How to Earn Money From Blogging was originally posted on April 23, 2013. This is one of the most popular posts in Style Vanity so I update this every year to make sure it will be relevant to new aspiring bloggers. LAST UPDATE: August 4, 2017
I have been blogging since 2011 (formerly on StyleisEternal.net but it’s not around anymore) and yes, I earn money from blogging. Though I have been also vocal that it will not make you an instant millionaire, nor even 6-digit rich easily, especially not overnight. Even super-bloggers like Chiara Ferragni, who is the first millionaire blogger, have a team she and her business partner, Riccardo Pozzoli, employed to work for them. And she also branched out to other businesses like a shoe line and turned her site into an e-commerce. But I also admit that blogging is a great source of income even if you’re a lone wolf, as long as you know how to monetize your blog. Plus, blogging could also open opportunities for you.
To be able to be able to earn money from blogging you must have the essential tools to help you gain followers, a good PR and Alexa Rankings and these tips. Also, I’m based in the Philippines. So this post is for everyone, even if you’re from the US or some island in Asia. WARNING: This is a very long post!
I. Sponsored Post
This one is actually the main source of my blogging income. It all started last 2012 when some PR contacted me via email asking if I’m interested in writing about his client’s store and I will be paid in an amount that we agreed upon and the rest I would say is history. Now more brand PRs are collaborating with me.
Getting the attention of these PR agents are easy once your blog reached a good Alexa ranking and at least a Google PR rank of 2 but you need to build a good business relationship with them so you’ll be on their “list” of top priority bloggers. For that, you need to have a good email etiquette, meet the deadline they gave you or you give yourself a deadline if they didn’t give you one (as much as possible give yourself a maximum of three-day-deadline) and do a kick ass job! Going back to some of your old grammar lessons is a must. But take note that you must not rely on this, because some of them are just one-time thing, while some have several projects for you in a week than in the following months, nothing.
Luckily, you no longer have to wait. There are websites or networks now where you can join where you could connect with advertisers for sponsored post, product reviews and other more collaborations:
- InfluenceHer Collective – Formerly known as Her Campus Blogging Network, I joined this network in 2012 and it’s been very helpful. You will not only get to join a network of female bloggers that help each other grew, you will also receive sponsored post offers that cost at least $50 or more or depends on your following. The only downside to this network is you have to be an upcoming college student or somewhere in college. But graduate students can join too. If you live outside the US, you can still join them and participate in some paid campaigns.
- Revfluence – I joined this network in early 2017, and I immediately scored a campaign. This network has a great dashboard which makes it easy for you to collaborate with brands. When brands need a new campaign there will be an invitation posted on your dashboard, from there you can send a pitch. An invitation does not guarantee automatic collaboration, so you have to make sure that the brand will fit you and send them a kick-ass elevator pitch. There is no exact payment because it will depend on how much you negotiated, and you will be paid 7 days after you finish your campaign thru PayPal.
- Cooperatize – I recently join this network so I haven’t booked any work in here yet. But I like their platform. You’ll receive an email about the new work available and then you can go to your dashboard to propose a pitch to each brand or companies. This network does not only cater to lifestyle bloggers but also to tech and travel bloggers.
- ValuedVoice – Formerly known as LinkVehicle, I joined this network last 2013. They will sell sponsored posts in your blog, social media posts, and even YouTube sponsorship on your behalf. But you set the price, not them. Once someone bought, just go to your dashboard to get the keyword and the link. You have an option to reject or accept the offer. For sponsored posts, you could use the pre-written article they will provide for you, or you can create your own as long as it passes their quality test. The downside to this network is that you will only get paid on the 1st of each month. But since January 1, 2017, they started offering premium accounts which cost $3 and $7 per month. The free account is still available but you will only receive up to 5 offers per month and they implemented a $100 threshold payout. For premium accounts, you get unlimited offers and priority, and the payment threshold is $50 for a $3 account, while no threshold for $7 account and you can payout anytime.
- The Cirqle – This influencer network is connected to top brands and companies from Europe and the United States. The compensation is very generous as well, by that I mean, HUGE. But getting accepted to new campaigns is quite difficult, and often times only available to residents of Europe.
- Fohr Card – This is the second influencer network I joined when I was just starting. It’s like The Cirqle, a lot of top brands and companies but getting a campaign is also difficult. But unlike the Cirqle, you could approach and submit a proposal directly to the brand you want to work with. Besides that, your dashboard in their network contains complete analytics of your blog and social media which you could also download a media kit so it’s easy for brands and companies to know your stats.
- Brand Backer and The Blogger Programme – these two help fashion and beauty bloggers (and even vloggers) get connected with brands, collaborate with them, do a write-up, etc and get compensated. The downside, the offers are usually for residents of US for Brand Backer and UK for Blogger Programme.
II. Banner Ads
Posting ads on your blog is my second source of income and the easiest because you only have to strategically post them on your blog. But your earnings will depend on how many pageviews and unique views you get each month. So if it is below 1000 views a day then don’t expect anything huge. When I started blogging but I already had banner ads displayed on my blog where I earn money thanks to Nuffnang. I have been with them ever since I was just reblogging random stuff in Tumblr. Though unfortunately, Nuffnang is only available to some Asian regions and Australia. But then my blog grew and I want a network that could keep up with my growing blog. I joined many ad networks, some were amazing, while some were disappointing. The three ad networks below are the only networks I’m actively using now:
- SheKnows Media – As of 2016 BlogHer has been acquired by SheKnows Media, one of the biggest Female Blogging Network in the world. I joined this network in 2012 and I never left. Why? Because they’re the highest earning ads on my blog. Plus they offer so many things where you could earn money and gain more traffic. First, they have the publishing network where you could display ads on your blog and earn money from each unique impressions. Second, they have campaigns where you could get paid by posting the campaign through your social media accounts. And oh, there are sponsored posts too. The downside is they’re quite strict. You have to comply with their requirements before getting accepted. And if you use them exclusively, meaning you won’t display ads from their competitor (i.e. Google AdSense) then you’ll earn more. When I left other ad networks, my earnings increase 150% seriously! So it’s worth it. Another downside is payment takes a little longer. You’ll only get paid every end of the month when you reach the minimum $25. But you have to wait for 60 days before you could receive it. For example, you earned $25 in May, so you will receive it on July via PayPal, or direct deposit to your US Bank Account.
- Unruly Media – This is my second favorite ad on my blog for obvious reasons, Unruly is the second highest earning ad on Style Vanity. It doesn’t compete with my SheKnows Media ads because Unruly provide in-article ad videos which are not offered by SheKnows Media. It’s the video ad that shows up when you scroll down my blog posts. Joining them have requirements as well, they consider the size of your blog and the traffic. But if you’re confident your blog will pass, then apply because they’re awesome. They will send your earnings 30 days after you reach $50 threshold. Meaning if you earned $50 by July 31, you’ll receive it by August 31.
- Media.net – I only started with them last January 2016. It doesn’t compete with my BlogHer ads as well because they’re a contextual ad (text link ad) only. They’re in partnership with Yahoo and Bing. What I like the most about them is that they pay higher than Google Adsense. But compared to those two ads networks above, this one earns the least and slowly. You can only cash out your earnings when you reach $100.
Runner-up ad networks:
Besides with Media.net it’s a bit hard to join the first two ad networks I mentioned. But fret not, you could join these other ad networks below.
- UberCPM – This ad network was highly recommended by many bloggers so I decided to try them. What I like about this network is their minimum payout is only $10 and gives you 80% revenue share which is the highest among all the networks in this runner-up list. You can receive your earnings every 2nd of each month for impressions earned in the previous month. For example, if you earned $20 in January, you will be paid $20 on February 2nd.
- Media Nexus – I love this one because you can withdraw your money on daily basis or weekly as long as you reach their minimum and I think it’s only $5.
- WWWPromoter and Numus Digital – These two networks are definitely runner-ups. I experienced working with them too. Applying to WWWPromoter is easy, while Numus Digital has a specific target audience. Please visit their respective websites to find out if your blog fits their networks.
- Passion Fruit Ads – If your picky on ads that will appear on your blog, you can join this network. They will help you install an ad store in your blog and the best part, you get to decide what kind of ads you want on your site and how much you want to sell it. Though the downside in Passion Fruit is that you have to pay an annual or monthly fee, depends on what you opted. Not good for small blogs or those who are just starting.
III. Affiliate Marketing
It is proven that text-link ads are more successful than banners thanks to “advertorial” it is also like a brand write-up but the difference is you got to choose what brand or item you want to write about. Actually, this is my second best source of income. Actually, most successful blogs like BagSnob.com are only earning from affiliate marketing! For this, you could go straight to any brands or any shop you like or sign up to affiliate networks.
When I first wrote this post, I included Beso Affiliate Program, Fashion Traffic, and Lyst. Unfortunately, Beso already ended their program and asked all those who are interested in the same pay-per-click program ($0.25 per click) to join Shopzilla instead. Lyst ended theirs too, while on Fashion Traffic I voluntarily quit their program because they are the same as RewardStyle (#2 below) but I prefer rStyle more, they have better platform and commission rates.
- ShareASale – this is actually the BEST affiliate network in my opinion. They offer a LOT of brands, not just those that are related to fashion. In here, you could choose which brands you want to be affiliated with, they’ll provide you with all the help you need from banners, text link ad, and newsletter guides. They’ll pay you every 2oth of the month on the amount you set (the minimum is $50). My favorites brands there that I signed up for are Stella & Dot, Modcloth, Julep, Warby Parker, Craftsy, Reebok, and One Kings Lane because it’s very easy to earn money from them, they’re not only giving good support but also offer $5 up to $100 bonuses (sometimes more) either when you blog about their latest campaign (which happens monthly), when you recommended someone to join their affiliate and when you reach a certain target sale. Plus they offer really good products that people want so earning a commission from them quite easily.
- Reward Style – Rstyle (for short) offers big (from 10-50%) commissions but the best thing about them is that they have almost every fashion brands in the world even from the US to China, and even the Philippines. You could literally find everything here! Plus, they have widgets and gadgets that can help you monetize your blog much easier like the “Shop The Post” widget that I often use and “LikeToKnowIt” where you could monetize your Instagram posts. You will receive your payment is via Paypal when you reached $100 at the end of the month. The downside though is, to be able to join them you need to be invited. You could register for an invitation but you could also ask another member to recommend you. Though it does not guarantee an automatic invitation or approval since they are quite strict nowadays I think it could still help. If you’re interested in joining then you may contact me and tell me why you’re blog is awesome.
- Shopstyle Collective – Formerly know as Shopsense, it is almost the same as RewardStyle but the difference is some shops are not available here (rStyle still win on that). But instead of earning a commission when your reader made a purchase, in Shopstyle Collective you’ll earn money when your reader clicked on the link (but it has to be a unique click) like Beso Affiliate Program which is no longer around. Each click only costs around $0.05 to $0.10. They also have widgets like in rStyle and have an iPhone app “Shopstyle.it” where you could monetize your Instagram posts and even your Snapchat. The payment is also the same, you’ll get paid via PayPal when you reach $100. Before they only offer this in some countries, but as of October 2016 Shopstyle is now available internationally!
- Commission Junction – CJ for short. This is my least fave affiliate network that I listed here but compared to others (that I didn’t bother listing here) earnings from here are quite good also. You could choose which merchants you only want to join like ShareAsale but unlike ShareASale they have “Content Certified Publisher” where you don’t need to apply for merchants because you’re already pre-approved you, you just have to approve them and commission rates are bigger if you’re a CCP. Plus they offer widgets that can help you monetize your post much easier. They have popular brands like e.lf. Cosmetics and stores like Zalora and DickBlick if you’re an art blogger. And if you’re a travel blogger this is perfect for you because they have TripAdvisory and hotels like Hilton and others. Payments will be given when you reach the limit you chose, the minimum is also $50. The other downside in CJ is that some brands take too long to pay you. I actually have a pending payment here for 2 years already.
IV. Teach An Online Class
Have a hobby or any specialized skills? Then teach a class! Drawing, baking, coding, photography, blogging, and even marketing, whatever it is, you can use it to earn money by teaching it online. Although creating an online class will require more effort and sometimes budget (trust me, I know. I’m currently making one), but it’s getting more popular and this is where most advertisers are looking now. There are two ways you can teach an online class:
- Skillshare – There are a lot of online teaching platforms, but I prefer Skillshare because starting a class with them seems easy because of it’s supportive community. Make sure to join the monthly teaching challenge when you’re going to start a class because they give bonuses and prizes in there. And also feedback from their teaching community. I still don’t know exactly how to earn money in here besides those written in their FAQ. But I’ll update this post after I uploaded my first class.
- YouTube – One of the most popular websites in the world and already produced a lot of millionaire vloggers. Of course, when it comes to teaching online this is the preferred platform for most people. YouTube is great too, but it’s super competitive.
Before you decide on how will you earn from your blog make sure you have a Paypal account because most of these networks either require or highly recommends you to have it. Paypal is the easiest and safest way to pay and get paid. Plus, it’s free. BUT some networks, like The Cirqle, ShareASale and Commission Junction doesn’t have a Paypal payment option and requires you to have a US or EU Bank Account. For that, I recommend a prepaid debit card like Payoneer which will give you US, EU, and even Japanese bank account. It is available to over 200 countries (including the Philippines) and very affordable.
HELPFUL BLOG RESOURCES:
If you have more questions on how to earn money from blogging or how to monetize your blog, please contact me here.
*Photo via dentelleetfleurs.com