Monetizing and Working with Brands

For our September PHLbloggers event Shana Draugelis from The Mom Edit came to speak to us about monetizing your blog and working with brands. Shana started her blog while she had a day job and eventually was able to monetize it to the point that it became her full-time job. She manages a team that delivers great content for people looking to make the everyday mom-uniform something that inspires. Here are some tips she had for us to think about monetizing our blogs and working with brands:

Set yourself up for success.

Get your blog to a place that you are proud of it and displaying content that means something to you. The road to monetizing your blog starts with consistent posting (at least twice a week), high quality images, a unique point-of-view, an active and engaged reader base, and a quality (and mobile friendly!) blog design. And if you’re at the point that you haven’t had the opportunity to work with any brands yet, start by featuring brands that you want to work with in the future. Once they see how great the content you produce can be, you’re more likely to get a partnership in the future.

Feature first, then follow up.

Feature a brand first, and then follow up with them. It’s best to be data driven so that you can show the value you bring. For example, you can report how many people interacted with a previous post you did about one of their products on all of your social media networks. And don’t forget to tag them so you can see what you’ve done. Almost all of the brands that Shana has worked with have started out as just features and then as the relationship grew, so did the opportunities.

Find the affiliate options that work best for you.

There are so many affiliate marketing options out there, and this is a great place to start since it’s more of a passive income. That said, each affiliate marketing option has its own unique set of characteristics and you have to choose the one that’s best for you. For example, Reward Style is a great program to use if your readers usually purchase items you feature, while Shop Style is a great program to use if you get a lot of click throughs, but maybe not quite as many purchases. Of course, there’s the Amazon Affiliate program for which anybody can apply. In addition, there’s additional affiliate options like Commission Junction and Pepperjam Network – you can also just google blog affiliate program and dozens of additional options.

Reach out to brands like you’re trying to get a job you really want.

This day in age if you are trying to apply for a job you do your research about the company, find the best person at the company to contact, and then reach out showing yourself off in the best light. Reaching out to a brand to work with is no different. Start by doing your research. Understand the company’s mission statement and what they’re all about. Be able to finish the sentence, “I’m reaching out to your company because…” and you’ll be good to go. You can email or call the companies directly and ask “who is the PR contact.” Email is great, but if you can get somebody on the phone to talk to you, you’ve got a better chance of succeeding. Once you get on the phone you can explain that you would like to be considered for future collaborations and see where the road takes you. Don’t forget to follow up. Remember, it takes gumption to be a business owner!

Keep it simple.

If you’re emailing a brand, there’s no reason to make it more complicated than it has to be. Let’s break it down into a few really simple sentences.

1.       Hi I’m… and I blog at… about…

2.       My blog currently reaches XXX individuals.

3.       My blog has been featured on…

4.       I have done collaborations with…

5.       I am reaching out because…

6.       Interested? I would love to talk more about this.

And then you can include some links to related posts if you’re really feeling fancy. See, that wasn’t so bad, was it?

Give sponsors a price range.

If somebody asks you what your rate is and you’re not sure where to start, give them a range. This range covers you because you don’t want to give a number lower than they were thinking about and it gives you the option to share that you can offer different levels of content at each price point. For example, a $400 collaboration could include a simple blog post and a number of social media posts, while a $2000 collaboration could include a video, infographic, or tutorial as well. That said, the minimum you should be asking for is $200. When you think about how much work goes into creating content, producing high images, buying materials, and doing research to make a great post, it’s very easy to see how the value of it is at least $200. Don’t sell yourself short!

And that’s it. 6 tips on where to begin when you’re looking to monetizing your blog and work with brands. We’d love to hear some of the tips that have worked best for you in the comments below.

Best of luck and happy planning! 


Chrystina Cappello