When I first starting blogging in October, 2012, it was most definitely just a BLOBBY. (That’s my word for Blog as a Hobby. Let’s make it a thing… 2015 Oxford Dictionary, here we come!) I have this really overactive brain and when I have an idea, I feel compelled to share it with anyone who will listen. In order to spare my immediate entourage, and thanks to a ridiculously easygoing newborn, I started BLOBBYING in my spare time. (Yes, it shall also be a verb.)
I got addicted to blogging really fast. My first blog posts were like novels [disclosure: this one is shaping up to be a novela], and I am so grateful for anyone (mostly friends and family) who trudged through my ramblings. I dabbled in reselling second-hand cloth diapers as a potential WAHM business, while still maintaining my blobby. I learned a ton about retail and about cloth diapers during this 10-month-long experiment, but when I took a bit of a selling hiatus over Christmas and found myself looking forward to updating my blog/blob and dreading the sound of my vacuum sealer… I knew it was time to see if my blobby could really be a viable source of income.
Prior to having Cub, I was a teacher, and I knew that I didn’t have the skills nor the desire to balance a full-time teaching position and Mommyhood. In fact, I got my Diploma in Translation with a dream of working from home in the front of my mind. The very new possibility that I can work from home (thus saving on commuting and being my own boss) doing a combination of tasks: blogging, translating and running social media accounts for other companies is very exciting indeed!
In the interest of transparency, and because I think it’s fun to give my readers a “behind the scenes” look at what Mommy Blogging is all about, I wanted to share with you how I am compensated for the different posts that I write. If you’re thinking about starting your own blog, you might also learn a few things from my experience! Know that I will always disclose when I am compensated in any way for something I put on my blog or my social media accounts.
My ultimate objective is to be able to write about all the fun topics that I dream up in the middle of the night and that I know you all love the best, while still earning a modest income!
Affiliate links are the main way that I earn income from my blog. In fact, they were the ONLY way I was earning cash up until very recently. Affiliate Links are very simple: companies (say Well.ca or Amazon, or even smaller shops like Lagoon Baby) allow bloggers to sign up for an affiliate account. They issue me a unique affiliate ID, which I can use to link my readers to products. Through the magic of the interwebs, if you click on an affiliate link and proceed to make a purchase (in some cases, even if this purchase is made a few days after), the company gives me a commission on the sale. The commission is usually between 5-8%. On average, I earn $50 per month in affiliate commissions, but I am working hard to increase that amount! For the month of June, with my increased reach and my very generous followers who purposely use my affiliate links, I had my highest earnings ever at almost $130. You will always know if my posts contain affiliate links! You can see all my affiliate links listed here.
I don’t actually earn money from giveaways, though I have decided to charge a nominal fee to companies who want to hire me to organize a large giveaway, as it is time consuming. The pay off for running giveaways is two-fold: 1) It’s really fun to give stuff away & 2) I increase my fan base since to enter the giveaway, readers follow my social media accounts and visit my blog. (Clicks on my blog increase my visits, and it is, ultimately, how many visits my blog receives each month that will ultimately dictate what I can charge for advertisements on my blog, which is my goal!)
My dream of being a “big enough” blogger to be hired for sponsored posts has recently become a reality with a post I wrote last week to promote a Telus initiative. (The post made my best friend cry… so that’s priceless!) Sponsored posts mean I am getting paid to write about a particular product or service. I am a member of communities like Mom Central, which sends out sponsored post opportunities for which I can apply.
An advertorial is a post meant to advertise a given product or service, and it might be sponsored, or it might be that I received a product free in exchange for writing the post. I include this term here because you’ll specifically see it when I review a product via a service called Tomoson. Tomoson is like a marketplace where bloggers and companies meet. Companies post offers of items they would like reviewed, and bloggers apply to review them. So far, my posts through Tomoson have all be in exchange for a free product. I’ve gotten kind of addicted to these free products, most of which have been great (and if not great, hilarious), but I’ve come to realize that getting a $10 product for free when it takes me a good two hours to test it and write up a review might not be my best money-making strategy!
Free for Review
I’ve already written about how “free for review” products aren’t really free for me, since I truly do work hard to produce a thorough review, even of the smallest of items! While receiving items I need and want to try might not be money in my pocket, I do consider it money saved since, ideally, these are products I would have otherwise bought myself. I keep track of all of my products received in exchange for a review and count them as income. I always specify when I am reviewing an item that I have received for the purpose of a review versus an item I purchased myself. I strive to evaluate all the products I review from A to Z, considering the pros and the cons of a given item to help my readers decide if it will work for them or not. I have yet to receive a product that I cannot in good conscience recommend to anyone… but I’ll cross that bridge when I come to it!
I’m lumping a couple of things under the heading of “Ambassador Programs.” There are a lot of brands out there that hire bloggers to be their ambassadors. By “hire” I mean compensate in some way, usually in free products. AppleCheeks has a very awesome ambassador program through which its lucky mamas receive new release diapers in advance and get to help build suspense and buzz around new releases. Although not referred to as an Ambassador Program, I work with Canadian label makers, Lovable Labels to promote different products and specials each week. I am compensated with a free product (I’ve got a lot of labels, so now I’m starting to order ones for my friends) in exchange for my post.
If there’s a light at the end of my blogging tunnel, it’s the ability to sell advertising space on my blog. All of my work, including hours I do not wish to count and over 200 blog posts, has led to a respectable amount of unique monthly visits and a Google Page Rank of 1. Okay, 1 might not seem high, but let me tell you that when I learned that the lowest you could be was 0, my “1” became pretty darn awesome. I do not want to cover my page in ads, but I do plan to sell adspace for the right-hand column. I don’t quite know where to begin as far as finding potential advertisers is concerned, but I’ll get there. One thing that is very important to me with regards to selling ad space is that I will not display ads for companies whose practices I do not support. (ie: ShopDiaper)
My blog will not allow my husband to retire, but at the very least all of the unpaid hours I’ve put into it are starting to pay off. I still rely on translation and social media contracts as my main income-earning activities. I don’t do it all, either, while full-time Mommy-ing. Cub goes to a spectacular day care on a part time basis, and this has done wonders for my work-life balance. (And Cub undeniably adores it!)
Want to be a Mommy Blogger?
I have yet to generate more than $200 in a given month directly from my blog. So no, don’t quit your day job! If you’re looking to go from BLOBBY to BUSINESS, I have a Pinterest Board of articles that have helped me. I have learned most of what I know from trial and error, and from Facebook Mommy Blogger communities where generous, more experienced bloggers have been willing teachers!
Thank you to all of my readers for supporting what I do, and thanks for humoring my sponsored posts, which I hope will increase: know that they are there so that I can keep writing my irreverent, TMI-style rants about products designed to contain bodily fluids!
Do you have a favourite Maman Loup post?