About a year ago, I was making an average of $1,000 per month on my blog.
March 2018, I hit $10,000 in blogging income.
I created this blog and made over $80,000 in my senior year of college (that's me in my first major feature by Forbes!).
Below is how I make my blogging income, and what I did to increase my income to $10,000 per month.
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1) What is a sponsored post?
A sponsored blog post is when a blogger gets paid to talk about a product or brand on their blog.
2) How do I find sponsored opportunities for my blog?
Finding sponsored opportunities is easy with all of the websites dedicated to listing out sponsored opportunities.
However, there's a downside to these sites.
Websites that list out sponsored opportunities take up to 30% of your payment for the sponsored post.
That's a lot of money when you think about it.
To avoid that, I actively reach out to brands I am interested in.
For example, if I was interested in doing a sponsored post for Thrive Market, I would go to their “Contact Us” page and click on “Press/Media” and give my pitch to them from there.
3) What do you include in your sponsored post pitch?
I always like to include my media kit. My media kit shows all of my stats on one page.
My friend Tiffany at Beautiful Dawn Designs has free media kits in her resource library that I use to send to brands.
If you don't have a media kit and rather send a text email instead, you could send something like this:
“Hello. I am emailing in regards to — workout program. I was wondering if you all work with bloggers in exchange for —. I am eager to try out the — program and post the results on my blog. FITnancials gets an average x page views a month and has over x social media followers. I believe partnering together will benefit both parties since FITnancials is all about health and fitness. Thank you for your time and I'm looking forward to hearing from you.”
To look even more professional, at the end of the email you would include your media kit.
4) But aren't sponsored posts bad?
There are bloggers who are against sponsored content and make it widely known, don't listen to them.
As long as you are staying genuine and only listing out companies you actually believe in or use, sponsored content is a fantastic way to make money from your website.
I've been offered to do sponsored posts on weight loss pills and other products I don't believe in.
They pay well and I could've easily made money promoting these brands, but I reject these proposals because I don't use weight loss pills nor recommend them.
Making Sense of Sponsored Posts
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Sponsored posts helped me become a full-time blogger and is my favorite way to make money blogging.
Over 600 students have taken my course so far and have landed major brand sponsorships, charged 3x what they'd usually charge, and worked with brands multiple times.
You also get access to a private mastermind group where you can ask any blogging questions and get help from me and other successful bloggers.
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When I first added ads to my website, they were everywhere. I wanted to make money and it seemed that advertising was going to give me the big bucks. It decreased my user-friendliness and people were getting sick of the ads. The ads were taking people off my website and people weren't clicking on my affiliate links.
I was losing money.
Instead of pumping out an ad per screen, I changed my ad settings to show less ads. I'd like to get rid of all of them, but for now, they bring in a lot of money for me so I've decided to keep them.
One way I increased my ad revenue was by increasing by traffic with Pinterest.
I get 50,000-100,000 page views per month from Pinterest, with many of those users subscribing to my email list, buying through my affiliate links, and simultaneously increasing my ad revenue and sponsored post income.
Pinterest Traffic Avalanche taught me strategies that work and gave me rapid results. You'll learn how to successfully drive 100,000+ monthly visitors to your blog, which means more readers, which equals more money.
The best part about Pinterest – it doesn't take months or a year to get traffic as it does with Google. I always recommend diving into Pinterest FIRST before Google. This is because you'll see results much quicker, stay motivated, and be in it for the long haul.
And before you think you can find Pinterest information on Google for free – think again. The “free” info is usually wrong and more importantly, outdated. What worked for Pinterest 4 years ago doesn't work now.
My affiliate marketing strategy needed some work in 2017.
I'm in the process of some major changes.
1. I reached out to 15+ bloggers and asked them to critique my posts in return for me to do the same or share their posts on my social media channels. These bloggers told me things I didn't even realize, such as how certain parts of my posts didn't make any sense at all. As in, they didn't even know what the link was for or why they should click on it. It's so easy for ME to understand what the product is, but I needed to do a better job explaining to the reader what it is.
2. I went through Making Sense of Affiliate Marketing again and took my time. I took notes and implemented the strategies slowly over the course of a few months.
3. I'm now focusing on products that have a higher affiliate commission. Instead of focusing 80% of my time on affiliates paying me less than $5 per purchase, I'm focusing on affiliates that are paying $100 per purchase.
4. When allowed, I'm creating bonuses and free digital products when someone purchases from my affiliate link. This serves as a bonus reason for someone to purchase through my link.
5. I made affiliate links and links, in general, easier to see. I bolded and changed the color of the link to stand out from the black text. Some even go as far as underlying their links. I've seen bloggers with light pink and light yellow links with no bolded font – this is such a bad idea because people can't even see these links.
Also, any time someone comes to my blog, they'll be offered a free digital product in exchange for their email.
Email marketing is a must for bloggers, so if you don't have an email list yet, get on that immediately.
You cannot rely on Pinterest, Facebook, and other social media sites.
They are constantly changing and making it harder to be seen.
Your email is 100% yours and no one can take that traffic from you.
I've used Convertkit from the very beginning for my email list.
I can customize forms, email sequences, broadcasts, and they are always working to make their service better for bloggers.
Conclusion: Start a blog that makes money
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I started this blog in college and graduated my senior year making $80,000 a year. Now, I work from home, spend time with my family and dogs, and I get to take my family on nice trips and donate to my favorite charities.
Bluehost has 24/7 support, a money-back guarantee, and makes it as easy as possible to start a blog.
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What to read next: How To Build A Profitable Blog While Working Full-Time
What are you currently struggling with on your blog?
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