How I Started Getting Paid to Blog

No, no I don’t have any super secret info.  I wish I did.  I wish I could give you “x” number of steps and send you on your merry way.

Fact is, I still don’t make a whole lot doing this, but I have many more opportunities than I did a few months ago.

So, by no means am I an expert.  I’m sure others can tell you way more than I can and could probably put you on a more direct path.  But, I figured I’d let you know what I’ve been doing and what’s working for me.

  • Establish your blog, your voice, and your community before doing anything else.  I know some bloggers start off as deal/review/giveaway bloggers, so their quest for money-making opps starts right away.  That’s not my thing so I can’t help you there.  My blog started on a whim as a way to keep track of our homeschooling.  I quickly came to enjoy it and the people I met, so I decided to kick it into high gear and really make the blog something I could be proud of promoting to complete strangers.  I then realized all of the opportunities out there for bloggers and decided I wanted to pursue reviews/giveaways and paid opps.  But before I did any of that, I had a blog I was proud of, content relevant to my niche, and knew who I was and what I did and did not want on my blog.
  • Stay true to yourself, your blog, and above all, your readers.  When I started pursuing compensated opps {I use that term loosely, especially since, according to the IRS, any review goods are compensation}, I knew I wanted to stay true to my readers.  I didn’t want to blindside them with posts about adult books or information about the public school system and how you can work it as a parent because that had nothing to do with my blog, and it darn sure wasn’t relevant to them.  I know who the majority of my readers are, and I know what it important to them, and that’s what I stick with.
  • Network.  I hate that word, because it sounds so great and simple in theory, but so difficult to actually figure out how to do.  I’ll do my best to give you specific ideas.  Look for social media or blogger groups in your city/state {if we have one in Birmingham, where everyone is living ten years behind everyone else, you should have one near you}.  Attend blogging conferences {I have yet to do this, but will be at BBC ATL next month!}.  Comment on other blogs.  Yes, I know people say that all the time, but you must make time for it.  It doesn’t have to be a ton either, one or two.  Get to know your fellow bloggers.  Join online blogger groups; maybe there’s one for your niche available.  Google is your friend.
  • Participate in everything.  You know all those fantastic giveaway hops, memes, etc., that take place around the blogosphere?  Join them.  Don’t know who hosts them?  Ask me, or ask the blogger where you found the giveaway in the first place.  Scared to get prize packages together?  Self-sponsor or just email companies you like.  Yeah, it makes me want to vomit, but it has to be done.  They say no?  Move on.  You’ve got bigger fish to fry.
  • Join Twitter.  And Facebook I suppose.  I always tell people that Twitter was the single best thing I could have done for my blog.  The instant interaction with others really boosted that “connection” that is so important in blogging.  Facebook is finally starting to yield some great results for me, although that is more of a conversation than quick snippets on Twitter.  Word of caution:  Care more about others than you do yourself.  If you’re a Twitter whore, people will notice and they will despise you.  Retweeting and promoting others can go a long way in helping your own blog.
  • Join a blogging group.  I participate in a few groups for bloggers, but one in particular was instrumental in getting more traffic to my blog and more opps coming my way.  I can recommend some if you’re interested.  It was through this group that I found out Social Fabric was allowing new applications.  I applied and was approved and I love the group now.  No other way I would have known about it had it not been for my group.
  • Finally, Google is your friend.  Again.  I know I mentioned it before, but it really is.  Google various phrases/words, such as “paid to blog.”  That’s how I cam upon Bucks2Blog, a site that provides opportunities for you to get paid to blog.  Even if a site you end up at doesn’t turn into something you’d like to do, it can lead you on infinite rabbit trails.
I’m sure there is so much more I could share, and I might do that in another post.  For now, though, make use of the bloggers around you, just send an email, most of us don’t bite.
True Confessions:  I am participating in a blogger campaign by Bucks2Blog and was compensated for my time.  See, isn’t it rad?  This doesn’t change the views and information provided in the post.  This honestly has been the path I’ve taken to the point I’m at now.  And please, feel free to ask me any questions!