How to raise funds and invest in yourself as a blogger
How to raise funds and invest in yourself as a blogger
Kelly from Be a Fun Mum has expanded her answer on the story about seeking sponsorships here.
I decided not to pursue sponsorship for conferences in the past. The main reason for this is I want to find my own ground, concentrate on learning and growing, and connecting with brands and other bloggers before I carry a brand with me. Sponsorship for conferences in the future is not out of the question but it’s something I need to look at carefully. I’m very much my own person and like doing things in my own way without too many restrictions. When (or if) I do approach a brand for sponsorship, I would do so by email first to gauge interest, and then take it from there.
That said, I have never been out of pocket when attending conferences. There are other methods to raise funds without the need to approach, and represent brands specifically.
How to raise funds and invest in yourself as a blogger:
1. Paid Links:
Many companies want to build their search engine optimisation (SEO) capabilities and are willing to pay for a link somewhere on your blog. It’s always a good idea to keep links in line with your blog content. Recently, a UK Bingo company offered to pay me $100 up front for a link somewhere on my blog. I said no.
Links don’t need to be overtly obvious. I’ll let you in on a little secret: You can create a listing page somewhere in your blog that can attract (or you can offer) paid links. This doesn’t affect the readers or aesthetics of your blog. For example, at the end of my Shoe Blog Roll I have a link to a page listing where to buy designer shoes in Australia. I originally compiled this list because I couldn’t find this information online. I have a few paid links on this page. Companies usually offer anywhere from $30 to $100 for a link. Easy money. You may like to compile a list of where to buy online toys, designer fashion or anything else you are interested in. It pays to be a little clever with your blog resources.
Another option (that I don’t use) is Google AdSense. You can place add links on your blog and Google uses keywords to place relevant ads in the space you specify.
2. Banner advertising
This is the most obvious way to receive monetary gain from your blog. If you put the offer out there on your social media channels, you’ll probably get some bites without having to approach anyone specifically. Just be realistic about how much to charge for banner space. If you’re not sure where to start, read this great post by Nicole Avery: Aussie Mummy Bloggers Advertising Rates.
There are also blogger agencies that offer banner advertising. For example: BlogHer and Nuffnang and also affiliate marketing agents like Clix Galore.
3. Sponsored posts
Sponsored posts are a great way to invest in your blog. I don’t particularly enjoy doing sponsored posts but it does give me an opportunity to earn some cash. I space sponsored posts out between great content and my readers don’t seem to mind. Plus, any sponsored posts I accept are always in line with my content. In my experience, readers respond well to sponsored posts if I explain why I do them in a disclosure statement. Be an open book, I say. Nuffnang offers sponsored posts, or you can suggest this opportunity to potential advertisers.
4. Freelance writing
I have supported myself to many events through the money I have earned through freelance writing. If you do want to start looking for freelance work, I would start with ProBlogger’s Job Board Page.
5. Just ask your readers
I haven’t ventured into this territory, but I know many bloggers who have successfully. The idea is to add a PayPal Donation Button to your sidebar asking for support for a certain event. Readers genuinely want to give back when they appreciate your blog. I had a lovely reader send me a coffee voucher because she just wanted to give back in a small way.
6. Speaking & Workshops
Companies and individuals are hungry for social media training. Many bloggers do it like breathing! Don’t underestimate the knowledge you have gained from blogging. It’s worth something! A friend and I are running a few classes at a local library on blogging and Twitter. There is some organisations involved but I see this as an opportunity to stretch myself as a blogger which may lead to opportunities in the future.
I haven’t been brave enough to write and market my own eBook (yet) but the bloggers behind Childhood101, Planning With Kids and Fills in the Hills have produced wonderful eBooks. Kat from The Organised Housewife hasn’t created an eBook but has useful printable for sale on her blog.
What has eBay got to do with blogging? Well nothing really, but if you do need some funds, it’s an easy way to get it. There’s always things around the house they you may not need that will sell on eBay.
Now, all this might sound like a lot of fuss but it’s good to know what options you have as a blogger to gain monetary compensation from your blog without feeling like you’re selling yourself out. The idea is to peruse what options you’re most comfortable with. Personally, I like to work this way because it gives me the freedom to use the money the way I like. To me, it’s investing in myself, and my blog.
Whether you approach a company for support for a particular event, or build your own resources, it takes work. The best way to position your blog for support and financial opportunities is to believe in who you are, write great original content that reflects that belief, build (and type my paper love) your readership, and everything else will flow from there. That’s my truth. I would rather be called weird than boring. I judge myself harshly but see the best in those around me. I love being with people but am comfortable with my own company. I’m never bored. I am Kelly. You’ll find me loving the moment with my kids on my blog, Be A Fun Mum. The Be A Fun Mum blog is about reclaiming the joy of motherhood in a fast-paced world.