Helping you build your own dream!
Affiliate Marketing vs. Blog Advertisements vs. Sponsored Blog Content
If you’re a wordsmith and can enchant people with the power of your words or vocabulary, then you can make wealth using your skills. Yes, that is true, but I wouldn’t blame you for thinking otherwise. After all, the general perception of writers or bloggers is that they make peanuts or barely enough to make ends meet. However, that is not true at all.
Did you know that the median income for the top 100 bloggers in the world is $200,000 to $250,000? One example of rich bloggers is Melyssa Griffin, a former teacher who now sells her courses online. Griffin has built herself as an authority in her niche through her blog and now earns an average of $200,000+/month.
Griffin is just one example of the countless bloggers and writers out there making more than a living using just the power of their words. Of course, writing alone isn’t going to make you money. You need to find a way—or several ways—of monetizing your words. What are these ways you ask? There are plenty. However, the most common ones include blog advertisements, sponsored blog content, and affiliate marketing. Here, I compare the three to help you determine the best option for you. I begin with blog advertisements.
1. Monetizing with Blog Advertisements
Many bloggers despise the idea of having display ads on their websites. Additionally, some people feel it is not the best monetization strategy as it does make you a whole lot of money. While these people have a valid point, it would be foolish to completely discount display ads as a way to make money through blogging. I say this because display ads are still popular and there has to be a reason for that.
That reason is obvious—display ads have proven to be an effective monetization strategy and they are the quickest way to make money blogging—albeit the profits gained are not that high. When starting, most bloggers use display ads to monetize their efforts. The few dollars they make through this monetization strategy is good enough to keep them going for months before they ultimately find a more profitable way of monetizing their blogs.
This is an approach that can work for you as well. If you have decided to go this route, then Google AdSense is the most obvious choice for making money through display ads. If you’re wondering how to get started with AdSense, then simply navigate to this page. Next, click on ‘Get Started’ and this will take you to the sign-up page. Enter some basic details like your Domain name, email address, first and last name, and the password you want to keep for your AdSense account. After you provide all these details and sign up, Google will provide you with a piece code to place on your website where the ad will be displayed.
After this is done, Google will invite advertisers to bid for reaching your audience through relevant keywords. It is important to note that you are not in charge of what ads are displayed on your website when you’re using Google AdSense to monetize your blog. While using display ads Google AdSense can get you started with monetizing your blog, I would not recommend it wholeheartedly. This is because the display ads platform will only take you seriously and invite advertisers to bid for your site/blog if it has close to a million visitors per year.
This isn’t very encouraging.
However, there is no reason to fret. While the large display ad networks are hard to get buy-in from, you can always turn to smaller display ad platforms to make money blogging. What are the display ad networks that I recommend? They are listed below:
• Carbon Ads
2. Using Sponsored Blog Content to Make Money
The use of sponsored posts and reviews is one of the least popular ways to monetize a blog, most likely because you need a lot of visitors and a solid reputation to make it work.
How is Content Sponsored? A company pays you a fixed amount for writing an article that talks specifically about them — or about a subject relevant to them, where their business, service, or product is featured heavily as the ideal resource for all of your readers who want to know more.
To say it another way, a sponsored post pays a blogger to talk specifically or heavily about a company or product in their post. Generally, the sponsored product is something your readers will already be interested in. This means that you will get to write about a product or service that you already like, providing all the intricate details of how it works and benefits your readers. Best of all: you get paid for all this.
Not only will the writing of sponsored articles open up new ways of increasing your revenue, but it’s also a fantastic way to create new relationships and provide your followers with valuable content and goods. You are recognized as an influencer or brand ambassador when you write sponsored content for brands. There are several ways to become a highly sought-after brand ambassador.
First, you’ll need to find a business that you would want to partner with. Next, you need to get the ball rolling by getting in touch with the right person within that organization. You’ll still need to develop a perfect marketing plan and work out the contract and deal details.
After you have won the contract with the brand, the exclusive campaign must be launched by producing a sponsored post and then promoting it on your social media pages. The following are some useful tips that will help ensure your success as a brand ambassador.
1) Grow Your Blog and Engage With Your Audience
The most critical step towards developing relationships with brands is creating an audience of dedicated followers. Having a proven record of steady website traffic is valuable too.
Most new bloggers want to bypass this process and leap straight into pursuing a future relationship with companies. I suggest taking your time to grow website traffic and develop a loyal audience for the best results.
Companies would want both you and your audience to participate in discussions on posts. They’ll want to see that you regularly deliver value and intriguing content to your readers. I believe engaging with your audience is as important as the page views and visits during a month.
I would suggest that you reach out to businesses for sponsored posts only after you have a minimum of 6000 unique views of your blog per month. Growing this to say 16000 views per month will provide you with a great chance of securing a contract with a company for sponsored posts.
However, there are some exceptions like a niche blog that is highly targeted towards a particular segment of people. If your audience is highly engaged with your blogs, then you can win a contract for sponsored posts with much fewer views and page visits.
2) Create a Media Kit and Sign Up With a Brand Network Site
A media kit for your blog is just like a work application. It includes everything you will like a brand agent or partner to learn about your page.
The media kit must include essential elements such as a quick summary of the topics of your blog, the figures related to it, and any past partnerships with brands. It also needs to include a marketing plan that explains how you plan to promote the brand and why the relationship is advantageous to all stakeholders.
If you have a strong media package, you can start to negotiate a contract with several brands. You usually start by developing an influencer profile, submitting details of your social media footprint, and providing statistics related to your blogs.
Such sites make interacting with brands simple and enable you to bypass the step of the first touch with a brand. If you are looking to publish sponsored content to monetize your blog, the following are a few places where you can try:
• Social Fabric
• Pollinate Media Group
• Massive Spray
3) Start Small
Rather than going for the bigger names with a solid reputation and an established web presence, look for a quick return from small businesses and startups. These companies are normally keen to improve their brand visibility and will generally respond much more quickly than the bigger brands.
In winning publicity contracts with small companies, there are fewer hurdles to go through. Additionally, you are paid much quicker than with larger organizations. Keep your correspondence relevant, concise, and to the point. Provide details about your website and yourself.
Let the brand know why you value their goods and services. Tell them you want to work with them, and demonstrate how you intend to boost their brand awareness through sponsored content. Use your blog media kit to demonstrate your knowledge and competence.
4) Avoid the Sales Pitch to Your Readers
Once you’ve won a brand alliance, you need to introduce it to your audience in a way that doesn’t sound too pushy. Openness is generally the secret to retaining your followers while boosting the brand’s visibility.
Inform the audience that the post is sponsored. Give the business a truthful and constructive evaluation, and how its services or goods have helped you or changed your life. Avoid including a call-to-action in your post as your audience are likely to perceive it as a sales pitch which won’t bode well for you or the brand.
When you share a story or create a vivid image of how your life has changed or benefited from the use of the product or service, then your followers are far more likely to sign up or buy.
Although most companies would reply within a week to your email, others could take far longer or simply not reply at all. Sending a follow-up email to a prospective sponsor is completely appropriate. Also, don’t take it personally if a company isn’t interested in working with you.
The views and finances differ dramatically from one business to another. Commitment and determination are the secrets to achieving the ideal brand relationship. Don’t fear reaching out to new businesses before you find the best match.
3. Affiliate Marketing
Affiliate marketing is the most commonly used method for monetizing a blog. Most of the web traffic comes from affiliate marketing. Not just that, of the overall revenue generated by the global digital media industry, about 15% comes from affiliate marketing. Additionally, it drives as many orders as eCommerce in the United States.
So, how does affiliate marketing make you money? Your job is to promote a business’s products and/or services, and you are paid a commission for every sale that occurs due to your efforts. It’s that simple but is it?
First of all, you need to understand that affiliate marketing is like a sale where you are the sales rep selling someone else’s products. As long as you promote the product online, you can pick and choose how you want to promote the product.
Different people use different mediums to promote the product. Once they are successful in their endeavors and the sale goes through, they stand to earn a commission which can be as high as 200% with some affiliate marketing programs.
While some people are making good money through blog sponsorships, it is a lot harder to pursue than affiliate marketing. Therefore, your first choice should always be affiliate marketing programs when looking to monetize your blog when you first start.
Companies with existing affiliate programs are ready and able to pay you money in return for bringing your blog readers to them — meaning you don’t have to persuade investors or spend time in developing your product before you start making money blogging.
There are plenty of options for entering lucrative affiliate programs from the Amazon affiliate program to eBay to Target as well as emerging eCommerce businesses with high traffic and conversions looking to jump on the affiliate bandwagon.
To avoid being exhausted by this medium when you are only beginning to learn how to make money blogging, my suggestion to you would be to concentrate on only a few (proven) affiliate programs strongly linked to the content you have crafted. I’ll explain this to you through my example.
I find the affiliate marketing program of Bluehost as a great way for me to make some money. Why is that? My blogging niche is teaching people how to make money online through different mediums. Although the recommended strategy for making money online may not always be the same, one of the things that I always emphasize in my posts is the importance of learning how to start a website or blog. Whenever I mention this, I make it a point to outline the most important step in the process: finding the right hosting company. This is important because your website or blog will not work without a web hosting platform.
What is the platform that I recommend to my readers? Yes, you guessed it right—I recommend Bluehost. I recommend the platform just not because I’m making money from their affiliate marketing platform, but also because I have been using their service and find it to be great—or the best one around.
You only need the following things to get started with affiliate marketing:
• An affiliate product
• A niche
• An audience to promote the product to
Writing about topics relevant to your niche will help you grow your audience, and after you have an audience, you can find offerings from affiliate networks such as:
• Amazon Associates
• And many more…
As seen above, there are a few different ways you can monetize your blog and make money from it. While you can build wealth from blogging, you need to be willing to do the hard work required to become the next Melyssa Griffin or another successful blogger. This is the most important piece of advice that I can give you.