About once a week or so, I get an email asking how I make money on my blog.
And invariably, they say in their email, “I’m sure you’ve written a post about this, so you can just send me the link if that’s easier.”
Well, I hadn’t written a post about it until this very moment, but now, you can bet I’ll just be linking to this post and saving my fingers for typing more important things like how much I love Captain Hook in Once Upon a Time.
So get ready. Here’s more than you ever wanted to know. (I wrote the first section and it was so ridiculously long that I’m dividing it into a couple of parts).
First off, I’m pretty serious about diversifying my income on my blog so that I’m not overly reliant on a single source of money.
Secondly, I’m very choosy about what I promote on my blog and I try to keep about a 4:1 ratio of non-sponsored content to sponsored content, so I want as many options for money making as possible so that I feel like I can choose the very best stuff, rather than just feel like I have to take whatever one single stream is sending me because I need to pay the water bill.
So. . . those are the major reasons this is such a long list.
The other reason is that I like money. Don’t we all?
Today, I’m only talking about sponsored posts (where you get paid to write a post promoting a brand).
The companies below work with brands, negotiate how a campaign will work and then send out emails with current campaigns to everyone who is part of their network. You apply for campaigns you are interested in, and then they select a group of bloggers that are a good fit for certain campaigns. Here are the ones I work with:
Clever Girls Collective:
You need to have around 10,000 monthly pageviews and have been blogging for six months to be accepted. Clever Girls has a really diverse set of clients; some of their clients are the more standard product brands (diapers, beauty products, kid toys, etc) while other campaigns are focused on social awareness or promoting new online tools or websites. I’ve done a lot of campaigns with them over the years, from last week’s post about road-tripping with children
to this old classic where Ella danced with joy over yogurt
(her life is small and sad). Depending on the post requirements, they usually pay between $75 and $300.
: They are fairly similar to Clever Girls, but they do almost exclusively products, especially food and consumer goods (paper products, magazines, dog food, tampons etc). They tend to have very detailed instructions for their campaigns. They pay slightly more on average, I think, than Clever Girls. This recent s’mores party
was with them and I did quite a few with them last fall, including these to-die-for chocolate streusel muffins
This is a new sister-company to Pollinate Media and it’s designed specifically for bloggers with 20,000 or fewer monthly page views. I haven’t done any campaigns with them, but I assume they function very very similarly to Pollinate.
: They focus heavily on beauty and fashion goods. I met both of the co-founders at Alt Summit
in January (in fact, the sponsor dinner I went to was hosted by them) and they are lovely. They pay on a tier (so if you have a lot of traffic, you’ll make more on a campaign and vica versa, unlike Clever Girls and Pollinate that pay a flat fee regardless of how much traffic you have). They don’t have as many clients yet because they’re pretty new, but they’re growing. As far as I know, there is no traffic requirement to join. The only campaign I’ve done with them so far is this Bare Minerals
one (by the way, I’m still super in love with that makeup).
Mode Media (previously Glam Media) is my ad provider (those rotating ads in the sidebar and occasionally around the frame of my blog). They also do sponsored posts with a very similar set up to Clever Girls and Pollinate (they send out an email, you apply if you’re interested, and they select you if you’re a good fit). I’ve done a few with them, including this one about snack plates
. You can only be notified about their sponsored posts, though, if you’re part of the ad network.
This one is a little different because usually you’re not just doing a post, but also acting as a shopper and letting the company know how their product looks on the ground – they have you take photos of the store, how the product is displayed when you go to pick it up, and share a brief synopsis of your experience with them privately. I’ve only done a few posts with them, including this Christmas Eve fondue
one in December. They are looking for bloggers with more than 15,000 pageviews per month and an overall social media presence with 4000+ followers. Posts pay about the same as Pollinate generally. Also, their website is kind of a disaster – it’s super busy and I find it kind of crazy to navigate.
Blueprint Social: This one is focused on DIY projects and you usually get a boatload of product (my craft closet is bulging after just a few campaigns with them). They pay on a sliding scale sometimes and sometimes just a flat rate (generally $100). You have to need to have been blogging at least six months, but they don’t have a stated minimum traffic requirement. I did this decoupage clock with them and this painted carafe.
IZEA (or Social Spark):
This is the only company I’ve ever worked with that previews your post before it goes live (which means there is more back and forth than the other ones). I won’t lie – this one is one that I find a little tricky to use. Their system is just wacky, and you have to write your post in their interface then copy the HTML into your own blog after it’s approved, etc. You can negotiate your rate, which I like. I did this gelato post
with them last month.
Mom It Forward:
This is one of the newest ones I’ve joined. In fact, I haven’t even done my first sponsored post with them yet (coming next week – get excited). They don’t seem to have as many opportunities, but they pay pretty well. Also, I couldn’t find a minimum traffic requirement to join.
This one is very different in that you aren’t paid a flat rate for your post, but instead by the number of clicks you get on the target link. You set your own rate per click (generally about $0.50 – $1.50 per click) although once you set it, it’s set in stone forever for all future campaigns. And then they cap you at how many clicks they’ll pay you for. If you overachieve, you’ll likely get a higher ceiling on the next campaign. Originally you could just do it via social media, but now they require a blog post (a change that I do not care for, but they didn’t ask my opinion). (Also, if you use Linqia and you don’t disclose that it’s sponsored when you’re directing people to click on the link, I will definitely think unkind thoughts about you. Just so you know). I do love that you have tons of leeway on how you structure your posts with them. I did this cell-to-landline post
with them last year.
Any questions? I’m more than happy to try to answer. And if you know of other companies that do this kind of thing, feel free to share them in the comments.
Now go forth and make money. I’ll write another post later this month about other forms of revenue. I hope you’re waiting on the edge of your seat.
P.S. I belong to Mom Central, but I’ve never done a campaign with them, mainly because nearly all of them pay in product rather than cash, and surprisingly, I can’t pay my rent with free pre-natal vitamins. I’m also aware of The SITS Girls, but they don’t have loads of campaigns.