Blogging: Resources, Money, and Events

Welcome back to the blogging series kids.  Today I’m going to talk about my favorite products, where I learn the most, how I make money blogging (so you can too), and what it takes to put together a blogging event.  

Ready?  OK!  

 

{say it like a cheerleader}

 

 

Resources
 
The two best resources I’ve found are Googling and other bloggers.  If you want to know something about blogging, web design, social media, or anything blog related chances are someone else has too.  Maybe they know, maybe they’re looking, maybe they now a gal who knows a gal.  The answer is out there!  Lots of bloggers like to post about tips, tricks, books they reference, products they use, etc.  I’ve become one of them now.  Woo!  


This information can now be found on my Resources Page.


Money
 
Paid Blog Posts
How do you get paid?  I started getting paid to post by signing up with Media Networks.  

Media Groups Collage

The first media group I signed up with was Social Spark.  They base your recommended earnings on your Google Analytics stats.  Basically what happens is you get a lead, if you want to do the post you say “I’m Interested”, and if you want more money, “Negotiate” the compensation amount.  Almost all the leads I got were $15 to $20 starting price in the beginning, you can ask for more.  After speaking to SocialSpark’s customer service (after my WP move), my recommened earnings are $75 and I’m making $75+ per post.  There are lots of brands/products you can work with, but they aren’t always specific to your blog topic(s).  If the advertiser chooses you, you get an email and a deadline.  The post is submitted through Social Spark and you set the post to auto-publish to your blog or manually publish it after approval.  Minimum payout is $50, or you can pay the $2 service charge to withdraw earlier.  Social Spark does have a referral program as well. Grade: A


The Clever Girls Collective was the second company I signed up with.  All the campaigns I’ve been chosen for have paid $50 to $175.  My affiliation with CGC has gotten me a Unliever web site feature, and I was selected for the UbiChamps campaign where I get free video games as compensation.  There are a variety of campaigns to sign up for and all the info you need about them is on the sign up sheet.  Clever Girls pays directly to PayPal within 45 days after you submit your post information. They also have a lot of Twitter parties with prizes and good networking.  I’ve won some stuff too.  AND…they are really quick to respond to any emails I’ve set with campaigns I’m in not showing on my dashboard or any other help I need.  Grade: A


The SITS Girls {now in partnership with Sway Group }is a big group and they have a variety of brands and products to work with.  It seems {to me} like they are more mom blogger focused with paid post options, but this isn’t always the case.  Their opportunities can vary from small $30 posts to full on post series for big companies (making me well over $600).  I’ve also been invited to a local blogger event hosted by a SITS girls representative and I got a free $250 car seat, some yummy apps, networked, and did a post.  So I made out pretty well.  Grade: A


Pollinate Media Group is good, but they are mostly regional opportunities – especially Southern California.  I’ve been with Pollinate for a few months and I’ve been involved in a couple campaigns already, each paying $50 to $100 plus free product to review.  Pollinate has a FB group too where you can promote your posts, get questions answered, and network.  Pollinate does require a minimum 20,000 page views per month to apply.  This is why Google Analytics is important to have to get paid.  They are slowly but surely adding national campaigns opportunities, and I get paid within 30 days which is nice.  Grade: B


Blue Print Social is a brand new group for me.  I haven’t done any campaigns with them, but I’m excited to see what they’re all about and how they have bloggers work with the brands they promote.  Grade: ?


Ads
Google AdSense is what I use.  I have  the maximum 3 ads allowed.  It started off really slow in the beginning.  So much so that I didn’t have ads on my blog for a really long time. I tried the ads from Social Spark, but I didn’t get paid nearly as much as AdSense in comparison.  You don’t get paid out from AdSense until you have at least $100 in earnings to pay out to you, but it’s nice to get a big pay bump when they shell out the cash.  I have found setting upc ustom channels for my ads makes my money more consistent.

I haven’t tried Foodie Blog Roll, and BlogHer (which does ads and paid posts) is currently is open to applications, but I’m sure there is a waiting list too.  I have yet to hear back from BlogHer, so I guess I’m not a good fit right now.  It doesn’t hurt to experiment a little, but for me it’s Google AdSense right now.

Sponsors
When I first added a “Sponsor” section to my sidebar I just grabbed buttons from bloggers I followed and became friends with.  No charging, just helping my friends and putting my SocialSpark referral badge.  Then, I found out about Passionfruit Ads, and started using the Passionfruit site to manage all my ads spaces for its the ease of use.  I can set days for ads to run, I enter one HTML code in and everything rotates itself.

I took some time off from paid ad space and did just free spots, but now I’m back to paid blog partnership ads.  I picked ad spot names for stuff I liked {oldies singers}.  Thriftary has my favorite ad spot names ever.  I have a swap button spot, different button sizes with different levels of involvement from my blog, and I keep the big spot for the GYCO winner.  I’ll probably change this around again soon, but for now this is what it is.

I have a promo code for each ad spot.  I use medium ad space specifically for giveaway prizes.  It doesn’t cost me anything to give the spot since I make a promo code for it, and the ad space gives a lot of bloggers something they’re looking for – exposure.  Free works for me, if you want to get paid, I’d talk to Lena and see what she does.  She’s kind of amazing, and always has tons of sponsors.  I’ve had 2 spots actually purchased in the past.  


Blog Budget

This is one of my goals for 2013.  I need to budget myself a lot more and start tracking income/expenses.  I didn’t track anything (formally) in 2012 and I’m stressing tax time a little.  I did find an eBook about taxes for bloggers that I’m planning on saving the day.  I’m curious to see what I can do about my DSLR.  Oh the suspense!

Luckily, I have a lot of the transactions documented with PayPal, and I’m pretty good about keeping like every email ever.  So I know each time I donated ad space or a physical item/gift card for a giveaway too.  I’m looking for a printable since I like to write things down, but I’ll probably have an excel file to track it all too.  I like to manipulate the look of my records and if I have it on paper, I’m the kind of persona that would rewrite the ENTIRE page for on little change.


eBooks

This is another goal of mine for 2013.  I want to write an eCookbook of original recipes, for like $5 or so.  Nothing crazy price wise, but good eats and a way to get my feet wet.  eJunkie has a free eBook download about Publishing Your First eBook.  


Events
 
DON’T BE SHY!  Sign up for blog events that interest you.  If you like, find out if it’s reoccurring or a one time thing.  Ask your blog friends, do they participate in blog events?  Remember, you don’t have to wait for someone to ask you to get an event going.  Do you have a great idea?  Get things going, you have the power!  A little scared to go it alone?  Ask a blog friend to co-host.  Not sure how to start?  Ask a blogger you follow/admire.  We are happy to give each other advise, it’s incredibly rare someone’s all like “No, psh!”  Like REALLY rare.  Go for it!
 
Co-hosting comes in handy.  It lets you taps into a larger audience and get more exposure for your blog, you co-hosts’ blogs, and your event.  Don’t be afraid to borrow a great idea you liked.  
 
My first event was a blog swap I co-hosted with Carrie from My Favorite Finds.  I took the some idea Melissa from Serendipity & Spice did and put together a trade.  Melissa even joined in, liking to just participate and not having to manage everything.  Jen from Four Marrs and One Venus (my GYCO love) is totally my bloggy bestie and my favorite co-host.  We are always on the same page and keep each other excited to keep GYCO going.  
 
It’s a lot of work to put on any blog event, having support and someone to share to work load HELPS A LOT!  I’ve found this true for all the different events I’ve been a part of – especially the ones I founded.  I love having friends (Jaime) who know Google Docs – I’m lost with them.

Don’t be afraid to bounce ideas off others.  Ask around if someone would co-host and help you develop a concept.  Just because you don’t have tons of experience with this type of blog topic, doesn’t mean you can’t do it.  It’s all trial and error in the end.  Asking for help is smart, not silly.
So sharing all this today has been super fun.
It’s the stuff I really like to help people get to know better.
I’m always available to give pointers about big events.  I’ve done a few and learned A LOT!
 
My Credentials:
Multi-Blogger Giveaways
and more.

Comments

  1. says

    Jimminy- you are RIGHT ON- or is it WRITE ON? All kidding aside– hello my love..I loved this post! Gosh dang you are good..and we are camera twins- don't you just LOVE the reb.? Great post- keep rocking you are so dang smart I could eat you up!

  2. says

    Fabulous and super helpful post, dear! :)

    I just applied for Clever Girls, already am signed up for SITSGirls & fingers crossed I get the first campaign I have applied for with them, already work with Blogher as a social media infleuncer (& that pays well), and will apply to Pollinate if I make the numbers this month. I made 18,000 last month so I am slowly but surely getting there.

    Pinned this one!

  3. says

    Thanks for this post! It's very helpful. I have been with Clever Girls for 6 months now and I have never been chosen for a campaign :( Any advice? I sign up for almost all the I am able to.

    • says

      I’m still sitting at $75 as the recommended pay from SocialSpark and I’ve been in the 85K to 90K+ range the last few months. They recommended pay is based on your Google Analytics numbers, click through rate, and I’m sure other factors. I have my preferred price set to $100, and I have my account shown to show me all offers $50 or more. Be sure to check your settings and have all the types of reviews checked (that you’re comfortable with). I feel like I started getting more relevant offers when I made sure to include product reviews as a post type option.

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