Do you ever ask yourself: “How do bloggers make money?” or “I’m a blogger – how can I learn how to increase my monthly earnings?” How about “Compared to the big time bloggers, I feel like I’ll never get there!” Follow me on my journey of turning this blogging hobby into a career with my Real Life Blogging Income Report.
First off, boy oh boy – I owe you some gratitude! You were so kind and so supportive of last month’s inaugural income report. It was scary to pull away the veil and reveal how little I make for the amount of work I put in. But you all shared such sweet words of encouragement and asked some really great questions that I hope to address in this post!
This month, I want to dive into the nitty gritty of affiliate marketing as an entry level blogger. Oh if current day Jen could go back and tell beginning blogger Jen one thing, it would be this.
Monetize your blog from day one!
So what is monetizing? Monetizing basically means you create the ability to generate income from your website or blog. And that basically means you give the authority to advertisers and companies to place links to their site on yours. If someone clicks that link and buys, you get a small percentage of that sale – at no cost to the buyer. Of course, I’ll be including these types of links within this post. You can read my full disclosure here.
So which sites to use? I will break them down into 2 categories: Ad Networks and Affiliates
The first site that I would recommend for an entry level blogger is the Google Ad Network, Adsense. Not only is it simple to set up and activate, but they offer help in a timely manner if needed. Plus – it pings the google platform that your blog exists!
The other platform I use is Content.ad. They are my preference at this stage for their ability to piggy back other ad sites. I can run both these programs seamlessly – which means double the chance of income! I really respect that they offer family friendly ads for your site, meaning you have the option to place the type of ads that fit your platform.
There are oodles of other ad networks out there, but these are the only two I can speak to with authority. Find what fits for your style! Here’s a great list from Work At Home Adventures that shows how many options are out there!
Amazon Associates Affiliate Program: This program is so easy to set up and use! It’s a perfect way to link to items you recommend on your site. The only caveat is that you need to make a sale within the first 180 days, so you may want to generate a bit of traffic before implementing this program.
ShareaSale.com When I first began monetizing my blog, this was my go to program. They offer a wide variety of companies to link to and partner with. I have even obtained a few sponsored posts from merchants I joined thru this network.
VigLink: I am new to the VigLink platform, but in the short time that I have been there, I have earned more than all the years with Share-a-Sale – simply for their linking tool within posts. If you enable this plug in, VigLink scans your site and provides links within posts for you!
CJ (formerly Commission Junction): I’m just cracking the nut on this program. Initially, I was discouraged because many of the programs I applied for declined my application. After reading more, I learned that some companies set up parameters that automatically decline you if you don’t meet the requirements. So instead of feeling discouraged, this has given me drive to grow my numbers more to get those approvals!
RewardStyle: There are many bloggers who make bank on this platform and then there are those like me who have made a total of $3.47 cents! While they offer links for decor items, I have found their strong point is fashion. I’m still learning how to implement this more on my site. *Note: This is an invite only program, so email me if you want me to send you a referral link.
Important things to Know!
When you ad any referral links, you must disclose that those are affiliate links according to the FTC. Set up a disclosure page that you link to within those posts. It’s worth the time and education to make sure you are setting up your Affiliate and Advertiser programs properly!
Also, make note of the payment terms with the programs you join. Some have a monetary threshold you must reach in order to get paid. Others have a 60 or 90 day turn around time, and then there are those that require both!
Now for this months numbers! So in full transparency, I will show you the breakdown of what I earned vs what I was paid.
February Real Life Blogging Income Report
Ad Networks Earnings
Hometalk Pinterest Program: $83.78
Amazon: $ 7.79
Viglink: $ 8.74
RewardStyle: $ 0.00
CJ: $ 0.00
Sponsored Post (instagram post) $35
less expenses $124.99
Total Profit: $181.28
My expenses were very minimal this month, so I believe this mark the first time I’ve officially landed in the black! And you were were here to see it! (insert cabbage patch, happy dance, hammertime excitement)
Last Month’s Real Life Blogging Income Report sparked many questions and I hope this does the same. Please comment below and share any tips you may have or questions you want answered. We’re in this together so let’s support and lift each other up!
Be sure to subscribe below so you don’t miss next months report. I’ll be sharing a little more on sponsorships and some programs you can join to increase those opportunities.
Products from Amazon.com
Price: $28.49Was: $29.99
Performance Partnerships: The Checkered Past, Changing Present & Exciting Future of Affiliate MarketingPrice: $14.99Was: $15.99