Some of the links in this post may be affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, I will receive an affiliate commission at no extra cost to you. All opinions remain my own.
Oh my, blogging can be hard!
Before starting Mums Make Lists I thought it was just a matter of writing down some quick thoughts and showing off a few photos 🙂
Writing great content every week is demanding. Taking stand out photos even harder!
And that’s before you even get onto Twitter, Pinterest, Facebook, Google+, SEO, mailing lists, link parties and so much more!
And then … god forbid … should you actually want to earn some money for all that hard work, it really gets tricky.
But every month we earn more and more money from advertising so if you’ve just started blogging or thought that ads were way too complicated, it really is worth giving it a go.
And these are some of our key tips to making it as easy as possible to get started.
Different Ways to Make Money
There are all sorts of ways you can earn money from ads including …
- CPM … means cost per thousand impressions. CPM advertising is great because you get paid just for displaying the ad.
- CPC … means cost per click. With CPC advertising you only get paid if a reader actually clicks on an ad displayed on your blog … (don’t click them yourself else you’ll get in trouble!)
- CPA … means cost per action. With CPA advertising you only get paid if a reader actually performs a specific action e.g. registers with a brand after clicking on the ad. You might think CPA sounds too much like hard work but we make most of our money at Mums Make Lists from CPA advertising.
- Display Ad … display ads are banners that come in all different sizes
- Native Advertising … native ads are links that appear within the content on your blog. Native ads can either be placed automatically in your content based on particular words or you can add them manually because you think your readers will love a particular product or service.
- Affiliate Programs … these are operated by brands, often via a third party tracking provider. They allow you to include display banners and native advertising links on your blog. If your readers buy something after clicking one of your links you make a % of the sale. We are normally quite picky about what we link to, it needs to be relevant to our audience.
To make the most money you can from your lovely content, you’ll want to use all these different kinds of ads but that unfortunately is where it gets super tricky.
Keep It Simple
To run the ads on your blog you need to sign up with advertising networks but each network specialises in different ads so you can end up signing up with uncle tom cobbly and all!!
Luci and I worked out we are registered with over 30 networks which is beyond crazy.
Signing up, getting approved as an affiliate by brands, managing the ads, tracking performance and keeping the ads fresh is fine if you’re a big media company but a major headache, if you’re two mums blogging from home in their pyjamas!
We’ve learnt the hard way that it’s key to keep things simple.
So we were really excited to hear from affilinet … one of the big ad networks … about the cool new system they’ve designed to help busy bloggers do just that.
We were lucky enough to get a sneak preview and the big news is that you can now manage all the different ads … banners, native links, CPM, CPC, CPA, affiliates … in just one network!
This is a massive help because it means your precious ad slots can be automatically optimised to make you the most money possible from the campaigns available at any time.
And generally, affilinet seem to have really understood the challenges new and niche bloggers face, and simplified everything they can from sign up and approval by affiliates to that big blogger bugbear of not getting paid until you hit a minimum payment threshold.
affilinet is launching the new system for bloggers on November 6th … if you’ve struggled with blog ads before or been too scared to give it a go, it will definitely be worth checking out.
Don’t Be Afraid to Sell
The great thing about affiliate advertising is that it lets you tell readers all about brands you totally love AND get paid if they go and buy something after reading your blog.
For a long time I have to confess I was a bit embarrassed by my affiliate links. I would smuggle them in surreptitiously and then unsurprisingly they didn’t make me money.
After far too long, I finally went back and looked at all the links I had to products I truly love and rewrote the text to explain very honestly why they were so brilliant for me.
And you know what? I suddenly started making money from them.
If you sign up for affilinet you can easily search for the products you love and retailers who sell them and then really simply add native links for those brands into your content.
When you start selling ads, you won’t make a fortune overnight but if you keep it simple and really shout out about the brands you truly love, you will see the money start to come in.
If you’ve got any questions at all about how to get started selling advertising do leave us a comment or drop us an e-mail, we’d love to help.
*This post was sponsored by affilinet but all opinions are 100% my own.