When setting up your blog there are certain informational pages and copy that you must have like copyright or a contact me page. This post is about setting up a page to attract and respond to pitches and press releases from publicists, PR firms and company marketing departments.
If your blog gets any sort of traffic, you’ve probably been pitched to, and like most mom bloggers, you’ve receive a mixture of bad pitches, some so-so ones, and hopefully a few gems. However, while much has been posted about how companies should pitch to bloggers (see Susan Getgood’s blog, Marketing Roadmaps) not as much has been written about how bloggers can make the pitching process easier.
Recently, several bloggers have asked me for advice on selling text links on their blogs. But before I start the discussion on whether that’s a good or bad thing, let’s go over some definitions first.
Sponsored in-text links: These are paid links that seem to appear “organically” (naturally) in your content. For example, you post a story about receiving flowers for Mother’s Day. Then a company contacts you and offers you money to have you link the word “flowers” to their florist site.
Another example: A company asks to put a paragraph at the end of an old post. It contains links to their website, but the copy has nothing to do with the subject of your post. It looks like paid linking, but it may not be indentified that way.
The Making-Money-on-the-Internet Gurus will tell you that the key to making money off your website or blog is selling things via affiliate programs. Some of the more popular affiliate programs are:
Google Affiliate Network
Since I like to experiment and try different ways to monetize my blogs, I quickly signed up for several of these, and put ads in my sidebars for everything from VistaPrint to meal planning programs. I did everything I was supposed to including posting about the products or programs and running sidebar affiliate ads.
Ever get an email from a potential advertiser asking you what your ad rates and sizes are. You’re excited that they want to buy ad space, but you have no idea what to tell them. Here are some tips.
What type of ads?
Do you want to run only banner ads (graphics)? Or would you consider running text link ads as well? (See my post Should you permit paid links or text ads on your blog? on what you need to consider before running text link ads.)
Banner ad sizes
Ad size is dictated by the sidebars on your blog – how wide are they? Also, if you have a custom template, you may be able to place ads just below your blog’s banner or between your posts.
Some popular sizes used by blog ad networks:
horizontal skyscraper 728x90
vertical skyscraper 150x600 or 150x200
box 250x250 or 160x600
Joining an ad network is an easy way to monetize your blog. There are dozens of blog ad networks with new, niche ones starting every day. Here are a few of the better ones:
I'm a social media gal who moonlights as a blogger. Or rather, I am a blogger who parlayed my past experience and my love of the blogosphere into this job, which is perfect for me, my interests, and my skill set.
But now I've seen the other side. I've pulled back the curtain and glimpsed the wizard. And like Dorothy, I’ve a much better understanding of what makes this space tick. As a blogger, it's important to share it with my peers because I'm now familiar with the bigger picture - the daily frustrations, successes, trials, and triumphs of bloggers (as well as the daily frustrations, successes, trials, and triumphs of the social media agencies) such as this one.
Blogging has its rewards
As bloggers, we are often privy to the good fortune of being part of a blessed group who gets to test drive new products, experience awesome trips, and meet new people. While doing so, we build a brand, collect some very awesome experience, and possibly become exempt from birthday present shopping.
Last week, Amazon announced their new program Amazon Associates for Blogger, a direct integration between Amazon Associates, their affiliate program, and Blogger. This new collaboration makes it easier for bloggers to monetize their content by adding relevant Amazon product links to blog posts without interrupting the blog editing process. Amazon Associates for Blogger is now available on the Associates Central webpage.
Sign up is easy
If you already have an Amazon Associates affiliate account, you can use your current Associates ID. If you’re new to Amazon Associates, you can sign up and get your ID right away.
When I was in high school, there was a word I hated: social climber. I abhorred that word because it conjured up creepy crawly images of icky people that were disingenuous by nature and just, well, ick.
Now there's a new word I detest for much the same reason: linkbait.
Linkbait is a word in the SEO world that basically means creating something that attracts backlinks to your website, or in our world, our blog.
By definition, linkbait is not a bad thing. In fact, there's no real derogatory inference to the word at all. But in my mind there is. And here's why.
Getting noticed for your own style
In the blogging world, writing a post that acts as linkbait is akin to following around the popular girl in high school so you can get noticed, too. Here's what I think: in order to garner attention, why not do something OF YOUR OWN? Have your own idea? Get noticed for your own style instead of copying your friend?
There seems to be this new phenomenon occurring in the blogosphere. Every day my inbox seems to have an influx of pitches asking me to blog about a topic or product or service for the chance to win a gift card.
The latest “opportunity” was a call-out for bloggers to write about a particular topic. The first 50 QUALIFIED participants would receive a $50 gift card.
These are the instructions bloggers must follow in order to “qualify” to maybe get paid for their work:
A thoughtful post of AT LEAST 400 words. In case you are new to the world of writing (DUH), this includes an introduction, meat in the body of the post, and a conclusion. Don't forget - grammar and spelling count!
Include a disclosure at the bottom of the post. Typical stuff.
Install a campaign widget in your sidebar. Not on the post, but on your sidebar. A widget filled with code. Code provided to you, the blogger, by the puppet-master campaign managers.
Is that widget spying on you?