Business of Blogging: How Three Successful Bloggers Monetize Their Blogs

This post is by Joshua Linham of Lookbooks.com

 

Aready Pretty, Bag Snob and The Curvy Fashionista stand as shining examples of how a blogger brand can be leveraged to create monetization opportunities. The following article discusses how these three entered the business side of blogging and the unique approaches each has capitalized upon.

 

 

Sally McGraw, Already Pretty

Sally McGraw runs Already Pretty, and she’s clearly an expert when it comes to translating her blog into a successful business. As with many pro bloggers, Sally found there was a legit learning curve to blog monetization.


“My first steps towards monetization were graphic and text link ads. It never occurred to me to pursue ads or other revenue streams on my own, but once the opportunities cropped up, I felt like I could embrace them.”

 

With a steady ad revenue source under her belt, the Already Pretty founder found herself free to explore more creative monetization strategies.

 

“After about a year of blogging, I began to offer in-person and online style consults. I don’t promote these services heavily because both types of consults are incredibly time-consuming and labor-intensive. Fun, but exhausting.”


Sally continued dabbling in new business arenas as her blog brand expanded. Though she had a few reservations initially, she soon learned the proper approach to affiliate marketing.


“I was hesitant to implement affiliate links for a long time because I felt it was dishonest to make money off of the actions that readers were taking based on my recommendations. But a fellow blogger nudged me into it, showing me the importance of transparency and disclaimers. My disclosure policy is posted prominently on every page, and all posts that contain affiliate links include a disclaimer stating that actions taken through posted links may generate revenue for me. My readership has been incredibly supportive of this move.


Kelly Cook + Tina Craig, Bag Snob

The founders of Bag Snob strive to keep the pulse of their readers’ needs, and it’s really paid off (literally). Their monetization strategy offers their readers a chance to do what they love most!

 

“The biggest portion of our income comes from affiliate sales, our readers love to shop! We also have banners that we sell directly to advertisers or through Blog Ads, Google and we’re a part of the Glam Network.”

 

Marie Denee, The Curvy Fashionista

The Curvy Fashionista’s Marie Denee is a pro when it comes to the business side of blogging. She taught herself the business basics and soon secured affiliate revenue sources.

 

“I first started out with Google Ads, and as I did research and educated myself, I started joining selected affiliate companies as well as finding out which brands that I loved had affiliate programs. In addition to affiliate companies, I researched some ad revenue sharing programs: Sugar, BlogHer, and a few others. After trial and error, I have joined an ad revenue sharing program that allowed me to incorporate my own affiliates!”


The next step for Marie was learning how she could turn her blogger brand into a reader-approved sales tool. As she notes here, determining rates can be one of the most challenging parts of ad sales.


“Just a few months ago, I started offering advertising options for sale on my site. This decision was a hard one, as figuring out what to charge, what spaces I wanted to give up, and which advertisers I was willing to work with was a feat!”


For more information on how to monetize your blog, tune in to the Evolving Influence LiveStream, February 10th!

 

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About The Author

Ana is a Travel Blogger and Blogging Coach at The City Sidewalks. With her expertise in online marketing, she's able to help other bloggers, creatives, and entrepreneurs grow their businesses so that they can achieve financial freedom to travel the world on their own terms.

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27 Responses

  1. Kb

    This is a great perspective on the matter, I’ve noticed a lot of bloggers who use affiliate links within posts without disclosure which seems somewhat wrong. Especially when there are entire post on the matter seemingly posted purely to generate revenue. However I have considered such schemes as I often link to shops and it seems to make sense, have checked out the disclosure page mentioned and it seems like a great idea. Looking forward to the livestream!

    Reply
  2. Jazz

    Great post! Extremely helpful! I’m debating on whether to join an affliate program with a site i’ve been buying alot from lately.

    Reply
  3. Jazz

    Great post! Extremely helpful! I’m debating on whether to join an affiliate program with a site i’ve been buying a lot from lately.

    Reply
  4. Bella Q

    A little deja vu here, it seems all these commendable bloggers have been spotlighted already on IFB. But no matter, their savvy is an inspiration, and bears repeating?

    Reply
  5. Christy

    Great insight, I actually met with a friend who is a social media manager by trade to brainstorm ways to monetize. Even though Slow Southern Style isn’t at the level of success that these ladies have achieved I want to set up a good business model now so when fame and fortune hit (totally kidding) I’ll already have a good foundation.

    Reply
  6. Matt

    Hi

    Thanks for a great post. It’s an interesting issue – the need for disclosure is key. It demonstrates a certain amount of honesty and integrity that readers really appreciate.

    We won’t be going down this route for now, but it might be something to consider into the future.

    Pepperberry

    Reply
  7. Joanne Faith

    I always find it interesting learning how other bloggers monetize their blogs. I am not at that stage yet, but I am full of ideas for when I feel that the time is right! But readers & the old saying ‘staying true to yourself and your blog’ must always apply!

    Reply
  8. natassja

    Very goood advice, Im a new blogger I just started my blog last month and even though it is a little too early this is still wonderful advice

    Reply
  9. Rachel

    Really good advice I was thinking of affiliate links and still am – my plan was in 12 months look to ads down one side of my page – I have been presented with an ad opportunity I really want to take so am frantically trying to compile a media kit, have my web designer helping me and am now in the unknown and rather scary teritory of what to charge.

    I have no idea what to start offering and what to charge there doesnt seem to be any examples anywhere!!!

    Any help anyone

    Reply
  10. Josephine

    Hi dear bloggers, I have a hot suggestion for you… Join us at Fashion Traffic, a network of bloggers and fashion advertisers devoted solely to fashion! http://www.fashiontraffic.com

    We provide bloggers with photos ready to grab from our site to your blog.

    It’s doing what you love: blogging about fashion, and making some money while you’re at it.

    Reply