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New Year Reboot: Advanced Techniques for Making Money on Your Blog

Posted By Stacey Roberts 4th of January 2017 Blogging for Dollars 0 Comments

2017 is your year! If you’re thinking of starting a blog, levelling up on your blog, or are looking to take your blog in a new direction, we are deep-diving into our content archives this week for the best posts to help you do just that.

Making money on your blog is the goal for many ProBlogger readers, and as we’ve learned over the years, there isn’t only one way of doing it. Feel free to check out our Make Money Blogging portal for more ideas to suit your blog. You never know what you might find!

5 Advanced Techniques I Use To Make Money On My Blog from Erin Bender from Travel With Bender first appeared on March 11, 2015.

5 Advanced techniques to Monetize Your Blog on ProBlogger.net

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.

About Stacey Roberts
Stacey Roberts is the Managing Editor of ProBlogger.net: a writer, blogger, and full-time word nerd balancing it all with being a stay-at-home mum. She writes about all this and more at Veggie Mama. Chat with her on Twitter @veggie_mama, follow on Pinterest for fun and useful tips, peek behind the curtain on Instagramand Snapchat, listen to her 90s pop culture podcast, or be entertained on Facebook.
  • Hi Erin,

    Really cool stuff.

    2 brands asked me to write reviews of their products this past week. Easy peasy to offer an authentic review while boosting my blogging profits. Brands want platforms through which to promote their products or services without paying through the nose. Until we go BIG TIME we can offer a reasonably-priced review service for big or smaller box brands and increase our online income in the process.

    Keep building those bonds too. After a review or 2, and a fostering of your friendship, brand ambassador opportunities can flow your way, as you noted.

    I am friends with one such ambassador – travel niche – who travels all over the world, enjoying the luxury travel lifestyle and big name brands pick up the bill. Sweet. He promotes top shelf brands through Tweeting and Instagramming and they put him up in 4 and 5 star resorts. Not a bad deal at all.

    Thanks for sharing :)

    Ryan

    • You sounds like you are on your way. Thanks for writing Ryan! :)

  • Hey Stacey,

    Making money from blogging isn’t that easy as people think. The first thing is to build your brand so that people ask you to review their products.

    It’s kind of great idea.

    Writing sponsored posts would be even better. The content will remain at your blog and you will get paid.

    A travel blog can be fun. I am glad that you did it.
    ~Ravi

    • Hi Ravi, I think you mean Erin :)
      Definitely making money as a blogger isn’t easy, but these are our suggestions. You need to be very careful with sponsored posts, please make sure you read all about those before jumping in. Erin (travelwithbender.com)

  • Hey Stacey,

    One crucial element of that plan is our marketing strategy. Because this strategy is buried in the larger business plan, many small business owners may not give marketing the time, research and attention it deserves, assuming that they know their customer base and how to reach them.

    Fast growth is easier to achieve in sectors driven by innovation, and launching new products or services can fuel considerable growth quickly. Most businesses opt for gradual, organic growth that is more manageable and involves less risk. Eventually, thanks for sharing your thought with us.

    With best wishes,

    Amar kumar

    • Thanks for sharing your thoughts.
      Erin – TravelwithBender.com

  • You need a blog sales funnel.

    Without that, no matter what you do, it’s almost difficult to make “profitable income” every single month.

    Don’t focus on making pennies. Aim for sustainable and recurring income if you want to make money even while you sleep.

    Here’s where affiliate marketing and online courses come into play. They are both growing at rapid pace and if you’re ignoring them, you are not going to succeed in making money online.

    I tried all of them from marketing to adsense to banner ads to product reviews but affiliate marketing beats them all.

    Thanks for the tips.

  • Working with bigger brands definitely seems to be a good way to go. I’ve noticed an uptick in the largest financial institutions wanting to work w/ bloggers in my niche (personal finance).

    Sam

  • Hey Erin! Great post. I think maybe a couple people are getting confused because of the “About Stacey Roberts” section at the end of the post.

    • I think so too, it’s confusing me :D But thanks for your comment.

  • Thanks for the post! Making money through blogging is not easy as it seems to be. It’s really tough to attract visitors through a single piece of content. The above listed points would be helpful in this.

  • Hey Stacey,

    Writing sponsored posts would be even better. The content will remain at your blog and you will get paid.

    Making money from blogging isn’t that easy as people think. The first thing is to build your brand so that people ask you to review their products.

    It’s kind of great idea.

    A travel blog can be fun. I am glad that you did it.

  • I am a travel blogger. I just love to travel and share it to the world. Hope I would be able to finally learn how to attract business to ask me to write for them

  • Thanks Erin. Erin is a success story in this area for sure. Her blog Travel With Bender covers it all and it’s great to see her here sharing some thoughts on how to make money blogging. I liked the way you described the compensation for reviews here. This is the one that I find tends to be met with confusion still when I respond with rates. But time and reach are worth money – I agree. Thanks for always being so great at sharing your process and for building a community for travel bloggers too.