizing your website:
Traffic: You want to make sure that your blog is getting daily pageviews. Though huge traffic numbers are not necessary, they do show potential advertisers/sponsors that you do have an establish blog with a loyal following.
Install Google Analytics: In order to track your blog traffic, you will want to make sure to have Google Analytics installed on your blog. Most advertisers will ask for Google Analytics numbers to determine whether your blog is a good fit or not.
Determine your worth: Before diving into the world of blog monetization, you’ll want to take stock of your blog and it’s offerings and then determine what you feel is an adequate price for ads & sponsored posts. Below I will give you a few formulas to determine what you should charge for private ads & sponsored posts.
Here are the monetization topics we will discuss in this post:
- Private Ads
- Affiliate Marketing
- Sponsored Posts
- Sell an info product
- Referral Credit
- Become a VA
Advertising is probably the easiest way for new bloggers to monetize their blog. There are two types of ads that you can run on your blog: contextual advertising (like Google Adsense) and private advertisements purchased directly from the company. Contextual advertising can be really lucrative if you have a lot of traffic and private ads can be great for VERY niche blogs with a very specific audience. The good news is that you can run either or both on your blog to monetize it!
According to Wikiepedia, “Contextual advertising is a form of targeted advertising for advertisements appearing on websites or other media, such as content displayed in mobile browsers. The advertisements themselves are selected and served by automated systems based on the identity of the user and the content displayed.”
I’m sure you’ve seen banner & text ads on most websites you visit, I would be willing to bet that a majority of money-making websites monetize with some form of banner & text advertising. These banner ads make you money each time a reader clicks on an ad.
To get started with contextual advertising, all you have to do is sign up for an account with the platform, create an ad unit and then place it on your blog. Some of the different ad networks you can look into are Google Adsense & Yahoo Ads, these two are the most popular and easy-to-set up ads. They are also GREAT for beginners.
Contextual Ad options (Great for beginners):
Premier Advertising Options (Traffic requirements):
How much can you expect to make with Contextual Ads?
Unfortunately, there is no single formula that will predict how much money you will make with contextual ads. It largely depends on how much advertisers are willing to pay to get in front of your audience, which will depend on the niche you are in. For example, if you have a blog about Mesothelioma, you are going to make MORE money on contextual ads than someone with a food blog. Why? Because companies targeting people affected by Mesothelioma are willing to spend more each time someone clicks on an ad than a company would be willing to spend targeting a stay at home mom who enjoys cooking. There are just some niches that are more profitable than others.
Unlike contextual ads, you have quite a bit of control over private ads, you decide who to work with and and at what price. Private ads can be great if you don’t have a whole lot of traffic yet, but your blog & audience is in a high defined niche. For example, let’s say you run a blog about Owning a Horse. Your readers are likely horse owners and enthusiasts. Brands that target that demographic would be highly interested in getting in front of your audience. There are a couple of ways to work with brands which we will discuss further in this blog post, however, one of the ways you can work with brands is to offer private advertising.
How much money should I charge for a private ad?
This my friends is the million dollar question. While the answer to this question involves a lot of factors a good rule of thumb is to charge: (NUMBER OF DAILY PAGE VIEWS /10).
For example, if your blog receives 500 page views a day, you would charge $50 per month.
How do I find companies who want to advertise on my blog?
In the beginning you will have to do a little of the footwork yourself. I recommend making a list of all of the companies that you would like to work with and think may be a good fit for your brand. Then send them a quick note about your blog, include all pertinent stats including: Name, Domain Name, Traffic Numbers, Social Media following & your ad rates and see if they might be interested in advertising on your website.
There are several companies that will negotiate private ad relationships for you:
2. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is the term coined for when you get a kickback from a product you promoted on your blog. Affiliate marketing can be VERY lucrative depending on which programs you choose to promote. The nice thing about affiliate marketing is that you can get paid to talk about products that you already love.
For example, let’s say you are a food blogger and frequently post pictures of your baking dishes, pots & pans, and other cooking tools. Each time you mention a product on your blog, you can put a link to that product from Amazon or Ebay, or any of the other stores you have an affiliate with and make some money each time someone makes a purchase!
How does Affiliate Marketing Work?
The first thing you’ll need to do is join some affiliate programs. I’ve listed some of my favorite companies below. Once you are accepted, you will then apply to different programs. For example, if you wanted to post deals on Walmart then you would use LinkShare or Impact Radius for Target, etc. Each of the companies listed below work with many, many, many companies. So you will want to allow yourself some time to go through all of the programs once you are accepted.
Once you join a few programs and are ready to get started, all you have to do is login to the affiliate company, grab the link you need for the store/product you want to promote and use that as a link on your blog. Now each time someone makes a purchase through your link, you’ll earn money.
Affiliate Marketing Programs:
- Commission Junction
- Rakuten Linkshare
- Impact Radius
3. Sponsored Posts
Sponsored posts work a little differently than traditional advertising or affiliate marketing. With Sponsored posts, brands compensate you for writing about them on your blog. A sponsored post can be written in a variety of ways: review, testimonial, video, mention or a descriptive post about the company.
The one piece of advice that I can give you for Sponsored posts is to write them in your own voice and never, ever pretend to like a product or company that you normally wouldn’t just because you are getting paid.
How much should I charge for a Sponsored Post:
Much in the same way that determine a price for a private ad depends on several factors, the same goes for a sponsored posts. Some newer bloggers are okay to write a sponsored post in exchange for FREE products, while other more experienced bloggers prefer to be paid as well. Here are a few things to consider when determining your price for a sponsored post:
- How long will this take me to write/promote/photograph?
- Will I share it on social media?
- What is my traffic?
For example, if Brand X would like you to review their new baby product and you estimate it will take you about 1 hour of work, figure out how much your time is worth and charge that. If however, they want you to create a recipe with their product, the time involved to shop for the product, cook the product, photograph & write about the product will take a lot longer, therefore you should charge a lot more.
There are many sponsored post opportunities out there, and they work much in the same way as affiliates. There are several major sponsored post companies who act as a middle man between you and the brand. A good choice is to sign up with a handful of sponsored post companies and gauge what types of sponsored post opportunities come your way.
Sponsored Post Companies:
- Clever Girls Collective
- Social Fabric
- SITS Girls
- Collective Bias
- One2One Network
- Influence Central
- Mom it Forward
- Pollinate Media
4. Sell an Info Product
Selling an info product is one of the newest (and most lucrative!) ways that bloggers are monetizing their blogs. Bloggers can create some passive income with their blogs by creating things like e-books, courses or webinar series based on their topic of expertise.
The nice thing about being a blogger is that you probably already have a lot of content on your blog. You can repurpose some of that content into a product that your readers will actually want to buy! Many bloggers have had good luck with selling things like a cookbook, a course about blogging, etc. You’ve already got a built in readership (and hopefully an email list) so you have a customer base right from your blog.
You can do other things to market your e-products like Facebook Ads, Social Media & Affilliate programs to increase reach and sales of your product.
Sell an Ebook:
Teach a Class
5. Earn Referral Credit
Another way to ‘monetize’ your blog is to promote brands/companies that have referral programs in which you earn store credit in return for referring a friend. Although, you aren’t earning money that you can use to pay bills, etc. You are earning credits which can be used for purchasing items that you would spend money on. For example, ThredUp offers $15 credit for every new user referred. Let’s say you refer 10 people, for a total of $150 in credit. You can then use that $150 to purchase kids clothing on the site. Though it’s not money in your hands, it’s a savings of $150 out of your pocket, which in my opinion is the same thing!
Below I have listed a few of my favorite referral programs, however there are hundreds of sites that offer referral bonuses. What you need to do is sign up for their referral program and once signed up, you should get a unique referral URL which you can use across your blog & social media to gain referrals.
Some of my favorite referral programs:
6. Become a Virtual Assistant
While you grow your blog, you can offer your services to other bloggers as a virtual assistant (VA). Some of the duties that bloggers usually outsource to VAs are content creation, social media posting, graphic design, etc. If you have any of these skills, you can offer to work with bloggers for a set per hour or per job fee.
One way to find VA positions is to join some of the VA Facebook groups. There are several groups on Facebook for VAs & bloggers to connect and contract services. I’ve listed some of my favorite Facebook VA groups below.
- Sell Your Content to Bloggers
- VAs for Hire
- VAs for Hire Content/Guest Post
- VAs for Hire & Pinterest Friendly Content
- Sell your Content & Services
Now that I’ve given you several ways to earn money with a blog, I’d love to hear about your monetization journey! Leave me a comment about how you monetize your blog and what’s working for you!