When I started blogging in 2014 after having Easton, I wanted to make money but didn’t know how.
I thought that to make money you had to be a total expert on one topic and that the only real way to monetize was to have ads on your website. (Remember Passionfruit Ads anyone?)
Because I had no idea what I was doing I made very little money and eventually gave up because I was getting nowhere.
When I started The Messy Bun Mama in October 2016 my goal was to monetize immediately.
Considering the lack of any knowledge or skill from my previous blogging experience(s), I hit the ground running spending hours on Pinterest reading other’s success stories, finding Facebook groups filled with like-minded individuals, and growing my blog’s social media accounts.
In January of 2017 I started to profit from blogging.
This came in the form of various sponsored posts, becoming an affiliate with Amazon, and other opportunities that I’ve come across along the way.
As time has rolled on, I have continued to profit from my blog. I’ve also been given many awesome opportunities, had the chance to connect with a lot of amazing brands and other influencers, and have gained a lot of knowledge.
Because I’ve been able to make money and receive products from blogging, I’ve been able to learn a lot about working with companies!
For that reason today I want to share some of the lessons I’ve learned from being a profitable blogger to help you on your blogging adventure!
1. Don’t be afraid to reach out to brands you want to work with.
I am a member of several blogging Facebook groups. One of the questions I see at least several times a week in these groups is how to work with brands when you have a small following.
People are often surprised when I say that I’ve made almost $3000 since the beginning of the year solely from working with brands and writing sponsored posts as a new blogger.
Do you want to profit from sponsored posts too?
Then don’t be afraid to reach out to brands first.
When you come across a company, brand, or shop that you love send them an email. Sometimes you’ll be rejected, sometimes you’ll get no response, and sometimes you’ll get a big fat yes!
But you’ll never know until you try.
2. If you’re not happy with something, speak up.
I was recently asked to collaborate with a brand that I was pretty interested in working with. While most of the terms seemed great, the payment seemed really minimal for the amount of work I was being asked to do.
Instead of just declining the offer, I took a risk and asked if we could negotiate terms further. I asked for a reasonable amount and included that while I understood that they were trying to profit, I also needed to profit in order to make this partnership mutually beneficial.
The brand not only understood but was happy to work with what I felt was an appropriate level of pay for what I was doing.
The people behind these brands are not evil, money-sucking monsters who don’t care about anything but profit. Honestly, I have yet to meet one person who’s an absolute jerk.
While they are trying to make money, they also (usually) understand that you are too. You’re putting in work that they would have to outsource otherwise and could potentially end up paying way more for with less of a return. That’s part of why companies like to work with bloggers.
So if you feel like you really should be paid more than they are offering, speak up.
3. Create quality content
You know, this should go without saying but I’m going to say it anyways: CREATE QUALITY CONTENT.
If you’re working with a brand, create quality content.
Use images that fit your brand, but are good quality and well-styled.
This doesn’t mean they can’t be iPhone images. My iPhone takes great pictures! And if that’s all I had access to I could make it work, for sure. But make sure that you take great photos and edit them so they look put together.
And make sure they’re well styled too!
I don’t know about you but when I’m scrolling through Instagram, beautiful and well-thought-out photos catch my attention much more than blurry, no-effort photos.
I would say most people would prefer to see pretty pictures. And most likely, you’ll be asked to post to Instagram.
This doesn’t mean you can’t be real. I’ve seen a lot of new bloggers and Instagrammers discuss that they don’t want to come across as fake, but look, you’re posting an advertisement for a company. It’s not going to be 100% genuine any time you’re being paid.
There’s a level of professionalism that has to be maintained. There are disclosures that have to be shared.
And it has to look good enough to help you and the brand you’re working with.
So just post the pretty, styled photo.
It makes a difference.
4. Share everything on social media.
Again, I feel like this goes without saying but share your collaborations, ads, and products that bring you a profit on social media.
There are so many ways to go about this but I’ll keep it short and sweet for now:
- Post to Facebook and tag the company.
- Share your Facebook post and blog post in groups on Facebook. Bring traffic to yourself and the brand you’re working with.
- Post to Instagram and tag the company.
- Use relevant hashtags to draw in a greater audience. It also helps if you post at the right time of day.
- Post to Twitter and tag the company.
- Post a high quality, pinnable image on Pinterest.
Doing these things will help you. It may not make you any money immediately, but over time you will see the benefit from being an active member of various social networks.
5. Send thank you’s!
This is something I’ve just started to do. *face palm*
Sending thank you cards to brands that you work with (especially if they send you free products) is a great way to build a solid reputation.
This can be important because some brands and companies use agencies that work with more than just that one particular product or brand.
It’s also be an excellent way to build a good relationship with the people you’re working with.
Like I said before, I have yet to meet one person who’s a soul-less, money-obsessed, monster who doesn’t care about anything in the world except profiting from their product. You can tell me I’m wrong all you want, but I won’t believe it. There are so many wonderful small business owners, wonderful big business owners, and wonderful middle-men.
And guess what- they’re real people with feelings who also appreciate nice gestures.
You never know when just being a nice and polite person with a high level of professionalism will come back and bring you a little good karma.
Plus, it’s just a nice thing to do.
When you’re trying to make money blogging starting with sponsored posts can be the way to go.
Don’t be afraid to put yourself out there and go for what you want.
Just pick one company you’ve always wanted to work with and send them an email. Maybe you’ll hear back, maybe you won’t, but either way you’ll have tackled your first obstacle to becomng successful.
It can be really intimidating to get started, but in the end it’s so worth it!