There are a few things you need to consider before thinking about monetizing your blog. Like most hobbies (golfing, racing, skiing, fishing…) you spend money in exchange of the satisfaction you hope to get out of the activity. Unlike many hobbies, you can actually make money blogging. Before we jump right into it, you need to have a couple things in place.
Domain Name and Hosting: Treat your blog like a job – Are you using a free blog? If you want people and potential sponsors to take you seriously, consider getting your own domain name by switching from a yourblogname.blogspot.com (yourblogname.wordpress.com). It only costs $10 dollars a year!
I got mine from GoDaddy but you can also get one from NameCheap. Mine used to be lapassionvoutee.blogspot.com and even my siblings had the hardest time remembering the name. You can use Blogspot’s free hosting (which is what I
use used), or pay for a hosting service with companies like Bluehost and WPengine if you choose WordPress.
Blog Design: You need to get a blog design that effectively represents you. A majority of that standard templates that come with blogs are a complete eyesore. I used to think this was expensive until I looked. You can get a professionally-looking blog for pennies! I found some on sale on Etsy for $5 but most premade templates cost anywhere from $15 to $60.
A personal domain name and a lovely blog speaks volumes when you go to pitch yourself to potential sponsors. And many may not even consider you if you are using a free domain name. Now that we’ve addressed these two things, let’s get into the details of this post. So how do bloggers, particularly fashion bloggers, make money blogging?
1. SPONSORED POSTS
Sponsored posts are a very promising way to make money from blogging especially when you are starting out. Some the the programs offer very decent payouts. Unlike affiliate/sub-affiliate networks, you’re guaranteed a fixed amount once your proposal is accepted. I made a few hundred dollars from participating in a couple sponsored posts last month. My top three are:
- Social Fabric – Most of there sponsored content are geared towards food bloggers and to some extent lifestyle bloggers. As long as you can come up with a creative idea to showcase the brand you’re pitching you’ll likely be chosen. On average, commission starts at $200 which is paid 30 days after the completion of the campaign (aka Shoppertunity). Best for bloggers, Instagrammers, and YouTubers in the US, Canada, or the UK. I’m not sure if it’ll make any difference but you can say I referred you in the application form.
- Clever Girls Collective – Best for bloggers with high reach on Twitter and Facebook. I was wondering why I hadn’t gotten any campaigns and just realized that my analytics was not connected! Clever Girls Collective pays pretty high as well but offers fewer sponsorships than Social Fabric. They do not accept blogs using free domain names and they give preference to those who have engaged Instagram or Pinterest account. More requirements here.
- Tomoson – This is one of the first sponsors I worked with when I started. They offer a variety of paid posts, freebies, and deals that you can review for free on your social channels and Amazon. They carry a lot of beauty products, gadgets, and clothes. Just make sure to sift through as some merchants may not be brands you want to work with. It is definitely worth it though as I have received a phone and some spending money from this website.
2. AFFILIATE NETWORK
One of the many ways bloggers can get a decent revenue from their blogs is by joining an affiliate network. The blogger (called publisher) joins a network, and applies to advertisers (called merchant e.g. Macy’s) in the network. The blogger earns commissions on referred sales and/or clicks depending on the agreement. The advantage of this platform is that it allows you to develop a unique relationship with the merchant.
You also have a higher likelihood of earning a higher commission because you’re working directly with the merchant. The disadvantage is that you have to apply to every merchant you are interested in working with. Some established brands like Old Navy or Nordstrom may not be interested in working with a newbie. Popular networks that connect bloggers and merchants together are:
- Share A Sale – Some clothing merchants in this network include: Lulu*s, Stella & Dot, ModCloth, Oasap, GoJane, Front Row Shop, and Le Tote. What I like about these merchants is that you can contact them after you have been accepted into their affiliate program to ask for a product to review. I know Lulu*s does a monthly contest for its affiliates too.
- CJ Affiliate – Similar to ShareASale but they also have merchants that are exclusive to their platform and boasts of over 2,800 advertisers. Some clothing merchants include Banana Republic, JustFab, Old Navy, Loft, Forever21, and TJMaxx.
- Amazon Associates – This is one of the biggest and easiest programs to join. The cool thing about Amazon is that you earn commission up to 90 days after someone clicks your link and adds an item to their cart. Your account becomes confirmed when you make your first sale within 90 days of acceptance into the program. Amazon has millions of products and there is a huge chance that your audience already uses Amazon. Oh, the more you sell, the more you earn!
3. SUB-AFFILIATE PROGRAMS
Sub-affiliate networks are big companies (think of rewardStyle and ShopStyle) that register with affiliate networks. For bloggers, a membership with this sub-affiliate network grants you access to all the advertisers that a sub-affiliate network has access to. These programs eliminate the hassle of applying to each advertiser and also make it easy for bloggers to grab shoppable affiliate links on one system (rather than jumping from my advertiser to another). Some of the well known ones are:
- rewardStyle (rS) – I love rewardStyle! The system is very user-friendly. You can install a browser extension that allows you to grab links on the go without the need of signing into the system. You can also create shoppable widgets that you can include in your blog posts. Once approved, you have access to their Instagram app, LiketoKnow.it which enables influencers to earn revenue on their Instagram posts.
- ShopStyle Collective – This is another sub-affiliate program that is very similar to rewardStyle. The program also grants members access to thousands of merchants and has a shoppable Instagram app, ShopStyle.it. Influencers earn commission based on clicks and payout happens at $100.
- Skimlinks – This is the second affiliate program I use. One of the good thing about Skimlinks is that you can activate a tool to convert unaffiliated links on your blog to affiliate links. Like rS and ShopStyle, a browser extension allows you to grab affiliate links on the go. Skimlinks grants you access to almost 19,000 merchants and has some merchants that are not present on rewardStyle. Unlike rS and ShopStyle, payout happens at $10 and uses a mix of commission for sales or clicks. It is reasonably very easy to get accepted into this program.
4. PAID STYLE CONSULTATION
Do people ask you style related questions all the time? You can get paid offering style and wardrobe consultation. Use your blog and social channels to promote your offerings and create a professional business card (VistaPrint, Moo, Zazzle) that you can give out when you get stopped at the side of the road by a stranger who needs that pair of red bow pumps you’re wearing. If you already have an idea of what you want, you can hire someone on Fiverr for about $10 to design your cards. Once you start getting clients, you can send them an invoice via PayPal.
5. AD PLACEMENT
Years ago placing advertisements on your blog or website would have earned you a sizeable paycheck. Not so much anymore. Unless you have a large audience don’t expect to earn much from placement of advertisements on your blog. This does not mean you shouldn’t do it. In fact, I say go for it! On those days when you’re feeling bummed about not making any affiliate sales or secured sponsorships, just look at your ad income. It may be pennies but it can be reassuring. Popular ad networks are:
- Google AdSense – This is the one I use as it is very easy to set up and requires no effort from you after installation #PassiveIncome. Google Ads can also be combined with some other Ad placements too. One important point to note for all ads network is that you should NEVER click on your ads as that’s a sure way to get kicked out of the program and forfeit all you’ve earned. You’re paid per click/impression so clicking on your ads is considered fraud.
- Sell ads space – If you have the traffic or niche audience, you can sell ad space on your sidebar. Selling you own ads can actually earn you more money than using Google Adsense. You can use Adproval Ads to setup payment/processing for your ads.
- Others – BlogHer (I’m waiting to get into this program), and Monumetric (formerly The blogger Network. Charges $99 for setup).
[RELATED POST: 7 Ways to Take Free Professional Photos for Your Fashion Blog]
6. SELL YOUR OWN PRODUCT OR SERVICE
As a fashion blogger you probably have clothes that could use a new home. Why not sell them? While this method may not bring in a steady flow of money, you will recover some of the money you spent that you can reinvest into your blog. Or if you’re a fashion blogger and designer, add a new page to your blog that links directly to your store (Etsy, Shopify, and Tictail allow easy integration). Some websites you can use to sell your used clothes are threadUP, Poshmark, and eBay. If you have digital products, you can also sell those too.
7. BLOGGER AFFILIATE PROGRAMS
Some clothing stores have a blogger affiliate program where they give you $50-$200 in store credit to get whatever you want from the store. You receive the product, wear it, and share your looks on your blog and social networks. After sharing all your looks, they add more money to your account.
If they like the conversion (sales, clicks, exposure) that you are giving them, they’ll continue to work with you which can save you money on clothes each month. A lot of them require 1,000 – 5,000 followers on at least one social network and majority require you to put a banner on your website.
Some that I applied for never contacted me and one that accepted me even went as far as removing my store credit after completing an assignment for them. How rude! Overall, this can be a good way to cut down on your costs. Some worth checking out are:
8. OTHER – MISCELLANEOUS
If you savvy shopper (blogger or not), this last tip will help you save a few $$$. You can earn cashback (commission) on your online purchases through Ebates. I joined Ebates long before I started blogging (2009) and I’ve since earned over $400 for shopping online.
The way it works is, after you’ve added the products you want to your shopping cart, sign into Ebates account and click on the merchant link to the store before finalizing your order. Once your order is complete, you earn a cashback within 48 hours.
Every 3 months, Ebates pays you via PayPal or check ($5 minimum). As long as you shop online and have an email address, you qualify! They actually just rolled out cashback for in-store purchases.
Most of these strategies to make money blogging can be applied by bloggers to generate revenue from their blogs. Though geared towards fashion bloggers, these monetization strategies can be applied to by any blogger to boost their blogging income. To recap, fashion bloggers can earn a decent income by:
- Joining affiliate networks
- Joining sub-affiliate programs
- Through participation in sponsored posts
- Ad placements
- Selling their own product/service
- Paid style consultations
- Blogger affiliate programs (free clothes)
- Cashback program
If you are aware of other ways to make money from a fashion blog that have not been described above, do drop a comment below. I’d like to know 🙂 While I’ll encourage you to try out these programs to see which one(s) work best for you, remember that drinking from every glass is the best way to get poisoned! Only work with brands that represent you and your blog.
Lastly, if you’re interested in more blogging-related tips, check out these popular posts:
- How to make money with sponsored posts – Some fashion bloggers’ best kept secret
- Start a badass fashion blog + a FREE ecourse if you need some help
- How to use Tailwind to drive traffic to your blog from Pinterest – It works!
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*This post contains affiliate links. For more information, see my disclosure here.