I've blogged a bit in the past about ways to make money blogging. The truth of the matter is yes, you can make money blogging. But I can be the first to tell you that sometimes you get too caught up in the making money part, and focus less on the blogging part. This is one of the biggest reasons I slowed down on my blogging these past few months. Sometimes it can feel like a full time job, and I want my blog to be more of a hobby for me, instead of something I stress over. With that said, I have been able to grow my little blog into something that makes some fun money for us. Heck, between a sponsored post or two last year, I was able to buy the majority of the kids' Christmas.
Yes, you will have to pay taxes on your blogging income! Things that you are given to write sponsored posts about or review, and any income (from an ad company, Amazon, etc) you receive you need to claim. Depending on the amount you make, you may receive a 1099-MISC form. Which means if you don't claim your income, the IRS knows from that company, and can audit you! Unless you want to become the next MckMama, I suggest you follow this advice. Keeping a spreadsheet in excel is a great way to keep tabs of your income. I personally use Turbo Tax and file my own each year.
A few years back, I applied to BlogHer. After a few months on their waiting list, I got antsy and finally emailed them. This seemed to speed up the process, because they immediately added me. I tend to like their ads because they are relevant to the majority of my readers (women, moms, etc). I'll be honest, though, and say I've noticed the amount I'm making has gone down considerably in the past year. For instance, in December 2010, I had 61,886 impressions on my blog, which translated to .003 cents (or $204). This month, I've had 93,968 impressions, and am scheduled to make $88.05. That's .0009 cents per impression. Several other bloggers that use BlogHer have mentioned the same thing. They also have sponsored posts that you can sign up for. Most of these pay about $125 each, and add an additional $25 for touting the links on social media sites. I'd say this is where a good portion of my blogging income came from last year.
I started first with Adsense on my blog. I'm not their biggest fan - I've heard they've ripped off some Adsense users. Sometimes their ads suck (like advertising for hot, sexy singles or Trojan condoms), and you have to specify which advertisers you don't want to use. What I like least is how inconsistent their rates are. Really, it is like .000001 cent per visit. That most certainly does take a looong time to add up. You have to reach a $100 threshold before they'll pay out. Depending on the time of year, it can take me anywhere from 1.5-3 months to get a pay out (the Fall is always great because of holiday advertising).
I've been super slack on handling this one. UPrinting.com was the first to ask to purchase ad space on my blog, for $30 a month. I agreed - it sounded pretty fair. So any other time I've been approached, I use the $20-$30 a month figure. But then again, I have no clue. I see blogs that have fewer readers than I have that charge more. But I'm pretty good on selling myself short, ha. Currently, the ads I have on my blog are friends that I've put on here b/c they are awesome. Passion Fruit Ads is a great way to put advertising on your site instantly. I really need to get on the ball with this one.
This is perhaps my favorite part. Not only do most companies send me free samples, but they also offer them to my readers. I like giving y'all free stuff. And really, it is a win/win/win situation for everyone. I get stuff, you get stuff, the companies get their name out there. Most of the things I've gotten are small (blankets, baby toys, clothes, bottles, food, etc). Every now & then a larger, national company will reach out, like Oreck or OshKosh.
Amazon has an affiliate program that is free to sign up for. You can add links, widgets, and even a store to your blog. The links I use all the time if I'm talking about a product (so people can find it easily). I've had a widget on my side bar in the past, too. Now, I'm not the one actually selling the stuff (cause, you know, I don't have a warehouse in my tiny home). BUT, anything that is purchased by someone who clicked to Amazon from my blog, counts as an item sold - and I get commission from it. They also pay on a sliding scale. For the first 6 items you sell, you get 4% of the selling price. Items 6-15, you get 6% and so on up to 10% or 15% I believe. They do a payout after you hit $30, and they pay monthly. If you don't make $30 in one month, it rolls over to the next. So if you are a blogger, totally do this - it's free money!
When I first started my blog, like 5 people read it. Then I put the link in my signature on a message board I frequent, and I gained more readers. I also like to read blogs and comment, so that brings people back to mine. I'd say the majority of my readers, however, are my internet mom friends (MeMo 4 lyfe). Some great ways to network and get more readers are through the following sites:
The SITS Girls
Facebook Fan Pages
Top Mommy/Baby Blogs
Commenting on "big" bloggers blogs
Participating in blog hops (Kelly's Korner has a great one for Show Us Your Life)
I recently requested to advertise for emeals.com on Commission Junction. In return for putting links or buttons on my blog, I'm able to make a commission on any sale, usually about 30%. In just one post about meal planning, I made over $55 in one day. You can pick & choose the companies you want to work with, but they also have to approve you. I tried pretty hard to get on the Clarisonic bandwagon, but haven't been approved yet.
Well, that's about it. Do y'all have any questions? Please, I welcome any and all comments from you, and will happily answer your questions. I know I'm no Dooce, Kelle Hampton, or Kelly Stamps. But I'm also working on year 5 of my little blog, and may have a few tips you could use. And please - I welcome any and all advice, too.
And if you don't mind, please click on this. Top Mommy Blogs has been a great way to attract visitors to my blog. Go ahead and join if you haven't already. There's also a Top Baby Blogs, too!