How to Make Money Blogging :: Companies I Love

Some partnerships have grown into great friendships.  With Sew Katie Jean.

Last week I shared about time versus money and considering what is worth your time and your blog's reputation in order to make money blogging.  Today I wanted to share with you the companies that I work with and why I think they are valuable to bloggers.  They are listed in order from highest to lowest paying gigs {for me personally--with #1 being the highest}, though this could vary by blog.

1. BlogHer

BlogHer specializes in working with women bloggers and their website provides posts written by women within the BlogHer community.  When working with them you can choose to have running advertisement on your sidebar and to write paid reviews/giveaways.  I do both and have had a wonderful experience with them.  I get paid for advertisement on my sidebar based on page views and clicks on the links.  Obviously, the bigger blog you have, the more page views you get and the more money you make.

If you were to sign up to work with BlogHer right now, it will tell you that you have to be on a waiting list.  It said this when I signed up three years ago.  I cannot guarantee anything to you, but if you are interested you should put yourself on the waiting list. 

I do not get paid a lot for my sidebar advertisement but I get paid the most compared to all the others.  Plus there is no other commitment on my part but to run the ads. 

Paid reviews through BlogHer pay very well but as more bigger bloggers are working with BlogHer, I find my opportunities for these are fewer.  Though when they do come along, they are great.  These usually require you to review an item and host a giveaway.  

You can see an example of a post here.

Sometimes I get my mom involved. :)

2. Amazon Associates

Amazon provides an affiliate program called Amazon Associates where you link items you mention in your blog to the item on Amazon.  When people click over and/or buy something, you get a percentage cut.  Besides the step of linking the item, this is a really easy way to make money. 

I personally shop at Amazon a lot and so I am comfortable with linking to them.  I never write posts just to link items, rather I link items I am already blogging about.  Amazon is a great place to find almost everything you need to know about the item like how much it costs, a summary of a book, and what the item looks like.  So I figure this link is helpful to a reader who would like to find out more about the item and possibly purchase it.

You can see an example of a post with affiliate links here.

3. Personal Advertisers

Personal advertisers are people or companies I work with one on one to host buttons on my sidebar.  The button includes a logo and links to their website.  By having personal advertisers on your blog you get to decided what that relationship looks like and how much you want to charge.  I offer a couple of options that fit with the amount of time I have to dedicate to each sponsor.  Having independent advertisers requires a bit more work on your part but can be the stepping stone to great online relationships and successful advertisement on your blog. 

You can see an example here.

4. Google AdSense

Goggle AdSense is advertisement you can place on your sidebar, above or below your blog, within blog posts, and in your blog's feed {seen by people who read in Google Reader or email subscribers}.  I make the smallest amount of money from them and they only pay you every $ I personally do not get paid very often!  But it is an easy way to put advertisement on your blog without any other commitment and you can place as many on your blog as you would like. 

I sometimes trade advertising for free product. Polka Dot Bungalow camera strap.

5. Other Affiliate Programs

There are a variety of other affiliate programs out there put on by independent companies.  The way affiliate programs work is you are set up with a link that can be used in text within a blog post or a button to put on your sidebar.  Depending on the company, you get paid a cut when someone clicks over or buys their product.  I have participated in a few of these for items that I personally own and think readers could possibly buy. The more you promote, the more likely an item is to sell so you control how involved you want to be.  I will only write one or two posts and possibly host a sidebar button but besides that these are not enough money makers for me to put in more time and effort.

An example can be found here.

Other companies worth mentioning:

The SITS girls just launched their own paid advertisement gig a few weeks ago.  I was able to quickly jump on the bandwagon and was a part of their very first post.  The thing I like about this opportunity is that it is open to everyone {sign up and everyone has equal access to the opportunity no matter your blog size} and has very simple requirements {I had to share a video and post on the topic}.  They pay you between $30-$50 per post in Amazon gift cards.  It is not cold hard cash, but if you are like me and shop on Amazon a lot, it is the next best thing.  But I realize not everyone would be thrilled about this.  The one downfall?  They only have a certain amount of openings per post and since they already have a VERY large community of bloggers, you have to be quick at jumping on these opportunities.  Because of my association with BlogHer, certain sponsored posts have to be on a separate ad free page {so that it does not compete with the advertisement on my sidebar} and the SITS girls were okay with the post being on a separate link from my main blog page.  I personally like this because as readers, you get to choose to click over if you want to read but it doesn't appear like I am "spamming" my blog with tons of advertisement.  Of course, the sponsored post probably gets less clicks over but I think holding on to the trust of my readership is more important than gaining more sponsored posts. 

You can see my post here.

I recently also checked out Business 2 Blogger and Social Spark.  They both were mediocre in my opinion and required heavily on the size of your blog and stats.  On Social Spark you get to choose how much you work for and advertisers choose if they want to work for you.  It offers a suggestion based on your stats, and lets just say I found their suggestion highly offensive.  It was easy to see that this was most definitely not worth my time.  Business 2 Blogger also had strict requirements without very good pay out.  I personally found working with either of these companies would be considered a "pay cut" unless my blog was super huge.
If you make money blogging, what have you found success with?  As a reader, what do you like and dislike about blog advertisement?