2019: How To Monetize Your Blog (in the beginning)

The first month I started blogging, I was so overwhelmed. I’d heard so many buzz words, blog jargon and I’d read what seemed to be hundreds of tips on SEO and increasing Domain Authority. As a new blogger this meant nothing to me and I had no clue that I’d be able to monetize my blog, especially this early on.

I started blogging just a few months ago now and I am already making money from my website. At times, it requires lots of hard work and determination but as you get more traffic and have a more established blog it will get easier and easier (as I’ve noticed already, within just a few months!)

Monetize Your Blog – In The Beginning?

This post will include the following:
Affiliate Marketing (I use Amazon Affiliate Scheme & AWIN)
SEO/DA
Social Media
Apps
Sponsored and Gifted posts
AdSense

Affiliate Schemes

Affiliate links were the first thing I added to my blog when it came to monetizing it. Even if you have just started your blog and not getting a great deal of traffic, affiliate links are a great way to start earning money without really having to do anything. This is how it works..

  • Blogger signs up to a brand’s affiliate scheme
  • Blogger sees a product they like on brand’s website (a dress, for example)
  • A link is then produced of the dress through a link builder, specific to your blog
  • Blogger posts it to their website
  • Customer buys dress via your link after finding it on your blog
  • Blogger earns % commission (% dependant on brand)

Affiliate marketing is a great way to start as it requires little time and money but shows an aspect of professionalism to your blog. Amazon Associate is currently free to sign up – it is very easy to use but there are many tutorials if you are struggling to execute it.

Another affiliate programme (my personal favourite) is AWIN. This website specialises in affiliates and has over 1000 advertisers.The blogger applies to join advertiser they feel are relevant to their niche, and the brand then accepts you if they believe you’d be a good fit.

Brands can also invite you to their affiliate scheme on AWIN. I think it’s £5 to start up but this is a one off fee which I feel is great value for money and because I am now joined with so many brand programmes, it has given me so much inspiration for posts!

Be aware, you will ALWAYS need to write a disclaimer on your blog if you’re using affiliate linking, and be sure to include this in your privacy policy.

SEO/DA

Learning all about SEO (search engine optimisation) and DA (domain authority) really hurt my brain when I started my blog. It took a lot of research (and pretty notebooks with gel pens) to get my head round it.

SEO for your blog is so important as this is what will naturally drive traffic without you really having to advertise. For example, when somebody types a question in to a search engine such as Google, millions of results will appear. As you grow your knowledge with Google’s algorithms, you can develop your SEO and rank closer to the top of searches. You can do this by..

  • researching main keywords (and using these on H1,H2,H3 headings) & repeating throughout your post
  • choosing your URL carefully & briefly
  • Adding a relevant description & tags to each post
  • Using your own analytics – know when to post
  • Linking internally & externally

Domain Authority (DA) is a rank of your website or blog between 0-100. Sites with a higher DA will have the ability to rank much higher on search engines. There are several things that will affect your DA, and it is difficult to influence it explicitly but it all ties in with SEO. Some things that will affect your DA are..

  • number of external links in your blog
  • number of websites linking back to your blog
  • good content that is linkable
  • removing broken links
  • increasing website speed

All of the things mentioned above will help your blog or website rank higher in search engines. If you’re easier to find online then more brands will be reaching out to you and therefore you’ll be able to monetize your blog much easier as you won’t even need to pitch/ write any emails asking to work with people – they will be coming to you.

Social Media

Social Media is THE biggest and best way for me to get traffic to my blog. It can take a lot of work to gain a bit of a following, but every time you publish a post, this is the way to get potentially a LOT of people reading your content. I mainly focus on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram & Pinterest.

I have nearly 4000 followers across my social media. For a blogger, that’s really not very much. However, in my analytics I can see that the vast majority of my blog traffic is from these platforms. Below I have listed some of the ways I initially reached out to brands via these Social Media Sites.

Facebook

To begin, start up a business page under your blog’s name. Invite everyone on your friends list and get friends to share and invite their friends. You can run little competitions and giveaways that people enter by merely liking and following your page which is a very inexpensive way of getting a bigger following.

One I had completed this, I joined many blogger groups that join brands with freelance writers, bloggers etc. Often it is not necessary to contact brands directly in these groups, as companies looking for bloggers will post in these groups. There will frequently be a Google form that you fill out with your details and if a brand likes your content then they get in touch with you themselves which is much easier from the blogger’s side!

Twitter & Instagram

I like to use Twitter and Instagram to find brand assignments as these two platforms are so hashtag orientated that I find brand deals much easier to come across. You can search hashtags such as…

  • #bloggersneeded
  • #bloggersrequired
  • #prrequest
  • #bloggercollab
  • #bloggerswanted
  • #brandambassadorsearch

I have secured a few brand deals via these hashtags alone as a relatively new blogger – brands know that bloggers will search these terms, so if you see a brand posting these, send them a cheeky DM saying you’d love to collab!

Pinterest

I had never used Pinterest before I started my blog and I didn’t know how to use it. Some bloggers now rely on Pinterest traffic alone due to how much it really can grow your audience. Pinterest is a very aesthetic platform, so I try to create several pins per blog post that look pretty, and when they are clicked, they all link back to my blog creating much more traffic.

Apps

The main apps I use to find brand sponsorships are..

These are all available on IOS where I’m based in the UK. Some of the blogger apps you do have to get accepted into, with a certain amount of followers and engagement required. However, for others anybody can benefit.

The standard layout for these apps will be a list for bloggers/influencers to see all the active campaigns and sponsorship deals and can apply as and when they wish, and their details are sent over to the brand.

Sponsored & Gifted Posts

The main way I have made money from my blog is from these types of posts. I have received many products for free (and I am in the process of several more as I type) to review on my blog which is really exciting to write about. Within my first 3 months of blogging I also got some sponsored posts, where the brand pay you for an article or review of their product on your blog. The BEST two websites I have found are

there are probably so many more but these two are wonderful for my personal taste (ie technophobe). They are so easy to navigate and post sponsorships/gifted opportunities daily.

AdSense

This is the latest way I have been able to get a small income from my blog. I have yet to make much on it because I literally added the code in to my blog last week but I can already see it adding revenue from my analytics.

AdSense is a part of Google where you input adds on to your blog (you do need to be self hosted for this). When these adds get clicked over time by a lot of people, you earn a commission. It’s as easy at that! When I saw about the coding it did really fill me with dread, but I soon realised that you only have to input the code in to the header of each page (in between <head>) where you want the ads to appear. Google will do the rest for you.

In Summary…

This is the longest blog post I’ve published to date (my eyes hurt) and probably the most detailed. As I said, it does take work, like anything. But if you put the time in to your SEO, research and Social Media then it really does pay off!

As I only work mornings it is a little easier for me to organise and prioritise my blog as I treat it a little like my second job. However, if you are working full time then I would be aware of how time consuming blogging is as you really do have to put the time in to get results.

Thank you for reading & I hope you found some of these tips useful!


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I like blogging, drinking tea and reading. If I'm not doing any of these, I'm probably sleeping. PR - admin@diagonalstripes.co.uk

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