[This is a part of the Make Money Blogging Series.]
Another strong and very popular way of making money as a blogger is leveraging the many blog networks out there that allow you to publish content for them via their network and/or marketplace of businesses.
In fact, this is very similar to that of Sponsored Posts and Paid Reviews (some would consider it within the same category completely). I’ve separated the two for clarity and ease of understanding.
Practically this can be done on select properties that the networks own themselves or on properties that you manage as well. The bottom line here is that you’re getting paid to post about specific content that is either solicited through the network or offered as an opportunity.
A close cousin to the blog network opportunities is simply direct guest posting on other properties that you do not manage and in exchange for some model of compensation.
As I’ve noted in the previous examples of how bloggers make money there are a number of pros and cons to this, but in this case there’s a far greater amount of the former than the latter.
Take a look:
The reason many bloggers choose to use blog networks is that they can simply begin making money, creating credibility, and even gathering more traffic for their own properties over night!
Here are some more specifics on the many reasons why this is a good place to head:
- You can start earning a few dollars today, as long as you complete the sign ups, get approval, and find a business interested. I’ve seen some new bloggers take on the blog networks with gusto and start earning money within the first month!
- The pay per post can range from as little as a few dollars to a few hundred (or thousands). Obviously your experience, traffic, and size of your blog will impact these values.
- You have a lot of control over which content you publish and which opportunities you will select. You can agree to the advertisers requirements and run with them or if you disagree you simply don’t have to participate.
- You have the flexibility to use this as an income stream as you see fit. Start with one a month and then next month do ten, then next month three – it’s completely up to you.
- It can help establish a lot of credibility really fast, especially if you do guest posting on significant blogs. This is always a plus!
- It gives you an “in” to a much larger community and network. Always a plus as well!
Overall, there are many advantages to blog other people’s needs and guest posting can be a strategic part of any bloggers income stream.
There are some negative aspects of blog networks as well. Here are a few:
- You could lose some credibility with your readers if you do it too much. If they see too many paid posts (or sponsored posts) it could get ugly.
- You may have to provide ugly banners and/or links within your post which you don’t do historically. Be wise and cunning!
- You could give up money long-term if you spend too much time in blog networks. Growing your own blog is what you’re really after, right? Doing some guest posts are certainly strategic but if you spend too much time doing guest posts and paid posts you won’t be spending the precious time on your own property. Managing this well is critical.
- Let’s be honest for a sec; although the pay could be good it won’t be very large at first. You’ll most likely make 5-10 bucks per post as a newer blogger. Low pay is definitely a con, especially if you could be spending time growing your own blog instead.
- It could end up being a commitment that you’re unprepared for. Some blog networks give you a lot of freedom and some do not.
Again, it’s a give and take here with the pros and cons. Choose wisely!
Places to Find Opportunities:
There are three places that you can typically find opportunities to do paid posting:
- Blog Networks
- Blog Posting Boards / Job Boards
- Direct Solicitation
The Blog Networks are simple systems where advertisers and bloggers can come together to create content and get paid. Here are three examples of blog networks.
Sponsored Reviews is one of the oldest and most trusted blog network out there for marketers and advertisers. You should definitely sign up and take a look at what’s inside.
Pay Per Post is another long-standing example of a blog network for paid posting. Check out this easy-to-understand overview video:
Pretty easy to understand, right?
Social Spark is also a good place to check out. Easy to start and sign up.
Blog Post Boards / Job Boards are the next places where you can find opportunities to guest post and/or do paid blog posts.
Here are four very popular examples:
The Jobs at ProBlogger is one of the biggest and best known. You can check it out and even see if you can get a job doing a guest or paid post! Let me know if you do!
Freelance Writing Jobs at Freelance Switch is very popular too. Check that out.
Blogging Pro’s board is pretty active too.
The almighty Craigslist always has good jobs too. If you’re a local person, then this might be a good place to start.
Finally, Direct Solicitation (or invitation) is always available. You’ll see advertisements on people’s blogs asking for Guest Posters to consider contributing content.
A perfect example is The 8BIT Network, which has a number of blogs covering a number of technological niches, and each property allows guest posters to contribute:
Here you can see that one of 8BIT’s properties, ChurchCrunch, allows contributions:
This is one of thousands of examples of blogs that allow guest posters directly.
3 Tips on Writing an Amazing Guest Post
Finally, I’d like to offer three top suggestions to making the very most of your guest posting efforts and blog network opportunities. These are pretty obvious once you think about them but it needs to be said:
- Relevancy is Key – Make sure the posts that you write and contribute are relevant to your audience. If you cover technology religiously and then show up doing a paid post about cloth diapers, well, that’s not going to make sense.
- Exceed Expectations – Make sure that you exceed the expectations of your sponsors and those that are paying the bill. They want 200 words? Make it 400. They want 2 pictures? Make it 4. They want 2 links? Make it 4. Get the picture?
- Honesty is Your Policy – Make sure that you’re honest in your review and copy. If you have a hard time being honest then go back and decline the offer and apologize telling them the situation. They’ll appreciate it and may even ask you to write it anyway.
Have you ever tried this? What has your experience been?
[This is a part of the Make Money Blogging Series.]