In all the years I’ve been blogging the problem people come to me with most often is actually making money. They don’t want to be salesy. They don’t want to offend people. They don’t want people to think they’re “just in it for the money”… and so they end up not making a dime. Which is a bummer, because blogging can be a really lucrative business, and you don’t have to lose friends and family in the process.
I’ve decided to start a monthly feature where I share some tips and ideas on how to monetize your blog, and your business in a way that will have people looking forward to your next post (whether on your blog, or social media).
Are you ready to make 2016 your most profitable (and fun, and feel good) year yet?
The key to this strategy, is you. Your mindset, your mentality. You’ve got to do some thinking and maybe even a little meditating on how you feel about making money, and the role of money in your life. If you have negative thoughts and/or associations with money you will find it very difficult, if not impossible to follow through with these suggestions, or any suggestions, and make money online. It’s a scary truth, but a truth nonetheless.
You need to get OK with money. You need to get ok with sharing things with other people that you’ve used and loved, that they can buy. That’s really all there is to it. I know it sounds simple, but take a moment and think about this. The last time you thought about sharing a link to something people could buy on your blog or facebook…. how did you feel? What did you think? Were you concerned about what people might think? Where you nervous? Did you get anxious? Or was it a calm moment? Were you excited your friends and readers would find out about this thing you’ve used and loved? It’s a totally different energy, and even through the internet people feel it. So, your first job is to get ok with money, making it, having it, and your readers and friends being part of that process. 🙂
Once you’ve done that… it’s really pretty simple. Especially this month! This is the holiday month where people buy stuff… it’s logical that you share things your friends and readers might like or want to buy. Think about the things you’ve bought recently, or the things you plan to buy for the holidays. Make a list. Find the affiliate program associated with this item. Sign up to the affiliate program (if you aren’t already). You can find almost anything from any store has an affiliate program somewhere online. Many stores work together within an affiliate network like Commission Junction or ShareaSale. All you need to do is set up an account with the network, then find the store, or items you’d like to share, and apply to that specific affiliate program. You only have to do it once, then you can promote anything from that store now and in the future.
Of course, there’s always Amazon. You can find just about anything (and everything) there. But, while it may be a one stop shop it’s important to look around for more specific programs too. It’s likely you’ll find a higher commission at a specific, smaller affiliate program.
Here’s an example. I recently bought Times Tales for my kiddo. (She’s been having trouble memorizing the times tables). I saw a review on a blog and decided to buy. The blogger mentioned it was cheaper to buy through Educents than to get the product on Amazon. I, of course, checked both places, and she was right, it was about 10 dollars cheaper through Educents.
Once we got the product and started using it, I absolutely LOVED it. I was thrilled she was able to memorize the times tables easily, effortlessly, without tears or fighting! (I’ll be honest I almost thought it was a lost cause, and we’d be fighting about multiplication tables through high school lol). I loved this product so much I wanted to share it with my readers, and my friends on social media.
*** And here’s what makes this strategy work***
My readers, and social media friends are a LOT LIKE ME. If I was struggling to help my kiddo get a handle on multiplication I could bet at least a few of my friends were having issues as well. So sharing a link to something that worked for us, is not selling… it’s helping. 🙂 The key though, is not to just share the link… but share the story as well. Tell your readers and friends WHY you’re sharing this link, how it worked for you, and why you think it might work for them too! Here’s an example of how I did that on the blog, and on Facebook/Instagram.
So, back to affiliate program decisions.
When I decided to share this I knew I would use an affiliate link, but I had to figure out which one. Yes, the product sells on Amazon. But! It also sells on Educents. Commissions on amazon are between 4 and 6% depending on your volume. Commissions on Educents are 10 – 15% depending on the product. So even though the price is a bit lower, your commission is higher. (and your customer gets a good price!) Amazon is fantastic about upselling, you know, the “if you liked this, you might like THIS!” section. Which could get you some additional products sold, but I’ve found Educents does a pretty good job of that as well, plus if people are really interested in educational items for their kids… there’s an entire store of enticing things!! 🙂
This is what makes this method so fantastic. You’ve got a story. You loved the product, which means you have enthusiasm, and you now have a link! Go ahead, write up a blog post, or if what you want to share isn’t a perfect match for your blog, share it on Facebook. You can tell the story there too! It’s a flexible, and versatile plan based on you!
As you continue to connect with your audience, and share things you love you will start making more and more sales. The key is to keep connecting with your audience. Be present on social media. Be consistent in blogging. And most importantly… be real. You want people to know, like and trust you, and that can only happen when people are allowed to get to know who you are. That doesn’t mean you have to share every detail (or any details) about your family/life, but you’ve got to be there, and be you. People need to be able to get a feel for who you are and what you’re about.
Not sure what to share? Did you know just about every single day on the calendar now has a “day”. For example, yesterday was Cyber Monday, today is Giving Tuesday, as well as, “eat a red apple day”. 🙂 You can piggy back on these random, yet daily celebrations to find things to share with your readers and social media friends. Whether it’s something they can buy or just a way to connect and get to know each other better.
Don’t have time to go hunting down all these random holidays? Who can blame you! Guess what?! I’m going to do it for you, and put it all in a beautiful printable calendar format so you can plan out your month, your content, and of course your promotion/sharing schedule. When you create a plan of action that pulls together connecting, publishing and promotion you move your blog from expensive hobby to money making business endeavor. I’m working on pulling it all together, so if that sounds exciting to you, enter your info below and I’ll let you know as soon as it’s ready for prime time. <3