When to Start Monetizing your Blog

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Blogging REALLY isn't all about the money, but over the years bloggers have gotten a (mostly-unfair) reputation for taking money for everything, asking for free stuff, and generally acting entitled. Of course, most of us aren't like that, but there is also nothing wrong with getting paid for the work you do on your blog, the relationships you're building online, and the influence you have. We function as a working society by people offering a service to someone who needs it, getting paid in exchange – and Fashion bloggers are no different.

There have already been a lot of great articles written on IFB about monetization, but I've also seen a lot of comments recently asking the question of WHEN to start monetizing your fashion blog. So here goes.

You should start monetizing your blog:

When you have something of value to Provide

I started monetizing my first blog when I realized that I actually had influence and the potential to partner with designers and boutiques for mutual benefit. It took me about 6 months to a year to understand my blog's impact and how I could make money from it.

Now, you can start monetizing from the beginning with Google Adsense if that's your desire, but with regard to working one-on-one with brands nothing takes the place of rowing, building content/influence/etc., and feeling out you're blog's niche and impact for a few months BEFORE you monetize – it's a crucial learning tool.

Once you have a good feel for your brand, your influence, and your “place” in the world of fashion blogs, you will come to monetization with a clearer understanding of your value and what to ask for.

If you're starting to see engagement on your blog and social media, buzz around what you're doing, and you can pick out a clear path towards monetization, you're ready. Make a list of brands/boutiques/designers/etc. you'd like to work with and then start crafting introduction letters. It's helpful if you've given the brand some exposure on your blog already and you can link to that, but always also include your media kit, and a few ideas on how you can work together in your letter – be short, sweet and to the point.

As for what to include in your media kit, there are tons of resources online, including this article at IFB, and here's a link to my media kit as an example. A media kit is easy to put together once you've been blogging for a while, and you have a better feel for what you're adding to the community and the value you can provide to partners. Most importantly, you should include key statistics about your blog and the types of partnerships you offer. You can also include case studies and links to post and social media engagement, change in statistics over time, your editorial calendar, ideas for partnerships, whatever you feel is relevant to showcasing your value to an advertiser.

What to charge for your work is a completely different story and varies from blog to blog – I've always tried to base it on what I'd like to be paid for my time and go from there. Sometimes you just have to choose a number; if you're not getting any advertisers, then it's too high. If your ad space is constantly booked and you have a waiting list, you're not charging enough.

When a brand contacts you

After I wrote my article last week on working for free, I wondered if I might have been a little too positive about it, and feel like I should clarify at least one thing: if a brand contacts YOU asking you to write a post or with an idea for partnership, DO NOT DO IT FOR FREE. (I'm not talking about brands/PR companies sending press releases or basic information to you asking you if you'd write about it, I'm referring to more specific requests)

The brand reached out to you because they believe you have value to them, which they should pay for.

If you're very interested in working with the brand, write them back, sending them your media kit and pricing information. If the brand writes back not willing to pay you, decide what, if anything, it would take for you to do the work anyway (trade, future relationship, etc.) and negotiate from there.

Feel it out; if the brand is big and you know that they DO pay bloggers, but they're trying to get you to do work for free then absolutely don't do it. If the brand is small or new, and they don't have a budget, think of other ways you can work together that will be mutually beneficial. Do not work for no money without getting SOMETHING in exchange that you feel is equitable; perhaps you can ask the brand to post your blog post/photos on their Facebook page, or on their blog – you can work for each other in this way.

In the end, you will know when the time is right to start monetizing. Don't be in a hurry, or feel pressured to do it too soon; enjoy just blogging for a while, creating content, building your community.

When did you monetize your blog?

[Image credit: Shutterstock.com]

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8 Responses

  1. Monika

    Article is on the right time.. 🙂 The two points high brand and new brands/businesses is clear and I do just like you said. I want to suggest third point from my side I think many face it. If brand established well, ask you to promote and offer their high price tools/products to use in free. I got an offer and use their website tool for promotions. Now, I was stuck in between. I can’t ask for money nor I can get out of my words. I always keep my words. So, I decided that I will do free promotion, because of two beneficial things like:
    1. I am getting free tool to use for lifetime and
    2. Company name is establish in it’s field but need more exposure, their promotion will benefit them and me too as they use to promote links on their social media vice-versa.
    As a new person 9 month old in blogging whatelse I can ask for.
    What you say about this?
    In future I will keep ready myself with some tactics as you said in the article.
    Thanks for good articles IFB.

    Reply
  2. Barry Gur

    Great Article, I agree with all been said here and I truly believe that the right time to start monetizing your blog is when I give value to your readers. Readers know to give back! You give them value and they will come back you your site, that’s way you build trust and that can help you a lot when it comes to monetizing your blog.
    the real challenge is when you want start monetizing your new blog without having any value at all. well, in that case you’ll need to be more tricky… you can have a Take a look on my IFB profile to learn how I did it 🙂

    Reply
  3. Ashley Taylor

    This article is interesting. Going from where I’d blogged for over 6 months, to a brand new one, you lose some recognition and contacts. It’s been hard for me to judge where to go with monetisation since I’ve basically started over. I just put a temporary “sponsor” page up on my blog, so that the option’s there if a company wants to work with me (with no pricing info, only contact info), but I’m not going out and recruiting people. What do you think?

    xo Ashley
    thetiniestfirecracker.com

    Reply
  4. choolee

    so much news for monetizing your blog, i really dont know how i should deal with all that information at the moment, would be great if someone yould check out my blog and tell me what i should change, where i should add a ad sense button or so…

    thank you for your feedback 🙂
    http://www.chicchoolee.blogspot.co.at

    Reply
  5. Maria

    Very interesting article & informative. I have been blogging for two years & I am trying to figure out HOW to make some profit financially. I have had many PR companies approach me for posts for their clients. I have done so for some & for others I have not. I have asked for a partnership, affiliate, ad etc but automatically its “we don’t pay for posts”.

    Another Idea I have suggested is ok…how about a Linkedin endorsement? I do feel its a lot of work, effort & time to post for free.

    Is it worth doing for small companies, PR’s firms etc?

    Maria
    http://www.onestyleatatime.com

    Reply
  6. Dani | ResonateLocal

    I’ve been (obsessively) researching blog monetization and, for whatever reason, only now joined IFB. Best decision ever. Not only do I get to read super informative articles, but supportive & helpful comments as well….there’s so much love!

    Reply
  7. Rohit Singh

    Nice tips on blog monetization many newbie bloggers are confused when to start monetizing blog for making money best is to develop some great quality content for some time and increase your blog followers and then you can concentrate on making money

    Reply
  8. Deb Carr

    Good post thank you.

    I am constantly send press releases and items to add to my blog, and it is great for content however brands need to realise how much of my time it takes to posts. I have obliged for a long time however now I charge them a pro rata of my hourly rate (I’m also a social media marketer).

    Reply