Most people don’t start a blog with the intention of making money. You start because you’re passionate about something. My something happens to be creating really awesome free things! I would still be doing all the projects I do on C.R.A.F.T. regardless of the blog, money, or free products. I think that’s important.
With that said, I spend ump-teen hours doing projects, taking pictures, editing pictures, writing posts, and researching for round ups… it’s fun, and I’m happy I get to do it and even more happy that a few people care 🙂 Naturally, however, at some point your family starts getting jealous of your blog because you spend so much time doing it. Sooner or later you have to decide to either:
1. Stop pretending your blog is your baby and find a reasonable balance of blog and life or
2. Rationalize your blog babies existence to your significant other (typically in the form of bringing home some bacon!)
So, let’s discuss…
- Blog Networks: A middle man that unites advertisers and publishers (if you blog, you are the publisher) to promote a product or service through some form of social media. This is typically in the form of paid posts.
- Affiliate Programs: When a company sells a product through your blog and you get a percentage of the sale.
- Ad Networks: When a company hunts down advertisers, and then hands you the html to put on your blog and typically pays you either by CTR (Click Through Rate) or CPM (Cost per Thousand… M is the roman numeral for 1000)
- Direct Contact: When a company directly contacts you about promoting or advertising a product or service.
Here is my sponsor sidebar broken down into the 4 categories:
- By free advertising, I just mean, no one is directly paying me to put the ad there. I added the Silhouette and Clever Girls button because I love my Silhouette (they gave me a free one!) and I am proud to be a part of the Clever Girls Collective so I want to give ’em both some link love.
I use 2 Blog Networks:
- PROS: You only sign up to blog about products and services you are truly interested in, they are very up front about specifics, super helpful if you have questions about the products or post write up, and they always pay on time (by check or paypal). It’s also fun to be the first to hear about new products or services!
- CONS: There are no steady gigs (that I know of)
There are lots of affiliate programs out there. make sure you do your research and go with your gut. If you don’t love the product, your readers probably won’t either. Pro Blogger wrote a good article about how to find affiliate programs that fit with your blog.
1. Canvas People – This was the first way I ever made money on C.R.A.F.T. (It was an $8 check!) If you sign up through me (HERE), I also make a commission (although this will only be my second time to attempt to refer anyone) I’ve made 2, here and here.
PROS: I really like the photo canvases they create, and if nothing else I am happy that every time I buy one, I get $8 back 🙂 Their system is really easy to use, and they send you a check every month.
CONS: The most I ever made in one month was $56… It is usually more like $8 (but that’s better than 0!)
2. Amazon Affiliates – I’m pretty new to this one (as of Dec. 2011). Darren Rowse at Pro Blogger has some great tips on how to make money with the Amazon Affiliate Program. Basically, you get 4-7% of anything people by when they go to Amazin through your site. The How to fix a broken IPhone Screen is my #2 most viewed post, and I have a Amazon link to the site were I bought the replacement kit.
PROS: It’s easy to set up, and fun to pick out things I love, want, or already have.
CONS: Proving to be pretty awesome so far… I made $100 bucks in December!
UPDATE: Not all states allow Amazon Affiliates… You can not be a part of Amazon Affilaites in Illinois, Colorado, North Carolina,Rhode Island, Arkansas, or Conneticuit (Read more HERE)
3. My Memories– Set up is just like Canvas People. For every digital scrapbook software you download, I get $20. Same pros and cons as Canvas People. The program is fun to use. I actually make a lot of cards with it these days. As far as money goes, haven’t made a penny 🙂
[This is the most steady form of income for me]
In the end, 100 bucks is better than no bucks for something you are going to do no matter what! Rivit and Clever Girls are my favorite for ease of use, customer service, and are the top 2 money makers. Clever Girls opportunities are always fun (Fancy Friday with the girls!?) Although, I have a soft spot for Canvas People and Social Spark is a great place to start…
I hope this helped. If you have any questions leave them in the comments or email me… I am happy to tell you what I know!
PS: Young House Love talks about how they make a living blogging and Design Sponge wrote Advertising 101 for Bloggers.