Blogging Strategies: Making Money

The “blogging success stories” run rampant.  It’s difficult not to get wrapped up in the thought of making money off your blog, but monetization isn’t the best option for everyone.  As we’ve lightly touched on before, there are many methods of advertising, but before delving deep into advertising strategies it’s import to decide if advertising is right for you. ProBlogger offers an informative post on how to decide when and where to advertise.

Pros of advertising:

  • Motivation – We all find ourselves slipping into a blogging slump, but advertising can keep you motivated.  If you don’t write new posts, your regulars won’t have a reason to visit your site.
  • Funding to grow your blog – Every blogger has ambitions, from a redesign to becoming a full time blogger, expanding your blog can take capitol.  Advertising can provide you with the means to create the blog of your dreams.

Cons of advertising:

  • Reader backlash – Readers are more perceptive than we give them credit for. Advertising can cause reader distrust in your motivations and intentions.
  • Layout problems – If your site’s layout wasn’t initially built for advertising, you might experience organizational issues.  
  • Same old, same old – Chances are, most bloggers in your genre are utilizing the same ad networks as you, which means your readers are seeing the same ads on all the sites they visit.  Additionally, in ad networks, publishers generally don’t have approval of which ads are displayed on their site.  Choose wisely. 

Let us know what type of monetization you’ve considered and what options you’d like to learn more about. 

    Advertisements

    Discussion: Are Post Templates Right For You?

    Most blogs are dynamic, centered around a revolving door of topics, thoughts and ideas.  It’s been suggested that readers appreciate a certain level of consistency, and most bloggers deliver that consistency in the timing or the subject matter of their postings. However, a new theory has emerged relating to consistency within posts.  Would you format posts specifically based on their subject matter and furthermore, would you use a template for those formats?

    Daily Blog Tips features a post specifically on this subject, geared towards increasing blogging productivity.  While most of us aren’t looking to cut corners to increase our efficiency, but we are interested in making our posts more digestible for our readers.  

    Helpful tips for creating more consistent, digestible content:

    • Use bullet points for easier understanding.
    • Use shorter, more focused paragraphs.
    • Format product reviews similarly, so readers know where to look for essential information, such as price, availability and your final opinion.
    • Similar to writing a newspaper article, place all imperative information at the top of the post.  This is especially imperative for those who use partial RSS feeds.

    How do you make your posts easier for your readers to understand? Would you consider using a pre-formatted blogging template?

      Weekly Educational Wrap Up July 14 – 18

      Understanding Creative Commons’ Licensing

      As a blogger, protecting your work and intellectual property is paramount.  While most bloggers have heard of Creative Commons, selecting the appropriate license can be incredibly confusing and frustrating. Protecting your work is important.  There are spam type blogs which will pull your content in via RSS or republish your posts without permission.  If your content isn’t protected, there is little you can do.  Additionally, your original posts and content are part of your intellectual property. If you haven’t protected your content or became frustrated by the process, use these helpful explanations to make the right decision.

      Blogging Tools: What language are you using?

      The days of hand coding HTML and frames to create web pages are long gone, thanks in large part to the development of cutting edge blogging platforms (WordPress, Typepad, Blogger, Moveable Type).  Fortunately, the languages have evolved to allow for more detailed results while building upon the original foundations of HTML. 

      Essential Blogging: Sampling Etiquette

      Accepting press samples, especially in beauty, is an essential component of product blogging.  However, many bloggers are confused by proper sampling etiquette. To help make navigating product reviews easier, we’ve provided a few simple guidelines.

      Essential Blogging: Sampling Etiquette

      Accepting press samples, especially in beauty, is an essential component of product blogging.  However, many bloggers are confused by proper sampling etiquette. To help make navigating product reviews easier, we’ve provided a few simple guidelines.

      1. Create a sample acceptance policy.  Whenever a sample for review is offered to you, direct the pr representative to your policy so you both are on the same page.  Your policy should include information that covers if samples will/will not be returned, the stipulations for a product to be reviewed, and that you reserve the right to not review any product submitted.
      2. Be honest.  When reviewing a product, it’s best to be honest.  If you didn’t like the product, say so, but also realize that just because a product wasn’t right for you doesn’t mean it won’t be right for someone else.  If you think that the product is something your readers might enjoy, turn the negative review around by contact the PR representative to see if they would be interested in offering samples to readers in a giveaway.  One gal’s dud is another woman’s life saver! 
      3. If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all.  If you dislike a product so much that you can’t find a positive aspect, keep your integrity and your reader’s respect in tact by not reviewing the product.  If you feel so strongly about the poor quality of the product, consider dropping a line to the PR representative and letting them know how you felt.  
      4. Giveaways are tricky. Offering up a product as a giveaway to your readers is a slippery slope.  After all, you wouldn’t want to offer them a sub-par product that you have yet to test.  Consider making it your policy to test all giveaway products as well.  Keep your standards and your quality high!

      Do you have any additional tips to offer? Leave them in the comments!

        Blogging Tools: What language are you using?

        The days of hand coding HTML and frames to create web pages are long gone, thanks in large part to the development of cutting edge blogging platforms (WordPress, Typepad, Blogger, Moveable Type).  Fortunately, the languages have evolved to allow for more detailed results while building upon the original foundations of HTML. 

        While most blogging platforms automatically convert your posts into the language. a few tweaks can be made if you understand the language.  Both Wordpres.com and Typepad allow users to customize their page’s CSS for a fee.  In case you completely missed the language expansion, here’s a quick reference with definitions and quick start guides.

        • XML stands for Extensible Markup Language.  XML differs from XHTML, HTML or CSS because it does not carry any information on how to display the data, therefore it must be combined with the CSS language. 
        • HTML stands for Hypertext Markup Language.  HTML is the structure of text information within a document.  It also includes scripting, appearance and semantics of the document or web page.
        • XHTML stands for Extensible Hypertext Markup Language.   It is often described as the intersection of HTML and XML. 
        • CSS stands for Cascading Style Sheets.  CSS uses HTML and XHTML to communicate with a page as to how it is to be displayed.  CSS can be used to define fonts, sizes, colors, layout, proportion, etc. Using CSS makes your site infinitely more customizable.

        The truth is, unless you are heavy into coding and site building, you probably don’t need to know more than a simple definition of each language.  If you’re looking to customize your site, look into the language your platform uses.  From there, you should be able to modify settings like column width, font type, font size, and background color.  Learning a language isn’t for the faint of heart, but having a unique, custom site is worth it!

          Understanding Creative Commons’ Licensing

          As a blogger, protecting your work and intellectual property is paramount.  While most bloggers have heard of Creative Commons, selecting the appropriate license can be incredibly confusing and frustrating.

          Protecting your work is important.  There are spam type blogs which will pull your content in via RSS or republish your posts without permission.  If your content isn’t protected, there is little you can do.  Additionally, your original posts and content are part of your intellectual property. If you haven’t protected your content or became frustrated by the process, use these helpful explanations to make the right decision.

          • Attribution Non Commercial No Derivatives 
            • Touted as the most restrictive license that allows redistribution.  This license allows for redistribution with full credit and a link back to your site.  Additionally, this restricts the use of your content to it’s original form.
          • Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike
            • This license allows others to “remix, tweak, and build upon your work” for non commercial purposes as long as you are credited as the original author. Other’s can “remix, tweak and build upon your work” from the redistributed posting. so be careful when using this license as your work can be changed several times from it’s original form. Those using your work must also license the work under the same terms.
          • Attribution Non Commercial
            • Just like the Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike license, but those using your work are not required to license their work under the same terms.
          • Attribution No Derrivatives
            • This license allows your work to be distributed for commercial and non commercial as long as your work appears in it’s full original form and full credit is given to you as the author.
          • Attribution Share Alike
            • Allows others to “remix, tweak, and build upon your work” similarly to the Attribution Non Commercial Share Alike license.  The main difference is that your work may be used for commercial purposes.
          • Attribution
            • The looses of licenses offered, it allows for others to recreate your work in any form as long as credit is given to you as the original creator.  

          Full descriptions of each license can be found here. For Coutorture Network Partners, we recommend the Attribution Non Commercial No Derivatives and the Attribution No Derivatives licenses.  Creative Commons offers a questionnaire to help you select the best option for you here.

          Weekly Educational Roundup: July 7 – 11

          BlogTalk Radio Seminar:  What is Twitter?

          As part of Coutorture’s BlogTalk Radio seminar series, this past Sunday we helped members of the Coutorture Community better understand the basics of Twitter, and how it can help grow their blogs.  Our co-host was Maria Palma ofThe Runway Scoop and Beauty Is Within, who is also a Twitter user.

          Blogging Tools:  PicApp

          One issue fashion and celebrity bloggers face is the access to affordable celebrity photos.  Mashable recently introduced us to PicApp.  PicApp is a service which has recently partnered with Splash News to offer bloggers free celebrity photos.  The only catch is the script required to insert the photos also inserts an advertisement below each photo.

          Essential Blogging:  5 Goals To Strive For

          More than likely, if we weren’t filled with ambition, we wouldn’t have started blogging in the first place. We all have certain goals we set for ourselves – number of posts per week, traffic – the list goes on.  Are these the right goals we should be setting for ourselves? Daily Blog Tips points us in the right direction with 5 Blogging Goals Worth Chasing After.