Once upon a time, blogging was nothing more than a digital diary. Today, it has empowered a generation of #DigitalBosses. I’m so proud of the Blogosphere community, but there is still a lot of scepticism and speculation when it comes to the topic of monetisation.
The most common question I get is ‘how do you make money from blogging?’. Last summer, I wrote a 101 guide on how to start a blog, I solemnly swore that I would save the money-making side for a full-length post because I knew it would be a detailed cracker.
I have the best of both worlds; I worked in Digital Marketing (Affiliate) for years before I became a #LifestyleBlogger, Model & Digital Consultant full-time, so I have an inkling of what advertisers and influencers want.
If you’re a blogger, you probably know how a lot of this works, but for ease, I’m going to explain how it works to a complete beginner so that everyone can understand it.
To make this easy to digest, I’m going to split up the sections: Brand Partnerships, Affiliate Marketing, Display Advertising and Public Relations (PR).
Brand Partnerships (Fixed Fee)
Brand Partnerships is primarily ‘Sponsored Content’; this is when a brand pays you a fixed fee to write, YouTube and/or Instagram about a product or service.
The way it works is that a brand would contact you with an introduction of a product, and if agreed, a contract is drawn up with objectives of the campaign. A brief usually has all of the deliverables required, and this includes information about the product, which key messages should be said, hashtags to use and social media handles to tag.
This form of payment has the most scope of flexibility because the brand marketing department usually has the highest budget (some companies assign this budget from the same pot of TV and radio advertising).
Affiliate Marketing (Variable Fee)
Affiliate Marketing is my expertise, so I’m hoping, I can explain this simplistically for newbies. It’s when a brand (e.g. ASOS, Amazon, Groupon etc.) pays out a commission to a publisher (blogger, or any website that promotes products) for every sale generated.
E.g., when someone clicks on my blog and then spends £100, I earn X% of total basket value (excluding delivery & VAT).
Commission (X) range averages 5-15%, and it’s not paid out if the buyer returns the item. If you want to know how the technical side works, it’s all tracked by through the URL which drops a cookie and captures the data. The data goes to a network so they can calculate how much each everyone earns, but you don’t need to know any of this unless you work in the affiliate industry. You just need to know that there is no additional fee for the buyer who is purchasing the products.
There are lots of Affiliate Networks, and I started my career working at one of them, but I currently use RewardStyle who power my shop widgets, I find them very easy to use. Do let me know if you would like me to refer you and I’ll hook you up!
Display Advertising (Variable Fee)
This is when a brand (or media agency working on behalf of a brand) pays you per 1000 impressions or views (CPM cost per mill) or clicks (CPC cost per clicks) generated from your website or YouTube.
I currently don’t work with any display partners because I personally find ad’s on a website super annoying, I also don’t have YouTube, but an example would be:
E.g., when someone clicks on a banner advertisement on my website or YouTube video, I’ll earn £XX per 1000 interactions (impressions) or clicks.
CPM’s used to be fixed, but YouTube has created an algorithm, and each YouTuber’s rate is dependent on content, time of year, how many videos you make etc.
Public Relations – PR (Fixed Fee)
You can build great relationships with PR agents; they tend to be the most friendly! Once you’re on their mailing list, they will send products, gift cards or services for you to trial. There is usually no obligation to promote products unless you sign a contract.
PR’s will choose their influencers based on their audiences being the right fit for the product, for example, McDonalds PR isn’t going to contact a fitness influencer (unless it was some ironic promotion) because that wouldn’t be a right fit for the campaign.
Remember that Influencers do also have to declare if there are paid, this is seen in hashtags using #ad or #gifted or #presstrip. I’m being paid to write this article by promoting the links in the post.
And that’s that! I hope the above advice helped explain the monetisation side of blogging and that you’re all clear as a consumer.
What are your thoughts? I would love to hear from you.
Primrose Bakery, London
Photography by my favourite Parisan friend: Constance Doyle