2018 Eroticon Presentation Notes: How to Make Money From Your Blog
If you were able to attend my session at Eroticon, I hope you enjoyed it and got something out of it. If you couldn’t go this year, hopefully you’ll be able to go in the future. Either way, feel free to use my notes and resources from my Saturday morning session.
How to Make Money From Your Blog Without Losing Your Soul or Your Audience
A lot of people worry that monetizing their blog means they’re inherently corrupt or that the money will become more important than the content. They don’t want it to change them. Everyone should feel free to make the decisions that work best for them, but making money from your blog doesn’t have to become a corrupt endeavor.
Keep Your Soul with Ethics, Morals, and Policies
- Your ethics and morals are your own, but there are rules to fall back on when all else fails
- Nofollow links vs. dofollow links
- Read: What is a Nofollow Link?
- Disclosure for sponsored blog posts, affiliate links, and sponsored social media posts
- Read: Why Financial Disclosure Matters
- Put together your policy and post it to your website
- Use templates to help with wording and make it fit your website.
- Resource: http://www.disclosurepolicy.org
- Doesn’t have to be in your main navigation page – put it in your footer
- Update as things change
- Sex toy reviewers already do this for reviews – but it’s meant to be for potential brands and companies. If you have one, build on that but make it so you’re talking to everyone, not just brands.
- Says what you will and won’t do.
- Why should you follow the rules?
- Build trust with your audience by telling them you benefit in some way. You let them make up their own mind about how to think and feel about the content you’re presenting.
- You keep Google happy – use dofollow links with compensation and you could get removed from Google search
- FTC requires disclosure of ads and sponsorships as well – UK Competition & Market’s Authority in the UK
- Resource: https://www.ftc.gov/tips-advice/business-center/guidance/ftcs-endorsement-guides-what-people-are-asking
- Resource: https://wadds.co.uk/blog/2016/04/05/uk-government-agency-spotlights-disclosure-online-advertising-sponsored-content
- If you decide not to follow these guidelines, know why. Always have a reason why you do or don’t do something.
- Why do I? Because we’re already hidden and shadowbanned with rules too vague to truly understand. Why would I give a much more powerful entity a reason to ban me or fine me out of business?
Put Yourself in a Position to Make Money
So we’ve covered your soul, but what about your audience? How does your audience fit into this? In order to really make money, you’re going to need an audience first. You have to put yourself in a position to earn money from your blog.
- Write, publish, repeat.
- Do it consistently. Create a schedule.
- Read: Do You Really Have to Write Every Single Day?
- Read: Develop a Writing Habit and Audience with Sex Blogging Memes
- Listen: You’ve Got to Show Up
- Once you decide to make money from your blog, things change. You can’t treat it like a personal journal anymore.
- Much of the money-making opportunities out there are all about the numbers:
- Do you show up in Google Search?
- Do you have a big enough audience to click on your affiliate links?
- Are you getting the attention of brands in a positive way that makes them want to do business with you?
- Are people engaging with your content – on social media or on your blog?
- The more you write, the better you get. The better you get, the more your audience grows.
- I could do an entire session on what to write and how to do this, but bottomline is this: you’ve got to show up to your own blog on some consistent basis and create content.
- And it takes longer than you realize.
- Create a Work With Me Page
- You never know who’s perving your website and you never know when you’ll be found by a curious brand.
- Make it clear that you’re available for work.
- Include every opportunity you’re willing to offer: sponsored post, banner ads, social media, client work, ghostwriting, etc.
- Adding your price or not is a personal decision. I did for a while, and then I stopped. I may go back to it – I’m in the process of rethinking my own money-making opportunities.
- Pimp yo’self
- Find the balance between too much and too little. Many people do too much. I tend to do too little.
- Promote your opportunities on Twitter but don’t let that be the bulk of your tweets. If you want Twitter to be effective, you’ve got to be a real person having real conversations too.
- Read: 7 Ways to Promote Yourself and Get Hired
- Reach out to brands
- I struggle with this, too, but you never know what will come from it.
- Send them an email. Make sure it’s a brand you really like or know a lot about.
- Tell them how you’d like to work with them. Offer a free test – a month, two weeks, something to give them an idea of what your site has to offer.
- Deliver what you promise.
Making Money From Your Blog
We need to rethink what making money from your blog means. Most people are thinking of sponsored posts and affiliate offers, and those are legitimate. But your blog can also be used as leverage for other methods. Let’s discuss a few ways and I’ll share tips with you.
- Sponsored posts
- I have yet to figure out a way to make this a consistent stream of income. So I leverage my numbers and following to charge a decent fee.
- Disclose and nofollow links. Yes, this means I get turned down or I turn down the offer. But it lets me sleep at night. And frankly, that one time payment isn’t going to help if Google decides to keep me out of search.
- Make sure the content is in keeping with your own website’s theme. I always tell brands that the content will be kink-themed. Your sponsored posts will be better for your audience – and lead to more potential clicks to a brand’s website if you’ve offered something of value.
- If you don’t, it’s jarring to your audience and could (eventually) make them question what you’re doing or if they want to follow you.
- Read: How to Make Money: Sponsored Posts
- Affiliate Links/Partnerships
- Numbers. Sheer numbers will make money. Followers on Twitter, views to your website. It’s a pure numbers game.
- One thing I do, and it changed my outcomes. I only become an affiliate for a product or brand I’ve tried and like.
- That way, when I talk about a product and say someone should buy it (and use my code or link), I’m coming from a place of authenticity.
- The products I gush over – The Butters or Hot Octopuss – lead to sales. It’s not consistent yet but the numbers have grown each year.
- Read: How to Make Money: Affiliate Sales
- Banner Ads
- They’re not that great. Better to include them in with a bundle package or use it as part of a website sponsorship pitch.
- These should be nofollow links, too.
- Bundle it with social media mentions or a sponsored post during the month – for extra money or not.
- Published writing
- I almost didn’t include this but then I realized that all of my adult clients found me through my blog.
- This can be client work where you write for their blog – ghostwriting or with a byline
- This can be pitching your ideas to online publications.
- This is possible when you write a lot, put yourself out there, and develop an audience. The more you write, the better you get at it.
- Read: How to Make Money: Ghostwriting
- And read: How to Make Money: Pitching Publications
- Then read: How to Pitch Your Idea to a Website
- This is for erotic authors or bloggers who want to find a book in your blog.
- My book sales increased when I made them for sale directly on my website.
- I use Woocommerce and some extensions but I make it so someone can click to Amazon or wherever OR they can buy a PDF download directly from my website.
- Other options include memberships and online courses. But I’m still learning about that myself and that will have to wait for another session in the future.
- Read: 4 Ways to Make Money Writing About Sex