How I Got My First Sponsored Post
A few months ago I accomplished a goal I'd had for a long time: I got my first sponsored blog post, which also doubled as my first paid writing gig. Sure I'd had some articles published online and I made enough money from ticket sales when I produced my play to not go into debt, but this was the first time I saw a profit in my bank account from my writing.
There are plenty of how-to articles out there on this subject written by bloggers who are much more successful than I am, but I've found that a lot of those tips and tricks, though helpful, gloss over the realities of monetizing your writing. I'm not an expert on monetization and my blog is still relatively small, but I want to share my honest experience in the hope that it will help some of you.
I was prompted to write this post partly because I got a message on social media recently from someone asking advice about blogging. They clearly wanted a simple and easy way to generate income. But the honest truth is that blogging is not a quick path to money making or freedom from the nine-to-five. What a lot of other How To Make Money Blogging articles don't say is that most content creators have been at it for years before they saw a single penny.
The second honest truth is that the key to making money online is followers and traffic. None of those money-making tips will help you if you don't have the numbers. Remember: building a loyal following takes a LOT of time. Sure, you may go viral, but most people don't. I don't mean to be a downer, but it's true.
Remember: for every J.K. Rowling there are a hundred thousand writers putting pen to paper in the only free moments they have between day jobs.
The secret to making money online is dedication, consistency, and a lot of hard work.
I signed up with companies that connect bloggers to brands pretty early on, but it wasn't until I started hitting around 4000 monthly pageviews that I got any interest from brands. Now that I'm seeing around 5500 monthly views, I'm going to start pitching to brands myself. I read somewhere that 5000 was a good baseline to get to before putting yourself out there, so I'm going to give it a try and see how it goes. I was recently approached by a pretty big-name brand so that's given me the confidence to move forward with cold-pitching.
I blogged for two and a half years before making a cent and I'm still a very very long way away from quitting my part-time job to write full time. That being said, there are some things you can do to help increase your traffic and get you closer to your goals.
I put together a PDF that outlines everything I did earlier this year to quadruple my blog traffic in just two months. Still using those same strategies, my traffic has more than doubled since then and is still growing. The beautiful bonus of all that traffic is that I finally got my first sponsored post and now I'm getting more collaboration requests than ever before!
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