How to Earn Extra Money Blogging Online
I’ve gone back and forth on whether or not I should write about how to earn money blogging online for ages, but since I pride myself on transparency when it comes to how I earn money for blogging and I’ve been doing this for awhile now and like to think I’ve found some thing that work (and some that don’t), I thought it was finally time to do it.
As you may know, I use affiliate links, banner ads, and occasionally do sponsored posts on the blog. It didn’t start out that way; I originally blogged all by my lonesome and made no money. I’m happy to blog for free – it’s my hobby and one I thoroughly enjoy, but there came a point where I was doing a lot more blogging and would like to see some income from it, if not for profit, then at least to cover expenses for giveaways, hosting, and blog designs.
This led me to look for posts on affiliate networks, ad networks, and publisher networks and I’ve had some success. I’m not a top blogger at the moment, but I have made some money on my blog and I’ve done a lot of research into what works and what doesn’t. I hope this helps any of you beginner bloggers or even mid bloggers who just want to find better networks that are the easiest to use and actually help you make extra income whether it’s to feed your beauty addiction (been there) or supply you with extra income to help support your family.
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What Are Affiliate, Banner Ads and Sponsored Posts?
These networks include ones for affiliate links where you can find brands you already blog about and use customized links that will earn you a commission should someone click through your link and purchase something. Other networks include ad networks – the same concept as affiliate only with banners – and also publisher networks which focus more on sponsored content.
If you don’t already know, sponsored content is where a company or brand compensates you to write about their products and/or a specific topic pertaining to their market. Some people hate sponsored posts. Some people do them all the time. Personally, I’ve had bad experiences in the past with them, but I’ve experienced good things as well. It’s just a matter of weeding through the shady companies and representing only the brands and companies that you actually like. Don’t sell your soul (or your blog) for a dollar; it’s just not worth it.
Examples of sponsored posts I’ve done: Petal and Post, theCream, and Royal Canin. Per FTC disclosures (and for my own good conscience), I always share when a post is sponsored and when it includes affiliate links or banner ads.
One thing you need to know about these networks is that a LOT of them are utter crap. A lot of them are just time sinks in which you will put a ton of effort with very little return so I’ve come up with a list of what I think are the best networks online for you to earn money from. These are from my own personal experience and ones I think will benefit you the most in the long run so I hope you find this helpful!
The Best Affiliate, Ad and Publisher Networks You Should Join
Clever Girls is, by far, my favorite network! They focus on sponsored content so no banners or affiliate links to bother with. Once accepted into the network, you can apply for any open sponsored campaigns they have available. If selected, many of the campaigns often pay anywhere from $100-$500 for blogging, doing a sponsored video, or a combination of doing a blog post and promoting it on your social channels.
They also offer something called content seeding which involves promoting a sale, campaign or deal for a specific brand via social media exclusively. Often times, they usually take place on facebook or twitter and most of these pay around $40 or so. Sponsored content opportunities are often from big brands across the board, but many of them include lifestyle brands, home brands, electronic brands, beauty brands, and even video games. There is something to fit every blogger’s niche.
The only downside to this network is that you have to wait 60 days or so before you get paid, but all payments are processed via Paypal and no paypal fees are deducted from the payment so you get the full amount.
Reward Style is my favorite affiliate network because it’s so seamless. You will find (if you haven’t already) that many affiliate networks require you to sign up with each brand individually and go to their specific brand page in the affiliate manager in order to get links. For RewardStyle, once you sign up and are accepted, all of their brands are at your disposal. This is the perfect affiliate network for anyone because they have TONS of brands within their network! Anyone from home brands to fashion brands, shops, department stores, and more.
The payout threshold for this network is $100 and they pay out 2 times per month so as long as you have $100+ each time, you’ll receive a payout via paypal. The only downside to this network is commissions can take up to 120 days to clear so your payment threshold might take a few months before you see any of the money you make. Also, the only way to get into this network is by referral so If you want a referral, let me know!
Link Share is my second favorite affiliate network for the simple reason that it’s easy to use and find what you’re looking for (not easy on affiliate networks – many are SO hard to navigate!) and the payout threshold is lower than most affiliate networks. For affiliate networks, you have to make a certain dollar amount before they will cash you out. My LS account is set to $20 so I can cash out pretty often.
This is a pretty recent discovery of mine, but I really like it! It’s a lot like Link Share, but a little less user-friendly. I mainly like it because it offers more brands to work with like Beauty Bay which is a site I’ve loved for ages and now I can finally get a commission on the products I share from their site.
I haven’t made any money from this site, but I really love it anyway. One of the big reasons is that it helps you create a profile page that showcases your pageviews, unique views, followers across social channels, etc. all on your profile page. It’s really helpful to have everything in one place so even though I haven’t gotten any leads from this yet, I keep it just for the pure fact that the profile page helps me out. The actual function of Fohr Card is you can write to large beauty and fashion brands like Kate Spade and Clinique with pitches for sponsored posts, partnerships, etc. Nobody ever writes me back, but you can try your luck haha.
Collectively works a little different than all the other sites in that, you sign up and once you are accepted, you don’t really visit their site. They just email you when you qualify for a sponsored campaign, you fill out a survey with questions about your blog and following, and then you get contacted if you’re selected for the campaign. It’s very convenient to use and requires little effort on your part once you sign up.
This is a brand new one for me as I was recently accepted. They do a mixture of banner ads and also sponsored content. So far, I really like the layout as it’s super user-friendly and it’s one of the few networks that, just by being a part of, will help increase your influence and also connects you with brands and opportunities you wouldn’t otherwise have.
List of Networks I Tried, but Didn’t Like:
IZEA, Linqia, Ebay Enterprise Affiliate Network, Brandcrumb, and others I forgot I tried because I abandoned them right after creating them LOL. Feel free to ask me specific questions and I can talk about my experiences because it’s too much to mention in this post!
Single Affiliate Programs I Love:
Petal and Post have a variety of eco luxury brands for natural beauty, baby, home, and living. They carry brands like Studio78 Paris, Lily Lolo Cosmetics, Kahina Giving Beauty, Odacité, Lite + Cycle, Murchison Home, and many others. One thing I love about Petal and Post’s affiliate program is that they offer coupon codes for affiliates to use which you can share with readers for added incentive. They also do a TON of research into ensuring their products are natural, eco-friendly, and kindly/ethically made which is really important to me. They carry a bunch of brands I already know and love which makes it a no-brainer when promoting the shop.
MAHALO is one of my favorite skincare brands around so it was second-nature for me to promote their products and be a part of their affiliate network. I’d already be sharing their products anyway because their skincare brand is amazing. Look for brands you already know and love; they probably have an affiliate network too!
True Botanicals (formerly True Nature Botanicals) is another one of my favorite skincare brands. Again, it’s super EASY for me to promote them because I’d already be talking about them anyway. Their line of luxury skincare is incredible and I’m happy to share them with readers because I personally use them all the time.
The Choosy Chick is another wonderful green beauty shop that I love! They are wonderful because they offer really unique brands that are safe for your entire family. They do so much research on the brands that they sell so you can shop without worrying about whether it’s natural, safe, or effective. They’ve done all the work for you already!