Hi Carol – love your blog and really love this inspirational post! I just got a 3-month paying gig blogging for a small company once per week at a rate of $150 per post. I never would have felt comfortable bidding this if not for this post so many many thanks for giving me a pep in my step! I just wanted to know if there is a standard practice with how one should bill/invoice clients like these. For my design projects I just bill when the project is finalized. This is more on-going and so I feel more inclined to invoice twice a month so I’m paid consistently – but I’m unsure if this is best practice for independent bloggers. Would you mind sharing any insight you have in this very important area?
There is serious competition in the affiliate marketing sphere. You’ll want to make sure you stay on top of any new trends to ensure you remain competitive. Additionally, you’ll likely be able to benefit from at least a few of the new marketing techniques that are constantly being created. Be sure you’re keeping up to date on all these new strategies to guarantee that your conversion rates, and therefore revenue, will be as high as possible.
Podcasts. Michael Hyatt, author of the best-selling book Platform: Get Noticed in a Noisy World, practices what he preaches. His “This is Your Life” podcast is downloaded 250,000 times each month. As Hyatt elaborates on his blog post 4 Reasons You Should Consider Launching Your Own Podcast, “A podcast gives you visibility in a completely different world—primarily iTunes. I have had scores of new people say they had never heard of me until they stumbled onto me in iTunes.” Hyatt gives valuable information and advice in his podcast--all for free. But that podcast leads to more sales of his books, signups for his courses, and requests for him as a speaker.
At the time of this writing, I’ve been blogging for only 1 1/2 years. And most of that time I spent on my podcast and writing my book – not blogging. And yet one day I realized – hey, I can make money blogging! The last time I published my monthly online income, my blog made $40,560.20. You can find out more reading my income reports. And I don’t say that to brag, but to show you, you can do it.
[…] Audition piece to get paying gigs. If you’re interested in adding some blogging-for-hire to your resume, you can position your blog as one big “clip” to entice paying clients. Add a “hire me” tab to your blog, make sure your site has a clean, uncluttered design and your posts stick to your niche topic. (That one you wrote about the funny pig video on YouTube? Delete it.) Then target some company blogs in your subject area and start inquiring whether they need a paid blogger. […]
Great points in the article. The key which you have hit on quite well is scalability and making the most bang for your time investment. Many resort to the Internet because of its scalability. There are plenty other options for one who simply wants to trade hours for dollars. I also like the point of finding your passion and monetizing it. Lastly, I agree with mixing and matching. Many are afraid to experiment, but the beauty of the internet is that it is very forgiving. One can keep trying until the right blend is found.
Thank you so much for this article and for your service to the freelance writing profession. I am struggling to determine a price for blogging. Two companies have approached me and I will meet with them next week. You stated you try to get $100 an hour for blogging. How do you adjust this price if site visits, interviews, and photography are involved? I also hold an advanced degree in my blogging subject matter. Thanks in advance for any advice you can offer,
It takes time and talent to craft highly useful, engaging content -- so, by finding ways to recycle existing content, you're ensuring peak efficiency. Additionally, repurposing content allows you to reach a new audience. For instance, let's say your podcast team published a high-performing podcast episode. Why not turn that episode's topic into a blog post?
Has anyone ever told you you have a voice for radio? Are you great at creating original characters with just your voice? There are tons of people looking to pay for quality voice overs for their corporate videos, animation series, or educational videos. Check out Fiverr and UpWork or create a profile on a specialized site like Voices.com or The Voice Realm to get started making money online doing voice overs.
One big difference between SkimLinks and VigLinks, however, is that once you’re approved by the company, you can choose to work with any merchant or program on its platform. SkimLinks has also published a white paper discussing its partnership with Buzzfeed, giving SkimLinks a lot of credibility. SkimLinks also has a higher tier of vetted merchants called “Preferred Partner” and “VIP” that both pay higher commissions than standard merchants.
As my blog audience grew I began to test a method of making money I was very interested in – affiliate marketing. My first test proved positive, though initially I was disappointed that of my readership of 500 or so people (at the time), I could only sell one or two products, making $20 commission each. It wasn’t retirement money, but it was a start.
WordPress also have a variety of plugins that make it easy to put social sharing buttons on your blog posts. Some people like to limit the number of plugins they use on their WordPress blog because it can slow the blog down and it can open your blog up to more attacks, butt a social sharing plugin is one that should have high priority if you do choose to use plugins.
We created this guide to be an easy-to-digest and reliable reference for all aspects of content marketing, whether you're just getting started or are part of an expert team that's simply looking to review its fundamentals. From finding the right team and coming up with ideas that'll resonate with your audience to successfully promoting your content and scaling your content efforts up over time, we aimed to create a holistic look at the field of content marketing. We even threw a cartoon at the top of every chapter to keep things light-hearted. (That's Carl the Content Cat at the top of this page, and you'll get to know him and his boss, Boss Penguin, fairly well.)
Take advantage of affiliate program freebies when available. Many affiliate programs provide free printables, guides, webinars or other lead magnets designed to get potential customers in their sales funnel. As an affiliate, you can share these freebies with your audience using your affiliate link so if they eventually make a purchase, you’ll earn a commission, but if they don’t they still get value upfront.
Examples of repurposing your content is to turn an article into a video, infographic, podcast or downloadable lead magnet (PDF). You then take each content type and promote it where that type of content is generally promoted. Videos? YouTube. Slides? Slideshare. Infographics? Reach out to 100 bloggers and ask them to add your infographic to their site and link back to your website. Podcasts? Add yours to podcasting directories.
“Do not write content just for sake of writing,” Anastasia Sidko, Content Manager at SEMrush, said. “Always provide value to the user. Share your own experiences - hacks you’ve discovered, tricks you’ve used and even failures you've had. If you don’t have enough knowledge yet, you can also use experience of the industry influencers. Choose the most engaging topics and successful content, and make it even more valuable by using Brian Dean’s Skyscraper Technique.”
A U.K. based dating affiliate network that operates a number of mainstream and niche dating sites, including Cupid.com, Flirt.com, BoomerDating.com and PlanetSappho.com. You can promote any of these sites based upon the needs of your audience, and with so many sites to choose from, it’s pretty easy for most affiliates to find at least one or two that are a good fit. Commission rates at Cupid plc can be impressive, too, with $15 paid just for free sign ups, and up to 90 percent commission paid on paid memberships.
The key word here is “valuable.” It’s what changes this definition from one that could describe almost any form of advertising or marketing. You can tell if a piece of content is the sort that could be part of a content marketing campaign if people seek it out, if people want to consume it, rather than avoiding it. So was VW’s 2014 “Game Day” commercial, which has been viewed on YouTube almost 18 million times as of the writing of this post, an ad, or content marketing? The answer is it’s both, depending on how it’s received by each individual who is exposed to it. The same will apply to any piece of content marketing you create, depending on whether the recipient received value from it or not. Of course the goal is to provide as much value from your content marketing to as much of your target audience as possible. At this point, despite this definition and explanation, you’re probably still wondering what exactly content marketing is. We can get more clarity by considering a few examples.
If you think about it, PPC ad copy and content share a lot of the same “hooks,” such as an emotionally engaging angle, strong verbs, and easily understood benefits. They’re also similar (or should be) in length – AdWords and Bing Ads have mandatory character limits in their ads that advertisers have no choice but to follow, while shorter headlines of around six words tend to perform strongly from a content perspective.
How exactly does an affiliate make money? Well believe it or not, an affiliate marketing business is probably one of the most profitable you’d likely to come across. Set up correctly, it can be very lucrative. An affiliate’s payment is based off of affiliate commission from the company they are an affiliate of. The buttons, links or banners of the products you are trying to sell contain your unique user ID when you embed the HTML code into your blog that makes the ad appear.
There are quite literally hundreds of clever ways to make money online. From taking online surveys, to renting or selling your old clothes, flipping your iPhone to someone in a different country, and even buying low-cost products locally, just to resell them for a higher price on Amazon. There’s truly no shortage of unique ways to make money online.
Affiliate marketing has grown quickly since its inception. The e-commerce website, viewed as a marketing toy in the early days of the Internet, became an integrated part of the overall business plan and in some cases grew to a bigger business than the existing offline business. According to one report, the total sales amount generated through affiliate networks in 2006 was £2.16 billion in the United Kingdom alone. The estimates were £1.35 billion in sales in 2005. MarketingSherpa's research team estimated that, in 2006, affiliates worldwide earned US$6.5 billion in bounty and commissions from a variety of sources in retail, personal finance, gaming and gambling, travel, telecom, education, publishing, and forms of lead generation other than contextual advertising programs.
But happy to hear how others are doing it. I'm sure there's more than one way to skin the cat. I wrote a blog a while back that you can get them like this: Look at local companies' Web sites and call the suckiest ones and ask if they need help keeping up their blog. Like shooting fish in a barrel. SO many businesses are at the point where they've just realized the power a blog could have to drive their business…and also realized they don't have time or ability to do it themselves. HUGE opportunity is out there.
NOTE: I’ll get into this in the section on Helping Other Bloggers, but be sincere in your help. If you only seek out to get something out of someone else, you won’t form a relationship with that person. I’ve liked Stephanie’s blog and content since I first saw it. She has an amazing story of being broke in New York City, and she’s built this amazing personal finance business in just a couple years. I help Stephanie because I like Stephanie, not because I want or expect to get anything out of the relationship.
Promote products that are stepping stones to products you will create in the future. This is a bit more advanced, but is a great way to think ahead. Amy Porterfield suggests thinking about the first thing your followers will need in order to get started with what you provide. For example, I teach people how to blog, so the first thing they need to start a blog is hosting. That’s why I am an affiliate for hosting.
Sign up for a reputable affiliate network: Aside from Amazon, there are dozens of large reputable affiliate networks, such as Share-A-Sale, Clickbank, and Skimlinks, that specialize in connecting you with merchants who are looking for affiliates to sell their products. They charge relatively low commission fees for the privilege of connecting you with merchants, and the merchants on these sites tend to offer much higher commission percentages or set dollar amount payouts.
Under no circumstances should any information from this blog be used as replacement for professional financial advice. DollarSprout.com is owned by VTX Capital, LLC and neither are licensed by or affiliated with any third-party marks on this website and third parties do not endorse, authorize, or sponsor our content except where clearly disclosed. DollarSprout.com is a participant in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising fees by advertising and linking to Amazon.com.
“Ultimately it’s not about the number of tools but rather the selection of the right tools suited for your agency,” Mattan Danino, Founder & CEO of WEBITMD, says. “It makes sense to be frugal during the startup phase but making a point to allocate a budget toward the proper management tools is better for clients, employees and ultimately your bottom line. I see most marketing agencies make the mistake of using a slew of low cost tools and software as service platforms to accomplish every little component of their offerings. Those tools have seemingly no end, and new ones are always popping up. I believe a custom CRM solution, marketing automation suite and internal task management app is necessary for any agency to run smoothly.”
Carol, there are so many comments that I could not read through them all! I’m curious about how many hours per week you spend writing. Half your income is from blogging, so how much time do you spend weekly on that? Then how much time on other things? I’m just trying to figure out what is realistic to expect timewise for writing different sorts of things. I’m heading back into the nonprofit letter writing market (hopefully) and don’t have 50 hours a week to spend writing while also teaching my kids. I have maybe 15 good writing hours per week. Thanks for your response!
LinkedIn is commonly known as the professional social network, and it’s obvious that its users are serious. Sixty-four percent of social referrals to corporate websites come from LinkedIn, compared to 17% from Facebook and 14% from Twitter. A glance at the demographics demonstrates that LinkedIn has the greatest percentage of college-educated, higher-income users of all the major social channels.
Become a virtual assistant. Virtual assistants perform a wide range of services for their clients, all of which can be completed online. Depending on the day, they may open and reply to emails, schedule online work or blog posts, write mock-up letters and proposals, or perform data entry. You can look for virtual assistant jobs on sites like UpWork.com and Problogger.net.