Yesterday, I came across an article on Problogger, Is Advertising Revenue Dead as a Blogging Income Stream? It spiked my own interest because I have never gone the advertising/affiliate route when it came to monetizing my blogs. From day one, I hated ads on my blogs.. and have yet to find an ad network that has provided anything substantial enough to even make a half my rent.
For some bloggers, affiliates and ads do work as substantial business models, however I'm seeing that with fashion bloggers that's more the exception than the rule. Here is some speculation* why this may be the case….
- The fashion industry is slow to adopt digital marketing strategies, many fashion brands are just now dabbling in the social media space
- Fashion bloggers tend to have lower traffic rates than other blog sectors (compared to say… celebrity blogs and news blogs)
- Fashion companies have relatively smaller advertising budgets than other sectors
- Clothing price points are lower than technology price points (this could be debatable, as for my birthday my husband bought me an SLR because it was cheaper than a handbag)
- Fashion is a small niche. While people in the fashion industry say there are too many bloggers… Technorati still hasn't quantified fashion or even clothing as a topic .. unless it goes under ‘personal musings'
While banner ads may be the most obvious model for monetization because that has been the media model for print, television and radio, it's not necessarily how people are growing their businesses online. From doing the series on IFB, Professional Blogger Spotlight, I've come to see that ads play a relatively small part in giving bloggers the income to go full time. Fashion bloggers generally go with the following routes when it comes to monetization:
- Their blog is the ad for their business. From Wendy Brandes to NicoleWarne of Gary Pepper Vintage many bloggers use their blogs to promote their businesses, whether it be their own collections, their vintage finds, their styling and writing services the possibilities are endless when it comes to creating the community around your business.
- Bloggers monetize their influence, not their site real estate. We've all seen blogger collaborations rise in the past few years. Some of the top tier bloggers have been working with brands to create experiences beyond what they could on their own accord. Of course I think this is still being worked out in terms of how lucrative this can be…but it's an interesting development that will certainly evolve over the next few years.
- Blog as a launch pad to a new career. How many of you got a new job because of your blog? This I've heard over and over and over again… people getting hired because they were able to create successful blogs and understood how to use social media to create a community.
I'm sure I'm missing something.. and again, I'm not saying that banner advertising doesn't work… I'm saying it's never worked for me. How are banner ads working for you? Do they provide enough income to live off of?
What is your biggest revenue stream related to your blog?
Image by Shandi-lee
*speculation: the bulleted list is not backed by facts or statistics , but from my own observation