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5 Advanced Techniques I Use To Make Money On My Blog

Posted By Guest Blogger 11th of March 2015 Blogging for Dollars 0 Comments

 

This is a guest contribution from blogger Erin Bender from Travel With Bender

Similar to the background story of many bloggers, my blog was born into this world because a friend asked me to write one.

In 2012 I commenced a worldwide open-ended nomadic adventure with my husband and two children, and blogging seemed like a great idea. A blog was the perfect vehicle to share our stories to everyone I cared about back at home without the need for endless repetition.

Have a blog and are thinking of earning an income with it? Erin Bender of Travel With Bender shares her 5 Advanced techniques to Monetize Your Blog on ProBlogger.net

It wasn’t until I met another blogger a few months later that she revealed to me a secret. A secret so potent that I may be strung up for revealing it now. But I have to. I can’t stay silent.

You can make money from your blog. Gasp!

And so for the past three years I have experimented with multiple strategies all stemming from this one spark. Today I want to share with you a taste of the wealth and knowledge I’ve gained.

So buckle up. This is one ride you are going to want to bookmark.

Before I get started: my blog is focused on travel, but these same strategies can work for most industries: technology, fashion, food, finance, kids and more.

These particular strategies I’m sharing are not the typical steps most newbies read about, such as monetizing with AdSense, or the Amazon affiliate program. You really need a lot of traffic to make a decent income from AdSense. I’m talking about making a full-time income without needing hundreds of thousands of visitors each month.

The starting point to monetizing your blog is your audience. Few people will give you money just because you’re awesome (wouldn’t that be cool!). They will do it because you have a decent sized (and relevant) audience and you know how to wield your influence. So once you have built your followers on social media, newsletters subscribers and regular visitors, how do you turn those into an income stream month after month?

5 Advanced Techniques I Use To Make Money On My Blog

1. Content Creation: When A Brand Asks You To Write For Them

Content creation takes place in many forms from freelance article writing, to video blogging, to expert guides, and more. Perhaps you didn’t think about reaching out to those promotion partners you’re working with. Take travel for example – a free press trip as a source of fresh new content on your own blog is great, but when you can also create valuable content for the brand’s blog or magazine, then that’s when you can ask for payment.

Sometimes the brand may be hard to convince up front. However once they see your own blog post, go back to them again. If they’ve loved your work and you’ve developed a strong rapport, often they will be want you to write for their publication.

2. Photography: Offering A Brand Your Images

So this may not be for everyone, but if you are taking killer shots then you should be working it. Offer the brand you’re working a fixed package upfront, which includes 5 or 10 royalty-free images. If you have examples of photos other people have already purchased from you then the sales pitch is much easier.

Most brands are in constant need of high quality photography of their product, service or destination, and your offer can make their life easier. If your forte is in video, then this same approach applies to video editing too.

3. Product Reviews: When A Brand Wants You To Be Honest

Payment for product reviews is not about buying a good review.

So let me start with a few cautions – to make your life easier, choose products you already know or think you will love. Keep reviews honest. Let the brand know of any complications or negatives upfront to see if they have a response and offer to publish those responses alongside the negatives you’re highlighting. Then ask for payment.

You are not being paid for your gushing assessment; you are asking payment for the exposure you are providing to their product or service.

We generally maintain a minimum value threshold for product reviews, and if there is an item value under that amount then we require payment. Think about all the work it took to grow your social media following and now you are receiving delayed payment for that hard work.

Have a blog and are thinking of earning an income with it? Erin Bender of Travel With Bender shares her 5 Advanced techniques to Monetize Your Blog on ProBlogger.net

4. Competitions: When A Brand Wants To Give Stuff Away

Running a competition is a smart technique for generating new social followers and making your readers feel great, but it takes a lot of time. Time to set it up, promote it each day, and pick a winner. Time you could be paid for.

Similar to the product reviews, there may be a minimum payment threshold of items to give away, but if that is not met, ask for payment. The brand has approached you, because they want to reach your audience that you have worked so hard to build. Don’t feel like it’s worth anything less than what you are asking.

If you’re not sure where to start, take a look at Gleam, it makes setting up a competition a breeze.

5. Brand Ambassador: When Long Term Relationships Take The Next Step

When we started our nomadic journey I purchased travel insurance. I then reached out to them after a year and suggested writing for their website. We worked like that for another year. After two years they approached me to expand the relationship, which we built into a brand ambassadorship.

A brand ambassador role can encompass many tasks, but the main task is to promote the brand you’ve partnered with so you want to make sure it’s a product or service you believe in, and one that is a tight fit for your audience.

Tasks might include writing about them occasionally within your regular blog posts, writing for their blog, social media promotion, competitions, event attendance and more. Some ambassadorships are in exchange for products, others may generate a monetary compensation. Each arrangement is unique and requires negotiation to achieve a win-win situation.

I sincerely hope I am still alive after revealing these secrets of the trade. If you dare to share, what ways are you make money from your blog?

Erin has been travelling with her husband and two children since May 2012. It’s an open-ended, unplanned, round-the-world trip discovering amazing places for families. They have stayed in hostels and 5 star luxury resorts, travelled on scooters and cruise liners, danced with leprechauns and cuddled tigers. Nothing is out of bounds or out of reach for this remarkable Australian family. You can find unique family travel insights at her award-winning travel blog, follow her on Facebook, Pinterest or catch her tweeting on Twitter.

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Comments
  1. Hay Erin
    Great post and you are right, others will dear to share the inside of monetize methods
    thanks for this amazing share

  2. Sweet ideas – thanks! I appreciate that you went beyond just talking about AdSense, and that you also provided some specific links that can help (I’ll definitely keep Gleam at arm’s length!). I’m just starting off with my blog, so this really helps :)

  3. Awesome post. For me, I realize that #3 can most important Strategies make money from blog, Honest review can get a lot traffic to a blog. Thank for share.

    Do you think so?

    • We always recommend a honest review, anything less will damage your readers trust and your reputation.

    • The honest review include pros and cons (positive and negative viewpoints), don’t only write the positive review for persuading the potential buyers. So this why called as “honest review”. This way can prevents buyers get disappointed later.

  4. Laura says: 03/11/2015 at 7:17 am

    Erin,

    Thanks for the article:)
    Could you explain a bit more on what you mean by “minimum value threshold”?

    Thanks!

    • It’s your personal choice on how much you would like to make an hour. If you want $50 an hour and know that it will take an hour to write and publish the product review then you shouldn’t be accepting a $30 product without asking for some kind of payment. Likewise if you expect $100 per hour and writing a post for a hotel is going to take 3 hours then you want may want to only accept comped stays over $300. I hope that helps.

  5. I just heard about selling photos, great idea for an inspiration :)

  6. Writing reviews are a great way to make money from blogging and content marketing.

  7. Its very rare to find people with heart to share little secrets about how they make money online this is so much information in one post that will change how we as bloggers monetize our sites,thanks for the post Erin.

  8. All excellent suggestions that do work and work well with a lot of hard work. We have just received our 1st brand ambassadorships with companies that we liked before they came to us, so this is a win-win. This is a clearly written article and I, for one, was pleased that you stayed away from affiliate marketing.

    • Affiliate marketing can work if you have enough traffic or highly targeted traffic, but in our niche there are so many affiliate programs it can be an easy way to waste time.

  9. Hi Erin,

    I’ve been working online since 1998 and created many blogs, ebooks, and doing well at Youtube. Being honest, I’ve never had any of these after blogging for 8 years. I want them, don’t get me wrong, but they just never seem to materialize for me.

    My most ‘advanced’ way to make money has been to offer a major company complete branding identity over one of my sites. Meaning, I offer them the possibility to plaster my site with their brand, and they are the exclusive advertiser on any pages they wish. It’s an alternative to selling your website to the company outright – they might not have a need to own it, they just want to advertise heavily on it. Income can be substantial from this technique.

    This has worked successfully in the past for one of my Hawaii travel sites, so I offered it again for my AimforAwesome.com site recently. Hoping for the best!

  10. Hi Erin – Very inspiring share of the tactics that work best for you. As well, it’s easy to become discouraged about traffic (even though that’s a never-ending comparative no matter where your numbers are), so your tips on creating value go beyond the metric into relationships, which create stronger, more relevant partnerships on both sides. Thanks so much. :)

  11. I love how these suggestions are about adding value to an existing relationships. Sounds like a win/win to me!

  12. Hi Erin,

    I love how you built bonds with brands, patiently, and the doors they’ve opened for you….and you’ve opened for them. Well done! I am a digital nomad too, how cool? Me and my wife Kelli have circled the globe for 4 years and running and like you this trip is open ended. Now we’re in Bali on a 4 month or 6 month or longer house sit, and we have no plans to settle down anywhere for a while. Freeing lifestyle indeed and I feel blessed to live it.

    We make money blogging through: freelance writing, blog coaching, personal development coaching, selling eBooks on Amazon, affiliate marketing, sponsored posts, advertising revenue and through a few other channels too. So far, so good. I run Blogging from Paradise and things really seemed to take off for me quickly, as I’ve been featured or mentioned on over a 100 blogs in a short time frame. The secret was, money-wise and exposure-wise, I held the intent to free me, and to free my audience, before I started the blog. Didn’t even attempt to make money right off the bat. I wanted to make my blog cool, before I monetized it, because I recalled that line from The Social Network movie, when Sean Parker implores Mark Z to think big, to make sure FB is cool before monetizing.

    Eventually I monetized but I realized this; the money is in the content. All the awesome channels you and I share, working with brands, clients, etc, all opened up for us through our helpful, free content and through the powerful bonds we developed over the months and years, getting in touch and bonding with influential bloggers, brands and anybody intrigued by our niche. This digital nomad niche is growing too so it’s a fab one to be in, as more folks are intending to be free versus working in 1 spot for a set time daily. I do play on this point too, posting an infinite number – it seems – of selfies on my blog and through my posts.

    I’d add that, since you’re giving away free, helpful content, your audience and clients and customers tend to trust you more quickly, opening up those monetizing streams, which will prosper you. The channels may change, and develop over time, but if you keep building those bonds, helping folks out and promoting them, and if you keep churning out that fab content, money will find you through your blog.

    Love this post Erin!

    Tweeting from Bali.

    Ryan

  13. i am wondering about the ftc disclosure laws and how they might apply here, does you “privacy and terms” section cover you on this? did you come up with these yourself or were they from a lawyer? thanks!

    • You refer to the US rules of blogging. As we are from Australia we have different laws. I suggest for your blog you research thoroughly your countries requirements as to disclosure.

  14. Thanks, Nice Post… many blogger totally depend on adsense for earnings, So if they have parallel income sources then , they can survive even if adsense account gets banned…

  15. hi erin
    thanks for sharing this, did u get earned money with this steps from blog,,, please tell me how this started

  16. this was very helpful Erin! Thank you so much :) for this! perhaps you should add blog coach as another way to your monetize. I have found most blogging advice to be too general and not as specific like yours and would actually pay to chat with someone like you to help me.

  17. this was very helpful Erin! Thank you so much :) for this! perhaps you should add blog coach as another way to your monetize. I have found most blogging advice to be too general and not as specific like yours and would actually pay to chat with someone like you to help me.

  18. Great tips Erin, I really like the one about competitions and brand ambassadorship these are things we need to look into further.

    Thanks!

  19. Hi Erin,

    I liked your 2nd point about Photography. Thats a very creative way to make money. You have also mentioned Product Reviews. Nice insights about your money making methods.

  20. Hi Erin,

    Some interesting ideas on monetizing a blog.

    Developing into a Brand Ambassador sounds really cool.

    Regards,
    David.

  21. Hey Darren,

    Very Nice article, the Photography and Brand Ambassador points are really great. Earlier I started the Photography for my blog post images but now also thinking about the Brand Ambassador. Once Again Thanks for sharing this article.

    -Akshit Wadhwa

  22. I like the photography idea. It is something I haven’t tried yet. This is a really good list.

  23. It is really good but why are you not using Google adsense?

  24. Thanks for sharing Erin and Darren! Especially liked your comment regarding Product Reviews ‘you are asking payment for the exposure you are providing to their product or service’!

  25. Erin, thanks for releaving your secrets. Great tips. Off course content is key for our success. But it difficulty toget noticed by brand. Especially newbie, it’s very hard to get started, our blog should talks about us. Then only opportunity knocks the door for us. So once we get started, no one there to stop us.
    I really love photography, nice deal for offering in package with brand. Could you ps let us know the way of approach to Brand ? . Simple kind of template email ?

    • HI Siva, there are plenty of places you can find pitching templates. I would also recommend interacting and building a relationship with brands on Twitter to get started. They really do respond.

  26. Thank you for these excellent tips. I will have to look into product reviews.

  27. Thanks for these advanced techniques Erin!

    I do a few of these with my blog but I really like how you expanded on them like offering a fixed package upfront for royalty-free images – definitely going to work on putting a package together rather than individual photos as my photography is one of my strong points for my blog and something I absolutely love doing.

    Thanks again :)
    Aubrey

  28. Hey Erin,

    I have recently started Indian Makeup & Beauty Blog. Which is now no-more a new blog. I have built a great audience in just few month of starting AdorableShe with huge response coming all over social sites.

    Reading your tips to make money I realized I’m already into it. #1 & #3 is great. I also want to direct my blog to start on #5 could you explain how a new blog get sponsor for such giveaway?

    Thanks, I’ll be telling my brother about your travel blog as he’s very much interested in reading Travel Diaries. :-)

    • Congratulations Nausheen, thats great! To look at getting sponsors we approached people we had already worked with – hotels, tour companies, etc. and asked if they would like to run a giveaway. Once we had built up our competitions we started to charge.

  29. Great and wonderful exposures. Happy to hear that the strategy worked for you. Well, this is internet which just like the life we are living; everything works but differently to different folks, all it takes is to be serious in particular method that works for an individual. Thanks for sharing.

  30. Erin-
    This is great – thank you for sharing.

    How many visitors was your site getting when you started to leverage these techniques?

    Best,
    Laura

    • We ran our first competition when our blog was just 1 year old – to celebrate our anniversary. I’d be lying if I told you a number because I just can not remember. Our first product review our blog was only 2 months old! My main tip would be to focus on your engagement though, because sometimes numbers are just numbers – bought traffic, where as engagement is real.

  31. Great post in deed!

    Publishing paid product reviews is the best monetization strategy for any blogger (no matter what the niche is). It’s a great way to make money especially if you’ve a new website with limited traffic and subscribers.

    I just checked out your blog, great stuff you’ve got there! Thanks for sharing your experience with us.

  32. Hey Erin,

    Tip #3 or getting paid upfront to review popular products looks to be a good strategy. But I assume your blog has to be a popular one for it to work.

    Aside from that though, you can also become an affiliate to the product you’re reviewing. Then post your links and earn even more.

  33. I have been approached by alot of companies not to review their products but to advertise about it whether it was good or not .
    I refused doing so , it took me years to have people trust me i wouldnt want to promote something i didnt believe in.
    I do have adsense and amazon on my blog but i dont pay attention to it because it doesnt make alot of money at this point.
    thanks for sharing

  34. Great tips Erin. I Already “knew” you and your blog. Love it. I’m also a Travel Blogger, from Brazil, but leaving in France.
    Thanks for share your expertise with us.
    Enjoy Bali.
    =)

  35. Hi Erin,

    From mentioned all 5 i like content creation and product review and i think that if you are giving honest review then it is helpful for company and as well the visitors who sometimes don’t know about such type of product. If you have huge followers then it’s our responsibility to give them fair details about that product because they trust you and thank you for this type of sharing and now i can think to start anyone from these two for my blog.

  36. You didn’t mention AdSense, is it actually negligible?

    • Adsense is not a advanced technique, it seems everyone is doing it, however we find the payout to low on Google adsense. It is the easiest way to monetise a website, but also one of the least valuable.

  37. Product reviews is one of the best way to make money from a blog.
    Thanks for revealing your techniques.

  38. Love the recommendation in Gleam Erin! I’d missed that one thus far and it seems like a great alternative to some of the other platforms I’m familiar with :) Thanks!

  39. Hey Erin. I’ve just visited your site. I see your site has big opportunity to be famous. At first time I landed into your site, I bet that you have big fans. It’s true I see from your facebook fan page.

    Your site is a good place to write a new nice place. Many people will use to market their new product. That’s may be why you write the third point. I think it’s true.

    Hey, because I am Indonesia, I want to appreciate you reviewing Bali, one of the best place in Indonesia.
    Thanks :)

  40. great tips. thanks for sharing. your tips will help to all newbie bloggers like me…

  41. Learning your audience is the the most important thing you would ever need to know as a blogger. just understand their needs and deliver,this should make your work flow smoothly.

  42. Very helpful for Making money from my own blog and will share this information with my friends.

  43. Really fabulous information this is! I enjoyed a lot reading this, and also took into consideration as well. I know that content is the king, but along with the matter, the knowledge of content marketing/promotion is also essential to be utilized. Thanks for your support.

  44. it think photography will really go a long way. thanks for the exposure.

  45. Most people who read the amount being earned by blogger thought that when they start to write a blog they will automatically earn loads of cash from it. Everyone would see the success of a blogger and may not know the story behind the success. A blogger is not a story of an overnight success and a product of a get-rich-quick scheme. Every successful blogger is a person who is persistent and has within him even a small fracture of an entrepreneurial spirit. Monetizing blog requires building one’s reputation, establishing his blog as a provider of quality and informative content, and generating a sizeable amount of steady traffic.

  46. I guess this is my 4th visit and every time i learn something, thanks for sharing a quality stuff, I am bit in deli ma. I heard somewhere that google will penalize you for sponsored review, and i find your post opposite to that, so what exactly is the scenario?

    Awaiting for reply.
    thanks
    sunil

  47. Great article Erin which really shows your great experiences. You’ve continued to well with your site and have found strategies which work very well for you.

    As you know I am in the same travel niche which is becoming more and more crowded every month. As you have shown, being able to stand out, show integrity and honesty wins favour with your readers. This is why your product reviews are of value rather than just selling a link.

  48. Where’s e-mail marketing? Probably the most important technique of all, I think you should add it to your list…

  49. Really you have shared each point step by step. Great Idea ..

  50. Hey Erin,

    This is the question that everyone wants to know now days. Can you actually make money through your blog. And of course the answer is yes, the question is what road or roads you want to take in order to do this.

    There are so many options you can take advantage of and you named 5 great ways of doing it. I’m mainly focusing on affiliate marketing and adsense. In the near future I want to write more ebooks as well and maybe even do a video course on traffic generation. It’s still up in the air.

    Thanks for sharing Erin! I hope you have a great rest of the week!

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