Influencer marketing has become synonymous with business. In a world inundated with advertisements (the average modern person sees around 5,000 ads per day), marketers need a more genuine way to connect with their target markets, and influencers like you are the answer. However, when we hear the word “influencer” we often think of pretty Instagram pictures and avid YouTubers. Chances are you don’t associate influencer marketing with written content.
However, this couldn’t be further from the truth. Whether you realize it or not, bloggers do have a stake in the influencer arena. If you prefer platforms like WordPress and Squarespace to the mainstream social networks, you can still succeed in influencer marketing. In fact, you may be even more attractive to marketers, simply because you’re in a niche platform space that isn’t oversaturated. Here’s what you need to know about becoming an influencer as a blogger (and making money):
With so many platforms out there, why blogging? First, let’s think about what influencer marketing actually entails: driving a brand message to a targeted audience. While social media networks are effective at achieving this, the fact is, content remains an integral part of the strategy that isn’t always ideal for image-based and micro-text networks.
For example, when a brand has a goal to educate an audience, they need more space to offer that to them. Working with bloggers allows them to offer a more in-depth message and call to action.
It’s also necessary to mention one of the biggest benefits of blogging: building SEO. Bloggers are passionate about content, and have (or can) built up a powerful backlink portfolio that makes them attractive to search engines. And let’s face it: when it comes to making a purchase or looking for answers about a service, Instagram isn’t exactly the first place we go.
No; our questions typically begin with a Google search. And bloggers have ample real estate in this area. When a marketer works with a blogger, they understand that the work they do with you will appear in search engine results pages for years to come, with no maintenance necessary. While a social media post gets buried in a haze of content after a while, a blog post has unmatched longevity.
Join an Influencer Network
Influencer platforms are a dime a dozen these days. A simple Google search will show you all the tools marketers and influencers use to connect with one another and start lucrative partnerships. Scalefluence was born after working with hundreds of marketing agencies and bloggers. We analyzed other influencer tools and built a product that emphasized areas we noticed were lacking.
For instance, many of the platforms out there cater only to social media influencers. Here at Scalefluence, we understand the value of content and make it just as easy for bloggers to make money. After all, many marketers are looking for written content and integrated campaigns that include one or several blog posts.
Furthermore, sponsored posts are becoming an increasingly popular way for bloggers to make money (read more on this later). Simply sign up for Scalefluence, verify your credentials, and marketers will be able to connect with you for their campaigns.
Affiliate marketing is a great way to generate a bit of money with your blog. However, unless your monthly readership is well into the thousands, it may take a while for affiliate links to actually generate dollars. But the good thing about affiliate links is that they’re very passive: once you get your links in your content, they’re there to stay, and rarely need to be changed.
Whenever someone clicks on one of your affiliate links and makes a purchase, you’ll receive a commission. Even if the reader doesn’t make a purchase right away, cookies are embedded into each link, ensuring that as long as the user makes a purchase within an allotted time (usually within three months), you’ll still get your fair share.
If you start paying attention to the links on some of the popular blogs you know and love, you’ll notice that many of them have tracking links. If you want to quickly discover deeper examples of affiliate marketing, search for comparison charts, which typically have affiliate links embedded in them. For example, check out this comprehensive roundup of best travel backpacks to use:
The link you see at the bottom takes users directly to REI’s site to purchase the backpack, giving the blogger a commission.
Affiliate marketing beware: great content is the driving house behind every affiliate link. Like any CTA, your content has to be strong enough to encourage a click without being salesy. Some of the best blogs have affiliate links that have zero promotional value, however, most bloggers will have a disclaimer stating that the site contains affiliate links to maintain transparency with their readers.
Sponsored posts are a great way to make money with blogging. According to a study conducted by Collective Bias, one-third of millenials admitted to making a purchase after seeing a sponsored post. This is a native type of advertising that doesn’t feel like a sales pitch. Although there are promotional elements involved, the content is crafted in a more authentic way that fits the influencer’s style and brand. In the example below, one design blogger designed to go the DIY route using West Elm products.
Some posts don’t mention the brand name in the content at all, like this Kitchn post sponsored by Frigidaire. Instead, there’s just a short mention of the sponsorship at the bottom or top of the content.
When you make money with sponsored blog posts, you are essentially getting paid to write great content for your own blog. But this is a mutually beneficial relationship; they get to promote their product or service on your blog, and you earn additional income while adding another piece of content to your brand.
It’s important to note that you don’t have to be a celebrity blogger to score sponsored post deals. In fact, micro and nano influencers are becoming more and more commonplace. Studies have shown that influencers with the lower following have higher engagement rates. This gives you the opportunity to cash in the connection you’ve amassed within your community.
There are several ways you can score sponsored posting deals. Of course, you can always cold pitch brands you’re interested in. To do this, be sure to research the brand well and come up with creative ideas for a great post that really speaks to their target market. You also need to highlight why you’re the best person for the job. In this case, include a short blurb and some blogging data, such as your readership numbers and how those numbers have grown month over month or year over year (depending on how long your blog has been running). It also helps to build a media kit and include the link in the footer section of your website.
Premium Content & Digital Resources
Today’s readers have access to free content everywhere. But if your blog offers great content that they cannot get anywhere else, premium content might be a viable way for you to monetize your blog. Before you charge for content or go the membership route, ask yourself, “Why would someone pay for this content and can they find similar content elsewhere?”
If you analyze many of the brands with premium subscription models, they have branded businesses with years of built-up clout. While it’s certainly possible to offer premium content, you problem shouldn’t focus on this as a revenue source if you’re just starting out.
On the same token, you can create digital resources like e-books to add another stream of income. If you have years’ worth of blogs, you can re-use and curate this content so that you aren’t starting your ebooks from scratch.
However, before you set out to start writing ebooks, it’s best to establish thought leadership in your industry or niche first. You can do this by attending networking events, participating in online discussions, writing guest posts, and working with marketers as an influencer.