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:
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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