These resources were included as part of a seminar I ran and have loads of information on social media monetisation.This seminar was held June 28th, 2015. It included a presentation from my lawyer on the legalities of blogging, my accountant discussed tax, my insurance broker discussed how to protect yourself/your blog and what to look out for, Travis Longmore shared ways to increase your reach including tools to use, content creation and curation and I covered how to make money with social media/blogging.
There is a lot here, some of which is good for business whether you blog or not. I have included snippets from my presentation as well as the relevant resources you need. If you are just getting started with blogging I highly recommend you read Day One Advice, also here is an infographic on why every business should blog.
As a new blogger or even as a refresher, these are my two favourite eBooks ever for blogging – Guide to your first week of blogging and 31 days to build a better blog . A lot of what is in these can be applied to business as well.
1.) Sponsored posts
Sponsored posts are generally a pretty easy way to make money. How would you like to get up every morning, have your coffee (or hot chocolate in my case), check your email and have something like “Hey awesome blogger, we want to pay you to put a link to us in a post on your blog!”
A sponsored post is simply a post that is paid for. It might be a link in an existing post, they might supply the post or you may need to write it (or outsource it to your own writer), but it is generally considered one of the easy ways to make money blogging.
It is up to you to negotiate how long you will do links such as 12 months, 2 years or permanent. As a general rule I keep links live for 12 months, after that advertisers can pay a reduced annual rate to keep the link there or I can remove it.
With sponsored posts there are numerous variables such as if a link is no follow or do follow, do you write the post or do they, does it include social media mentions (I think they should be included), how to label the sponsorship/advertising fr it. So how do you know what to do?
For starters, have a disclaimer on the site. I am clear about being paid to do work, I have a category specifically for advertising for all these posts. When uploading pictures I include the blog post name plus #sponsored so when they are pinned it is clear. Same when sharing on social media use #ad or #spon or similar.
Next the links, the difference between a do follow and no follow link is that one is picked up by Google as a link, the other is not. Many advertisers want do follow links as it counts as a back link to their site and increases their authority and statistics, however if not done right, it is risky for the blogger and Google may penalise you by dropping your page rank.
A no follow link is still valuable as it raises awareness of their site and directs your readers to them, especially if written by you, in your voice and it is of interest to your readers. I recommend either you or a staff writer if you have them write the post to personalise and tailor it to your site. Some advertisers are happy to provide content, but it may not be that interesting to your readers as it will be missing your voice.
If you want to approach businesses to sponsor you (more on that further down) here are a few articles that will help:
How to write the perfect sponsorship pitch letter
How to get sponsors for your blog
Businesses approaching bloggers
If you are a business approaching a blogger to increase sales there are a few ways you can do it – pay them cash, offer product to review or do a giveaway. Email the blogger telling them you would like to work with them, state what you would be interested in doing, ask for a media kit and see what they say. A media kit is a document with their statistics. What you need to be interested in is actual engagement and traffic. Many can have huge followings, but low engagement. High engagement will give more success than straight high stats.
Be prepared for their response to be cash only. You know why? Bloggers can’t pay the mortgage with product. They can’t put petrol in the car with product. Sometimes they may love a product or be after your product and be happy to do a post for product only, but the fact it, most expect to make money from this and as such expect payment. Payment can vary from $50 on a tiny blog through to thousands.
2.) Affiliate links
If you’d like the cash to keep coming in when you’re chilling doing you’re own thing, affiliate links can help if done well. If you establish your site, create a highly engaged community and don’t constantly force ads down your audience throat, then you can easily
As a blogger you can pepper affiliate links in posts, in your sidebar, in your newsletter and other social media. Affiliate links work best with more unique, niche products rather than having simple Amazon ads, which everyone has now.
For example, a few of my sites focus on money such as how to make money, budgeting and how to save money. On these sites eBooks have been better than linking to books on book sites as affiliate links.
Affiliate programs can also be great if you are creating a product such as an eBook or course, or if you are a business offering anything for sale as it enables other bloggers to make a bit of money promoting your products. However, if you are a business, most bloggers do not want to be approached by you for you to promote your affiliate program. They tend to prefer a sponsored post. Don’t pitch it straight at them, rather go through agencies or programs you can become an affiliate through, use some marketing methods and get active in the right places to raise awareness of your affiliate program. If you are a blogger creating an eBook or similar, it is usually easier as you can reach out to fellow bloggers to promote it and most are happy to do it for fellow bloggers.
Or look for products, eBooks, courses etc you want to recommend and see if they have an affiliate link.
Affiliate program to sell your products
I like eJunkie, which is used by most people I know selling eBooks.
3.) Ads in sidebar, header or footer
Ads can be placed anywhere on your site or in newsletters. They can be text links, banners, images or video. Where you place them, the traffic you get and the engagement all determine the price. You can either arrange them yourself or go through companies like passionfruit, Nuffnang or even use google ads there if you wish.
Ads can be charged per month, pay per click or pay per 1000 clicks. Different bloggers offer different options.
4.) Captcha advertising
Captcha helps reduce spam with forms and comments on sites. It can also be monetised. If you have to watch a bit of video in order to get the captcha, the blogger is most likely getting paid to have that there.
Personally, I am not a fan of this form of advertising, because it creates an extra step someone has to make to leave a comment or email or fill out a form on your site. The harder it is or the more steps there are the less likely someone is to leave the comment or fill in the form.
5.) Pop up ads
You will have seen these on most sites, ads that pop up when a page loads or roll across the article you are reading. They are generally pay per click, as in the site owner gets paid when you click on them. I don’t like them, I don’t use them and can’t advise where to get them.
6.) Sell your own products – eBooks, courses, Skype coaching
Usually, you need to pick your monetisation method, either pushing your own products or pushing other peoples. If you want to sell eBooks, courses and so on, the best advertising space on your site should go to them and the focus for your monetisation plan should be your products. BUT if you have not built a community you will sit there all lonely like this guy, not making a cent. I cannot stress this enough, build your community FIRST!
This is similar to business sites. From a blogging perspective, don’t make your business blog all about you. Write engaging content that is useful such as tips, tricks and give relevant information about your industry that your target market will find interesting and want to share.
If you are selling your own courses check out How to launch your first ecourse and make it sell out, also 8 reasons to add an ecourse to your blog and how to set prices for your info product.
7.) Sponsorship packages for events
With the above options, you can create packages to pitch to brands and businesses. For example, many bloggers when attending events will offer some posts, social media mentions, images and a banner ad for 3 – 12 months for the brand. I have done this a few times, tailoring the package to suit the business.
Generally, I offer a tiered selection for blog sponsorship packages such as a gold, silver and bronze package with 3 – 12 months worth of advertising and promotional offers.
For tips on pitching to get sponsors check out these links:
8.) Brand Ambassadors
Brand ambassadors are not limited to celebrities on tv promoting a breakfast cereal. Bloggers are often featured as brand ambassadors for events, products and services because we have an engaged following who trust us like a friend.
As an Ambassador, you are paid to feature a brand with advertising on your site, sometimes be featured in ads for TV and be known to be affiliated with the brand. The terms are negotiated between you and the brand. Usually if they are approaching you they have an idea of how they want things to work, but it is still up to you what you are willing to do. Don’t sell yourself short.
I have been an ambassador for a few events, campaigns and brands which has included photoshoots, advertising on my sites, speaking at events, being recorded for radio and TV, but I tend to prefer to do it for charities, for example, last year I was in the Community Sleepout marketing and coming up I am an ambassador for the Not A Wife Beater Campaign, because these things align with my personal experiences.
Gary Vaynerchuk swears but his content is amazing and he’s pretty much the best in the world when it comest to social media/marketing.
Tim Ferris – author of the 4 hour work week (or the eBook is here) and 4 hour body (eBook is here), two books that had a significant impact on my life. You can read why the 4 hour body changed my life so much here.
Marie Forleo is another good one
These are a couple of books we (Travis Longmore and I) highly recommend
Jab, Jab, Jab, Right Hook: How to Tell Your Story in a Noisy Social World (ebook) or the physical book
The Thank You Economy (Enhanced Edition) (eBook) or the physical copy
CRUSH IT! (eBook) or the physical copy
Virtual Freedom: How to Work with Virtual Staff to Buy More Time, Become More Productive, and Build Your Dream Business eBook version or the physical book. I love it. It is all about outsourcing, it’ll change how you do business. Also, Chris has 101 tasks you can outsource
Where to source free images/create images
Canva is a favourite and for good reason, it has everything you need and is extremely easy to use.
Unsplash has new high res images every 10 days but no search option.
Another option is Pixabay
To get into media – this is great for business not just blogs.
Source Bottle – regular emails with journalists seeking people for stories on various topics.
Help A Reporter Out – similar concept, but less Australian more American.
Having a ‘blog tour’
When I launched one of my websites to coincide with the publication of 365 Ways To Make Money, I did a blog tour. I posted on a different blog every day for a month and had a fresh blog post going up on my site every day that month as well. That was 4 years ago and those articles still generate traffic. Pick blogs that would interest your target demographic then pitch a guest post idea to them. Here are a few articles with more advice:
The Dabbling Mum – Book tour
How to book a blog tour
If you are on Pinterest, this is my “bloggy” board where I pin things you will probably find useful for blogging and social media
Most conferences have a virtual pass, but the value comes mainly in the networking there
Problogger is very popular here in Australia. There are often blog meet ups in various cities.
My favourite conference is FinCon, which is in the USA.
Social Media World is outstanding as well.
There is so much more to blogging and social media. This is just the tip of the iceberg. Feel free to leave a comment on anything you want more information on.