Article by Wendy McCance
To kick off my first article in the series, Inside the Mind of a Blogging Professional, I thought I would jump right in and discuss what most bloggers are thinking about, How to Make Money Off Your Blog.
If you look at the front page of my blog, you will notice that I have several pages geared toward making money. When I began putting my website together, I put a plan in place as I built it. I wanted several options for making money so that there was always some sort of a stream of money coming in.
I settled on the following areas to work on: Freelance Writing, Social Media Consulting, Product Reviews, The Happiness Store, Affiliate Marketing and a place where companies could place a Sponsored Post. That’s six different streams of income. It might sound like a lot, but every area I am working on ties in quite nicely with this blog.
The one thing I refused to put on my blog was irrelevant ads plastered all over the site. I will only promote what I am passionate about and want to keep this blog looking clean and neat. The goal is to showcase my articles. The promotional stuff comes in second. Ultimately my feeling hopefully you are here because I write articles full of good information and inspiring thoughts.
To get you inside my mind and really see what is happening behind the scenes, I will do a quick breakdown of how each area of my business is panning out. I would like to point out that many of the pages, affiliate links and product review sites that I have set up weren’t set until June of this year. The earliest anything was set up was in the middle of March of this year. I should probably do a follow-up next year to see how things have worked out in a years time.
Here’s the breakdown:
1. Freelance Writing- (60%) of the money I make comes from freelance writing. The bulk of my writing has been in the form of articles, blog posts and press releases for clients looking to promote and expand their companies brand. I get emails for job assignments from mostly marketing companies, pr firms and small independent businesses.
2. Social Media Consultant -(29%) This ties in heavily with the freelance writing above, but is more focused on keeping up a Facebook Page, polishing up a LinkedIn profile or posting articles on a blog. I have also done basic consultations where a client just needs some direction and then they implement changes on their own. Many times there will be a few meetings.
- The initial consultation will be about what areas a client is lacking a strong social media presence and what type of plan is needed to really make the client shine online.
- The second consultation is a check-in to see how the client has begun to implement changes. We look for what needs to be tweaked, added or discarded.
- The final consultation is to put a plan in place for continued expansion. Many times, this is the meeting where I might take over a Facebook page or a blog because the client doesn’t have the time to keep up on all of the maintenance.
3. Product Reviews-(5%) This is an area that is picking up steam-FAST!! When I began to do product reviews, I started out with a company called Influenster. It’s really a great starting off point. You get free samples, but are not paid a fee to write your article or promote the product on Facebook and Twitter. They walk you through the steps of what is expected when you write for them which makes them a great beginners choice.
I actually still use them because I enjoy the topics and samples I get to enjoy, but I am slowly moving away from them as I have gotten busier. The other companies that I have found the most success with are Sverve, Bzz Agent and Clever Girls Collective. The average review has been $30.00 and the highest reviews I have signed up for offered $125.00.
4. The Happiness Store- (2%) Yep, I have only sold 8 items so far. from reading the Amazon forum for estores, it typically takes a year for any movement to occur. I have read that some people have had a store for a year or more and still haven’t seen a thing sold.
My take on this is the more effort by means of promotion you put into the store, the more you will see movement. I am still tweaking the store by writing reviews of my experiences with the products. Traffic to your site is another big factor in how well your store will do.
My goal is to offer the best products at affordable prices. Right now I am promoting tablets for back to school. The items are on some terrific sales. (you can find information on the computers on the right side of this page).
I am confident that when I hit the year mark, I will be moving product regularly. I just need to put some more time into this area.
5. Affiliate Marketing- (3%) This is another area that is moving slowly, but at least I am seeing a small amount of movement. I have gotten 9 fees so far from links in an article and widgets on the sidebar. My Amazon book widget and Sponsored Tweets widget have each produce one fee. Links on articles have given me 7 fees for items that were sold.
6. Sponsored Posts- (1%) I have been surprised by the way this area is panning out. I get emails inquiring about a sponsored post. Many of these inquiries have been from independent companies (extremely small) that are thinking about a post and then back out or a company gathering as many quotes as possible in hopes of finding the blogger who will sponsor them for virtually nothing. They are more concerned with the money than the value of the site and the amount of traffic that site produces.
So far I have had 1 actual sponsored post by a water company. I got $65.00 to do a copy and paste job for a featured article that they wrote themself.
If there is a topic above that you would like more information about, let me know and I will do a more in-depth post on the topic.
If you liked this article, check out: How to Make Money off of Your Blog by Doing Product Reviews.
To contact Wendy McCance about a writing or social media assignment, interview or speaking engagement, please email her at: [email protected]