How Much Are Your Readers Worth?


So…you want to be a professional fashion blogger? Or maybe you just want to monetize your blog. Either way, the most important thing you can do FIRST, is figure out what your readers are worth.

Just starting a blog, and creating good, consistent content does not a professional blogger make. And you certainly shouldn't expect to get paid from your work until you can prove that you are valuable to the brands you want to work with in terms of providing them a return on their investment on your blog. Initially, an advertiser or brand may be satisfied with just impressions & exposure, but over time, if you're not providing enough clicks and/or conversions (purchases), they will move on.

If you want to monetize your blog, or be a “professional” fashion blogger, your value to brands is mostly dependent on how many loyal readers WHO BUY you can bring to the table. If you expect to get paid for your work, then you must focus on identifying, capturing and engaging those readers. Who are they? What do they like? What do they click on? and most importantly, what do they BUY?

The key here is knowledge. Know your value to brands*. Know what your readers are worth BEFORE you reach out to advertisers and brands to work with. When a company contacts you about a sponsored post or advertising, have a number in mind that reflects both the amount of work you will put into it, and a reasonable expectation of what the brand should get out of it. It's NOT only about YOU and what your time is worth – it's about what your readers are worth to the brand. Shift your focus away from yourself, and towards the brand and your readers.

Start figuring that out, and gather the proof you need that you should receive payment for your efforts:

Affiliate linking


In my experience, this is the best way to prove your blog's worth to a brand you want to work with. Over time (YEARS), you will get very valuable insight into the clicking and shopping behavior of your readers by using affiliate linking effectively and keeping a close eye on your affiliate program dashboards.

When you post an outfit photo and links to what you're wearing or similar items, what gets clicked on the most? And which items lead to the most sales? What's the price range within which your readers tend to buy most? What brands get the most clicks? What types of items get the most sales? Do your readers tend to click on or buy mostly items that are on sale, or discounted? Or do they buy full price?

All of this is extremely valuable information you can provide to brands that you want to work with. Also keep an eye on your conversion rates (#sales divided by #clicks – or #impressions – multiplied by 100) so you can report that to brands. They should know what to expect from campaigns in terms of impressions, clicks and then sales.

Use this information to come up with a sponsored post fee or campaign for a brand based on what your experience tells you they can expect in terms of sales.

Pay per click


I don't have much experience with this, but this is when you get paid every time a reader clicks on a link whether they buy or not. You should either use this method or affiliate linking, NOT both because one will cancel out the other. I would advise trying affiliate linking first, and giving it a good go (not just weeks or months, I'd give it a year), and if it turns out your readers don't buy often enough, then the pay-per-click model may be more lucrative for you.

If the aforementioned is true, you should structure your ad sales and media kit in terms of cost per impression or cost per click (it's really cost per 1,000 impressions or clicks), or figure out a monthly rate that reflects those numbers. Use a plugin like AdRotate for WordPress or just keep an eye on your PPC dashboard to determine what your average CTR is and which types of products or graphics perform best. Your focus, then, when approaching brands should be more on your traffic and reader's engagement in terms of click-throughs than actual sales.

*Do not sell yourself short; KNOW your value to brands and ask for what you are worth. But the truth is, that not everyone who has a blog should get paid just for creating content, or for “showing up.” There's more to it than that, and you'll need to work very hard, building your value as a blogger over time. Do not expect to start asking for money from day 1. Just don't.

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10 Responses

  1. Marlena

    Thank you again for the informative article. I think it is great if us bloggers are able to make some money from advertising but I think we really should do it for the love of blogging and not material reasons. At least I do not focus on the money making potential and my blog is ad free and I plan to keep it that way for a while. Besides, I suspect only the top 5% of bloggers can make income blogging; and the rest of us would be lucky if it covered the hosting costs 🙂 I might be wrong here, what do you think?

    • Munachi

      The good news is your assumptions are wrong. A lot of bloggers do make a decent amount of money from their blogs on a regular basis. You’d be surprised how many “average”/mid-tier bloggers make enough to support themselves. Even more so, the bloggers who are able to provide at least a part time income from their blogs. Affiliate links and sponsored posts are usually the most popular and lucrative monetizing strategies among fashion bloggers but native ads can also be useful for a bit of spare cash. Even if you charged $10 for a sidebar ad and had 5-7 advertisers on your blog each month that would be an extra $50-$70 a month for you to simply place an ad/widget on the first day of the month and leave it there until the last day. That definitely won’t make you a full time blogger but that’ll cover more than your hosting costs for a very small amount of work.

      • BikePretty

        The idea that style blogs shouldn’t make any money is damaging, especially when you consider it in the context of how “women’s work” is undervalued.

      • Marlena

        Oh I see, thank you so much for your valuable information 🙂 how many unique readers per month does a blogger need to make some income from the ads if I may ask..? Thank you x

  2. Onianwah

    Very informative. Answered a lot of the questions I had about Affiliate marketing, how to calculate one’s commission and how to charge Clients.
    Thanks a lot.
    Lagos, Nigeria

  3. Anastasia

    Great article, the only thing I guess it’s a lot easier to work with brands after having some success with affiliate links – both for determining your value and getting real numbers. At least,this is my plan. For now I prefer to decline all the “lucrative” offers to write a promo post for 20$ or so, instead of focusing more on affiliate programs. Plan to try PPC program too, but unfortunately the one I liked (ShopSence) are not available for my country….

    • BikePretty

      If the Amazon Affiliate program is available in your country, I highly recommend it. Also, $20 seems really low for a blog of your caliber with that level of reader engagement. I’d expect you to be getting offers for around $50.

  4. Rachel

    I wholeheartedly disagree with the part of this post that tells you not to use both affiliate and pay per click, though the rest of this post is helpful, so thanks for that!

    Using both, if you actually take that time to analyse your readers as described at the beginning, and their behaviour can prove more effective. Besides from how some brands are available on one not the other (so nothing slips through the net), knowing where people buy help maximise revenue. For example, I know on my blog if I link to something in the main body of the text people are likely to click on it and not buy based off of previous behaviour, so I’d use pay per click. In the details section of the post people are more likely to buy, then a straight out affiliate link there. On Pinerest my followers tend to buy pricy items so affiliates, but if I want to pin cheaper items I use pay per click, as I don’t get to lose out on the clicks that won’t convert. Using both is all about filling the gaps, and not missing out on money when you know you could make it, just without a likely sale.

  5. Bua

    I absolutely agree with this topic advice. Do not expect to get paid from day 1 !! go girl!!!