While Army Wife 101 started out as a way to distract me from deployments and keep extended family up to date on us, it has now become a wonderful full time income and way to enjoy amazing experiences. People always ask in our FB Group how I earn money blogging, so I wanted to share a few tips and resources on it.
Are you a milspouse who wants to start a blog?…CLICK HERE.
Before we get to that, there is one thing that is key to obtaining paid opportunities—an audience.
It’s important to note that you won’t just start your blog and earn money right away. You will need people to read your blog and engage on your social media channels before this happens.
So while I am writing this article as a part of this series, I want to be honest and let you know how important creating content frequently and engaging with your audience continuously to drive traffic to your blog and social media channels is.
While in 2020 most payments from brands are sent via PayPal or Direct Deposit, here are pictures of my checks from blogging so that you know I come with receipts.
Ways In Which Influencers Make Money
- Sponsored Content
- Ad Network
- Affiliate Links
- Digital Products/Physical Merchandise
Other Forms of Compensation (Non-Monetary)
- Destination & Travel
How it Works
Sponsored Content– “material in an online publication which resembles the publication’s editorial content but is paid for by an advertiser and intended to promote the advertiser’s product.” * Oxford Dictionary**
You may not realize how often you look at sponsored content. From Youtube to Instagram to here at Army Wife 101, you’ve viewed content that the creators of it are paid for. If it’s really good sponsored content aka native content then you won’t be able to tell it’s sponsored.
Blog Example: If Kleenex wanted to promote their tissue with Army Wife 101, then I might write a a fun blog post or listicle entitled “10 Military Love Stories That Will Make You Cry”, and plug Kleenex within that post.
Sample of Army Wife 101 Sponsored Hallmark Movies & Mysteries Christmas Post
FB/IG: The majority of your audience lives on social media. Brand and companies know this too. They will absolutely you pay you to post photos and videos with captions that speak to your audience, but also weave in their brand. You will always know a sponsored post on social because it will be labeled with #ad, #sponsored or “paid partnership”.
Click HERE for another example of sponsored INSTAGRAM content from a military spouse who is an amazing influencer and creates awesome content.
Influencer Networks To Get Sponsored Posts
You can learn how to pitch brands with my pitch guides that have real templates and emails that hundreds of influencers have used to work with brands. However, the easiest way to start obtaining paid opportunities is applying for them via what are known as “influencer networks”.
Influencer networks are FREE to join! If they try to charge you, please don’t sign up. To join one, you will usually fill out a profile and when they have opportunities you will send an email to let you know. Each opp will have different requirements, so make sure you meet them before applying.
Influencer Networks To Join:
- Sofluential (The first and only milspouse influencer network)
- Clever Girls Collective
- Sway Group
- Mom It Forward
Ads- Many blogs and content sites places ads on their site. Some people sell ads that they manually place on their site. However in 2020, ads are usually done through what we call ad networks. These are companies who take care of getting the ads. You simply apply, and place some code on your blog. Once complete the ads will appear and you will get paid when people visit your blog and read your articles. Most of the higher paying ad networks you will need to meet a minimum number of page views to be approved for. However, there are lower paying ad networks that you can use almost instantly until you meet your goals.
Easy Approval Networks
Google Adsense-You can pretty much sign up instantly and start pushing ads to your blog. You can use this WordPress plugin to make it easier to set up. The payout here is much lower then some of the more premium networks.
Media.net– Another easy ad network to join and start earning right away. The payout here is also lower then the premium networks.
Mediavine– Is the network that many influencers who create blog content love. The payouts are much higher, and the support you receive from their team is amazing.
Ad Thrive– The income you receive here is much higher and with both network the quality of ads is better. You also receive more control of what is shown on your blog.
Product Reviews- This is one of the best ways to work with a brand on your first go round. Brands are much more apt to give away product then money at first. Usually bloggers want product to either review or utilize in a project. For instance if a military spouse influencer maybe doing a post on quicks ways to spruce up base housing. She may reach out to a rug company that offers a military discount and pitch the idea of having them send her a rug to include in her article and images.
Travel Experiences/Attractions– One of the parts of being an influencer that has been amazing for our family is traveling to places and attractions at no cost. Let’s be clear everything I do ties in the military somehow. So you will never see me going to the Maldives or something super lux because it doesn’t necessarily speak to my core audience. You will however see for instance at Disney or Universal where they offer generous military deals that I want my audience to know about.
Some travel influencers are paid, but that is down the line and each situation is specific to the influencer and what they have worked out with that company.
Almost all the content you read that links to products or stores are affiliate links.
What are affiliate programs?
Stores don’t just bring sales in themselves. They utilize people like us to promote their new products and share about them. They do this through affiliate programs that people like Youtubers, bloggers and social media influencers sign up for FREE. In it’s simplest form you get a link from that store to utilize on your site or social media. If someone makes a purchase from your link, you receive a commission.
You can go to the store or company’s website to see if they have an affiliate program and sign up. However, if you plan on signing up for multiple affiliate programs then the easiest way is to use sites that house all the programs in one area. These sites allow you to fill out a profile one time and then just apply with one click to whatever store you are interested in.
The most popular and easy to join affiliate program is Amazon. People love this because Amazon sells everything and you more than likely can always find a way to weave one of their links into your blog posts. They even let you create an Amazon storefront that you can populate with products that your audience will like.
In addition to Army Wife 101, I run RetailSalute.com, a military discount site. This is where I monetize primarily via affiliate links. As you can see below I became an affiliate for brands that offer military discounts and actually have links that promo. In many cases the commission is low, but hey it’s money and once you insert a link for the most part you don’t have to worry about it anymore.
Affiliate Program Sites To Join
You can join thousands of retailers through the links below:
Digital/Physical Products- One of the last main ways to make money through your blog is creating your own digital and physical products to sell. This can be ebooks, teeshirts, stickers, planners, webinars and courses that tie in with the topic you write about.
You can use sites like:
- ETSY integrated with Printful to sell teeshirts
- Canva– Is mainly free (there is a pro option that runs $12.95 a month) and can be used to design everything from ebooks to planners, to worksheets to course material. You can design fun things like stickers and teeshirt designs as well.
- You can use sites like GetDPD, GumRoad, Teachable, and Sellfy to upload and sell your digital products. These site take care of all the payment processing and admin details for you.
How To Pitch Brands For Sponsored Content and Destination Experiences
Speaking of digital products, here’s one of mine’s that can help you.
Over 2 years ago I wrote a series of Pitch Templates and Guides to help influencers work with brands and earn money. They work, and over 1,000 content creators have used them to land paid gigs, product reviews, and travel opportunities. They are affordable, easy to use, and you can literally plug in your info and get to sending.
You’ll learn how to:
- Prep your blog aka your digital stage
- Create a simple media kit
- How To Pitch A Brand
- How To Set Your Rates
- How To Find Contacts To Send Pitches To
- Pitch Templates, examples and more
EASY BLOGGER’S GUIDE TO PITCHING BRANDS FOR PRODUCTS AND CASH
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