I was asked to deliver a talk on how to ‘Monetize your Blog’s Content’ last Monday to a group of nearly 40 bloggers, brands and designers belonging to the London Fashion Bloggers group organised by Diana Kakkar from Trend Bridged. I only had 30 minutes (I ran over) and a lot of information to get through so it was no wonder I had some many people with questions afterwards!
Here’s my attempt to summarize the talk and include some more details and links to the services I described.
Monetize your Blog’s Content
Best practice & tips and tricks
Post on a daily basis. If you work with multiple people on a single blog, here’s a great plugin for you to keep opragnised, assign tasks and budgets and much more – Edit Flow.
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Don’t forget that each post should have at least three keywords that it is being optimised for. You can do some keyword research using the Google Keyword Tool here.
Social media is how your audience finds your content. Your blog should have a Twitter account, Facebook fan page, and Google+ business page.
Each post should be put out through Twitter, mentioning whoever is in your blog post in an autoscheduled Tweet (keep reading).
On Facebook, you should like page of article’s topic personally and then like it as your blog’s Facebook page (add to the page’s favourites). Like Twitter, don’t forget to mention the person’s page in post on your Facebook page.
You need a Google+ account (even though your main audience will be on Twitter and Facebook). Link website to your G+ page, and link your personal Google+ profile to the author page on your blog (like for this blog my author page is http://travisleestreet.com/author/admin/) – see the video blow! Don’t forget to also post your content onto your Google+ blog page (but don’t use the same exact description for any social platforms!).
Keeping up with all of these networks is time-consuming and laborious. Hootsuite is a social media dashboard that will let you connect all of your account and post Tweets, Facebook updates, Google+ updates and a bunch of other platforms from one centralised location. You can also install a browser extension that helps you create links to interesting content and autoschedule your posts (to reach the greatest audience at the best time). So, it’s basically awesome. Sign up here – it’s $9.99 a month but totally worth it.
I focused on Google Adsense and Say Media both of which have Cost-per-view (CPV), Enhanced cost-per-click (ECPC) and Cost-per-view (CPV) advertising but I quickly dismissed this form as advertising because of the high number of uniquer views needed and the low payout (not great unless your bringing in 10K unique views in one location per month – in which case you’d be eligible for other forms of advertising).
Affiliate revenue has been a great boon to not only my blog’s revenue but also to it’s content. When used in creative ways – like suggesting outfits, affiliate revenue can bring you 5-8% of a visitors entire shopping cart on an affiliate’s e-commerce site for up to 60 days in some cases. Of course remember that only about 1% of your visitors will click on an affiliate link and go on to make a purchase so don’t link to items that are too cheap or unoriginal.
I’d recommend that you start with Google Affiliate Network, apply to some brands and see if you get accepted. Once you have a better grasp on what affiliate linking is, apply to Skim Links or Affiliate Window (I’ve kind of given up on Affiliate Window tbh). These two networks are a bit different from Google Affiliate Network because once accepted, you have access to all of their affiliates (which can be very daunting when trying to find the right one). So start with Google first.
If you’re really interested in suggesting outfits based on trends that you have seen, try Reward Style. They have some nifty apps that can help you bookmark items and create lists to embed onto your blog. Membership isn’t easy to get so if you’d like to join leave a comment below or Tweet me @TravisLeeStreet for an invite.
Blogger network – sponsored posts / PR agency
Blogger networks are in my mind the most important aspect of being a blogger. Once you have a blog that is at least 3 months old and driving traffic, I’d recommend applying to a blogger network. There are quite a few, just Google ‘blogger network’ and find one that suits you. Build a rapport with your main point of contact and do some free posts from the press releases that they’ll start to send you. Follow up after you’ve posted an article and get back to your point of contact with some stats on how well the blog post did. This will open up a conversation to talk about sponsored posts and hopefully they’ll send you one to start out with – don’t miss your deadline!
Once you begin to blog for a while, someone will come along and scrape your email address off of your contact page. This is both a good and bad thing. The bad thing is you will start to receive spam (a lot of spam). But some of that ‘spam’ will actually be from PR agencies who’ve ‘discovered’ *cough*bought*cough* your email address from a mail list somewhere and will add you to their blogger PR list. Do your research first, that’s the best advice I can give you on making up your mind about what to post and for whom. If you aren’t impressed with their online presence, stay away. If you are, do a post about their content and let them know about it (also make sure they know you’re up for more posts, competitions and giveaways which can then be passed onto your audience).
Collaboration / Guest blogging
And finally, guest blog on your friends blogs! The more guest posting you do, the higher an author rank you will receive from Google. Don’t know what I’m talking about? Well, here’s a handy video about Authorship from Matt Cutts – the Google SEO man himself. Watch it!
So, being a blogger is a lot of work, but if you’re dedicated and willing to learn (and be the best) you’ll need to dig into the basics of SEO, social media and networking (I know you do that now anyway). Thanks for reading and as always get in touch with any questions!
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